Tuesday 7 February 2023 – DEAD AIR

William E. Spear

Volume 1, Issue 6

Rose FM was broadcasting an evening of live music. The show started with A PRAYER FOR YOU, THE NIGHT IS SHARP, and THE DAWN by The MyLen Piano Quartet.

Next was a series of Steffie T. symphonies. The first was titled EMIGRATION ELEGY. The audience in the station roared its approval and applauded thunderously. The cheering got louder when the orchestra launched into YOUR ABSENCE.

Rose FM was the national radio station of Eniark. Every home had a radio and most listened only to the channel. During the day was aired news, business, weather, and the requirements to be an informed Eniarkian. But at night, music to fill the soul ruled the airwaves.

YOUR ABSENCE finished and the ceremonial concluding piece, WEEP, began. Within a few notes, listeners heard the following:

“This is a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. Rose FM has developed this system to keep you informed in the event of an emergency.”

It was a regularly scheduled recorded alert and many listeners laughed. There hadn’t been an emergency in Eniark for 27 years. Others called the station to vent anger over interrupting the national anthem. Still others waited silently.

The alert continued:

“If this had been an actual emergency . . .”

There was a silence. Then tapping on a microphone was heard followed by a cough and clearing of a throat. With no emotion or inflection, an Announcer spoke:

“Welcome to Power FM.”

The End.


Author: William Spear

William E. Spear has written for audio since 1994. His book, "Lit Between the Ears, Volume One: Chekhov, O. Henry, Spear and Tarkington On the Air," was released on July 31, 2006. He founded Two Plus Plus Productions LLC in 2006 and is President. He founded Hunterdon Radio Theatre in 1999 and has written over 15 plays since. Spear's work has been broadcast in New York and New Jersey and his plays have been published on web sites across the country.

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