Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Tinkling of Cracked Bells

"The Notifications Widget will disappear on 7 March, 2019."

The words crackled through the speaker of an old transistor radio. The man who said them sounded old and of a different era. His wavering voice should have been reporting that Pearl Harbor had been attacked, that the Hindenberg had gone down, that we should all buy war bonds for God and America. If sound could be sepia-toned, his inflection was surely mottled and brown.

I couldn't have heard it right. I picked up the radio, testing its weight, feeling its warmth. I gave it a slight shake. Not hard enough to break anything, but hard enough to know that the radio was really there, in my hand, a thing that exists.

And then I noticed...the radio wasn't even plugged in. The cable dangled from the back like a useless vestigial limb.

"The Notifications Widget will disappear on 7 March, 2019," the voice intoned again, more urgently, somehow closer and more intimate.

Somewhere a cracked bell smiled and rang one final time.