Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Lights Out
Show: The Meteor Man
Date: Jun 16 1937

CAST:
PROFESSOR RUSSELL ADAMS---IN HIS EARLY THIRTIES;
DIANE---HIS LOVELY WIFE; SAME AGE BRACKET
HELGA---THEIR SWEDISH HOUSE GIRL
THE METEOR-MAN---A THING FROM AN OTHER WORLD; DEEP RESONANT VOICE

VOICE:

Lights out, everybody!

TWELVE CHIMES - WIND UP ON ELEVENTH - OUT WITH GONG

RUSSELL:

(VERNIER FADE IN) ....and furthermore, if I might speak frankly, my dear Diane, the basic thing wrong with the woman is her nose. Let's cut it off!

DIANE:

Russell Adams!

RUSSELL:

Then there's the matter of her ears - look at them!

DIANE:

Well?

RUSSELL:

They're - they're too obvious! Cut them off, too!

DIANE:

No nose - no ears - a fine art critic you turned out to be!

RUSSELL:

Oh! Is this thing art?

DIANE:

(NOT VERY SERIOUSLY) Rus Adams, I hate you!

RUSSELL:

Can't take it, eh?

DIANE:

I think it's the best piece of sculpture I've ever done!

RUSSELL:

Egomaniac!

DIANE:

Will you go away?

RUSSELL:

(COMING IN CLOSE - LOVINGLY) Not until I tell my wife how much I adore her...

DIANE:

(IN CLOSE - MURMURS CONTENTEDLY)

RUSSELL:

How about stopping the artistic endeavors for the night and romancing with the old man?

DIANE:

Any night...

RUSSELL:

Come on - out on the veranda - there's a moon...

DIANE:

(CRITICALLY) Spoken as Professor Russell J. Adams, instructor of astronomy at our beloved state college?

RUSSELL:

(CHUCKLES) I don't know a single scientific fact about this moon...it's a special satellite built entirely for romance...

DIANE:

(LAUGHINGLY) Then it's a date...

OPENING DOOR - FADEIN CRICKET SOUNDS OF PAINT A PICTURE OF NIGHT IN THE COUNTRY

RUSSELL:

After you, fair Diane...

DIANE:

(LAUGHS SOFTLY)

RUSSELL:

Why do you laugh?

DIANE:

Just thinking it's a good thing that we haven't any neighbors or they'd think we were honeymooning!

RUSSELL:

Ten years in two more weeks...

DIANE:

Sweet...

RUSSELL:

Why?

DIANE:

For remembering...

RUSSELL:

(CHUCKLES SOFTLY)

DIANE:

(SIGHS DEEPLY)

RUSSELL:

Why the sigh?

DIANE:

Ah, it's such a lovely night.

RUSSELL:

Yes...You're very lovely with the moonlight in your hair....

DIANE:

(LAUGHS SOFTLY, PLEASEDLY)

RUSSELL:

Three hundred and twenty-five days out of the year moonlight to me is just the reflected light of the sun, a light interesting only in that it may be analysed spectroscopically...But these thirty days of our vacation, Diane..; (CHUCKLES) what a magical change! It's a soft, lovers' moon...hanging in the heavens only to brighten your loveliness...

DIANE:

(SOFTLY) You're the sweetest man a woman ever knew...

RUSSELL:

(DISPARAGINGLY) Oh!

DIANE:

You are! (CHUCKLES) And people wonder why I can't get excited by Leslie Howard!

RUSSELL:

Howard? Who's he?

DIANE:

Spoken like a true professor! He's a motion picture star - an absolute paragon of romance!

RUSSELL:

(CHUCKLES) Perhaps I shouldn't neglect my movie-going so much...I mean, with such paragons to teach one...

DIANE:

You do all right...(SUDDENLY) Oh, Russell!

RUSSELL:

(QUICKLY) What's the matter?

DIANE:

I saw the brightest shooting-star!

RUSSELL:

Is that all! Huh! The way you gasped, I thought you saw the Angel of Death himself galloping over those meadows!

DIANE:

There's another one! Look, Russell!

RUSSELL:

(LAUGHINGLY) My dear, for eleven months out of the year the heavens have my full and undivided attention. But during this blessed month - (CHUCKLES) let the heavens fall - I can't be bothered!

DIANE:

I never saw such bright shooting stars!

RUSSELL:

(JOCULARLY) Yes, and another thing, my dear - as the wife of an accredited professor of astronomy, I think it no more fitting that you give the phenomenon you just observed its proper name - namely, the fall of a meteor!

