Monday, 17 June 2019

Write-In 2019: 'Call me, Mum x' by Julie FitzGerald

I watch his WhatsApp. Last seen yesterday at 06:20; no answer, calls unreturned, no text reply. Eighteen hours, a son in incognito mode: AWOL, taken, gone. No. His phone is lost, yes, that's it; the screen smashed from a bar drop, seeped in pear cider that faults his index print. The Touch ID says Try Again. Try Again. The finger pad is wet and cold, its onyx eye fixed and dilated, unblinking at the moonless sky. On the embankment, left on a bench carved In Loving Memory above the fist-crushed empties and flattened roaches. At a girl's with no iPhone charger; she's got a Samsung you see. Please God. He has no Facebook status, all social mediums remain unupdated. No vital signs, no online, typing... Sound on, volume set to max, my palm-encased phone is warm under the pillow. I check, I wait, heart in mouth. I watch his WhatsApp.

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