The first one sounds like an old timey doorbell.
The second is more of a ‘tink’.
Then the device actually rings. A tone warbles- a pulse, laser, then a metallic clang all in succession.
It is vexatious and designed to draw attention.
‘Sorry, sorry.’ Each apology frames a stop and then restart of work.
The ringing continues even after she tries to tap tap it away.
Head down, she mutters, then sighs. ‘Some people use the app. Some call it in.’
Just over her shoulder, two different people are nestled in their cars, on their phones.
One of them stares at us.
‘S’ok’ I offer. ‘I bet you wish you could just turn off those notifications!’
Her look up is sudden and stark.
I know this look.
It’s like that moment of glancing up and seeing someone staring at you.
Or staring out your car window and gaze locking with a passing driver.
Being observed by a stranger has a nervous effervescence to it.
The woman in the blue car is still eyeballing us.
How long have they been watching?
What did they notice?
What did I just do?
It blows open the landscape between fight, flight, and freeze.
Time slows then speeds as your consciousness handshakes with reality again.
Mika dead-eyes me. ‘We are not allowed to mess with the scanners.’
The device chirps as if in agreement.
‘I didn’t mean…’ I blurt.
With a dismissive wave she turns and takes the call.