DIANE:

There's another one! And another! Oh, Russ, how bright and beautiful!

RUSSELL:

They travel at such a tremendous rate - the friction of our atmosphere burns them in a fiery vapor.

DIANE:

Oh, Russ, there's more of them! Look - one after the other - I've never seen so many shooting stars!

RUSSELL:

(ADMONISHINGLY) Uh uh!

DIANE:

-- I mean, so many meteors in all my life! (UNDERSTANDINGLY) Ohhhh! So that's why you wanted me out here!

RUSSELL:

(CHUCKLES)

DIANE:

You knew about this - uh - meteor-shower, didn't you?

RUSSELL:

(CHUCKLING) It's one of the heaven's free spectacles in this constellation every three years - and this happens to be the third year. Watch the sector of the sky over there just to the right of Sirius and you'll see the major display. Every few minutes for about three hours - there! They're starting again!

DIANE:

Oh, Russell, how beautiful....And how frightening!

RUSSELL:

Why frightening?

DIANE:

Those great masses of stone and iron - coming from who knows where in interstellar space - traveling millions and millions of miles and then going up in such glorious flame just as they reach the end of their journey!

RUSSELL:

Not all goes to flame. Hundreds of them strike the earth each year.

DIANE:

Oh, Russell, there's no danger!

RUSSELL:

(LAUGHINGLY) No, the probabilities of being struck on the head by that cosmic rubbish is about a thousand times more remote than winning a sweep-stakes - without buying a ticket!

DIANE:

Oh, Rus. That one! The brightest of all!

RUSSELL:

It's not the bright ones that reach us - their very brightness signifies that the rush of air is cremating them. It's the dull, dark ones, the huge masses which finally reach us - that is to say, their mass is so great that our blanket of air has an opportunity to burn off only part of their bulk before the journey is over.

DIANE:

(SOFTLY) Mass - bulk - no, Rus, I'd like to think of them as great bright messengers from other worlds - messengers of a glory beyond our sight - messengers of -

TREMENDOUS HISSING OF FALLING METEOR BEGINS AT "OUR SIGHT" IN ABOVE - BUILDING UP BEHIND FOLLOWING TO PAINT PICTURE OF GREAT ROARING INCANDESCENT MASS FLAMING TOWARD THE GROUND FROM THE HEAVENS

RUSSELL:

(SHARPLY) Wait. Diane? What's that?

AT THIS POINT THE HISSING IS FAR BACK - NOW IT BEGINS TO COME IN RAPIDLY

DIANE:

I don't know - something from the sky - it --

RUSSELL:

Look up!

DIANE:

Shooting star!

RUSSELL:

(GREAT HOARSE CRY OF ALARM THAT IS HALF DROWNED OUT BY:)

GREAT HISSING RUSH OF FALLING METEOR. ALL BLOTTED OUT BY GREAT REVERBERATING EXPLOSION AS THE MOLTEN MASS STRIKES THE GROUND - WITH THIS IS HEARD CRASH OF BREAKING GLASS AS EVERY WINDOW IN THE HOUSE BLASTS IN -- THIS ENTIRE EFFECT OF FALLING STAR AND EXPLOSION SHOULD MAKE SOME TIME AND ADD UP TO A REALLY TREMENDOUS EFFECT

DIANE:

(SHUDDERINGLY, AFTER EXPLOSION IS OVER) Rus...

RUSSELL:

(THE SHOCK IS APPARENT IN HIS VOICE ALSO) All right, dear - everything's all right...

DIANE:

What -- how --

RUSSELL:

A meteor - it must have landed out in the field there! Here - let me help you up. You all right, dearest?

DIANE:

Yes, I - I'm all right. (UP) Rus! Where are you going?

RUSSELL:

(GREAT EXCITEMENT VIBRANT IN HIS VOICE) Out there where it must have buried itself! Wait here (OFF SLIGHTLY) I'll be right back!

DIANE:

No, no! I'm going with you!

RUSSELL:

All right, if you want to! Oh, Diane, what an experience we've had! The one chance in a million I spoke about almost occurred to us!

DIANE:

But - but, Rus, was it really a shooting-star? That explosion - like a bombshell!

RUSSELL:

A bombshell of the universe - my dear, do you realize that mass of what fell was traveling eighteen hundred miles a minute - it wasn't the impact as it struck the ground that made that tremendous sound - it was the displacement of air as it rushed thru space like a stroke of lightning! We heard the thunder of the universe!

