Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Dimension X
Show: There Will Come Soft Rains / Zero Hour
Date: Jun 17 1950

CAST:

The NBC Team:
NARRATOR
ANNOUNCER

The Soft Rains Team:
REAL ESTATE AGENT
CLOCK, a filtered, singsong voice, always in rhythm
2ND VOICE
DOG
READER
CHORUS OF MALE AND FEMALE VOICES, heavy with echo

The Zero Hour Team:
MINK, eight year old girl
MOTHER
ART, about eight years old
JOSEPH, twelve years old
FATHER
TELEVISOR
HELEN, Mink's aunt
PEGGY ANN (1 scream)
and various young CHILDREN

NARRATOR:

Adventures in Time and Space ... told in future tense.

MUSIC:

ACCENT, CLIMAXING WITH CYMBAL CRASH

NARRATOR:

(HEAVY ECHO) Dimension X - x - x - x ....

MUSIC:

OMINOUS ... THEN IN BG

NARRATOR:

Can you predict the future? Can you tell what will come in one hundred years? Or in ten? Or in the next minute? Tonight, we present two ventures into the unknown, two fantasies of the future, chosen from the works of one our most brilliant young science fiction writers, Ray Bradbury. First, his story entitled "There Will Come Soft Rains."

MUSIC:

UP ... CHANGES TO HARP, TO SET THE IDYLLIC SCENE ... THEN IN BG, FADES GENTLY OUT AT [X]

NARRATOR:

The house was a good house, planned and built to be lived in, in the year Nineteen Hundred and Eighty. The real estate agent had told them all about it. [X]

SOUND:

BEDROOM DOOR OPENS ... THEN CLOSES BEHIND--

AGENT:

Now, this is the bedroom. Of course, it contains all the latest devices -- self-warming blankets.

SOUND:

OF BLANKETS WARMING, OF BED MAKING ITSELF

AGENT:

And, er, here's a brand new feature -- beds which make themselves. Now, if you'll just step this way through the library, we can see the latest in talking book recorders ... self-building fireplace ... self-cleaning robot dust disposal.

SOUND:

CLICK! OF SWITCH ... SQUEAKY MICE-SIZE ROBOTS SCURRY AROUND FLOOR

AGENT:

Oh, these little mouse-like things come out of the wall and take away all the dirt.

SOUND:

SQUEAKY MICE-SIZE ROBOTS SCURRY BACK INTO WALL

AGENT:

Now, over this way...

SOUND:

KITCHEN DOOR OPENS

AGENT:

... there's a complete robot kitchen, of course. Just set the menu for the week and the stove does the rest. Then there's the automatic hydroponic garden ... self-sprinkling fire protection. See, the house is fully automatic. Why, you could go away for a year and it would run itself.

MUSIC:

RICH, WARM AND COZY ... THEN IN BG, OUT GENTLY AT [X]

NARRATOR:

And so the family took the house -- the man and the woman and the two children. Uh, a boy and a girl. And they lived contentedly, enjoying music and poetry and the rich, warm things in life. And the house fed them, and slept them, and entertained them. It made a good life for them ... [X] ... until one day--

SOUND:

SERIES OF HUGE EXPLOSIONS

NARRATOR:

(BEHIND EXPLOSIONS) There were ten thousand explosions. And the world shook, and red fire and ashes and radioactivity fell from the sky. The happy time was over.

SOUND:

EXPLOSIONS FADE TO SILENCE ... THEN A TINY BELL CHIMES REPEATEDLY SUPPORTED BY--

MUSIC:

IN A TICK-TOCK RHYTHM ... WHICH CONTINUES IN BG, IN AGREEMENT WITH THE FOLLOWING--

CLOCK:

Tick-tock, seven o'clock. Time to rise, open your eyes. Tick-tock, seven o'clock. Time to rise, open your eyes.

SOUND:

BELL OUT

NARRATOR:

But the house lay empty. The clock talked to the empty morning. In the kitchen, the stove sighed and ejected, from its warm interior...

MUSIC:

XYLOPHONE GLISSANDO, FOR EJECTED BREAKFAST ITEMS ... TICK-TOCK RHYTHM CONTINUES IN BG

NARRATOR:

... eight eggs sunnyside up, twelve bacon slices, two coffees, and two cups of hot cocoa.

SOUND:

TINY BELL CHIMES ONCE

CLOCK:

Seven-nine, breakfast time. Come and dine, seven-nine.

2ND VOICE:

Today is April twenty-eighth, Nineteen Eighty-Five. Today, remember, is Mr. Featherstone's birthday. Insurance, gas, atom heat and electricity bills are due.

MUSIC:

FOR THE AWAKING HOUSE ... TICK-TOCK RHYTHM CONTINUES IN BG

NARRATOR:

In the walls, relays clicked, memory tapes glided under electric eyes, recorded voices moved beneath steel meeting.

