Bold Types 2020 Finalist – Ann Craig

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The Scientist 

It was the best of times it was the worst of times —

Sorry Susan I have to pause, you have an incoming call from your mother, shall I accept,

Och yes I suppose so


Was that an affirmatives Susan


Yes Alexa accept call,

Hello mother hows you?


I’m fine, still in lock in –why don’t you ever have your camera on?


I prefer just audio.


Sometimes I wonder where I got you Susan Mc Phee you must keep up with new technologies. Are you working? I can call back?


No I’m not working mum it’s an Own day, work is scheduled for Friday and Monday next, all right for you over eighties, every day is an Own day!!


Indeed it is, anyway I thought you might be interested to know I should be down to the required weight at my next weigh in, thought you’d be pleased to hear.


That is great news mum, be good for you to be able to get out and about again on walking days, think next one is Thursday and air quality is to be 65%  no masks needed.


Will you meet me for the walk then?


Of course I will, sorry you were sanctioned, it’s cruel not allowing you out to socialize, a stupid requirement, you’re not a child you can loose weight how you want.


Oh Susan it’s not about requirement I want to stay in control, and it helps me do that.


Ok mum let me know when you’re sure and we can meet up, meanwhile don’t overdo that exercise machine, just hit your required target for the implant ok?


I will, love you.


Love you too mum.

Alexa stop call .

Shall I resume the story Susan?

Yes please

It was the age of wisdom; it was the age of foolishness—

I’m sorry Susan I have to pause again you have another incoming call

No! do not accept that call I don’t care who it is.

I have no choice in this Susan this call overrides all your protocols



Hello Susan, we are sorry to intrude in you Own day and sorry you are ill


I’m not ill.


Your implant tells us otherwise, hence our intrusion. You missed your walk this morning, and traffic will resume at ten am today for the next twenty four hours.


I don’t bloody care I didn’t feel like walking this morning and I can wait till the traffic stops again on Thursday.


I am sorry you feel that way Susan but good health is a requirement for all citizens


I am bloody healthy


Well at this moment we can see your blood pressure is raised and you are two point four kilos overweight. Your health monitor implant has been automatically activated by your present state of dis-ease. We do not wish to intrude but must insist you attend a healthy world clinic on the next walking day- if you don’t we will be forced to apply

the usual sanctions and actions. –Did you hear that Susan?


I understand I’ll be there on Thursday.


We know you care about the planet Susan your writings inspired us all.

“Change yourself, Change the planet” is still our motto. Are you still there Susan?


Yes I’m still here.


Here in our beloved Scotland we have changed faster than any nation, we had the united will of our proud nation and the power. Happy Own day Susan and clinic will be scheduled for after your walk on Thursday – and Susan thank you from us all.


Will I resume the story Susan?

Yes Alexa

Are you all right Susan, are you distressed? Do you require assistance? I can alert all services in seconds

No Alexa I’m perfectly fine, no services can turn back time, resume story.

It was the epoch of belief; it was the epoch of incredulity. It was the season of light,

it was the season of darkness .


by Ann Craig

All text appears as provided by the author.