DIANE:

My heart's beating so quickly! Oh, Rus, what will we find out there?

RUSSELL:

A fragment of the meteorite, I hope!

DIANE:

But it'll burn --

RUSSELL:

No, no, all its heat will have dissipated! Then again it may have shattered into a thousand minute pieces - I pray to heaven that it hasn't!

DIANE:

Rus, I'm afraid --

RUSSELL:

No, no, the danger's all over! Ah, here - the moon's so bright - if any of the mass landed, I should be able to find the torn ground where it smashed thru the turf!

DIANE:

Please, Rus - let's wait until morning!

RUSSELL:

No, no, I must find the thing at once! The moon gives plenty of light - from the brightness of the flash I'm positive the meteor landed someplace right in here! I tell you - (UP) look!

DIANE:

Wha ---

RUSSELL:

The turf! All torn up! This - this is the place!

DIANE:

Russell! Are you mad! Get up off the ground!

RUSSELL:

Right here - it must have struck a glancing blow off the brow of the ridge and - (UP IN GREAT EXCITEMENT) I've got it!

DIANE:

Wha -

RUSSELL:

A fragment of it! Ah - still warm! See - no larger than a baseball - all that was left of it!

DIANE:

That's - that's a meteor?

RUSSELL:

A meteorite, all that's left of the meteor that burned and exploded! What a find!

DIANE:

Drop it, Rus - throw it away!

RUSSELL:

What are you talking about? Why should I throw it away?

DIANE:

I'm afraid of it.

RUSSELL:

(LAUGHINGLY) Afraid of a piece of iron! See - that's all it is! Come on back to the house - I want to examine it closely! (EXULTANTLY) Oh, what an experience this has been!

DIANE:

(THERE IS A DEFINITE NOTE OF MINGLED FEAR AND AWE IN HER VOICE) Where did it come from, Russell...

RUSSELL:

Who knows - the limits of the universe for all we know - cosmic rubbish rushing thru space - burning in our air, and this - this little ball of metal all that remains of it! Something that might have weighed a ton in its beginnings!

OPENING DOOR

RUSSELL:

Here we are!

DIANE:

What - what are you going to do with it?

RUSSELL:

Diane! What's the matter with you? Your face - so white!

DIANE:

I - I don't know - I - somehow - I'm afraid - for all of us!

RUSSELL:

Afraid? Good heavens, my dear, there's nothing dangerous about this! A mass of metal that's 90 per cent iron - why it's as harmless as any inert piece of metal! Come into the study - I'll show you where the rush of air against the incandescent metal etched --

HELGA:

(BACK - WEEPING - BEGINNING AT "I'LL SHOW YOU")

DIANE:

Rus, wait!

RUSSELL:

Eh?

DIANE:

Someone crying!

RUSSELL:

Yes!

DIANE:

I know! (OFF) It's Helga!

HELGA:

(FADE IN SOBBING) TOGETHER WITH:

DIANE:

Oh, Helga! You poor thing! We forgot all about you!

HELGA:

(SWEDISH WEEPILY) Oh, Missus Adams! It was exploding!

DIANE:

Now, now, everything's all right, Helga!

RUSSELL:

(FADEIN) What's going on, Diane?

DIANE:

Poor Helga! The explosion frightened her out of her wits!

HELGA:

Oh, Mister Professor Adams, we die - we all die!

RUSSELL:

Don't be a fool!

HELGA:

The fire - it come from the sky! It kill us! It kill you and me and everybody! (GOING ON WILDLY) We die! Everybody die! Fire from the sky!

RUSSELL:

(ON CUE - BREAKING INTO HER MAD RANTING) Stop it! For heaven's sake stop that!

HELGA:

(GOES INTO WILD SOBBING, CONTINUING)

DIANE:

Helga, please! Control yourself!

RUSSELL:

Diane, explain it to her! Tell her it was just a meteorite, that's all! You understand, Helga--a meteorite-- a shooting star!

HELGA:

(WEEPILY) No, no, it kill us! From the sky it--it kill us all! (CONTINUES TO WEEP)

RUSSELL:

(DISGUSTEDLY) Oh, I give up!! You take care of her, Diane! Give her a sedative or something!

DIANE:

All right, Russell. (FADE BEHIND RUSSELL'S FOLLOWING SPEECH - SOOTHINGLY) All right now, Helga - everything's all right - don't be so frightened - (ETC AD LIB UNTIL CLOSING OF DOOR)

HELGA:

(FADE WEEPING AND MOANING BACK WITH ABOVE FADE - CONTINUE UNTIL CLOSING OF DOOR)

RUSSELL:

I'm going to get at this meteorite, so please quiet the dumb fool down as quickly as you can!

