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#117: Boredom

#117: Boredom

Grace pulls the phone out of Matilda's hand. There is something both cute and appalling about her little hands grabbing at it. The large screen made her daughter's hands look doll-like.

Before she could predict it, Matilda wails as if life itself was about to end. There is a fear growing inside her that scared Grace.

As Matilda putters in her howling, Grace thinks back to her own childhood. Those endless hours on car trips in the light brown Toyota family car that had no air-conditioning. It seemed every few weekends they'd take the epic trip to visit her grandparents on their dairy farm.

Grace remembers the endless hours as rolling hills dotted with black and white cows. It was an effort to not die of boredom.

Her parents weren't one for car games, and Grace couldn't read in the car for fear of throwing up, so she had to resort to using her imagination. Sometimes the lack of thoughts happening hurt. The pain was right behind her eyes and the only respite was to dig her knuckles into her eyes until bolts of light flared across her vision.

Grace resolves to teach her daughter the power of her own mind. Where she would have relented by now, she now places her phone into her bag and zips it up.

Matilda, outraged, screams even louder.

The other shoppers turn and Grace can't decide if the looks are out of sympathy or of concern. One woman looks down at her phone and taps at the screen. Is she calling the police?

Matilda follows her mother's gaze and sees the ready-made audience. Her voice raises an octave, almost blowing out the windows.