Peace and Quiet is a scary story about a woman who finds a golden pendant that has the power to stop time. It’s based on an old episode of The New Twilight Zone called “A Little Peace and Quiet.
Penny is an over-worked housewife who is finding it hard to cope. She has four young children. Janet and Susan are always fighting with each other, Gertie is very clumsy and always breaks things and Russell is always playing pranks. Her husband is not much help. In fact, he’s little more than a kid himself.
While she cooks breakfast, Janet and Susan are shouting and fight with each other, Gertie is spilling milk all over the place and Russell is throwing a rubber snake into her frying pan. The smoke alarm is going off, the phone is ringing, the dog is barking and the washing machine is bumping and rattling.
Penny can’t stand all the noise and it’s driving her crazy. She feels like she’s living in a nightmare.
One day, while Penny is weeding her garden, she unearths something that is buried in her flowerbed. It’s a small wooden box.
When she opens it, Penny finds a beautiful gold pendant inside. The design on the front looks like a sundial. She likes it so much that she decides to wear it around her neck.
The next day, Penny is shopping at the grocery store. Her children are whining and pestering her and the other customers are annoying her. On the way home, the kids are fighting in the back of the car and Penny is on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
While she’s cooking dinner, the kids begin to pester her again. Her husband comes downstairs and starts complaining about his torn shirt.
There’s so much noise that Penny just can’t take it anymore.
“Shut up!” she yells.
All of a sudden, her husband and kids stop talking and stand perfectly still, as if they are frozen in time.
At first, Penny is shocked and confused. Then, she realizes that it has something to do with the pendant hanging around her neck. It seems to have the power to stop time.
She tells her family to start talking and suddenly time restarts. Her family pick up where they left off and go on arguing as nothing happened.
Penny discovers that if she says, “Shut up” it will stop time and if she says, “start talking” time will restart again. However, it only works if she is wearing the amulet. A smile spreads across her face as she realizes the power she has at her fingertips.
“Maybe now I’ll finally be able to get a little peace and quiet,” she says.
That night, when Penny is in bed, a news program comes on TV. The newscaster is talking about the recent peace talks between the United States and the Soviet Union. Penny is bored and changes the channel.
The next day, Penny decides to make good use of her ability to stop time. She is able to enjoy a quiet and peaceful breakfast while her family are frozen. When she goes to the grocery store, she stops time again, so she doesn’t have to deal with the other customers.
Later that day, two anti-nuclear campaigners turn up on her doorstep. They are annoying and she can’t get rid of them, so she decides to use her amulet. She stops time, then drags both of them out onto her lawn and leaves them lying there in the grass.
When Penny goes back inside her house, she starts time again. The two campaigners suddenly find themselves lying in the middle of the lawn. Confused and frightened, they scramble to their feet and run off down the street.
That evening, Penny is enjoying a relaxing bath when the sound of a siren disturbs her peace and quiet. It’s very loud and annoying. In fact, it sounds like an air raid siren. Just then, her husband starts calling her. She can tell by the sound of his voice that something is very wrong.
Penny rushes into the bedroom and finds her husband listening to a news report on the radio.
“It’s all over,” he gasps. “It’s all over…”
There’s an emergency broadcast on the TV.
“…we’ve just gotten confirmation,” the newscaster says. “The first Soviet missile will reach US airspace in a matter of minutes. Those of you listening should immediately go to the nearest public fallout shelter…”
Her husband embraces her and begins to cry. Her children come running in asking what is wrong.
Penny is overwhelmed. It’s all too much for her.
“Shut up!” she screams. “SHUT UP!”
All of a sudden, time stops.
Penny leaves the house and walks through town, still wearing her bathrobe. Everyone around her is frozen and when she looks at their faces, she sees panic and horror in their eyes. They all seem to be looking up at the sky.
When Penny glances up to see what they are looking at, she is horrified to see that there is a Soviet nuclear missile frozen just a few hundred feet above the town.