DOOR - ABOVE AD LIB OF DIANA AND HELGA OUT KNIFE-CLEAN WITH CLOSING OF DOOR

RUSSELL:

Superstitious idiot! (SNORTS) Huh! Simple phenomena and she thinks the world's ending!

THUD OF PIECE OF IRON BEING SET DOWN ON TABLE

RUSSELL:

Heavy little thing, aren't you? Well, at that I guess I shouldn't blame Helga too much - (CHUCKLES) even the wise little Diane was frightened of you... Ah, but I'm not - you're nothing but a simple little meteorite - (AS HE PORES OVER STONE) iron, a bit of nickel content - nothing particularly unusual.

DOOR, BACK

RUSSELL:

(AS HE SEES HIS WIFE) Oh, Diane! Quiet her down?

DIANE:

(IN FAST) Yes...(TENSE NOTE IN HER VOICE) she'll be all right...

RUSSELL:

Eh - you look pretty rocky yourself! Here - sit here.

DIANE:

She's...very frightened...

RUSSELL:

Huh! Strange how the sight of a "shooting-star", as you call it, affects the layman. A sense of mingled fright, and awe, and even reverence - I suppose the emotion dates back to primitive times when those streaks of fire were considered manifestations of a super-power! Why even you, Diane -

DIANE:

Well?

RUSSELL:

You've acted so strangely - as if this inert piece of cosmic metal had some supernatural ability! (CHUCKLES)

DIANE:

(QUIETLY) What are you going to do with it?

RUSSELL:

Nothing - examine it - here - I'll take some of this nitric acid - ah, where's that bottle - here we are!

LIQUID SHAKING IN BOTTLE

RUSSELL:

Now watch closely and I'll show you that the stone consists of ordinary elements - iron, and --

DIANE:

(SHARPLY) Russell!

RUSSELL:

What?

DIANE:

This - this mark on it! How strange!

RUSSELL:

Eh! Yes! Funny I hadn't noticed it before! Circles the entire stone!...Cuts in deeply - I wouldn't be surprised that a blow right here would break the stone in half! Yes, I think I'll try to do that!

DIANE:

No, no, Rus! Leave it alone!

RUSSELL:

Good heavens, Diane, are you still in that childish frame of mind! Why you're acting no better than that fool maid of yours! Nothing but a stone - all I'm going to do is try to break it along this fissure!

OPENING DRAWER - AS OF OBJECTS BEING MOVED ABOUT

RUSSELL:

Had a hammer in this drawer - yes, here it is! I doubt if the stone'll break - almost solid metal - but I'll try!

BLOW OF HAMMER ON STONE - DISTINCT CRACKING SOUND AS STONE BREAKS

RUSSELL:

By George, it did! Clean in half!

DIANE:

(HALF SCREAM OF FRIGHT) Ahhh!

RUSSELL:

Wha' --

DIANE:

Look what's inside!

RUSSELL:

(DAZEDLY - UNBELIEVINGLY) Flesh!

DIANE:

(IN HORROR) Oh, Rus, how --

RUSSELL:

A nugget of gray protoplasmic - (UP) no, it can't be! It can't! This is a meteor - it came from out there - there is no flesh - nothing could live -

DIANE:

(UP IN GREAT EXCITEMENT) Rus! Look!

RUSSELL:

Eh?

DIANE:

(UP) It's growing!

RUSSELL:

No!

DIANE:

(BUILDING UP HYSTERICALLY) Growing I tell you! Growing!

RUSSELL:

Diane, stop! It can't be growing! I tell you it can't!

DIANE:

But it is! It is! Faster! And faster!

RUSSELL:

Yes! Yes, I see it now! It is growing! I see it is!

DIANE:

Faster and faster! Grey flesh reaching out! Oh, Rus, I'm afraid! I'm afraid!

RUSSELL:

No, no, Diane - wait - control yourself! This is something we've got to see - both of us - calmly - so we can tell others clearly what we saw! Now pull yourself together - I beg you!

DIANE:

(BREATHING HEAVILY) I'll try! I'll try! Oh, Rus, keep your arm around me!

FAINT HISSING SOUND, CONTINUING BEHIND

RUSSELL:

Larger and larger! Listen - the noise as it grows!

