Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Inner Sanctum Mysteries
Show: The Undead
Date: Dec 18 1945

CAST:
HOST
MARY, the Lipton Tea Lady
DIANA, our beleaguered heroine
RICHARD, her husband, an actor
CARETAKER, of the cemetery
VAMPIRE, androgynous
CLAUDIA, Diana's sister
OPERATOR
SERGEANT, Irish cop
INSPECTOR

MFX:

EERIE ORGAN INTRO ... STING! ... THEN IN BG

HOST:

Lipton Tea and Lipton Soup presents Inner Sanctum Mysteries!

MFX:

FILLS A PAUSE, THEN OUT FOR--

SFX:

THE SQUEAKING DOOR SLOWLY CREAKS OPEN

MFX:

EERIE ORGAN, IN BG ... OUT AT [X]

HOST:

Good evening, friends of the Inner Sanctum. This is your host to welcome you through the squeaking door for another half hour of lovely chills and shudders.

Oh, before we begin tonight, I'd like to give you a word of advice. If you should ever walk through a cemetery at midnight and come face-to-face with a transparent personality floating above a tombstone, don't be frightened. After all, you can see right through him. (EVIL CHUCKLE) [X]

MARY:

Good gracious! Why do we have to talk about cemeteries?

HOST:

Because, Mary, our story tonight is about a vampire. Where else would you expect to find one if not in a cemetery? In the Vampire State Building, hm? (EVIL CHUCKLE)

MARY:

Well, suppose you go wait in that closet there and talk to the skeleton while I have a word with our Lipton listeners about one secret of success.

You know, folks, when a Hollywood actress climbs up to stardom, it's usually because there's something different about her personality. And that's true of other success stories. Lipton Tea, for example, is the largest-selling brand of tea in the world because it's different from other teas. Lipton's has that wonderful, hearty flavor the tea experts call brisk -- which means it's bright and zestful in taste, never wishy-washy or flat. Now, don't take my word for it; compare Lipton's to other teas yourself. That's the real way to discover Lipton's rich full flavor -- Lipton's extra flavor -- that brings you all the goodness of a superb tea. It's full-bodied and satisfying, with a smooth mellow tang that brings you real enjoyment. So pour yourself a cup of Lipton Tea, folks, and then see for yourself what a difference that brisk flavor makes.

HOST:

(LOW) That's fine, Mary. But quietly, my dear.

MARY:

Why the whisper, Mister Host--?

HOST:

Sssh. Don't make too much noise or you'll wake the dead. And we don't want to do that because tonight's story is called -- "The Undead."

MFX:

STING ... THEN IN BG

HOST:

It's an original radio play by Milton Lewis. Yes, and our star tonight is Anne Seymour, who plays the role of Diana.

MFX:

STING ... THEN MYSTERIOSO IN BG, IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--

DIANA:

(NARRATES) I was alone, here in the penthouse, sleeping. The doors leading to the terrace were open.

SFX: WIND HOWLS, CONTINUES IN BG ... BAT WINGS FLAP BRIEFLY

DIANA:

(NARRATES) Suddenly, I was awakened by a queer, whirring noise that sounded like the flapping of wings. I opened my eyes. Moonlight filled the room. It was one of those clear, cloudless nights. But the winds moaned and howled like - weeping women.

SFX:

DOG HOWLS

DIANA:

(NARRATES) Somewhere, a dog howled. I sat up; peered into the green light of the moon. I could see nothing at first. I lay down again. My eyes were half-closed--

SFX:

BAT WINGS FLAP ... CONTINUES IN BG

DIANA:

(NARRATES) --and I heard it again; the sound of wings beating on the air. I told myself it was nothing -- until, out of the queer green shadows that surrounded me like a mist, I saw a pair of blood-red eyes close to my face.

No. They weren't human eyes. They were rimmed with green, and they glittered like glass in the dark. I looked closer -- too frightened to move, too terrified to cry out. The thing that seemed to be flying 'round my head - looked like a bat, but it wasn't a bat.

SFX:

ONE LAST FLAP OF WINGS

DIANA:

(NARRATES) Suddenly, it floated down. I felt soft fur on my neck. Then my throat was pierced with a sharp terrible pain. I started screaming, "Let me go! Let me go! Richard! Where are you Richard?! Richard!"