CLOCK:

Eight-one, run, run. Off to school, off to work. Run, run, tick-tock. Eight o'clock, eight o'clock.

MUSIC:

TICK-TOCK RHYTHM SLOWS TO A STOP BEHIND--

NARRATOR:

But no doors slammed, no carpet took the quick tread of rubber heels.

SOUND:

OF SIZZLING EGGS

NARRATOR:

At eight-thirty, the eggs began to shrivel. An aluminum wedge scraped them into the sink.

SOUND:

EGGS SCRAPED INTO SINK ... TINY BELL CHIMES ONCE

MUSIC:

TICK-TOCK RHYTHM RESUMES, IN BG

CLOCK:

Nine-fifteen, time to clean. Nine-fifteen, time to clean.

MUSIC:

FOR SCURRYING ROBOT MICE ... OVER TICK-TOCK RHYTHM

SOUND:

SQUEAKY MICE-SIZE ROBOTS SCURRY AROUND FLOOR BEHIND--

NARRATOR:

Out of the wall, hundreds of tiny mechanical mice darted. The rooms were acrawl with small cleaning animals, all rubber and metal. They sucked up the hidden dust and dirt, and popped back into their burrow.

MUSIC:

FOR POPPING BACK INTO WALL ... TICK-TOCK RHYTHM OUT ... THEN HARP GLISSANDO, FOR THE SUN COMING OUT ... CONTINUES IN BG

NARRATOR:

At ten o'clock, the sun came out from behind the rain. The house stood alone on a street where all the other houses were rubble and ashes. At night, the ruined town gave off a radioactive glow which could be seen for miles. At ten-fifteen, the garden sprinkler filled the soft morning air with golden fountains. The water tinkled over the charred west side of the house -- the side which had been facing the blast. It was black, except in five places. One of the five places was a silhouette of a man mowing a lawn, just as he'd been the instant the radioactivity burned his image into the side of the house. Over there, a woman bent to pick flowers.

MUSIC:

HARP SOURS DARKLY INTO A LOW, OMINOUS ORGAN BEHIND--

NARRATOR:

Still further over, their images burned into the wood, were a small boy, hands flung into the air; higher up, the image of a thrown ball, and, opposite, a girl -- her hands raised to catch a ball which never came down.

MUSIC:

UP AND OUT

NARRATOR:

(BEAT) Five people. Five spots of paint.

SOUND:

DOG SCRAPES AT FRONT DOOR ... THEN WHINES

MUSIC:

FORLORN, IN BG

NARRATOR: On the front porch, the dog whined and shivered. The front door recognized the dog's voice and opened.

SOUND:

FRONT DOOR OPENS

NARRATOR:

The dog padded in wearily, thin to the bone, covered with sores. It ran to the kitchen and pawed the kitchen door wildly.

SOUND:

DOG SCRAPES AT KITCHEN DOOR ... THEN WHINES

MUSIC:

IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--

NARRATOR:

Behind the door, the stove was making pancakes which filled the house with their odor, as prescribed by the Automatic Pre-Set Menu Selector. The dog frothed; ran insanely; spun in a circle, biting its tail -- and died.

MUSIC:

UP AND OUT

SOUND:

SILENCE ... TINY BELL CHIMES ONCE

CLOCK:

One o'clock, one o'clock.

SOUND:

SQUEAKY MICE-SIZE ROBOTS SCURRY AROUND FLOOR BEHIND--

NARRATOR:

Delicately, sensing decay, the regiments of mice hummed out of the walls, soft as blown leaves, their electric eyes glowing.

MUSIC:

TICK-TOCK RHYTHM RESUMES, IN BG

CLOCK:

One-fifteen.

NARRATOR:

The - dog was gone.

CLOCK:

Two-fifteen.

MUSIC:

IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING, OVER TICK-TOCK RHYTHM--

NARRATOR:

(CHEERFUL) Bridge tables unfolded from the walls of the patio.

SOUND:

OF UNFOLDING BRIDGE TABLES

NARRATOR:

Playing cards fluttered onto pads.

SOUND:

OF DECKS OF PLAYING CARDS SHUFFLED

NARRATOR:

Martinis appeared on an oaken bench. But the tables were silent, the cards untouched.

MUSIC:

FOR THE PASSAGE OF TIME, OVER TICK-TOCK RHYTHM--

CLOCK:

Five o'clock, six o'clock, seven o'clock, eight o'clock, nine o'clock.

NARRATOR:

Dinner was made, ignored, flushed away. Dishes were washed. In the study, the tobacco stand produced a cigar with half an inch of gray ash upon it, smoking, waiting, waiting.

SOUND:

PUFF! OF FIREPLACE BEING LIT

NARRATOR:

The hearth fire bloomed out of nothing.

CLOCK:

Nine o'clock, nine o'clock.

NARRATOR:

The beds began to warm their hidden circuits and the phonograph spoke from beside the fireplace.

