The sudden silence becomes so enormous, so perfect, that it has a presence that surrounds each of them. It not only fills the air, it feels as if it has become the air.
Growing, it surrounds them as totally as the atmosphere surrounds them, and they know that it exists throughout the building, throughout the city and throughout the world. This is a silence that is sentient, aware of everything that happens, knowing every gesture and thought. It is a silence that has pervaded the past and the future as surely and certainly as it pervades the whole of now.