“Yes, boo-boo, Dada is coming home soon,” Tamar sighed into the stack of bills.
“Wah! Dada wah!”
“We’ll go a walk after supper, boo-boo.”
Dejah Thoris McAdams, two years and twenty-one days old, was not yet at the “eyeroll, ‘Sure Mom’” stage of life. Simpler measures had to do when Mommy’s communication circuits failed, like jumping up and down with hands over her head and shouting.
The silence was suddenly very suspicious. Tamar found herself double-timing it over to the window where her offspring was staring, entranced, down the driveway.
“Dada wah.” Dejah explained.
The mecha waved.
– Stealing Prompts From Hiding Is Victimless Crime
"IS anybody there?" said the Traveler,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence chomped the grasses
Of the forest's ferny floor.
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
Above the traveler's head:
And he smote upon the door a second time;
"Is there anybody there?" he said.
But no one descended to the Traveler;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his gray eyes,
Where he stood perplexed and still.
But only a host of phantom listeners
That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair
That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
By the lonely Traveler's call.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
'Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:--
"Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word," he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:
Aye, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.
- The Listeners, Walter de la Mare