"Today is August 4, 2026,""Today is Mr.Featherstone's birthday. Today is the anniversary of Tilita's marriage.
A Rainy Day
Clean Clean Clean Clean Clean Clean Clean Clean
In the living room the voice-clock sang, Tick-tock, seven o'clock, time to get up, time to get up,seven o 'clock! as if it were afraid that nobody would. The morning house lay empty. The clockticked on, repeating and repeating its sounds into the emptiness. Seven-nine, breakfast time,seven-nine!In the kitchen the breakfast stove gave a hissing sigh and ejected from its warm interior eight piecesof perfectly browned toast, eight eggs sunny side up, sixteen slices of bacon, two coffees, and twocool glasses of milk.
Outside, the garage chimed and lifted its door to reveal the waiting car. After a long wait the door swung down again.
All Alone in a Big House
Out of warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted. The rooms were a crawl with the small cleaninganimals, allrubber and metal. They thudded against chairs, whirling their moustached runners,kneading the rug nap, sucking gently at hidden dust.
Loneliness Can Kill Too
The front door recognized the dog voice and opened. The dog, once huge and fleshy, but nowgone to bone and covered with sores, moved in and through the house, tracking mud. Behind itwhirred angry mice, angry at having to pick up mud, angry at inconvenience.
The dog ran upstairs, hysterically yelping to each door, at last realizing, as the house realized, thatonly silence was here.
It sniffed the air and scratched the kitchen door. Behind the door, the stove was making pancakeswhich filled the house with a rich baked odour and the scent of maple syrup.The dog frothed at the mouth, lying at the door, sniffing, its eyes turned to fire. It ran wildly incircles, biting at its tail, spun in a frenzy, and died. It lay in the parlor for an hour.The dog frothed at the mouth, lying at the door, sniffing, its eyes turned to fire. It ran wildly incircles, biting at its tail, spun in a frenzy, and died. It lay in the parlor for an hour.