MFX:

HAS BUILT TO A CLIMAX ... THEN OUT

SFX:

WIND CONTINUES TO HOWL IN BG

RICHARD:

(BEAT, REASSURING) Go on, Diana.

DIANA:

When I felt your arms around me, I knew I was safe, Richard, but it was the most horrible dream I ever had!

RICHARD:

Yes, I know, I know, darling. You were hysterical.

DIANA:

What do you think it meant?

RICHARD:

Why, nothing. Nothing, of course, dear. Everyone has nightmares like that sometime or other.

DIANA:

But it was so vivid! I could almost swear it happened just as I told it to you.

RICHARD:

Now, Diana, do you really believe you've encountered a vampire?

DIANA:

I know it sounds ridiculous, darling.

RICHARD:

Listen, baby, you're living in New York city on top of an eighteen story building. This is Nineteen Forty-Five, not the middle ages. Why, the whole notion is just rubbish.

DIANA:

I tried to tell myself it was nonsense, too, but somehow-- Oh, Richard! I want to get out of this place!

RICHARD:

But why?

DIANA:

(INCREASINGLY HYSTERICAL) I don't like this apartment. There's something evil, sinister here. I've always felt it. And listen! Listen to that wind. The winds howl 'round here all the time!

RICHARD:

Well, naturally; it's a penthouse and it catches the winds from the river.

SFX:

AWNING FLAPS IN WIND

DIANA:

Do you hear that? Something flapping on the terrace!

RICHARD:

That's just the awning, dear.

DIANA:

There are always queer noises around here! All the time and I - I can't bear it being alone here at night! Richard, please, please don't let me stay here alone tonight!

RICHARD:

I can't stay with you, darling; I've got to go to the theater.

DIANA:

I don't want you to go there. Please! Let - let your understudy take the part tonight. Take me away from here! Far away, where it's warm and there's sunlight--!

RICHARD:

Diana, you don't know what you're saying, dear! I can't give up my part in the show.

DIANA:

(TRYING TO CALM DOWN) Of course. Of course. Oh, darling, forgive me, please; I'm - I'm sorry I ever mentioned it. (CATCHES HER BREATH, CALMER) You do forgive me, don't you, Richard? Say you do.

RICHARD: Why, of course. You're just upset over the silly dream.

DIANA:

I know, I know; I - I won't mention it again.

RICHARD: You're okay, baby. Well, it's ten to eight; I better get going. Wanna come with me?

DIANA:

Yes! No. (RESOLVED) No, I'm gonna stay here.

RICHARD:

But if this place frightens you--?

DIANA:

That's just why I'm going to stay. And alone. (UNCONVINCING) I'm going to beat this thing -- somehow.

RICHARD: (ENCOURAGING) That's better, darling; much better.

DIANA:

Here, here's your coat.

RICHARD:

All right.

DIANA:

And you'd better take your scarf; it - it feels chilly. (BEAT) Richard?

RICHARD:

Hmmm?

DIANA:

(NERVOUS) I said I won't mention it again, but, there's one thing more I have to tell you that-- The face of that thing in my dream. It was -- your face.

RICHARD:

(EXASPERATED) Diana, in the name of heaven--!

DIANA:

(QUICKLY) I won't talk of it any more I promise you, darling; I didn't mean to upset you just before you went to the theater! Just - just kiss me, dear; I'll be all right! I'll be all right.

RICHARD:

(WARMLY) Diana-- (THEY KISS)

DIANA:

Good night, dear.

SFX:

DOOR OPENS

DIANA:

I'll be waiting - when you get back.

SFX:

DOOR CLOSES

MFX:

BRIEF BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG

DIANA:

(NARRATES) It was just midnight, two nights later. I was waiting for Richard to come home from the theater. I was going through his desk, looking for a postage stamp -- when I found something that turned my blood to ice.

It was a newspaper clipping, dated ten years ago. A picture of a man, and, under it, the caption -- (READS) "Prominent real estate operator Richard Barker found dead of a sudden stroke."

I looked at the picture again. There could be no doubt of it. It was Richard. I read further. (READS) "The deceased will be buried at Greenlawn Cemetery after services in the Westren Funeral Chapel."

MFX:

STING ... OUT ABRUPTLY WITH--

SFX:

DOOR OPENS

RICHARD:

(CHEERFUL) Good evening, Diana!

