Here are three excellent new posts that have inspired me to add to my “To Read” list:
Today I’d like to share with you a short story that’s refused to let go of me ever since I first read it. The post-apocalyptic setting and shadows of psychological horror make it a good fit for Halloween, I think. It’s a brilliant and deeply moving science fiction tale: “In a Manner of Speaking” by Charity
(The art below is “My Light in the Dark” by FenwickParrody.)
Here’s a brief taste:
I use the last of the good candles to build the radio. I still have light. The fire burns, and there is a never-ending supply of the cheap, waxy candles in the storeroom. I will–eventually–burn through all of those. My fire will die. The cold will invade this space.
But today I have a radio. Today I will speak to the world–or what’s left of it. I compare my radio to the picture in the instructions. It looks the same, but not all the steps had illustrations. This troubles me. My radio may not work.
I crank the handle to charge the battery. This feels good. This warms my arms, and I must take deep breaths to keep going. I shake out my hand and crank some more. When buzz and static fill my ears, I nearly jump. That, too, sounds warm. I am so used to the cold. The creak and groan of ice, the howl of the wind. These cold sounds are their own kind of silence. They hold nothing warm or wet or alive.
I decide on a frequency for no other reason than I like the number. I press the button on the mouthpiece. This, according to the instructions, will let the world hear me.
“Hello?” My voice warbles and I leap back, as if something might spring from the speakers.
Nothing does, of course. In fact, nothing happens at all. It takes more than one try to reach the world.
“Hello? Hello? Is anyone there? Can you hear me? I would like to talk to you.”
Perhaps I should try another frequency–or try a little patience. If someone is out there with a radio, might they right now be cranking a handle to charge a battery, or sleeping, or adding wood to their fire? This last is something I must do and soon. The embers grow a bright orange, but the chill has invaded the edges of the room.