2ND VOICE:

Mrs. McClellan, what poem would you like to hear this evening?

MUSIC:

OUT

2ND VOICE:

(AFTER A PAUSE) Mr. McClellan? (NO ANSWER) Since you express no preference, I shall select at random from among your favorites. Sara Teasdale, "There Will Come Soft Rains."

SOUND:

PHONOGRAPH STARTS

MUSIC:

GENTLE, SOOTHING, TO ACCOMPANY THE POEM

READER:

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

MUSIC:

GENTLY OUT

SOUND:

PHONOGRAPH SHUTS OFF

NARRATOR:

(SOLEMN) The phonograph finished the poem. The empty chairs faced each other between the silent walls. (MATTER-OF-FACT) At ten o'clock that evening, the house began to die.

SOUND:

HARSH WIND BLOWS ... SMASH! OF BROKEN GLASS

NARRATOR:

The wind blew the bough of a fallen tree into the kitchen window, smashing it. A bottle of cleaning fluid crashed on the stove.

SOUND:

CRASH! OF GLASS BOTTLE ... WHOOSH! OF FLAMES

MUSIC:

IN BG, IN AGREEMENT WITH THE DESTRUCTION OF THE HOUSE--

VOICES:

Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! (ET CETERA, OUT BEHIND--)

NARRATOR:

Water pumps shot down from the ceilings. But the solvent spread under the doors, making fire as it went; other voices in other rooms taking up the alarm.

MALE VOICES:

Help, help, help, help!

FEMALE VOICES:

Run, run, run, run!

MALE VOICES:

Help, help, help, help!

SOUND:

SMASH! OF BROKEN GLASS

FEMALE VOICES:

Run, run, run, run!

NARRATOR:

The windows broke through the heat and the wind blew in to help the fire.

SOUND:

HARSH WIND BLOWS

NARRATOR:

The fire crackled upstairs at paintings, lay hungrily on the beds, devoured the rooms. The house began to shudder.

SOUND:

HOUSE SHUDDERS

NARRATOR:

The bared skeleton began to cringe in the heat, the wires revealed as if a surgeon had torn the skin off. Voices screamed in every room.

MALE VOICES:

Help, help, help, help! (THEN IN BG)

FEMALE VOICES:

Run, run, run, run! (THEN IN BG)

SOUND:

WINDOWS OPEN AND SHUT

NARRATOR:

Windows snapped open and shut, like undecided mouths.

2ND VOICE:

(HEAVY ECHO) The time is now ten-ten. The time is now ten-ten. (OVERLAPS WITH--)

VOICES:

(GARBLED WARNINGS REACH A CRESCENDO, THEN FADE OUT BEHIND--)

NARRATOR:

A thousand things were happening at once. Like the interior of a clock shop at midnight, all the clocks were striking, making a merry-go-round of sweeping, whispering and rushing.

SOUND:

HISSING! OF STOVE WHICH CRANKS OUT BREAKFASTS BEHIND--

NARRATOR:

In the kitchen, the stove, hissing hysterically, was making breakfasts at a psychopathic rate -- ten dozen pancakes, six dozen loaves of toast.

MUSIC:

OUT BEHIND--

SOUND:

STOVE, AND EVERYTHING ELSE, SLOWS TO A STOP ... SILENCE BEHIND--

NARRATOR:

Then --- there was silence. The film spools were burned out. The wires withered and the circuits cracked. Then the house began to breathe its last.

SOUND:

HOUSE RUMBLES OMINOUSLY

NARRATOR:

The beams began to give at the foundations, long cracks appeared in the concrete. The seams were burst from the heat. And, finally, with a huge rumble, it crashed into dust and rubble.

SOUND:

HOUSE IMPLODES ... THEN--

MUSIC:

HARP ... GLISSANDO, FOR THE SUN COMING OUT ... THEN SYMPATHETIC IN BG

NARRATOR:

Dawn shone faintly in the east. In the ruins of the house, only one wall remained standing. And, within the wall, even as the sun rose to shine upon the burning rubble, a voice spoke, again and again and again--

READER:

No one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.
(THE RECORDING SKIPS)
... that we were gone.
... that we were gone.
... that we were gone. (CONTINUES IN BG)

MUSIC:

TURNS LOW AND OMINOUS ... GROWS LOUDER

2ND VOICE:

Today is April twenty-ninth, Nineteen Eighty-Five. Today is April twenty-ninth, Nineteen Eighty-Five. Today is April twenty-ninth, Nineteen Eighty-Five.

MUSIC:

DROWNS OUT THE TWO VOICES, TO A FINISH

NARRATOR:

Strange are the uses of Providence. Is this how the end will come for mankind? With ten thousand explosions and a flash of radioactive gas? Or -- will destruction come more subtly, extended to us, gently and innocently, in-- Oh, let's say the - hand of a child? Who knows in what manner Zero Hour may arrest the world we know?