SFX:

DOOR SHUTS

DIANA:

(STARTLED GASP) Richard!

RICHARD:

Why, what's the matter? You seem startled.

DIANA:

I - I didn't hear you come in.

RICHARD: Have you been brooding again?

DIANA:

No, Richard. Of course not.

RICHARD:

Well, how do you feel tonight?

DIANA:

Not - not very well.

RICHARD:

Weak?

DIANA:

Weak. Sleepy. Ill.

RICHARD:

Well, no wonder, you've hardly been eating a thing. And I know that you never catch a wink of sleep.

DIANA: I told you, I can't sleep in the daytime as you do. (INHALES, REALIZES, MONOTONE) As you do--

RICHARD:

Why are you staring at me like that?

DIANA:

Why? Why do you sleep in the daytime?

RICHARD:

Well, I've been doing it for years.

DIANA:

Years?

RICHARD:

What's so terrible about that? Most theatrical people do. We live and work at night.

DIANA:

(WORRIED) Yes. Yes, I know.

RICHARD:

Really, Diana-- What is the matter with you?

DIANA: Nothing. Do you - do you think I'm losing my mind?

RICHARD:

Well, I don't know what to think.

DIANA:

Why are you pretending?

RICHARD:

Pretending what?

DIANA:

That you're something other than what you are. Because I know what you are, Richard!

RICHARD:

Really?

DIANA:

I found out! This clipping I found in your desk. It - it tells how you died!

RICHARD:

That clipping? (LAUGHS) Oh, that! (LAUGHS)

DIANA:

Why are you laughing?

RICHARD:

Well, you see, it's a joke. A gag. One of my pictures was sent to the papers -- publicity for a new play, you know? -- and a drunken typesetter put it in the obituary column. It's quite an amusing story.

DIANA:

I don't believe you. You're lying.

RICHARD: Listen. You can't go on like this!

DIANA:

No, don't - don't touch me!

RICHARD: You're not well, darling.

DIANA:

Take your hands away from me!

RICHARD: But I just want to kiss you.

DIANA:

No. No, don't - don't - don't - don't touch me!

RICHARD: Diana! Where are you going?

DIANA:

Out of here!

RICHARD:

(OFF) Diana?! Come back!

DIANA:

I'll come back -- when I've proved something to myself!

MFX:

BRIDGE

SFX:

WIND HOWLS, NIGHT BIRDS HOOT, CONTINUES IN BG ... THEN LOUD KNOCKING ON DOOR

DIANA:

(CALLS) Is there anyone there?!

SFX:

KNOCKS AGAIN ... DOOR OPENS

CARETAKER:

What do you want, ma'am?

DIANA:

I'm sorry to wake you up. Uh, are you the caretaker here at Greenlawn?

CARETAKER:

For many years, ma'am.

DIANA: I, er-- I want to see the grave of Richard Barker.

CARETAKER:

Who are you?

DIANA:

Diana Barker. His wife.

CARETAKER: But it's one in the morning, Mrs. Barker.

DIANA:

I know what time it is. I - I want to see the grave.

CARETAKER: No one comes at a time like this.

DIANA:

Please, will you tell me--? Perhaps this will help.

CARETAKER:

(BEAT) Ten dollars?

DIANA:

For disturbing you.

CARETAKER:

(GIVES IN) All right. You take the path in back of my house. Turn to the right. Have you a flashlight?

DIANA:

I brought one from the car.

CARETAKER:

It's only a short way, but it isn't a grave, ma'am. It's, er, sort of a tomb.

DIANA:

Thank you. I'll find it.

CARETAKER: You - you want me to come with ya?

DIANA:

No, I've troubled you enough. Good night.

CARETAKER:

Good night.

SFX:

DOOR CLOSES

MFX:

FOR A TRIP TO A TOMB ... IN BG

SFX:

WIND HOWLS, DIANA'S FOOTSTEPS TRUDGE THROUGH CEMETERY ... CONTINUES IN BG ... OWL HOOTS BEHIND--

DIANA:

(NARRATES) Somewhere, an owl was howling. As though warning me not to go on with this insane adventure. But I knew I had to continue. I had to be certain.

I followed his directions along the path of the cemetery. The moon poked yellow fingers through scudding clouds, as though showing me the way. I was frightened. Terrified.

