By Ray Bradbury
An aluminium wedge scraped them into the sink, where hot water whirled them down a metal throat which digested and flushed them away to the distant sea.
Until this day, how well the house had kept its peace... it had shut up its windows and drawn shades in an old maidenly preoccupation with self-protection which bordered on a mechanical paranoia. It quivered at each sound, the house did.
The house was an altar with ten thousand attendants, big, small, servicing, attending, in choirs. But the gods had gone away, and the ritual of the religion continued senselessly, uselessly.
At ten o'clock the house began to die.
while the voices took it up in chorus: "Fire, fire, fire!" The house tried to save itself.
The house shuddered, oak bone on bone, its bared skeleton cringing from the heat, its wire, its nerves revealed as if a surgeon had torn the skin off to let the red veins and capillaries quiver in the scalded air. Help, help!
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Cleaning solvent, bottled, shattered over the stove. The room was ablaze in an instant! "Fire!" screamed a voice
But the solvent spread on the linoleum, licking, eating, under the kitchen door,
The house gave ground as the fire in ten billion angry sparks moved with flaming ease from room to room and then up the stairs.
It fed upon Picassos and Matisses in the upper halls, like delicacies, baking off the oily flesh, tenderly crisping the canvases into black shavings.
Poem - how happy nature will be when man has destroyed
Nature vs technology
The rooms were a crawl with the small cleaning animals, all rubber and metal.
Behind it whirred angry mice, angry at having to pick up mud, angry at inconvenience… and the copper scrap rats flashed swiftly out. The offending dust, hair, or paper, seized in miniature steel jaws, was raced back to the burrows.
Over this ran aluminium roaches and iron crickets,
While scurrying water rats squeaked from the walls, pistolled their water, and ran for more. And the wall sprays let down showers of mechanical rain.
a few last cleaning mice darting bravely out to carry the horrid ashes away!
From attic trapdoors, blind robot faces peered down with faucet mouths gushing green chemical. The fire backed off, as even an elephant must at the sight of a dead snake. Now there were twenty snakes whipping over the floor, killing the fire with a clear cold venom of green froth. But the fire was clever.
Somewhere in the walls, relays clicked, memory tapes glided under electric eyes.
Then, like mysterious invaders, they popped into their burrows. Their pink electric eyes faded.
The dog frothed at the mouth, lying at the door, sniffing, its eyes turned to fire.
The dog ran upstairs, hysterically yelping to each door, at last realizing, as the house realized, that only silence was here
the tables were silent and the cards untouched
The house was silent. The voice said at last, "Since you express no preference, I shall select a poem at random." Quiet music rose to back the voice.
The empty chairs faced each other between the silent walls,
The weather box on the front door sang…