a short story
They dragged Tad out of class and brought him to The Consoling Room. Yes, Tad Bolton. The Varsity player. The guitar swinging senior. Who kissed Lindsay Ritten on the mouth. Right in front of Mr. Harold’s dumb face. While swinging a petition. With 5,000 signatures, to save the library. The greatest high schooler in history.
Yes, that very Tad was the weeping Tad they pulled from his desk during 5th period because he received no invitations to FutureBook, even after weeks of waiting.
“Which means Tad will be dead in fifteen years,” his mother said, “or at least that he’ll become a reclusive luddite failure, or a vegetable, or have no hands.” …
At the party, the awful couple was arguing again. Their voices filled a corner, a hallway, the entire space.
“What’s their goddamn problem,” someone said. Everyone stopped to listen. The couple — a man and a woman — weren’t even embarrassed. How could they be? They were the only people in the world.
I envied them their private universe, their lives that offered up only what they most desired: anger and a body to throw it against. When was the last time I could claim as much? I thought of Brian, his hands and cheeks. The couple carried on. Oblivious to everything but their own small problems. Problems so small that I’m sure no one else would ever be able to find them. Even as those problems buried them. …
by PHILIP K. DICK and AMBROSE BIERCE
IT WAS quite by accident I discovered this incredible invasion of Earth by lifeforms from another planet. Today I am said to live; tomorrow, here in this room, will lie a senseless shape of clay that all too long was I. As yet, I haven’t done anything about it; I can’t think of anything to do. If anyone lift the cloth from the face of that unpleasant thing it will be in gratification of a mere morbid curiosity. I wrote to the Government, and they sent back a pamphlet on the repair and maintenance of frame houses. Some, doubtless, will go further and inquire, “Who was he?” Anyhow, the whole thing is known; I’m not the first to discover it. In this writing I supply the only answer that I am able to make — Caspar Grattan. Maybe it’s even under control. …