I had nothing to fear from the dead!

I kept telling myself that to keep up my courage.

The dead. Perhaps they were right. There was nothing to fear from them.

But - the - undead --?

SFX:

DIANA'S FOOTSTEPS OUT WITH--

MFX:

STING ... THEN IN BG

DIANA:

(NARRATES) It was - a tomb. The inscription was clear. (READS) "Here lies Richard Barker, born May seventh, Eighteen Ninety; died September fourth, Nineteen Thirty-Five."

MFX: STING ... THEN IN BG

DIANA:

(NARRATES) There was a lock on the door. It was old and rusty. I'd come this far. I made up my mind. I picked up a stone--

SFX:

ROCK SMACKS LOUDLY AGAINST METAL LOCK SEVERAL TIMES ... SMASHED LOCK FALLS OFF DOOR

DIANA:

(NARRATES) --smashed the lock.

SFX:

METAL DOOR OF TOMB OPENS CREAKILY

DIANA:

(NARRATES) I opened the door.

Blackness -- inky blackness -- such as one imagines one would see at the end of the world.

Turned on the flashlight I took from the car.

Coffin was lying in the center of the tomb on an altar.

I felt my heart beating wildly, like a throbbing drum inside me.

With a trembling hand, I opened the coffin.

SFX: COFFIN LID CREAKS OPEN

DIANA:

(NARRATES) I looked down on a ghastly white satin lining.

That was all there was in the coffin.

There was nothing else.

It was empty!

I looked up.

There was a face, staring at me in the shadows of the tomb.

It was Richard!

MFX:

STING

RICHARD:

(SLOW, DIABOLICAL PLEASURE) Diana! I knew you'd come here!

MFX:

UP FOR A FINISH ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

HOST:

(EVIL CHUCKLE) Well, friends, that just goes to show that an empty coffin makes the most noise. (EVIL CHUCKLE) You know, this is the kind of nice, domestic story I like -- the intimate family chronicle of a vampire. [X]

MARY:

My goodness, is that what you call intimate family life?

HOST:

Why, of course, Mary. It looks like our love birds will even share the same coffin.

MARY:

(CHUCKLES) I'm afraid you're drawing a strange picture of family life, Mr. Host.

Now, I always picture the family gathered around the dinner table. Everybody's laughing and happy. The bright lights push back the shadows of evening outside and shine on the tea cups -- where Lipton Tea is waiting to add to the family's mealtime pleasure. Lipton's brisk flavor will make that good meal taste even better. Everyone around the table, from Junior to Grandfather, will enjoy its tempting fragrance, it's deep amber color, and that brisk flavor that makes Lipton's different from other teas. They'll all like its full-bodied, hearty goodness and the zestful tang of Lipton's flavor. So serve Lipton Tea for dinner at your house, folks, and round out the family picture with real enjoyment.

HOST:

Right, Mary. And now, let's go back to our horrors.

MFX:

SNEAKS IN ... CONTINUES IN BG

HOST:

Let me see. What dire predicament are we in tonight? Oh, yes. Diana has just discovered that her husband was wandering around his tomb. What would you do in a situation like that? Here's what Diana did. Listen.

MFX:

STING ... THEN IN BG

DIANA:

(NARRATES) I ran -- blindly stumbling, tearing my clothes. Somehow I managed to reach the car, start the motor.

SFX:

CAR MOTOR STARTS ... THEN DRIVES OFF UNDER FOLLOWING--

DIANA:

(NARRATES) In the car, I knew it wasn't all some dream. People didn't come back from the dead. Did they? Could they? I drove to the city. I wanted to see the lights, people; hear music! I wanted to be sure this was the world I'd always known!

MFX:

UP, FOR A BRIDGE ... THEN CHANGES TO CHEAP COCKTAIL LOUNGE PIANO ... MELANCHOLY ... CONTINUES IN BG

DIANA:

(NARRATES, SLOW, DAZED) I tried to think; I - I tried to reason. I - I tried to understand what had happened to me. Because I knew something was happening to me. Something that I dreaded. I was becoming like-- Like them. Like Richard. I felt a strange craving. Desires that I didn't dare think of--

VAMPIRE:

(SOLICITOUS) Excuse me, Mrs. Barker.

DIANA:

(MILD SURPRISE) Oh--

VAMPIRE:

May I sit with you?