DIANE:

I hear! I hear! Oh, Russ, when will it stop? When?

RUSSELL:

Look! Look!

DIANE:

No, no, I can't! That horrible gray flesh!

RUSSELL:

But you must see it! But look! It's forming into something!

DIANE:

Uh?

RUSSELL:

(UP) A head! It's forming into a head!

DIANE:

(CRIES OUT HOARSELY)

RUSSELL:

Am I mad - drunk - insane? How can it be, Diane? Flesh in the meteor - growing, growing - into a head!

HISSING SOUND IN BACKGROUND HAS BEEN BUILDING UP GRADUALLY

DIANE:

(IN GREAT HORROR) I see it! A head! Horrible head!

HISSING STOPS ABRUPTLY WITH:

METEORMAN:

(OFF SLIGHTLY - HIS VOICE IS DEEP AND RESONANT WITH A SARDONIC MALIGNANT CRUELTY IN IT) And I see you, Earth Things...

DIANE:

(GREAT GASP)

RUSSELL:

(DAZEDLY - HOARSELY) It - it spoke!...No - madness in my head...

METEORMAN:

No...you heard me speak, Earth Thing...

RUSSELL:

(GASPS)

METEORMAN:

(AS IF RELISHING THE WORDS) You - heard - me - speak....

RUSSELL:

Diane! You heard?....

DIANE:

(BREATHLESSLY) Yes...

RUSSELL:

(IN GREAT AWE TINGED WITH UNBELIEF) But a head - head without a body - speaking!

METEORMAN:

You see ... what I will you to see...

RUSSELL:

You - you hear and understand me?

METEORMAN:

(CHUCKLES SARDONICALLY)

DIANE:

(ALMOST TO HERSELF - IN AWED FEAR) Thick lips - laughing!

METEORMAN:

I laugh - at the fear and wonder in your simple little faces...

RUSSELL:

(HOARSELY) Who are you? What are you?

METEORMAN:

If I told you...would your little earth minds understand?

DIANE:

Earth! Earth! Rus, what does it mean? What?

RUSSELL:

Yes, tell us - whatever you are - mad hallucination - tell us what you are?

METEORMAN:

What you on earth will soon have for masters...

DIANE:

Oh, Rus-

RUSSELL:

No, no, wait, Diane! I must know! You - Thing - what can I call you? - tell me what you mean! You - masters?

METEORMAN:

Surely you - simple little men - do not think that in you Creation has reached the ultimate?

DIANE:

No, no, I can't stand it! Grey flesh talking - I'm getting out of here!

METEORMAN:

(SHARPLY) You will stay!

DIANE:

(WITH DIFFICULTY - AS IF SHE WAS STRAINING AGAINST INVISIBLE BONDS) Rus - I - I can't move!

RUSSELL:

(IN AWE) Nor I ...

METEORMAN:

(MOCKINGLY) You cannot move....

RUSSELL:

Who are you? Tell us! Who are you?

METEORMAN:

You saw how I came...

RUSSELL:

A tiny bit of protoplasm in that meteorite -

METEORMAN:

So I willed myself to be...to reach your earth...

RUSSELL:

(IN GREAT AWE) You came here in that thru - thru space?

METEORMAN:

Thru space beyond your furthest conception, Earth Thing...Many of my people have tried - (EXULTANTLY) I am the first to succeed!

RUSSELL:

Then - then meteors are - are --

METEORMAN:

--are the means we have used to try and reach this haven of plenty.... I am the first (TENSELY) - now there will be others....

DIANE:

Oh, no!

RUSSELL:

You - you are from another planet?

METEORMAN:

An old world - old beyond your understanding....A world grown cold in its age - empty with passing years - (TENSELY) we must escape to a young fertile world - this world!

RUSSELL:

But - but are you only heads? Heads without bodies?

DIANE:

(TEARFULLY) Oh, Rus, Rus, I'm so afraid!

RUSSELL:

No, no, dearest, please - I must hear him speak! This that is happening to us is the greatest miracle of all time! (UP) Tell me, you, there! Are you only heads in that world you speak of?

METEORMAN:

(SCORNFULLY) Heads! Heads! I told you - you see what I will you to see!

RUSSELL:

But what are you?

METEORMAN:

A mind and a will beyond your feeble understanding - as far above you as the apes that still must crawl in your jungles!

RUSSELL:

But - but how can it be that you speak as I speak - understand what I say?

