Empty Signals

radio tower1

On the hill to the west there is a radio tower. The tower climbs over 2000 feet, scraping the sky with its pointed antenna. I don’t know what it broadcasts. Nobody does. There’s probably not any radio waves left to send, so it just sits there, pretending to have a purpose.

But the world’s gone quiet. The roads are empty, while the sky is freckled with stars at night, devoid of planes or satellites. Uncommon when we were kids, but completely expected now, is the vision of the haze of galactic batches of gas and dust and distant suns through the naked eye. Continue reading


Stella woke up on the evening of her twelfth birthday yelling back at the sound of her father’s footsteps. “Dad, quiet!  I’m tired!”

Connor knew the noise would wake her, but still stomped as loud as he could when he came home from work. He liked to hear her voice, the young squeak of a child’s mind vocalized always gave him a chuckle. He laughed as she rubbed sleep from her eyes, and still chuckled at her pouting her way through breakfast. He watched with love as she dozed, dropping her spoon into the cereal bowl.

But his laughing stopped when the door burst open and the Readers stormed in. Continue reading


Mary couldn’t concentrate. The words were flowing too fast. They came in through her window, under the door.

She slammed the window shut, locked it, and stepped back. But she could still hear the words. All the screaming, the shouting. It was frightening. She hadn’t felt this unsafe since she was a little girl and her school principal’s speech about actual hard labor in classrooms nearly knocked her out, and only the nurse’s reassurance carried her home. Continue reading