DIANA:

I - I don't believe I know you.

VAMPIRE: Perhaps not. Does it make any difference?

DIANA:

No. No, it doesn't. Please, sit down.

VAMPIRE:

Thank you.

DIANA: I'm glad you came over. I'm - I'm glad to be able to talk to anyone tonight.

VAMPIRE:

I've been watching you for the last ten minutes.

DIANA: Have you?

VAMPIRE:

You - look very strange tonight.

DIANA:

How do you know me?

VAMPIRE:

We all know each other.

DIANA:

"We"?

VAMPIRE:

Yes. You realize you'll be dead soon?

DIANA:

Dead?

VAMPIRE:

At least, what they call "dead."

DIANA:

You - you know what's happened?

VAMPIRE:

Oh, yes, of course. I've seen it happening for weeks. Your face became paler and paler. It will not be long now. You will become one of us.

DIANA:

I don't want to.

VAMPIRE:

It's not in your hands.

DIANA:

It - it isn't true. It - it can't be true!

VAMPIRE:

It's quite true. Many of us have gone on for hundreds of years. Those who sustain it become like us.

DIANA: And I--?!

VAMPIRE:

There is no escape.

DIANA: No. I don't believe it.

VAMPIRE:

Don't you feel it? Blood! That strange desire--?

DIANA:

(REALIZES) Yes!

VAMPIRE:

(GENTLE CHUCKLE) There, you see?

DIANA:

I don't want to!

VAMPIRE:

I once tried to fight it, too. It's no use.

DIANA:

I'm going away! Far away -- where he can't reach me! I'm going now -- where no one can reach me! I--!

SFX:

DIANA STUMBLES INTO CHAIR OR TABLE AND CRASHES TO FLOOR UNCONSCIOUS

MFX:

PIANO OUT

VAMPIRE:

(BEAT, CALLS) Waiter? Waiter?! Will you help me here? There's been an accident.

MFX:

ORGAN ... BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

CLAUDIA:

(REASSURING) Everything's going to be all right, Diana. Just lie here and rest quietly. You're in your own home.

DIANA:

(NARRATES) I opened my eyes and saw Claudia, my older sister. [X] Never was so glad to see anyone in all my life. Claudia had always helped me, always advised me. She'd know what to do.

CLAUDIA: You want something to eat?

DIANA:

No, I - I'm not hungry.

CLAUDIA: But the doctor said you'd have to eat.

DIANA: How did I get here?

CLAUDIA:

You collapsed in a cocktail lounge. They brought you home.

DIANA: When?

CLAUDIA:

Last night.

DIANA:

(BEAT) It's dark out.

CLAUDIA:

You've been sleeping almost twenty-four hours.

DIANA:

Where's Richard?

CLAUDIA:

At the theater. Poor boy; he was so worried about you.

DIANA: Was he?

CLAUDIA:

Well, he sent for me. I've been with you since last night. Diana, what happened?

DIANA:

It's - it's terribly difficult to explain. I - I sometimes think I'm losing my mind. I - I'd be sure that's what it is if I hadn't found out differently.

CLAUDIA: Well, tell me about it.

DIANA:

I - I found out Richard is dead. He's been dead for ten years.

CLAUDIA:

Wha--? What are you talking about?

DIANA: (INCREASINGLY HYSTERICAL) It's true, Claudia. I went to Greenlawn. I saw his tomb. I opened it and the coffin was empty!

CLAUDIA:

(SHOCKED) Diana!

DIANA: I know what you're thinking, but I'm not insane! He never sleeps at night; now I feel this strange craving--! Claudia, don't stare like that!

CLAUDIA:

Do you know what you're saying?!

DIANA:

Yes! I know it sounds wild -- fantastic -- but I-- I haven't told this to anyone, but it's true! There are things in this world you only think are primitive superstitions, but--! Claudia, you must believe me!

CLAUDIA:

(HUMORS HER) Yes. Yes, of course, I believe you, dear.

DIANA:

We must destroy Richard. I read about those things. We must destroy him by driving a wooden stake through his heart! That's the only way I can escape from him! That's the only way I can become a human being again!

CLAUDIA:

Diana--

DIANA:

You'll - you'll help me, Claudia?

CLAUDIA: Of course, dear. Haven't I always helped you?