MUSIC:

FOR AN UNTHREATENING, SUBURBAN INTRODUCTION ... THEN IN BG, OUT BY [X]

NARRATOR:

It was a perfect summer day in the year Nineteen Eighty-Five. The streets were lined with green, peaceful trees. Businessmen sat in their quiet offices, taping their voices, or watching televisors. Rockets hovered like darning needles in the blue sky. There was the universal, quiet conceit and easiness of men accustomed to peace, quite certain that there would never be war or trouble again. There were no traitors among men, no unhappy ones, no disgruntled ones; the world was upon stable ground. Sunlight illumined the suburbs and the town drowsed on a tide of warm, sunlit air. [X]

SOUND:

CHILDREN AT PLAY ... IN BG

NARRATOR:

On the lawns, the children played, catapulting this way and that across the green grass, shouting at each other, holding hands, flying in circles, climbing trees, and laughing.

SOUND:

CHILDREN FADE OUT ... MOTHER SCRAPES PAN IN KITCHEN

NARRATOR:

And in the homes, busy mothers prepared for the evening arrival of their husbands.

SOUND:

BACK DOOR OPENS ... MINK'S HURRIED FOOTSTEPS IN

MINK:

Excuse me, mom!

MOTHER:

Good heavens, Mink, what's all the excitement?

MINK:

We're playing a game, mommy! The most exciting game ever!

SOUND:

MINK RUMMAGES THROUGH CABINET, PUTS TOOLS AND PANS INTO A SACK

MOTHER:

What are you doing in that cabinet?

MINK:

I need some tool's from daddy's kit.

MOTHER:

Mm, your father may not like--

MINK:

Oh, I'll take good care of them, mom, I promise.

MOTHER:

(RELENTS) Very well. Don't you lose anything.

MINK:

Oh, thank you, mom!

MOTHER:

You want a glass of milk?

MINK:

Can't stop now, mom!

SOUND:

MINK'S HURRIED FOOTSTEPS OFF

MOTHER:

What's the name of the game, Mink?

MINK:

(OFF) Invasion!

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS

MOTHER:

(AMUSED) Invasion! What will they think of next?

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SOUND:

KIDS HAMMER ON PIPES

MINK:

Now, this. And this. And this. And this. Now, put that there and bring that over here. Oh, no, you ninny! Now, get back while I fix this. (BEAT) There, they want it this way, see?

ART:

Here, just let me fix--

JOSEPH:

(CALLS, FROM OFF) Hey, Mink!

ART:

Aw, Mink, it's that smartypants, Joseph Connors. Don't let him play. He's twelve years old.

MINK:

Don't worry, I won't.

JOSEPH:

What you playin', Mink?

ART:

None of your business, smartypants.

JOSEPH:

I wanna play.

MINK:

Can't!

JOSEPH:

Why not?

MINK:

You're too old.

JOSEPH:

Just 'cause you're only eight--

MINK:

No! You'd only laugh at us and spoil the Invasion.

ART:

Make him go away, Mink.

MINK:

Go away. This is my backyard.

JOSEPH:

(SOUR GRAPES) Ah, who wants to play with you and your old fairies anyway?

MINK:

They aren't fairies!

JOSEPH:

Ah, nuts to you! (MOVING OFF) I don't wanna play anyway!

ART:

Good riddance! I'm glad you didn't let him play, Mink.

MINK:

He'd only laugh. Now, we better talk to Drill and get some more instructions, Art. Now, here's your pad and pencil.

ART:

Where is Drill? (CALLS) Drill? Here, Drill! Drill? (TO MINK) Where's Drill?

MINK:

He's in the rosebush, I think. I'll talk to him myself and you write it down on the pad.

ART:

Okay.

MINK:

Drill? Drill? (PAUSE) Okay. (TO ART) Drill wants you to write down "triangle."

ART:

What's a triangle?

MINK:

Never mind. Drill will tell us when he wants us to know. It helps the Invasion.

ART:

How do you spell it?

MINK:

Hmm. Well, I'll ask Drill. (TO DRILL) Drill, how you spell--?

ART:

Mink! Here's your mother. Lookin' out the window.

MOTHER:

(CALLS, FROM OFF) Mink?!

MINK:

Yes, mother?!

MOTHER:

(OFF) Who are you talking to?

MINK:

The rosebush, mom! Only it's not really a rosebush; that's Drill!

MOTHER:

(OFF) Who's Drill?

MINK:

He's planning the Invasion!

MOTHER:

(OFF, AMUSED) Oh, I see. Well, you'd better come in and clean up for supper. Your daddy'll be home soon.

MINK:

In just a second, mom! (TO ART) You got that, Art?

ART:

Let's see now, uh-- Four, nine, seven, and A and B and X. And a fork and some string and a-- And a hexagonee--?

MINK:

(CORRECTS HIS PRONUNCIATION) Hexagonal, droopy!

ART:

Oh.

