« HERE THERE BE DRAGONS | Main | TRUETH: PLES CLICK »

wanted: title to one short story [Updated]

I'm trying to remember the title of a short story I read a long time ago. The facts are vague, but the underlying theme of it all still remains, hopefully enough to figure out what the storty was. It was about a child who is trying to sleep, but the wallpaper in his room had animals on it, I think. Or maybe he just imagines the animals. Anyway, the animals either come alive or he goes through the wallpaper into the jungle. It's possible there are tigers involved. I know, this isn't a lot to go on but it's bugging the crap out of me. (And no, it's not Where the Wild Things Are) Update: The story was, indeed, The Veldt, by Ray Bradbury. Thank you to reader "htom" for both the answer and the link to where I could read the story online.

Comments

Nightmare on Elm Street?

[duck]

Ray Bradbury's "The Veldt" from "The Illustrated Man"?

http://www.whygeocitiesnot.com/Athens/1824/veldt.htm or http://www.veddma.com/veddma/Veldt.htm

I'm pretty sure I know the story - it's from The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury.

I think it might be called The Fall of the House of Usher and it's a narrative about a house, fully automated, that goes about the daily routine of cleaning and maintenance, waiting for the people to come home. In the bathroom, the tub runs itself but no bath is taken. Food appears on the table and is cleared away by robotics, uneaten. The animated wallpaper in the nursery begins its show - animals frolicking. A voice asks what selection the master of the house would care to hear that evening...waits...and then says "Since you've expressed no preference, I will choose for you" and the voice begins to read aloud.

Eventually a fire begins in the house, and the house tries to contain the blaze...unsuccessfully. The animals in the nursery wallpaper run frantically to escape, but eventually are overcome. The story ends with the description of all that is left of the house....an exterior wall, indelibly stamped with the silhouettes of a man, a woman, and two children - their images left by the blasting heat of a nuclear explosion.

And if that's NOT the story you're thinking of, I give up.

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Yellow Wallpaper isn't about a kid -- it's about a woman losing her mind. She ends up crawling around the room by the baseboards. Excellent story, though.

I don't think the Fall of the House of Usher is it, either, frankly. Don't know about the Bradbury.

Usher is Poe, not Bradbury.

The closest so far is The Veldt, I'm not quite sure that's it, but I do remember the story.

Bradbury did write a story called "Usher II", found in "The Martian Chronicles. The story referred to by Trish is "There Will Come Soft Rains", in the same collection. And I also think you're thinking of Bradbury's "The Veldt".

Usher II - that's right. Thanks, Bill....I can't couldn't find my copy of the book to look up the title.

All hail the internet. :D

Definitely a Bradbury...The Veldt sounds like a pretty good guess.

"The Wolves in the Walls"?

Silly Solly, I would have remembered if it were Gaiman.

Besides, I think I read it in high school or before. Which was in the stone age, before Neil Gaiman was invented.

Bradbury's "There will Come Soft Rains"
(here)

is the one with robot house and the animals in the housefire...

You may be thinking of "Nitemare", a short film done at Art Center College of Design by John Lasseter. Mr. Lasseter has gone on to a small modicum of fame for directing such obscure films as "Toy Story" and "A Bug's Life", and helping found a tiny startup called "Pixar", along with a man named Steve Jobs.

Seriously--"Nitemare" has the scary-branches-and-monsters motif, and it has been shown a time or two since John achieved a certain amount of fame.

Hope that helps,
Alex Pournelle

Any other clues? Is he alone throughout? Any events that come to mind? I'm afraid that the wallpaper and jungle brought "The Veldt" imeadiately to my mind, and now I'm stuck.