no one encountered anyone

December 26, 2019

The dawn of the 27th was an affair of slatternly rags soaking in a dishwater sky, with a gray light weakly filtering through. Nevertheless, in Oppley and in Stouch cocks crowed and other birds welcomed it melodiously. In Midwich, however, no birds sang.

In Oppley and Stouch, too, as in other places, hands were soon reaching out to silence alarm clocks, but in Midwich the clocks rattled on till they ran down.

In other villages sleepy-eyed men left their cottages and encountered their workmates with sleepy good mornings; in Midwich no one encountered anyone.

For Midwich lay entranced.

While the rest of the world began to fill the day with clamour, Midwich slept on. Its men and women, its horses, cows and sheep; its pigs, its poultry, its larks, moles and mice all lay still. There was a pocket of silence in Midwich, only broken by the whispering of the leaves, the chiming of the church clock, and the gurgle of the Opple as it slid over the weir beside the mill.

John Wyndham
The Midwich Cuckoos