MOTHER:

(CALLS, FROM OFF) Come on, Mink! Supper's in ten minutes!

MINK:

Okay, mom! Just a minute! I have to tell Drill! (LOW) I wish we didn't have to eat, though. It holds up the Invasion.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SOUND:

MINK RAPIDLY EATS SOUP WITH A SPOON ... THEN IN BG

MOTHER:

Oh, Mink, for heaven's sake, slow down. You'll choke on that soup.

MINK:

I can't, mom! It's a matter of life and death!

FATHER:

What's a matter of life and death?

MINK:

The Invasion!

FATHER:

What invasion is that?

MOTHER:

Oh, just some silly game the children have been playing.

FATHER:

Well, whatever it is, Mink, it'll wait till you've finished your supper, I'm sure.

MINK:

(DISMISSIVE) I don't want any more.

SOUND:

MINK PUTS SPOON DOWN

FATHER:

You barely touched anything!

MINK:

Oh, but Drill is waiting for me, daddy.

FATHER:

Drill? Who's Drill?

MOTHER:

(WRY) He lives in a rosebush in our backyard. Imagination, Henry.

FATHER:

(EXHALES) Such nonsense.

SOUND:

FATHER RATTLES HIS NEWSPAPER

MINK:

I better run now.

FATHER:

You'll sit through dessert, young lady.

MINK:

Aw, gee, daddy!

FATHER:

And while you're at it, tell me more about this new game.

MINK:

(ENTHUSIASTIC) It's Martians invading Earth, daddy.

FATHER:

What?

MINK:

Well-- Well, not exactly Martians, daddy. They're from-- Well, gee, I don't know. From -- up.

MOTHER:

(AMUSED) And from inside that little head of yours.

MINK:

(HURT, VERY SERIOUS) You're laughing at me. Drill said you would. You'll kill Drill and - and everybody.

MOTHER:

(JUST AS SERIOUS) Oh, I didn't know you could kill a Martian.

MINK:

But it - it's not really a Martian, mom. Maybe he's from Jupiter or - or Venus even.

FATHER:

(CHUCKLES)

MOTHER:

Imagine.

MINK:

They couldn't figure out a way to attack the Earth. We're impregna-gull.

MOTHER:

(AMUSED, CORRECTS HER) Impregnable, dear.

MINK:

Well, that's the word Drill said. Impreg-- Well, anyway, that was the word, mom, the same word. Anyway, so we're helping him.

MOTHER:

Who's helping who?

MINK:

Well, the kids are helping the Martians.

FATHER:

Oh, a fifth column, eh?

MINK:

Well, Drill says, in order to make a good fight, ya gotta have a new way of surprising the people. That way, you win. And he says, also, you gotta have help from your enemy.

FATHER:

(LIGHTLY) Pretty slick, those Martians -- using the kids for a fifth column, eh, Mary?

MOTHER:

And hiding under rosebushes, too, Henry. Don't forget that.

MINK:

That's because grownups never look under rosebushes. Only kids.

MOTHER:

Oh, I see. Well, finish your fruit, darling. You can play for an hour afterward.

FATHER:

(SURPRISED) Mary?

MOTHER:

Oh, it's so nice out, Henry, and there's no school tomorrow.

FATHER:

Very well. Till eight o'clock.

MINK:

Drill says, after the Invasion, we can stay up as late as we want. Hm! No more baths, neither.

MOTHER:

Oh, is that so?

MINK:

And we can watch all the grownup televisor shows.

FATHER:

I don't wonder this Invasion has caught on among the kids.

MINK:

Well, some of the kids are giving us trouble, like - like Dale Britz and Petey Jerrick. They're growing up so they won't believe in the Invasion. They make fun. Worse than parents, even. I hate them worst. We'll kill them first.

MOTHER:

(AMUSED) I hope you're saving your father and me for last.

MINK:

But Drill says you're dangerous.

MOTHER:

What?

MINK:

But I - I think they'll let me keep you 'cause I'm helping so much. I'll talk to Drill. Maybe we won't have to kill you.

FATHER:

(CONCERNED) Mary, I think this nonsense has gone far enough.

MINK:

Can I go out now, please?

MOTHER:

Well-- Run along, dear.

SOUND:

MINK SCURRIES OUT OF CHAIR ... HURRIED FOOTSTEPS TO BACK DOOR WHICH OPENS

MINK:

(OFF) Don't worry, dad! I won't let them hurt ya!

SOUND:

DOOR SHUTS

FATHER:

Mary, I think the child's taking this game entirely too seriously. (CONTEMPTUOUS) Invasion.

MOTHER:

Oh, Henry, you know how Mink is. Besides, all children have their aggressions. Better to get them out in the open, I suppose.

FATHER:

Maybe you're right. (BEAT) Um, I was wondering about bridge with the Jacksons tonight, Mary.

