She checked her phone. No missed calls; no new messages.
She watched the news until she couldn’t anymore. All those faces. All that pain. Strangers who seemed all too familiar but who still couldn’t answer the question she really cared about.
She checked her phone. Nothing.
It got dark early. Severe, dense clouds looked down from the sky, ready to burst like the multitudes marching through the city streets. Watching the sky was as bad as watching the news. The dread, she realized, was inside her so it manifested in whatever she looked at: folded newspapers, cracked paint, sun-faded family photos.
She checked her phone. No calls. No messages.
Fear. Rage. Futility.
She hurled the phone across the room, and before it had even struck the wall, she let out one sharp, agonized sob.
No one was coming to check on her; no one would help pick her up. Finally, she rose, retrieved her phone, screen now cracked, and turned the news back on.
Smoke. Scattered figures running. A flash from something off screen. Shouts and screams. A stammering newscaster. It was starting to rain.
Her phone rang. Emblazoned in the cracked glass, her son’s name.
Photo by Agê Barros on Unsplash
Story by Gregory M. Fox
Hope: an Epilogue