"Sometimes you think you won't even let the electricity into the house. It's too dangerous. Sometimes it seems like a friend. Hiding in your fuse box. The girl peeks out on you from the weed garden. There's a difference, she said, between being good and not feeling anything inside.Being unable to stop yourself, she said, it's not the same as doing what you are told.
You see patterns everywhere. Patterns before your eyes. Every dropped stitch a life lost. Needles clicking. Librium, Valium, Mogadon, Ativan and Halcion. Action after warnings. Quick relief from stress. There's nothing for you to worry about, the doctor says. It's perfectly natural to feel this way.
There's gas in the pipes, knives in he drawers, running water in the kitchen. A sudden fall in the stairs might cause serious injury. Fires can be put out quite easily, if tackled at once, while they are still small. Genetic mutations occur twice as often in the children of families who have been exposed to radioactive failout, representing permanent damage caused to the DNA passed down through the generations.
A warning may come quite unexpectadly at any time.
Go quickly and turn of the gas and electricity at the mains. (...) We will now tell you waht to do if warning signs while you are at home.
Do not go outside until the radio tells you it is safe to do so.
The doctor gives you something to make your arms and limbs feel heay, to keep them from floating away. (...) Drugs really enter the foetus and can depress vital functions in the newborn infant. (...) She is the black sun, the ruined city, the empty plane stetching out on the horizon. Her face pressed up against the window, looking in. The ghost in the weed garden. We can see her from a long way off. We will warn you off what's coming. (...) If no instructions have been given within five days, you should temporarily bury the body as soon as it is safe to go out and mark the spot.
But what about the TV?
Shouldn't you stop watching and wait for one of the other channels? Don't you need to know what's happening on the other side?
There's people in the room, she said. They talk with such loud voices. They never stop smiling. Women's voices everywhere, she said. They are allmost shouting. There's no people in the room.
Don't pick up the telephone during a thunderstorm.
Still she's there, the ghost in the weed garden, her face pressed up against the window, looking in. The best thing to do is to sit still and be good. The sky outside is brown. The wall start moving around inside."