MOTHER:

All right. But, uh, you look tired, dear. Why, don't you sit in the Relaxer for a while and get a massage? I'll sew for a while until it's time to-- (SNAPS HER FINGERS, REMEMBERS) Oh, I wanted to call my sister, Helen.

FATHER:

Oh, good. Find out when her husband's going to return my golf clubs.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SOUND:

BEEEEP! ... CLICK! OF SWITCH ... TELEVISOR'S VOICE IS FILTERED

TELEVISOR:

Televisor.

MOTHER:

Uh, would you please connect me with Mrs. Helen Rodgerson on Channel Seven-Two-Zee, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania?

TELEVISOR:

What is your channel, please?

MOTHER:

Eight-seventeen-X, New Rochelle, New York.

TELEVISOR:

Thank you.

SOUND:

CLICK! OF SWITCH ... BEEEEP!

TELEVISOR:

Just a moment.

SOUND:

CLICK! OF SWITCH ... HELEN'S VOICE IS FILTERED

TELEVISOR:

Go ahead. You can see your party now.

HELEN:

Hello, Mary. How are thinks in New York?

MOTHER:

Fine, Helen. How are things in Pittsburgh? You look tired.

HELEN:

Oh, I've been having a terrible time with the children.

MOTHER:

Sick?

HELEN:

No, just underfoot. They've got a new game that's got me just about crazy. It's called "Invasion."

MOTHER:

Did you say Invasion?

HELEN:

That's right.

MOTHER:

Well, isn't that strange? My Mink is playing it, too.

HELEN:

My boy Tim is all involved with some imaginary fellow named Drill who's running the Invasion.

MOTHER:

Must be a new password. Mink likes him, too.

HELEN:

How do you suppose these games start? My backyard looks like a scrap drive. They've got every conceivable kind of mechanical gadget arranged out there. I talked to Josephine Schiller in Boston and she says her kids are wild about it, too. It's sweeping the country.

MOTHER:

Remember when it was the rhumba?

HELEN:

Please, dear, I'm not that old.

SOUND:

BACK DOOR OPENS

MINK:

Mommy!

MOTHER:

Oh, please, Minky. I'm on the televisor. Come on and see your Aunt Helen.

HELEN:

Hello, Mink.

MINK:

Hi, Aunt Helen! Look what I've got.

HELEN:

What is it, honey?

MINK:

Well, it's a yo-yo. Look when I unroll it. (BEAT) See?

MOTHER:

(BEAT, SURPRISED) Well, Helen, look -- it vanished! (TO MINK) Where did it go?

MINK:

Into another dim-- Dim-dim--

HELEN:

(CHUCKLES) She means "dimension."

MINK:

Uh huh.

HELEN:

Aren't they the darndest things? My Timmy brought one home, too. I can't figure out how they work. Make it reappear, honey.

MINK:

Well, there! See? It's easy.

MOTHER:

Where'd you get it, dear?

MINK:

Drill gave it to me, mom.

MOTHER:

(WHERE DID YOU REALLY GET IT?) Mink?

MINK:

Bye, Aunt Helen! (HURRYING OFF) Gotta run now!

MOTHER:

Mink, you come back here! I want to talk to you!

MINK:

(OFF) Can't, mom! Zero hour's five o'clock!

MOTHER:

Mink!

MINK:

(OFF) Bye!

SOUND:

BACK DOOR SHUTS

MOTHER:

(SIGHS) I can't understand it. The child's never been so unruly. Helen, do you suppose that--?

HELEN:

What?

MOTHER:

Oh-- Nothing. Just a wild thought that-- Say, the reason I called, I want to get that black-and-white cake recipe. And Henry wants his golf clubs. I don't know what he'll do--

PEGGY ANN:

(A BLOODCURDLING SCREAM, FROM OFF)

HELEN:

What was that?

MOTHER:

(EXHALES, WORRIED) I don't know. One of the children must have been hurt. I'll have to run and see. Call me back tonight, will you?

HELEN:

All right, Mary. Bye.

SOUND:

CLICK! OF SWITCH ... MOTHER'S FOOTSTEPS TO BACK DOOR WHICH OPENS ... BUZZING CROWD OF NOISY CHILDREN, OFF ... CONTINUES IN BG

MOTHER: (CALLS) Mink! Come here!

MINK:

(OFF) Yes, mom.

SOUND:

MINK'S FOOTSTEPS APPROACH

MOTHER:

What is it? Who screamed?

MINK:

Peggy Ann.

MOTHER:

All right, what happened?

MINK:

Well, she got scared and went home.

MOTHER:

Did you hit her?

MINK:

No. She just got scared. (PETULANT) She's a scarebaby, anyway.

ART:

We won't let her play any more. She's gettin' too old.

MINK:

(AGREES) Mmm.

MOTHER:

Now, Mink, tell me why she cried.

MINK:

(RELUCTANT) No. I can't.

MOTHER:

Mink, you'll answer me this instant or come inside! I've had enough of this nonsense!

