The Autobiography of J. G. Ballard

The Autobiography of J. G. Ballard (La autobiografía de J. G. Ballard), en realidad es un excelente cuento dentro del género de ficción. La idea es que alguien despierta una mañana para encontrarse solo en su casa, en su barrio y en su ciudad, sin luz eléctrica. Todos han desaparecido.

On waking one morning, B was surprised to see that Shepperton was deserted. He entered the kitchen at nine o’clock, annoyed to find that neither his post nor the daily newspapers had been delivered, and that a power failure prevented him from preparing his breakfast. He spent an hour staring at the melting ice that dripped from his refrigerator, and then went next door to complain to his neighbor.
Surprisingly, his neighbor’s house was empty. His car stood in the drive, but the entire family—husband, wife, children, and dog—had disappeared. Even more odd, the street was filled by an unbroken silence. No traffic moved along the nearby motorway, and not a single aircraft flew overhead toward London Airport. B crossed the road and knocked on several doors. Through the windows, he could see the empty interiors. Nothing in this peaceful suburb was out of place, except for its missing tenants.
Thinking that perhaps some terrible calamity was imminent—a nuclear catastrophe, or a sudden epidemic after a research-laboratory accident—and that by some unfortunate mishap he alone had not been warned, B returned home and switched on his transistor radio. The apparatus worked, but all the stations were silent, the Continental transmitters as well as those of the United Kingdom. Disconcerted, B returned to the street and gazed at the empty sky. It was a calm, sun-filled day, crossed by peaceful clouds that gave no hint of any natural disaster.
B took his car and drove to the center of Shepperton. The town was deserted, and none of the shops were open. A train stood in the station, empty and without any of the passengers who regularly travelled to London. Leaving Shepperton, B crossed the Thames to the nearby town of Walton. There again he found the streets completely silent. He stopped in front of the house owned by his friend P, whose car was parked in her drive. Using the spare key that he carried, he unlocked the front door and entered the house. But even as he called her name he could see that there was no trace of the young woman. She had not slept in her bed. In the kitchen, the melting ice of the refrigerator had formed a large pool on the floor. There was no electric power, and the telephone was dead.
Resuming his journey, B systematically explored the neighboring towns, circling them all as he approached central London. He was not surprised to find the huge metropolis totally deserted. He drove down an empty Piccadilly, crossed Trafalgar Square in silence, and parked outside the unguarded Buckingham Palace. As dusk fell, he decided to return to Shepperton. He had almost run out of fuel and was forced to break into a filling station. However, no policemen were out on patrol or in their stations. He left behind him an immense city plunged into darkness, where the only lights were the reflections of his headlamps… (The Autobiography of J. G. Ballard)

Para saber
Shepperton es una ciudad en el municipio de Spelthorne, en el condado de Surrey en Inglaterra, a 24 km. al sud oeste de Charing Cross, Londres, limitado por el Támesis al sur y al este.
Piccadilly es una calle en la ciudad de Westminster, Londres al sur de Mayfair, entre Hyde Park Corner al oeste y Piccadilly Circus al este.
Trafalgar Square es una plaza pública en la ciudad de Westminster, Londres central, construida alrededor del área conocida como Charing Cross. Su nombre conmemora la batalla de Trafalgar, una victoria naval británica en las guerras napoleónicas.
Buckingham Palace es la residencia en Londres y la sede administrativa de la monarquía reinante en el Reino Unido.
Artículos relacionados
J. G. Ballard, sobre ciencia ficción, tecnología, y el futuro.

Suscribíte al blog para recibir más historias como ésta.