Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Breakfast at Twilight

image from Wikipedia

Breakfast at Twilight is a science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick (pictured above). A warning for us all:
"I should have got it fixed," Tim went on. "I should have had it looked at a long time ago. Before it got in such bad shape." Tim looked around at the circle of anxious people, hanging on his words. "I should have had it looked at. Before it was too late."
You can read it online here at this link. It begins,
"DAD?" Earl asked, hurrying out of the bathroom, "you going to drive us to school today?"

Tim McLean poured himself a second cup of coffee. "You kids can walk for a change. The car's in the garage."

Judy pouted. "It's raining."

"No it isn't," Virginia corrected her sister. She drew the shade back. "It's all foggy, but it isn't raining."

"Let me look." Mary McLean dried her hands and came over from the sink. "What an odd day. Is that fog? It looks more like smoke. I can't make out a thing. What did the weather man say?"

"I couldn't get anything on the radio," Earl said. "Nothing but static."

Tim stirred angrily. "That darn thing on the blink again? Seems like I just had it fixed." He got up and moved sleepily over to the radio. He fiddled idly with the dials. The three children hurried back and forth, getting ready for school. "Strange," Tim said.

"I'm going." Earl opened the front door.

"Wait for your sisters," Mary ordered absently.

"I'm ready," Virginia said. "Do I look all right?"

"You look fine," Mary said, kissing her.

"Ill call the radio repair place from the office," Tim said.

He broke off. Earl stood at the kitchen door, pale and silent, his eyes wide with terror.

"What is it?"

"I--I came back."

"What is it? Are you sick?"

"I can't go to school."

They stared at him. "What is wrong?" Tim grabbed his son's arm. "Why can't you go to school?"

"They--they won't let me."


"The soldiers."

It came tumbling out with a rush. "They're all over. Soldiers and guns. And they're coming here."

"Coming? Coming here?" Tim echoed, dazed.


  1. ...I guess different that Breakfast at Tiffany's?

  2. Oooh, this sounds like a very good story. I think I'll move this one to the top of my list, and read it today. "A warning for us all" sounds quite accurate.

  3. Sounds like it could be real. Will come back later to finish.

    1. I hope you like it. This author is an old favorite.

  4. That's quite a start!

  5. I've always loved Philip K. Dick. He's one of my favorite SciFi writers (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? for one). Even years later, his words and stories have such relevance, like this one.

  6. Replies
    1. I didn't find it scary, but definitely thought-provoking.

  7. I take it this was written in the 60s? Makes you wonder how it would be written differently today, you know? Even seven years from today could be quite scary. Different details. Same plot. ;)

    1. It was written in 1953. It would be interesting to see what he'd be writing now.

  8. This sounds exciting, thanks! Valerie