MINK:

Gee, I can't quit now, mom. It's almost Zero Hour.

MOTHER:

Then tell me what frightened Peggy Ann.

MINK:

Okay. She saw Drill.

MOTHER:

Drill?

MINK:

He almost came through. He was just testing.

MOTHER:

Through what?

MINK:

Those pipes and things we set up. She looked into one of the pipes and -- screamed. I guess she saw Drill.

MOTHER:

And - no one hit her?

MINK:

(NO, INNOCENTLY) Mm mm.

MOTHER:

(MOMENTARILY SATISFIED) Very well, Mink. I'll call Peggy Ann's mother and see how she is. And I'll call you for your bath in half an hour. Your father and I want to go out tonight.

MINK:

You won't be able to go out, mom.

MOTHER:

Why not?

MINK:

Zero Hour's five o'clock, mom.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SOUND:

BUZZING CROWD OF NOISY CHILDREN, OFF, CONTINUES IN BG ... FRONT DOOR OPENS, THEN SHUTS BEHIND--

FATHER:

Hello, dear.

MOTHER:

Oh, you home already, Henry?

FATHER:

Yes, I thought I'd relax a little before we went to the theater. Where's the little one?

MOTHER:

Out back.

FATHER:

Same game?

MOTHER:

Same game. They've got a stack of pipes and hammers and spoons a mile high out there.

FATHER:

(IRONIC) Children, children, why do we have them?

MOTHER:

(THOUGHTFUL) They are strange little creatures, aren't they? Even Mink, Henry. She's a part of us and - and yet what do we really know about how she thinks and feels?

FATHER:

(LIGHTLY) I didn't mean to start a philosophic discussion.

MOTHER:

Kids are such a queer mixture of love and hate, though. Even normal, healthy kids. They need you and they're dependent on you, and yet they resent that dependence.

FATHER:

You sound like a child psychology course I once took.

MOTHER:

I wonder if they ever really forgive the whippings and the commands we have to give them sometimes. I wonder if we ever forgot them when we were children.

FATHER:

Look, I'd like to discuss this with you, dear, but we do have a theater date and it's almost five o'clock now.

SOUND:

CHILDREN FALL SILENT ... PAUSE

FATHER:

What's happened to the kids? They're so quiet.

SOUND:

CLOCK STRIKES FIVE

FATHER:

When children are quiet, you know there's some mischief.

SOUND:

WEIRD, NOISY, HIGH-PITCHED OSCILLATING HUM ... THEN IN BG

FATHER:

Wha--? What's that sound?

MOTHER:

I don't know.

FATHER:

(WORRIED) Those kids aren't playing with anything electrical, are they?

MOTHER:

I'm sure they aren't. At least, I--

FATHER:

Just the same, I'd better go out and see.

MOTHER:

Henry. (PAUSE, TENSE) Tell them to put off the Invasion.

FATHER:

(SURPRISED) Wha--? Mary! Don't get upset. It - it's just a game.

SOUND:

WEIRD, NOISY, HIGH-PITCHED OSCILLATING HUM REACHES A CRESCENDO ... THEN A BRIEF BUZZ ... THEN AN EXPLOSION!

FATHER:

Good Lord! What's that?! Look out the window, Mary.

SOUND:

MOTHER'S HURRIED FOOTSTEPS TO WINDOW

MOTHER:

(GASPS, TERRIFIED) H-h-h-h-Henry!

FATHER:

What is it? Where are the children? Mary? Why are you shaking? What did you see?

MOTHER:

(PANICS, WHISPERS) Henry, quick! Up to the attic!

FATHER:

They aren't in the attic.

MOTHER:

(WHISPERS) Yes! Yes, the attic! Quick!

FATHER:

Mary!

SOUND:

MOTHER'S HURRIED FOOTSTEPS UP STAIRS ... FATHER CHASES AFTER MOTHER, BEHIND--

FATHER:

Come back here! Mary! Mary, don't go up! They aren't up there!

SOUND:

MOTHER AND FATHER'S FOOTSTEPS HURRY UP STAIRS TOGETHER

MOTHER:

(BREATHES HARD DURING ABOVE)

SOUND:

MOTHER AND FATHER REACH TOP FLOOR ... ATTIC DOOR OPENS

FATHER:

Mary, are you out of your mind? There's no one up here!

SOUND:

MOTHER AND FATHER'S FOOTSTEPS INTO ATTIC

MOTHER:

(WHISPERS, FRANTIC) Quick! Shut the door! Lock it! Lock it!

SOUND:

ATTIC DOOR SHUTS AND LOCKS

FATHER:

But there's nothing up here. What is wrong with you? Mary, come to your senses.

SOUND:

WEIRD, NOISY, HIGH-PITCHED WHISTLE ... IN BG

MOTHER:

Oh, Henry -- we'll have to stay here and hide.

