When Miriam answered the phone her hands were dirty from gardening. She’d been weeding the anemones that were beginning to sprout in spring. Her son, Josh, had planted about ten bulbs years and years ago. Now every year Miriam got a veritable symphony of anemone colour.
It had been raining so she made the phone muddy when she answered the call. No time, of course, to wash hands before answering the phone. How easy to miss a call. How easy, too, to get mud everywhere.
Josh was dead, said the phone call. Killed in a factory accident. Dead.
“Josh?” said Miriam. “Josh?”
“Josh,” she said.
“Josh?” she said.