A long time ago, I read a story about a future war. Everything is in ruins. An old lady is trying to raise a boy. But one weapon has made everyone deaf. When the boy does something bad, all she can do is hold up a card which says "No!". They can tell when the air raid siren goes off by the vibrations of the sirens causing beans to jump about in a tube. TV shows lots of old silent movies.

It may have been in an anthology.

  • 1
    This is a good start but can you take a look at this guide to see if there is anything else you can edit in? For example, you say "a long time ago", do you know roughly when that was?
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Mar 15 '19 at 15:27

Almost certainly Brian Aldiss' “Dumb Show” (1956).

It's not a perfect match as the child is a girl, but everything else fits. The war is being fought with supersonic vibrations which have rendered everyone deaf, and at the end another version demolishes buildings and expands the people, until they get so big that their hearts fail. At the very end, little Pauline supposedly hears "a voice singing in a new universe".

It was anthologised in Aldiss' Space Time and Nathaniel, and no doubt elsewhere.

  • Thank you so much!
    – Alan
    Mar 15 '19 at 23:20

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