Short Story #116: The Screaming Woman by Ray Bradbury

Title:  The Screaming Woman

Author:  Ray Bradbury


Ray Bradbury - S Is For Space book coverThe protagonist introduces herself to the reader as Margaret and explains that she is a 5th grader who while in the empty lot behind her house, heard a screaming woman from beneath the ground.  When she tries to tell her parents, they won't believe her because they think she is playing some game.  She does convince her friend Dippy to help but his attention and aid is often limiting.  They try to dig the woman out and speculate on who it could be.  She eventually goes door to to door to see if any woman is not present at home.  She finds one person whom she suspects and the man keeps her in his house as long as he can, hoping that the buried woman dies before anything can be done.  But finally he lets her go home.  When she is home, she hums a tune that her father recognizes.  The tune was the song a woman sang to him before he married his wife who just happens to now be the wife of the man that Margaret suspected.  The father now runs off to dig the woman out and Margaret calls her friend Dippy to say that she will be saved.


The story had some good elements to it such as the failure to believe children and the child (in this case, a female) proves them all wrong.  However, the ending left much to be desired.  That it was tied together by a song sung to the father years before I could appreciate, but the final end where Margaret calls Dippy felt a bit empty, unnecessary, and rushed.  

Short Story #116 out of 365
Rating:  3 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read:  4/16/2014
Source:  S Is For Space by Ray Bradbury.  Bantam Books, 1970.

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.

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