Can you hear me now?

“No thank you, I need to start figuring things out. I just have one question for you before we part ways again.”

He looked utterly relieved which annoyed the girl a bit, “Yes?”

“Do you know what happened to the book pages?”

Malcom studied her, not quite sure how to answer. He wasn’t entirely sure what she was talking about. As if sensing that he needed to stall his wrist started to warm up. Raising it to better see his arm a holographic projection peered out from his sleeve.  Catherine was calling. She never called while she was at work. He glanced back and forth from Amelia to his wrist. Catherine’s face, frozen in a smile, peered back at him.

Turning his back to Amelia he answered, “Catherine is anything wrong?”

Her picture, replaced by a live feed, smiled back at him, “Oh, no, I’m okay, but are you? I had this odd feeling in my gut. When you didn’t answer any of my waves I decided to call. I thought, well I don’t know what I though. I just needed to make sure you were okay.”

Confused Malcom asked, “Were you worried?”

“Oh, of course not. Worry is a sign of a lack of trust in another persons cognitive processes. Distrust breeds dissent. Dissent spreads. No, I wasn’t worried.”

“Spoken like a true DAEE doctor.”

“Hopefully, fingers crossed. They are all done with the screenings. They will notify me of their decision in three days.”

“Well, you are sure to get it. You are clearly the most qualified.”

“You can’t know that, but I appreciate the sentiment. Will we still be meeting for dinner tonight?”

“Um, yeah. Yeah, I’ll see you at 7:30 at Gio’s.”

“Sounds great. Good bye.”


He stared at the projection longer then necessary. The call had been over for four minutes by the time he finally looked around. She was gone. Amelia no longer stood behind him. He couldn’t be entirely sure she had ever been there. Of course she hadn’t. Amelia had never existed. How many times had the doctors told him that? She was just his imaginary friend. Imagination in adults was dangerous. He was not a dangerous man, therefore he could not have an imaginary friend. He wasn’t sure why he had decided to go on a hike today, but it was time for him to get back. Enough frolicking through the woods. Enough nonsense.

He brushed his hands on his slacks and stood. He began to trek up the hill, back the way he came. He had reached the clearing with the house and planned to bypass it completely. Then a shock of white amongst the fallen leaves caught his attention. He walked closer to the house to examine it. It was a summons, the kinds the drones handed out. The type the imaginary girl had been given. Clearly someone else had been in the area recently and had rudely littered. Some people had no respect for the environment. Shaking his head he snatched the summons, intending to hand it in to a drone. They’d figure out whose it was. Obviously if the person had been summoned and was littering they were a cross-discipline offender. Straightening he headed off to his car.

As he walked he had the oddest sensation. He felt like he was being watched. Being watched by more then just the drones. They were everywhere, for their safety. Once or twice he looked over his shoulder, swearing that something darted in the corner of his eye. Irrational. He shook the thoughts away as he continued.

Keeping her distance was a blonde girl. Malcom didn’t want her around, she could see that now. She would get the information she needed. She resisted any urges to call out to her friend. Judging on the way he was muttering to himself and shaking his head, he had other issues. Or she had kindled past ones. Either way, he didn’t need her messing him up further. As much as it pained her she had to go it alone. She had made this mess alone and alone she would clean it up. First she needed to make sure he didn’t have the pages and then the search would really begin.


Part 1 | Part 2

Found via Pinterest.
Prompt: In the not-so-far-future, smartphones have been reduced to the size of microchips that are implanted in wrist bones, accessed through glowing displays in and holographic projections from the skin.
Justin McLachlan


3 thoughts on “Can you hear me now?

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