FATHER:

What are you talking about?

MOTHER:

I saw it! Through the window, Henry! It was horrible!

FATHER:

What?

MOTHER:

(STARTS TO WEEP) It is an invasion!

FATHER:

Mary, for heaven's sake, let's get down out of this attic and talk this over sensibly. I - I want to find out if Mink is all right.

MOTHER:

She's all right. I saw her. She was leading them around the corner of the house.

FATHER:

Leading who? The kids?

MOTHER:

Ssssh! Listen!

SOUND:

WEIRD WHISTLE ABRUPTLY OUT

FATHER:

It's nothing.

SOUND:

DOWNSTAIRS, THE FRONT DOOR OPENS

MOTHER:

Listen.

SOUND:

DOWNSTAIRS, THE FRONT DOOR SHUTS

FATHER:

Huh?

MOTHER:

The front door--

SOUND:

MANY HEAVY FOOTSTEPS SLOWLY CLIMB STAIRS ... CLOSER AND CLOSER ... THEN IN BG

MOTHER:

(STRICKEN) They're coming!

FATHER:

Good Lord, those - those kids sound like fifty men with - with boots on.

MOTHER:

Oh, no. Not men! (SHUDDERS)

FATHER:

Huh?

MOTHER:

(PRAYS) Oh, please, God, don't let them find us! Don't let them, please, God! (WEEPS, CONTINUES IN BG)

FATHER:

I - I don't understand. (CALLS) Who's there?!

MOTHER:

Sh! Don't shout! They'll hear!

FATHER:

(CALLS) Who's down there?! (NO ANSWER) I demand that you answer me!

MOTHER:

They're coming! The whole house is shaking.

FATHER:

Who? (CALLS) Who's there?!

MOTHER:

Sssh! Please be quiet, Henry. They might go away.

SOUND:

HEAVY FOOTSTEPS STOP ... SILENCE

MOTHER:

(BEAT) Henry? (NO ANSWER) Henry?

MINK:

(CALLS SLOWLY, FROM OFF) Mom? Dad? Are you in the attic?

MOTHER:

(EXHALES) Henry, listen.

FATHER:

It's Mink. Mink! We've got to save her.

MOTHER:

Henry, you don't understand. She's leading them.

FATHER:

What?

MOTHER:

She's leading them. She's on their side. Oh, please, God--

FATHER:

The children, on their side--?

MOTHER:

She told us. But - but we wouldn't believe her.

SOUND:

HEAVY FOOTSTEPS HURRY UP STEPS TO ATTIC DOOR

MOTHER:

Henry, they're coming up!

SOUND:

ATTIC DOOR KNOB RATTLES

MOTHER:

(GASPS)

MINK:

(CALLS, FROM BEHIND ATTIC DOOR) Mom? Dad? We know you're in there. (NO RESPONSE, QUIET AND CASUAL) Well, I guess you better melt the lock, Drill.

SOUND:

OF RAY GUN MELTING THE LOCK

MOTHER:

Henry! The lock! It's melting! The door! Oh, dear God!

SOUND:

ATTIC DOOR OPENS, SWINGS CREAKILY

MINK:

Mom? Dad? (CHEERFUL) Oh, I see ya now. Peekaboo!

MOTHER:

(BLOODCURDLING SCREAM)

MUSIC:

TO A FINISH

NARRATOR:

You have just heard another adventure into the unknown world of the future, the world of--

MUSIC:

ACCENT, CLIMAXING WITH CYMBAL CRASH

NARRATOR:

(HEAVY ECHO) Dimension X - x - x - x ...

MUSIC:

OMINOUS ... THEN IN BG

NARRATOR:

Next week, "Destination Moon," a preview of the movie which is soon to have its world premiere in New York, telling the Robert Heinlein story of man's first trip to the Moon.

MUSIC:

WEIRD, OTHERWORLDLY ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

ANNOUNCER:

Tonight's adventures in Dimension X -- "There Will Come Soft Rains" and "Zero Hour" -- were written by Ray Bradbury and adapted for radio by George Lefferts. Featured in the first story, as narrator, was your host Norman Rose. The leading players in "Zero Hour" were Denise Alexander as Mink and Rita Lynn as the mother, Roger De Koven as the father. Music by Albert Buhrman. Engineer, Don Abbott. [X] Dimension X is produced by Van Woodward and directed by Edward King. Robert Warren speaking.

MUSIC:

OMINOUS ... FILLS A PAUSE, THEN OUT BEHIND--

ANNOUNCER:

Programs! Get your programs here! For a new thrill in detective listening, join the Saint tomorrow as he reaps a harvest of criminals in a thrilling adventure with the underworld. Make "The Saint" a Sunday listening habit and keep tuned thereafter for adventures of the greatest detective of them all, Sam Spade. Tomorrow, hear "High Adventure"; now, "Truth or Consequences" -- on NBC.

MUSIC:

NBC CHIMES