The Last Night of the World, A Ray Bradbury Story

Last Night of the World  by Ray Bradbury, published in Esquire, 1951

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror    August 23, 2016



What would you do if you knew that this night was the last night of the world? Would you meet it with grace? Bravery? A last indulgence? Panic? Would you examine yourself for a good or bad life?

A married couple are sitting at the dinner table talking.

She asks …  “And when will it stop? The world, I mean.”

He replies … “Sometime during the night for us, and then, as the night goes on around the world, those advancing portions will go, too. It’ll take twenty-four hours for it all to go.”



In this sci-fi story (I’m not a sci-fi fan but I really liked this story because it provoked deep thinking), people have the same dream on the same date in February about the end of the world. If you were the characters in this story, would you  believe the end was really coming? Or maybe, just maybe you might think it’s the beginning of a time loop … like in a parallel world?  Or maybe it was true that death will strike soon after closing your eyes this night.  What if?




Reading time on this story is 5 minutes. Got 5 minutes and cup o’ joe? Wow, this is a compelling dive into everyone’s greatest fear of knowing you will be the last conscious beings when the world ends on a cold night on February 30. Yes, February 30!


Read the short story here at

Listen to the audio drama at

Watch the Ray Bradbury Theater on You Tube


FOR THE WRITERS HERE: Lit has Five Ray Bradbury stories that will tell you everything you need to know about writing.




Ray Bradbury, termed the “poet of the pulps,” said in an interview in the Paris Review, The Art of Fiction (2010) that he was “completely library educated. I’ve never been to college … I discovered me in the library.” He died in 2012 at the age of 91. 

Book Review: Zen and the Art of Writing, by Ray Bradbury.




Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror. This is a compendium of over 170 short stories by over 100 master storytellers of mystery,  supernatural, horror, and ghost stories.

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Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine

Books & Such   Bibliophilica    Lovecraft Ezine   Parlor of Horror     Horror Novel Reviews     

Monster Librarian 

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed



Filed under fiction, horror blogs, mysteries, pulp fiction, Reading Fiction, science fiction, short stories, short story blogs, suspense, tales of terror

8 responses to “The Last Night of the World, A Ray Bradbury Story

  1. Jay

    I blogged about this story a few years back. I liked the eerie feeling that it gave me because of all the characters somehow just knowing that the end was coming but – at least as I recall – it isn’t specific about how they knew(?) Maybe I’m mis-remembering. I also liked the exchange of the couple: she says, “We haven’t been too bad, have we?” and he says, “No, nor enormously good. I suppose that’s the trouble.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Shirley Jackson also did an odd take on this theme:

    Liked by 2 people



    Liked by 1 person

  4. The man’s stories read effortlessly but he took great pains and devoted much time to create his works. He’s a hero of mine, and surely of many others writers as well. Not only did Ray Bradbury give us great works of fiction, but he also left behind miles of inspiration for other writers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m still discovering Ray Bradbury. I’m looking to read “That Woman on the Lawn,” which is a ghost story. I love the fact that Bradbury didn’t go to college. He wrote naturally from his heart and intuition and all that reading he did. What a guy!


      • Jay

        I never officially blogged about it, but a couple years ago I did a mini-project where I read a “new to me” Bradbury story every time the full moon came around. 🙂 The Woman on the Lawn was one of the more memorable ones from that project. Enjoy. It’s also in “The Illustrate Man” collection, which has many other favorite Bradbury stories of mine.


  5. Headed over to read it now!

    Liked by 1 person

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