DIANA:

Where are you going?

CLAUDIA: (OFF) Just to fix you something to eat.

DIANA:

No! No, you're going to leave me, leave me here alone with him! I won't let you do that, Claudia.

CLAUDIA: (OFF) That - that gun. Where did you get that gun?

DIANA: We've always had one here. Ever since I first told Richard I was afraid of this place. You're not gonna leave me alone now, Claudia! I'm not gonna let you!

CLAUDIA:

(OFF) Of course not.

DIANA:

Get away from that door.

CLAUDIA:

(OFF) If that's what you want--

DIANA:

Claudia come back!

CLAUDIA:

(OFF) No!

SFX:

CLAUDIA OPENS DOOR

CLAUDIA:

(OFF) No! You're insane! (SCREAMS)

SFX:

DIANA FIRES GUN -- ONE SHOT ... DOOR SLAMS SHUT

MFX:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG

DIANA:

(NARRATES) She was gone.

Insane! She was so sure I was insane, she didn't even give me a chance to explain.

I was alone in the house. I felt terribly weak; I wanted to sleep. I wanted to sleep forever and ever. But I knew if I laid down and closed my eyes, I might never open them again. Never open them and see the world as you -- or I -- used to. I'd - I'd be something else.

I looked at the clock. Almost midnight. Richard would be coming back any minute. I ran to the door; locked it from the inside with the safety bolt. [X]

SFX:

SAFETY BOLT LOCKED ... WINDS HOWL

DIANA:

(NARRATES) What to do? What to do? (AN IDEA) Police! I ran to the telephone.

SFX:

PHONE RECEIVER UP ... ROTARY DIAL

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) Operator.

DIANA:

Hello, operator, get me the police, and hurry, please!

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) One moment, please.

DIANA:

Hurry, will you?! This is a matter of life and death. (NO RESPONSE) Hello? Are you ringing them?

SFX:

LINE CONNECTS

SERGEANT:

(FILTER) Police department. Sergeant Kilwee talking.

DIANA:

Hello, police? You've got to help me.

SERGEANT: (FILTER) Yes, what is it, lady?

DIANA:

My husband -- he's going to do something to me tonight. He's going to make me what he is!

SERGEANT:

(FILTER) Er, what's that, lady?

DIANA:

He's been dead for ten years; I saw his empty coffin. That's proof, isn't it? That's evidence. You always want evidence, and there it is! Now do you understand?!

SERGEANT:

(FILTER) Well, I'm not sure I do, lady. What's your name?

DIANA:

Diana Barker!

SERGEANT: (FILTER) Well, all right, all right, all right now. Calm down. Tell me where you live.

DIANA:

I live-- Oh, you think I'm insane, too, don't you?

SERGEANT: (FILTER) I didn't say that.

DIANA: You think I'm crazy just as Claudia does!

SERGEANT: (FILTER) If you'll just give the address, lady--

DIANA:

Oh, what's the use?!

SERGEANT:

(FILTER) Please, lady!

SFX:

RECEIVER DOWN HARD

MFX:

STING ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

DIANA:

(DISTRAUGHT, TO HERSELF) No one believes me. I know I'm not insane! I know it and yet--

SFX: KEY RATTLES IN DOOR LOCK

DIANA:

(STARTLED GASP, TO HERSELF) What's that? His key - in the lock. He can't open it. It's bolted from the inside.

SFX: LOCKED DOOR RATTLES

DIANA:

(TO HERSELF) He's trying to get in. He can't! Not with that bolt.

SFX:

DOORBELL BUZZES ... CONTINUES IN BG

DIANA:

(TO HERSELF) I won't open it. I won't. I'll just pretend I don't hear it. I'll cover my ears with my hands and I won't hear it. [X] He can't get in here! If I can keep him out until daylight, I'll be safe! Safe! (SOBS, IN BG)

SFX:

DOORBELL BUZZES, THEN STOPS ... HOWLING WIND FILLS PAUSE, THEN IN BG

DIANA:

(NARRATES, HYSTERICAL) Suddenly, the doorbell stopped. I knew he hadn't gone away. I could feel him near me. But he couldn't get in! No, he couldn't get into the penthouse. There was no way to get in unless he came through the terrace -- and there was no way to get on the terrace unless he could fly! (BEAT, REALIZES) Fly?

