When Silence Fell


This piece is inspired by Ray Bradbury’s “There Will Come Soft Rains”. This is what I imagined happened before the nuclear holocaust. I changed some dates and names to make the short story more relevant. I also tried to keep his style of writing. Photo by: Catbus on DeviantArt

At early dawn, a monotonous voice sang, Tick-tock, seven o’clock, time to get up, time to get up, seven o’clock!


Four pairs of feet slowly dragged across the hardwood floor, following a delicious smell. Flooding into the kitchen, the family took their seats, delighted to see eight pieces of perfectly browned toast, eight eggs sunny side up, sixteen slices of bacon, two hot coffees and two cool glasses of milk. 


Good Morning, the Elrod family. Today is July 24, 2126, pronounced a voice that came from cabinets, in the city of Allendale, California, it continued, For the news, today, the president of the United States confirmed that China is advancing with its nuclear bomb development and that we are merely a step behind them. Also, Don’t forget that today is Destry Barlowe’s birthday party. It starts at 4 o’clock, the voice concluded.


“Thank you, Iris,” spoke Mr. Elrod. 


As the family finished eating, an aluminum wedge scraped the empty plates and placed them in the sink, ready to be washed. They rose from the water, sparkling and clean, practically as good as new.


Nine-fifteen, sang the clock, time to clean.


From burrows within the walls, tiny robot mice erupted. They raced all around the floor, sweeping up any debris or crumbs left behind. Once they completed their job, they retreated to their tunnels.


Ten o’clock. As the parents discussed their plans for the day, little Alessa and Klay Elrod glued their eyes to their gaming screens, playing the newest edition of “StarCraft: Moon Wars”. 


Ten-fifteen. At this time of day, it was peaceful. Not a single dog barked: only the occasional chirp of a bird. From wiring underneath the yard, garden sprinklers exploded from the ground. The water gushed all over flowers, bushes and the newly painted white exterior of the flat. 


Noon. Alessa and Klay ran around the house in circles as their beloved dog and best friend, Rocky, trotted after them. Knocking into objects around them, robot mice followed in anger to pick up what was left behind. Laughter and the sound of footsteps echoed throughout the corridors of the dwelling.


Two thirty-five, lunchtime! chimed the stove.


Egg salad sandwiches, potato chips and playing cards were scattered across the wooden table. Bubbly sodas and refreshing glasses of water were distributed among members at the table. The cushioned chairs became occupied once again. 


Three o’clock. The family exited the house one by one; Mrs. Elrod carried gardening tools, Mr. Elrod headed towards the SmartShed to retrieve his lawnmower and Alessa and Klay Elrod held a ball as Rocky trailed behind. Running around the outskirts of the house, Rocky stumbled upon a cellar and pranced down the steps, the door shutting after him.


Three-thirty. Mr. Elrod paced the yard back and forth, reassuring himself that he did not miss a single blade of grass. Alessa tossed a ball high in the air and Klay raised his hands, prepared to catch it. Within two seconds though, the ball wasn’t the only object hurtling from the sky. As if in slow motion, the object touched the ground from a distance and white light spread, inch by inch. Then all was silent.