METEORMAN:

Your prattling wearies me - but I tell you this - all that you say I know - the most profound thought any of you Earth Things have ever thought is to me as the babbling of children. We of the place I came from are to you as you are to the crawling things of primeval slime...You are the children - forgotten ape-things of our dim past....(CHUCKLES) And you wonder how I can understand you - prattle the simple words in the form your simple mind can understand! (VOICE TENSES PURPOSIVELLY) But now I am hungry - you understand that, little thing?

DIANE:

(FRIGHTENEDLY) Hungry!

METEORMAN:

Hungry with a hunger that has driven me over space without ending - hunger that has brought me here!

RUSSELL:

(HE IS INTENSELY INTERESTED) But - but what do you eat?

METEORMAN:

You will know...

RUSSELL:

What - what do you mean?

METEORMAN:

Earth-Thing, what food is there here to tempt me, as it has so many of us, to go off into the coldness and darkness of eternal space in the mad hope of reaching this, this young and fecund earth of yours?

DIANE:

Oh, Russ, what does he mean?

RUSSELL:

I - I don't know!

METEORMAN:

What food could there be here to fill the hunger of such as I - hunger that would make me entomb myself in metal, flung into space, in the hope that chance would bring me thru the fire of that air of yours? (TENSELY) What food, Earth-Thing?

RUSSELL:

I - I don't know! Tell me!

METEORMAN:

(SLOWLY - AVIDLY) The food that lies beneath that bony skull of you and yours....

RUSSELL:

Wha -

DIANE:

Oh, Rus!

METEORMAN:

You understand me - the food that lies inside those skulls of yours!

RUSSELL:

But - but what food - (UNBELIEVINGLY) Oh, no!

METEORMAN:

And why "oh, no", Earth Thing?

RUSSELL:

You don't mean --

METEORMAN:

(AVIDLY) I mean the thick, wet grayness of it - full of all the essence that I need to fill the hunger in me!

DIANE:

Russell, tell me! What is he talking about? What - what does he want to eat?

METEORMAN:

He knows....

RUSSELL:

But - but you can't mean brains!

DIANE:

(CRIES OUT IN SHOCK)

METEORMAN:

The thick wet grayness in your skulls - life to us!

RUSSELL:

Not...human brains?

METEORMAN:

Human? (CHUCKLES SARDONICALLY) You think you crawling worms are human to us?

RUSSELL:

But - but if you're men...

METEORMAN:

(CHUCKLES) But we are not men .. You are the cattle and we are the keepers ...

DIANE:

Oh, no!

METEORMAN:

You raise the cattle for life - and we, for centuries, have raised such as you on our world for life. But now as I told you, our world has grown too old and too cold - the herds of you die and we grow hungry. That is why I am here - (SLOWLY) because I am hungry...

RUSSELL:

(IN GREAT HORROR) Oh, no!

DIANE:

Rus, hold me tight!

Here there are so many of you - and I and mine will fill ourself on the good gray thickness of life...

DOOR OPENS, BACK SLIGHTLY

HELGA:

(FADEIN) Mister Professor Adams, are you - oh, here you are!

DIANE:

Helga, go away!

RUSSELL:

Don't come in here, Helga!

HELGA:

(FADEIN) No, no, me, I'm all right now! I'm not scared no more!

DIANE:

Helga, please go!

METEORMAN:

(CHUCKLING SARDONICALLY IN THE BACKGROUND)

HELGA:

But I - oh, you have visitor!

RUSSELL:

You - you see it, too, Helga?

HELGA:

(GIGGLES)

DIANE:

(GASPS) Helga! You're laughing!

HELGA:

(GIGGLING FOOLISHLY) I can't help it...Me - I always get the giggles when I see a nice lookin' feller!

RUSSELL:

Nice looking?

DIANE:

Russ, what can she mean? That horrible thing!

METEORMAN:

(SMUGLY) She sees what I will her to see..(HYPNOTICALLY) Come closer, Earth-Thing...

HELGA:

(FASCINATEDLY) Yah...

DIANE:

No, no, Helga! Don't go near that thing!

METEORMAN:

Closer, Helga...

RUSSELL:

(OFF SLIGHTLY) No, Helga! Stand back! Stand back!

(HISSING SOUND BEGINS, CONTINUING BEHIND:)

 

METEORMAN:

She hears only me, don't you, Helga!

HELGA:

(COMING IN CLOSE) Yah...

DIANE:

(OFF-EXCITEDLY) No, no!..Stop her, Russell! Stop her!

