Another effective short from Johnson, somewhat less challenging than her ‘Spar’!
A young girl is on her way to her engineering class at university when her cell phone rings. She’s grateful for the interruption as she’s struggling with the class as indeed thinking of changing her major. There’s no-one at the other end of the connection – just static, or perhaps the sound of water.
She pauses, wondering where that sound could be coming from. Beach? Lake? Her minders wanders, becoming more fanciful as to the location of the water, in out countries, in other continents. The story gently takes off as her fancies become wilder, looking much farther afield, to distant planets, and then we get a glimpse of just where this student is heading in terms of her career, and just where her research is going to lead other people, centuries down the line.
A delicate touch.