- the pedestrian by ray bradbury full text
THE PEDESTRIAN BY RAY BRADBURY FULL TEXT
To get in out right into that silence that was the
city in ~ eight o"clock that a misty evening in November,
to put your feet upon that buckling concrete walk, to
step end grassy seams and also make your way, hands in
Leonard Mead most dearly love to do. That would
stand top top the edge of an intersection and also peer
down lengthy moonlit opportunities of sidewalk in four
directions, deciding which method to go, but it really
made no difference; he was alone in this world of
A.D. 2053, or as an excellent as alone, and also with a final
decision made, a path selected, he would stride off,
sending patterns of frosty air prior to him prefer the
smoke the a cigar.
Sometimes he would certainly walk for hours and
miles and also return only at midnight to his house. And
on his way he would see the cottages and also homes with
their dark windows, and it was no unequal to
walking v a graveyard where just the faintest
glimmers of firefly light showed up in flickers behind
the windows. Sudden gray phantoms seemed to
manifest top top inner room walls where a curtain was
still undrawn against the night, or over there were
whisperings and also murmurs wherein a home window in a tomblike
building was still open.
Mr. Leonard Mead would pause, dick his
head, listen, look, and march on, his feet making no
noise ~ above the lumpy walk. Because that long back he had actually wisely
changed to sneakers once strolling at night, because
the dogs in intermittent squads would certainly parallel his
journey with barkings if he wore hard heels, and
lights might click on and faces appear and also an entire
street be startled by the pass of a lone figure,
himself, in the at an early stage November evening.
On this certain evening he began his
journey in a westerly direction, toward the hidden
sea. There was a good crystal frost in the air; it cut the
nose and made the lungs blaze choose a Christmas tree
inside; you can feel the cold light going on and also off,
all the branches filled with invisible snow. He
listened come the faint push of his soft shoes through
autumn leaves through satisfaction, and whistled a cold
quiet whistle between his teeth, periodically picking
up a leaf as he passed, analyzing its bones pattern
in the infrequent lamplights as he go on, smelling
its rusty smell.
"Hello, in there," that whispered to every
house on every side as he moved. "What"s up tonight
on Channel 4, Channel 7, Channel 9? Where are the
cowboys rushing, and also do I check out the united States
Cavalry end the next hill come the rescue?"
The street to be silent and long and also empty,
with only his shadow relocating like the shadow of a
hawk in midcountry. If the closed his eyes and also stood
very still, frozen, he could imagine self upon the
center the a plain, a wintry, windless Arizona desert
with no home in a thousands miles, and also only dry river
beds, the streets, because that company.
"What is that now?" he asked the houses,
noticing his wrist watch. "Eight-thirty P.M.? Time for
a dozen assorted murders? A quiz? A revue? A
comedian falling off the stage?"
Was the a murmur that laughter from within a
moon-white house? that hesitated, however went ~ above when
nothing much more happened. He stumbled end a
particularly uneven section of sidewalk. The cement
was noodles under flowers and also grass. In ten years
of wade by night or day, for thousands of miles, he
had never met another person walking, not when in all
He concerned a cloverleaf intersection which
stood silent where two key highways overcome the
town. Throughout the work it to be a thunderous rise of
cars, the gas stations open, a great insect rustling and
a ceaseless jockeying for position as the scarabbeetles,
a faint incense puttering from your exhausts,
skimmed homeward come the far directions. But now
these highways, too, were choose streams in a dry
season, all stone and bed and moon radiance.
He turned earlier on a next street, circling
around toward his home. He was within a block that his
destination as soon as the lone automobile turned a corner quite
suddenly and also flashed a fierce white cone of light
upon him. He stood entranced, not unlike a night
moth, stunned by the illumination, and also then drawn
A metallic voice referred to as to him:
"Stand still. Stay where you are! Don"t
"Put up her hands!"
"But-" the said.
"Your hands up! Or we"ll Shoot!"
