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The Silent Audience--A Historical Note
The Silent AudienceA Historical Note
"And everywhere he looked, there were countless eyes, blazing yellow eyes all leveled balefully at him," the elderly resident said. "His voice froze in his throat, and he sat motionless unable to move. As the Englishman gazed transfixed, he suddenly felt a sharp tugging on his jacket sleeve, and slowly glanced down."
It was in the summer of 1964 when I first heard the story of The Silent Audience. I was a youth of about seventeen, and the teller was an incredibly old man who sat on a rickety porch spitting tobacco juice at a rusty coffee can. Never once did I see him hit his target, but that didn't seem to faze him one bit.
It happened in the old mining town of Boulder
It was mid-October. It was either raining or hailing or freezing cold or all three. The scenic streets of Hogan's Gap were lined with frost and frozen puddles. As Adrienne Myers commuted to and from school in the near-polar conditions, what got her through the end of yet another long drab day was thinking about her future goals.
She was a hopeless idealist at heart, hating with passion the drudgery and routine of her predictable life as a B-average high school freshman living in this stagnant backwater of a town. Vaguely, she looked forward to a life in the South of France, somewhere close to
It was a sunny yet chilly October day in the small seaside town of Hogan's Gap, California, and Halloween was still three weeks away. Green, black, orange and purple autumn decor lined the windows and walls of the rows of old false-fronted stores and colorful Victorian houses.
In one large, old mansion near the summit of Main Street, Gwen Barry was feeling lazy and content. She had just finished her homework, and now waited for her parents to get back from a baby shower. To pass the time, she started reading one of her many favorite Gothic-horror mysteries written by John Bellairs. So absorbed was she in this literary masterpiece that she did not hear the patio
How It Began"God, your two o'clock is here."
"I have a two o'clock?"
"He's been here since 7:45. I figured it's only polite to... sir."
God sighed. "Fine, send him in."
While He waited God cleared His desk of papers and blueprints; no need for outsiders to see His plans. Soon enough the door to His office opened and God stood, smiled, held out a hand towards one of the two visitor's chairs.
"God! Great stuff you're doing in sector 2-7-0! Great stuff!"
The man's hands were clammy, his handshake limp. Rumpled suit, porkpie hat, briefcase... oh Jes-- oh dear, a salesman. God's smile slipped a little but He soldiered on gamely. With luck He could shoo the poor guy away in a few minutes.
"So, what can I do for you?"
The man sat, briefcase across his knees. "Sector 2-7-0! Everyone's talking about it! What do you call it? Man and merman?"
"Man and woman, actually. And thanks. But we're pretty busy around here, and..."
"Oh! Right! No time for the wicked, eh?" The salesman winked and popped his briefcase,
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