RUSSELL:

(OFF) I can't! I can't move!

METEORMAN:

(IN VERY CLOSE) Closer, Helga...

DIANE & RUSSELL:

(BACK- AD LIB "NO, NO!" ETC)

WEIRD HISSING SOUND UP

METEORMAN:

Closer, Helga!...

HELGA:

(IN CLOSE, MESMERIZED TONE IN VOICE) Yah...

METEORMAN:

(CRIES OUT HOARSELY, HORRIBLY, AVIDLY AS HE SEIZES GIRL) Ahhh!

WEIRD HISSING UP FULL, CONTINUING

HELGA:

(SCREAMS HORRIBLY - HER SCREAM CUTS OFF ABRUPTLY)

HISSING UP, CONTINUING FULL FOR A FEW SECONDS, THEN FADING BACK AND CONTINUING FAR BACK BEHIND.

DIANE:

(WEEPING BITTERLY) Oh, Rus! Rus!

RUSSELL:

(GREAT HORROR AND DISGUST APPARENT [IN] HIS VOICE AS HE TRIES TO SOOTH HER) No, no, my dearest! Don't look!

THUD OF BODY, BACK - HISSING STOPS JUST BEFORE THUD

DIANE:

(WEEPING) Oh, poor Helga!

RUSSELL:

(IN AWE) What that Thing said it would do...it did....

DIANE:

Oh, Rus, Rus! Have we gone mad together? This can't be happening! I tell you --

METEORMAN:

(BACK - HIS VOICE IS STRONGER NOW - WELL FED -) (HE STRETCHES OUT THE WORD WEIRDLY, INSISTENTLY) Earthwoman...

DIANE:

Russell! It spoke to me!

RUSSELL:

We've got to get out of here!

METEORMAN:

(INSISTENTLY) Earth-woman...

DIANE:

No, no, stop it! Don't look at me! Stop it!

METEORMAN:

(MESMERICALY) Come closer....

RUSSELL:

No, no! Don't listen to him, Diane!

DIANE:

(TEARFULLY, YET ATTRACTED IN SPITE OF HERSELF) Closer...

RUSSELL:

No, no! Don't move, Diane! Stay where you are!

HISSING SOUND BEGINS, BACK, AND CONTINUES.

METEORMAN:

You hear only me, Earthwoman...

DIANE:

(BROKENLY) Only you...

RUSSELL:

(ALMOST BESIDE HIMSELF WITH HORROR) No, no, Diane! Don't say that! Don't look at that monster! Diane!

METEORMAN:

Closer, Diane...

DIANE:

(BROKENLY) Yes...closer...

WEIRD HISSING EFFECT OF MONSTER BUILDS UP GRADUALLY

RUSSELL:

(FADING BACK GRADUALLY SO THAT HE IS IN BACKGROUND AND THE OTHER TWO IN CLOSE) No, no, Diane! Stand still! Don't move toward it! Don't! Food! He wants the very brains of us!

METEORMAN:

CLOSER, Diane...

DIANE:

Closer...

RUSSELL:

No, no, thing - monster - not my Diane! Diane, I beg you don't go closer to it!

METEORMAN:

Closer....closer...closer...(CONTINUING IN SLOW CHANT IN CLOSE WHILE RUSSELL RAVES ON IN BACKGROUND)

RUSSELL:

If I could only move! Oh, Diane, Diane! Stop! Don't move another foot, Diane! (ETC. CONTINUING AD LIB BACK)

THE PICTURE IS THIS:

RUSSELL RAVING IN BACKGROUND WHILE IN CLOSE IS HEARD THE SLOW MESMERIC CHANT OF THE MONSTER ORDERING THE VICTIM CLOSER AND CLOSER - THIS CONTINUES UNTIL, ON CUE, DIANE SUDDENLY SAYS:

DIANE:

(IN CLOSE)-(BROKENLY) I am here...

METEORMAN:

(CRIES OUT AVIDLY, HORRIBLY, AS BEFORE)

HISSING UP FULL

DIANE:

(SCREAMS SHORTLY - HER SCREAM CUTS OFF ABRUPTLY)

RUSSELL:

(ON HEARTRENDERING CRY) - (BACK) Diane!

THUD OF BODY FAR BACK AS RUSSELL FALLS TO GROUND IN FAINT

METEORMAN:

(AVID CHUCKLE IN CLOSE)

HORRIBLE SLOBBERING SOUND BEGINS AS OF ONE SUCKING MARROW FROM BONE - THIS TO PAINT PICTURE OF MONSTER DRAWING OFF BRAINS FROM PUNCTURED SKULL OF VICTIM -THIS EFFECT CONTINUES LONG ENOUGH TO REGISTER HORRIBLY, THEN FADES OUT SLOWLY......HISSING EFFECT FADES WITH IT...