The police, of course, but what a rare,
incredible thing; in a city of three million, over there was
only one police car left, wasn"t the correct? Ever
since a year ago, 2052, the choice year, the force
had been cut down from 3 cars to one. Crime was
ebbing; there to be no require now for the police, save for
this one lone auto wandering and also wandering the empty
"Your name?" claimed the police car in a
metallic whisper. The couldn"t check out the guys in it for the
bright irradiate in his eyes.
"Leonard Mead," that said.
"Business or profession?"
"I guess you"d contact me a writer."
"No profession," said the police car, as if
talking to itself. The light organized him fixed, choose a
museum specimen, needle thrust through chest.
"You can say that, " stated Mr. Mead. He
hadn"t created in years. Magazines and books didn"t
sell any kind of more. Every little thing went on in the tomblike
houses at night now, he thought, proceeding his fancy.
The tombs, ill-lit by tv light, whereby the people
sat favor the dead, the gray or multicolored lights
touching their faces, but never really touching them.
"No profession," said the phonograph voice,
hissing. "What are you act out?"
"Walking," said Leonard Mead.
"Just walking," he stated simply, yet his face
"Walking, simply walking, walking?"
"Walking where? for what?"
"Walking because that air. Walking come see."
"Eleven south Saint James Street."
"And there is air in her house, you have an
air conditioner, Mr. Mead?"
"And you have actually a viewing screen in your
house to check out with?"
"No?" There was a crackling quiet that in
itself to be an accusation.
"Are girlfriend married, Mr. Mead?"
"Not married," said the police voice behind
the fiery beam, The moon was high and clear among
the stars and the residences were gray and silent.
"Nobody want me," stated Leonard Mead
with a smile.
"Don"t speak uneven you"re talked to!"
Leonard Mead waited in the cold night.
"Just walking, Mr. Mead?"
"But girlfriend haven"t explained for what
"I explained; because that air, and to see, and just to
"Have you done this often?"
"Every night because that years."
The police automobile sat in the center of the street
with its radio neck faintly humming.
"Well, Mr. Mead," it said.
"Is the all?" he asked politely.
"Yes," said the voice. "Here." There was a
sigh, a pop. The ago door the the police car sprang
wide. "Get in."
"Wait a minute, ns haven"t excellent anything!"
He walked choose a guy suddenly drunk. Together he
passed the front home window of the automobile he looked in. As
he had actually expected, there was no one in the prior seat, no
one in the automobile at all.
He put his hand come the door and peered into
the back seat, which was a little cell, a small black jail
with bars. It smelled of riveted steel. The smelled of
harsh antiseptic; it smelled as well clean and also hard and
metallic. There to be nothing soft there.
"Now if you had actually a mam to give you one alibi,"
said the stole voice. "But-"
"Where room you acquisition me?"
The vehicle hesitated, or rather provided a faint
whirring click, together if information, somewhere, was
dropping card by punch-slotted map under electric
eyes. "To the Psychiatric facility for study on
He gained in. The door shut v a soft thud.
The police automobile rolled v the night avenues,
flashing that is dim lights ahead.
They pass one house on one street a
moment later, one home in an entire city of houses
that to be dark, however this one specific house had all of
its electric lights brightly lit, every home window a loud
yellow illumination, square and warm in the cool
"That"s my house," said Leonard Mead.
No one answered him.
The car moved under the empty river-bed
streets and off away, leave the empty highways with
the north side-walks, and also no sound and also no motion all
the remainder of the cool November night.
Bradbury, ray (1920- ), is an American
author finest known because that his fantasy stories and also science
fiction. Bradbury"s finest writing efficiently combines
Collections of Bradbury"s stories include
The Martian Chronicles (1950), The shown Man
(1951), The October country (1955), i Sing the Body
Electric! (1969), quicker Than the Eye (1996), and
One an ext for the road (2002). His novel Fahrenheit
451 (1953) describes a society that bans the
ownership the books. His various other novels include
Dandelion wine (1957), a poetic story that a boy"s
summer in one Illinois town in 1928; and also Something
Wicked This way Comes (1962), a suspenseful
fantasy about a black magic carnival that concerns a
small Midwestern town. That has additionally written poetry,
screenplays, and also stage plays.