SFX:

HOWLING WIND UP, FOR PUNCTUATION

DIANA:

(NARRATES) The wind was screaming. When I turned to look at the French doors leading to the terrace-- It was impossible! He couldn't--! And yet--

SFX:

DOORS BURST OPEN ... HOWLING WIND GROWS LOUDER ... CONTINUES IN BG

DIANA:

(NARRATES) Suddenly, the doors burst open! The wind blew through the house like a cyclone! There, framed in the double doors -- stood Richard!

RICHARD:

(GRIM, OFF) Why didn't you let me in?!

DIANA:

How - how did you get out on the terrace?

RICHARD:

(APPROACHES) Never mind! What are you doing with that gun?

DIANA:

Don't come near me, Richard.

RICHARD: (WARNING) Diana--!

DIANA:

Go away! Go away and leave me alone!

RICHARD:

Give me that gun.

DIANA:

No!

RICHARD: I'm warning you, Diana. You'd better give it to me.

DIANA:

If you take another step toward me, I'll fire!

RICHARD:

Diana--

SFX:

TWO GUNSHOTS

RICHARD:

(BEAT) You see?

DIANA:

The bullets--? They didn't harm you!

RICHARD:

Nooooo.

DIANA:

But I didn't miss!

RICHARD:

Nooooo--

SFX: MORE SHOTS ... THEN EMPTY GUN CLICKS

DIANA:

It's empty!

SFX:

HOWLING WIND SUBSIDES A LITTLE BEHIND--

RICHARD:

(CALMLY) You see? It didn't do any good.

DIANA: What are you going to do?

RICHARD:

I'm going to put an end to this once and for all, Diana.

DIANA: An end?

RICHARD:

And I've prepared for this. I have a knife, you see?

DIANA:

Richard!

RICHARD:

Don't be afraid, Diana. You won't quite die--

DIANA:

No, no! Don't!

RICHARD:

Come here, Diana.

DIANA: No, Richard, no! No!

RICHARD:

You're making too much trouble while you're alive.

DIANA:

(HYSTERICAL) Help! Help me, someone! Let go of me! Stop!

MFX:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG

DIANA:

(NARRATES, CALMLY) I saw the knife over my throat. I beat at his chest with the empty pistol. Then, just before everything became black, I saw three flashes of lightning--

SFX:

THREE GUNSHOTS

MFX:

BIG ACCENT ... THEN FADES OUT BEHIND--

INSPECTOR:

Go on, Mrs. Barker.

DIANA:

When I woke up in the hospital, Inspector, I couldn't believe that I was still alive. It - it seemed like a miracle.

INSPECTOR: You would've been dead -- if it wasn't for your sister.

DIANA: Claudia.

INSPECTOR:

She came back with one of our men. He shot and killed your husband just as he was about to plunge the dagger into you.

DIANA:

But how did he get in?

INSPECTOR:

He came over the adjoining terrace, from the penthouse next door, just as your husband did. (BEAT) No, Mrs. Barker, your husband didn't fly.

DIANA: But the other things -- the picture, the tomb, the empty coffin?

INSPECTOR:

All props -- for an elaborate scheme your husband worked out to murder you. Richard Barker is not an uncommon name. He found a man with that name who had died ten years ago. He removed the body. He got the whole idea from the dream you told him.

DIANA: But why?

INSPECTOR:

To establish that you were insane. He planned to murder you, and claim he did it in self defense to protect himself against an insane woman.

DIANA:

But the gun--?

INSPECTOR:

Filled with blanks. He wanted to get your money, Mrs. Barker.

DIANA: But the way I felt--? Those strange cravings--?

INSPECTOR:

You're suffering from anemia; your doctor told us that. It's not uncommon for anemia sufferers to feel the way you did.

DIANA:

I still can't believe it. I - I still feel that he isn't quite dead.

INSPECTOR:

I'll relieve that fear right now. His body's in the other room. I think you should see it. Come this way, Mrs. Barker.

SFX:

DOOR OPENS

INSPECTOR:

There. Raise the lid of the coffin, Charlie.

SERGEANT:

Yes, Inspector.

SFX:

CREAKY COFFIN LID OPENS

DIANA:

(STARTLED GASP)

INSPECTOR:

What's the matter?

