And Then He Went Away can be found in




ISFDB.org Magazine Entry



Future Science Fiction

June, 1959

And Then He Went Away

by DONALD E. WESTLAKE

There was one trouble with artist Emory Ward's depiction of futuristic machines and gimmicks...

EMORY WARD sat hunched over his drawing board, manipulating compass and ruler and pencil. If he could get the illo roughed out by lunchtime, he could begin working with color in the afternoon. He sat hunched, weighed down by a deadline, and bit his lower lip as he drew.

The doorbell rang.

"Damn," said Ward. He reached for the gum eraser, corrected, drew another line.

The doorbell rang.

"Fry in hell." Ward shifted on the chair, irritable, annoyed at the outside sound. He drew lines, measured angles.

The doorbell rang.

"Disconnect it," muttered Ward. As he drew, he grumbled about the sound and its maker. Salesman, paper boy, somebody meaningless and unimportant, a cipher, non-entity, nobody, mass man...

The doorbell rang.

"Nobody home, nobody home," Ward whispered desperately. "Go away." He'd have to put down his tools, straighten, stand, walk to the door, open it, walk down the hall, down the stairs, across the front hall, open the door, listen to words, say, "No, thank you," close the door, climb the stairs, walk down the hall, open the door, come into the room, close the door, cross to the drawing board, sit down, pick up his pencil and protractor and compass, put them down, light a cigaret, be angry, go back to work—total loss, ten minutes.

The ...

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