RUSSELL:

(VERNIER FADE IN AFTER TRANSITIONAL PAUSE - WEEPING)

METEORMAN:

(BACK SLIGHTLY - THE VOICE IS EVEN MORE SMUG AND WELL-FED THAN BEFORE) Why do you weep, earth Thing?

RUSSELL:

(BROKENLY) Monster! Fiend! Oh, my Diane! My darling!

METEORMAN:

An empty hulk...

RUSSELL:

Monster! (STRAINING) I'll kill you! If I could only get you! If I could move -

METEORMAN:

(CHUCKLES) Soon you will move...to me, as they moved...

RUSSELL:

Oh, Thing out of hell - how could you do it - how could you?

METEORMAN:

They knew little pain...and I have new strength...

RUSSELL:

(TEARFULLY) But in mercy's name!

METEORMAN:

Mercy? The worm asks mercy of the bird...the bird asks mercy of the man?

RUSSELL:

But human beings! My Diane!

METEORMAN:

As worms are to you...you are to me...Come closer, Earth Thing, and let me tell you...

RUSSELL:

No, no!

METEORMAN:

As worms to you, men are to us...Closer, Earth-thing...

HISSING BEGINS TO COME IN

RUSSELL:

I won't! No, no!

METEORMAN:

You cannot help yourself...no more than they did....

RUSSELL:

I won't move! No!

METEORMAN:

The worm eats slime...and you eat flesh...and we who are the highest of creation eat the essence of it all- (AVIDLY) Grey brain-cells full of strength and life...

RUSSELL:

No, no! Not me! You won't get me!

METEORMAN:

(ITS MESMERIC CHANT OF "CLOSER! CLOSER!" BEGINS, CONTINUING BACK OF:)

HISSING SLOWLY FADES IN TO PAINT PICTURE THAT RUSSELL IS MOVING CLOSER AND CLOSER TO MONSTER

RUSSELL:

(IN CLOSE - HIS THOUGHTS) No, no, I won't move closer to you, Thing - and yet I am - I - I cannot help myself - closer - closer - oh, Diane, Diane, how can I stop this monster - with the strength it gets from us it'll go on - you heard him - he the first - all mankind will be like cattle to him - mankind's brains to fill the horror of that mouth!....

METEORMAN:

(IN QUITE CLOSE NOW - AVIDLY) Closer, Earth-thing! Closer!

RUSSELL:

Diane, Diane, I've got to find the way, the strength to stop this monster - living doesn't matter - just to stop this thing from going out into the world - I've got to find a way - (GASPS) the bottle! Nitric acid! The bottle!

METEORMAN:

(UP ANGRILY) Closer! Closer!

RUSSELL:

I've got to get the strength to close my hand on it - the bottle! The acid! (STRAINING) Oh, Diane, Diane! Dead - help me - I've got to save - the earth - the bottle - (SHARPLY) got it!

METEORMAN:

(AVIDLY) Closer, Earth Thing! Close to me!....

HISSING UP

RUSSELL:

Yes! Yes! Close to you! (WITH GREAT EFFORT AS HE THROWS ACID) Take this!

CRASH OF TINKLING GLASS FOLLOWED BY GREAT REVERBERATING ROAR - HOLD EFFECT LONG ENOUGH TO PAINT PICTURE, THEN ROAR AND HISSING GRADUALLY DIE OUT

RUSSELL:

(IN AWE) A pool of flesh ... thick viscous flesh...that's all...(EXULTANTLY) Oh, Diane, Diane! I killed the Thing - I killed it! ... (DAZEDLY - WEARILY) Outside it's still dark, my love...Yes, and the skies still streak with the rush of meteorites...(IN GROWING HORROR) And that Thing said more of the Monsters of his breed are trying to reach this earth...to fill that devil's hunger in them! ... (WEARILY) Ah! Another meteorite just fell! And in it, perhaps...(IN CLOSE) Oh, Diane, Diane! (GREAT HORROR IN VOICE) Is that truly to be end for mankind?

GONG

ANNOUNCER:

Lights Out, written especially for radio by Arch Oboler, comes to you each Wednesday from our Chicago studios. This is the red network of the National Broadcasting Co.