The Veldt

The Veldt was first published as “The World the Children Made” and began with a wife speaking to her husband about how the children’s room seemed changed somehow and if he didn’t look at it to confirm her thoughts he should call in a psychologist to gauge whether the room seemed odd, which finally gets him to agree to check. As they walk down the hallway we learn the futuristic quality of this family’s home and how the children’s’ room had the atmosphere of an African grassland, Lydia telling her husband, George to wait for the oddity to appear. Lydia tries to point out the sounds and images she’d seen and heard, but George didn’t witness either and was marveling over the technology of the room. The lions they’d seen in the distance going towards the watering hole were now coming their way, each noticing how real they seemed.

Eventually the lions act as lions do and Lydia runs off with George tailing her, he exhilarated and she upset by the too real experience which makes her demand he speak with their children on not studying African subject matter anymore and to keep the door locked until she got her bearings about the effect. Lydia then considers perhaps they should shut the whole house down for a little while and she’ll do all the tasks a wife and mother was meant to do, the good ole fashion way, she noticing how George had been stressing and not knowing what to do with himself as much as she was having the same problem. They sit down for dinner without the children who’d called to reminds them they’d be late for staying at a plastic carnival on the other side of town, George thinking about how young their children were and how they’d already started to find some fascination with death through the African plains they constantly were entertained by in their playroom. George is soon absorbed with the thought he decodes to go and listen at the nursery door, hearing a lion roar and then hearing the scream Lydia must have heard, he unlocking and opening the door for a peak inside.

George then tries to change the scenery which doesn’t respond and when he gets back to the dinner table Lydia considers their son may be the culprit, the children then walking in. George then asks about the African veldt, the children acting like they had no idea what he was talking about and when he asks his son to take a look, his daughter goes off instead and when they follow after her, the scenery has changed. George sends the children to bed and before leaving the room sees an old wallet of his had signs of the veldt, he locking the nursery door before leaving. At night George and Lydia are up late and discussing the state of their children’s attitudes, which was not being respectful towards them and how they all were spoiled. Then they both hear screams from upstairs and how the scenery must have changed in the nursery again, this happening after they discussed how the children had been acting coolly towards them after being denied a trip to New York in a rocket. The next morning George gets a taste of his son’s insolence at having the nursery locked up and having the house possibly shut down for awhile, his son, Peter finally backing off.

The next day Mr. McClean, the psychologist visits and they go to the nursery so he can study what the children were conjuring, he immediately getting a terrible feeling from the room and explaining why they must definitely shut down the house and get rid of the room. They immediately begin and the children have the fits expected, Lydia turning into an every day house wife with the words of turning it on for a moment so the children can adjust to it being turned off, but George staying strong and keeping the place shut down. At the last moment though, he gives in, giving the children one minute to stay in the room before they all left for a vacation, he going upstairs to dress and Lydia following after turning the nursery on. The children then call them from the nursery and when the two enter, are locked inside, the next we see being Mr. McClean returning and the children sitting in the nursery informing him their parents will be along shortly and the little girl enquiring whether Mr. McClean wanted tea whilst he waited; Dark and crazy, but good. Next up, A Sound of Thunder.

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