Thursday, May 23, 2024

"There Was a Vast Wrongness to Them"

"The Crowd." 
By Ray Bradbury (1920-2012; ISFDb HERE).
First appearance: Weird Tales, May 1943.
Reprinted many times, including in Shock, May 1960 (today's text).
Reprints page (ISFDb HERE).
Tarted up and filmed for TV in 1985 (WARNING! SPOILERS! HERE).
Short story (9 pages).
Online at The Luminist Archives (HERE; go to text page 35) and (HERE; text page 87).
(Parental caution: Some strong language.)

   "Maybe they wanted her dead."

DID you ever think they are out to get you? Wait now. That's being what they call "paranoid," isn't it; and nobody wants to be called that. But think about what you've already seen. Can it be the problem isn't really with you, it's with them? No, that's crazy. That's . . . paranoid. The same people every time. Gathering together. Gathering together to do . . . to do what?

Main characters:
~ Mr. Spallner:
  "You murder much easier, this way."
~ The doctor:
  "Simple shock."
~ The cabbie:
  "There's always a crowd. You'd think it was their own mother got killed."
~ Morgan:
  "Who are they? What do they want? You keep hinting and never telling."

- We last made contact with Ray Bradbury through his story, "The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl" (HERE).

Unless otherwise noted, all bibliographical data are derived from The FictionMags Index created by William G. Contento & edited by Phil Stephensen-Payne.

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