DIANA:

(SCARED) He - he looks so lifelike. His lips are so red; he - he looks as though he could move; get up at any minute.

INSPECTOR:

Nonsense. I assure you, he's quite dead, Mrs. Barker. And I can further assure you that the police department has never encountered one authentic vampire in its history.

DIANA: (SHAKEN) You're - you're very reassuring, Inspector. I think I'd better leave now. (MOVING OFF) Don't bother to see me to the door. Goodbye.

INSPECTOR:

All right, Charlie. Cover him up and have him buried.

SERGEANT:

Okay, Inspector. I-- (STARTLED EXCLAMATION)

INSPECTOR:

What is it, Charlie?

SERGEANT: Inspector! (STAMMERS) Maybe I'm nuts, but I could swear that I saw him move.

INSPECTOR:

Oh, nonsense! Close the lid.

SFX:

COFFIN LID SHUTS

INSPECTOR:

(SIGHS) It's getting dark, Charlie. Sun sure goes down quick these winter days. I'm goin' home. Goodnight, Charlie.

MFX:

TO AN UNCERTAIN FINISH ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

HOST:

Well, friends, do you think Richard is really dead? Ah, that's something for you to sleep on when you go to bed tonight. (CHUCKLES) Oh, and, by the way, we have a moral for tonight's story. Yes, it's taken from the diary of Miss Delirium Tremens who once said, "Never marry a vampire. He may turn out to be five hundred years old -- without a Social Security number to his name." Now, how can a girl have any fun going around with a guy like that? [X]

MARY:

Well, Mr. Host, I don't think that's a serious problem. I'm positive that no girl will ever meet a vampire, much less marry one.

HOST:

Ah, but you can't be sure, Mary. The safest thing is to drive a wooden stake through your husband's heart. Yes, if he dies, then he must be a vampire.

MARY:

(LAUGHS) Oh, such foolishness.

HOST:

(CHUCKLES)

MARY:

Let's forget all this talk about vampires because I want to tell the folks about something wonderful that's going to happen next week. Next Tuesday's Christmas, you know, so instead of our usual mystery thriller, INNER SANCTUM will bring you a tender and beautiful Christmas play called "The Littlest Angel." And our star will be that great and beloved actress, Helen Hayes.

There's a lovely musical score, specially written for "The Littlest Angel." And the play is one your whole family will enjoy, especially the youngsters. Perfect entertainment for Christmas night. And, of course, you won't want to miss Miss Helen Hayes' performance.

So be sure to tune in to this station at the regular INNER SANCTUM time next week. I promise you, "The Littlest Angel" -- starring Helen Hayes, and brought to you by the makers of Lipton Tea and Lipton Soup -- will be the crowning pleasure of your Christmas day.

HOST:

That sounds great, Mary. You know, Christmas is really wonderful. There's something about it that gets even the most hardened characters.

Oh, by the way, this month's INNER SANCTUM mystery novel is "The Fearful Passage" by H. C. Branson.

And don't forget what Mary told you, friends. Next week, we'll bring you INNER SANCTUM's special Christmas program, directed by Himan Brown and starring Helen Hayes, America's First Lady of the Theater. There'll be no gore, no chills. Not even one little murder, believe it or not. The holiday spirit is getting even us. So be sure to join us next Tuesday.

Meanwhile, I'm going to do my Christmas shopping. Do you know where I can get a nice fur-lined coffin for a cold-blooded friend? (EVIL CHUCKLE)

Until next Tuesday, then. Good night. Pleasant ... dreams? Hmm? (EVIL CHUCKLE)

SFX:

THE SQUEAKING DOOR SLOWLY CREAKS SHUT

MARY:

Folks, these busy days, we all want to save time when we prepare meals and yet we don't want to sacrifice that good "homemade" taste. Well, that's just the time to serve Lipton's Noodle Soup. Lipton's has a real fresh-cooked "chicken-y" flavor. It tastes like the chicken noodle soup you'd make right in your own kitchen, and yet it takes almost no time at all to prepare. And Lipton's is economical, too. It costs less and makes lots more than canned soups. So don't forget to try Lipton's Noodle Soup Mix.

MFX:

STING ... THEN IN BG

MARY:

And remember to tune in next Tuesday night for INNER SANCTUM's special Christmas show with Helen Hayes.

MFX:

CONTINUES TILL END