Twilight Zone

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
There in a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space, and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition. And it lies between the pit of man’s fears, and the summit of his knowledge. It is an area which we call – The Twilight Zone.

Submitted: March 06, 2019

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Submitted: March 06, 2019

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(Camera fades from starry night into Chad’s Grill – zooms in on two people talking in the bar area).

 

ACT 1 – SCENE 1

 

JAMES: Do you come here often?

INGA: Yeah, I guess (looking away, not interested)

JAMES: What’s that you’re drinking?

INGA: Who wants to know?

Inga (last name unknown) was your typical hot 40-year-old German cunt, constantly on the prowl for 25-year-old males. And could land them – and she knew it.

 

JAMES: Oh… well… uh… Why don’t we get the preliminaries out of the way, name’s Jim (holding out his hand)

INGA: So, what do you want, a medal? (looking at him briefly. She then placed a five-dollar bill on the bar and left)

JAMES: Well, excuuuse ME. (As he watched her leave)

(Camera swings to front entrance as Inga exits. And there, next to hostess stand, stands Rod Sterling)

ROD: Portrait of a lonely man, one James Alexander. He couldn’t pick up a date if it fell off a tree. So continues his endless quest for acceptance. And he thought he’d finally found it at this stylish suburban bar and grill. It was, if you will, an oasis in life’s vast desert of depression. He was dressed to kill and ready for an evening of good times and good food. But what a surprise he was about to get. (Rod points at audience, cigarette in hand) Mr. James Alexander, thrill seeker, was about to receive a taste… of the Twilight Zone.

 

ACT 1 – SCENE 2

 

JAMES: That’s a lovely dress you’re wearing.

MELODY: Thanks (looking at him quickly, then back at her beer, which was almost empty.

JAMES: I’ll bet you’d like another one of those, wouldn’t you?

MELODY: Another one of what? Still looking forward. – Melody Tucker was a thirty-nine-year old Air Force master sergeant and thought she was FAR too good to talk to ANY civilian – especially James.

JAMES: Well… a beer.

MELODY: Maybe you could tell me something (looking back at him quickly)

JAMES: Certainly.

MELODY: Are there any lakes around here?

JAMES: Lakes?

MELODY: Yes.

JAMES: Well, I don’t exactly know. You see, I’m sort of new here. Perhaps in the mountains, but I…

MELODY: Then why don’t you go find one and jump in it?

JAMES: Yeah….. sure. (staring at her, almost not believing his ears) Sorry I bothered you.

MELODY: Don’t mention it, just go away.

JAMES: Right.

He then took his Coke and moved to the other end of the bar – camera swings to the far corner of the bar and slowly zooms onto the only occupied stool) Here sat Joel Powers. Joel had been a regular at Chads since 1989. He usually came in around ten and left before midnight. At forty years old, he had worked for the Denver National Archives since he was seventeen. James had spoken to Joel several times before and knew him to be a nice person.

 

JAMES: Hey, Joel. Do you mind? (pointing at the next stool)

JOEL: Not at all, have a seat.

JAMES: Thank God.

JOEL: For what?

JAMES: Yours is the first friendly voice I’ve heard this evening.

JOEL: One of those nights, huh?

JAMES: Yeah.

JOEL: Well, we all have them (he exhaled the last puff of his Pall Mall, dabbing it in the ash tray.

JAMES: Not like this one.

JOEL: That bad? (chuckling)

JAMES: Yeah, I mean, I never thought a fellow could be such a turn off to broads.

JOEL: I think that’s happened to me before.

JAMES: Well, I would never have guessed it. It seems that most every time I come in here you’re surrounded by women. I thought I’d get a better seat before it’s standing room only.

JOEL: I think you exaggerate. Besides, I grew up here.

JAMES: Perhaps, but you know, I think I defy the laws of mathematics.

JOEL: Oh, in what way?

JAMES: Well, I’m a flop with chicks.

JOEL: Been that way since 1956?

JAMES: Yeah! (they laughed)

JOEL: Well, nobody bats a thousand.

JAMES: I know, but nobody bats a zero either, except of course, yours truly.

JOEL: So, are you telling me you’re a virgin?

JAMES: No but I’m telling you that of the four women I’ve been with in my life, I wouldn’t introduce any of them to my mother, or even to you.

JOEL: Okay, I think I’m beginning to understand.

 

 

At this point, J.R. the manager of Chads, emerges from the kitchen with the usual business-like, stern look on his face. He then walked around the restaurant, having brief chats with the employees and getting ready for a night of big profits. – Then returned to where Joel sat.

 

J.R.: Hey Joel. How goes it?

JOEL: Not bad. What’s new and different?

J.R.: More of the same. It doesn’t change much around here.

JOEL: But it’s a steady paycheck.

J.R.: Yeah….. say, listen, the old lady’s here tonight.

JOEL: Who, Ms. Fortune?

J.R.: Yeah, old Ms. Good advice herself.

JOEL: I heard she has a real good track record. (staring at Ms. Fortune)

JAMES: Track record for what?

J.R.: You name it.

JAMES: Can you be a little more specific?

J.R.: Okay, it’s as simple as this – if you’ve got a problem, she can handle it.

JAMES: Meaning?

J.R.: Meaning… just that. Why don’t you give her a try?

JAMES: You mean just walk over there and strike up a conversation with some strange old woman? She’ll probably think I’m a…

J.R.: No she won’t. Just do it. I’ve seen the way girls react to you in here. There must be some reason they’re rejecting you, so go lay it on her.

JAMES: No shit? (after surveying the lady carefully, then looking back at J.R.) Okay, but maybe next time. I’m gonna split for the night. Later.

As Joel and J.R. wished him a good night, James settled his tab then vanished out the door and into the cold, lonely Colorado night.

 

ACT 2 – SCENE 1

 

James pulls up in front of room 9 of the Stonewall Motel in Lakewood. It had a magnificent view of the Denver skyline. He backed his rented Dodge Neon into his parking slot and turned on the radio to Denver’s best oldies station at 105.1 on the FM dial – “MILE HIGH HITS.” He had tuned in just in time to hear “She’s a Must to Avoid” by Herman’s Hermits. “A complete impossibility” the lyrics went. “Yeah, they’re all impossibilities” he thought. As he lit a cigar and gazed at the glowing Denver lights, he began to think of how nice it would be to have a girl sitting next to him, holding hands, enjoying the music. Sitting in his car was one of his nightly activities after going to Chads. He had his car heater turned up full-blast to combat fifteen-degree temperature, and after two hours of non-stop oldies, he finally went in his room and settled in for what was left of the night. He showered and poured himself a hefty glass of skim milk, and turned on the TV. “The Incredible Shrinking Man” was on. “At least I don’t have HIS problems,” he thought.

About halfway through the movie, he got up and grabbed a 7-11 brownie from the refrigerator. After completing it, he began to get sleepy and about the time the shrinking man was being attacked by the tarantula, he fell asleep. Three hours later, he woke, feeling the need to urinate. As he did so, he began to think about the next day’s activities, which would began with the Cottage Inn restaurant, which was immediately adjacent to the motel.

 

 

 

 

ACT 2 – SCENE 2

SATURDAY – 5 P.M.

 

After purchasing a newspaper, James enters the Cottage Inn. He took his favorite seat at the end of the counter, which also had a good view of the city. Then Charlene, the manager, approached him.

CHARLENE: What’ll it be today, iced tea or hot chocolate?

JAMES: Make it iced tea. (in spite of the 40-degree outside temperature) Thanks, he said as she placed the tea before him.

CHARLENE: Okay. How’ve you been?

JAMES: Well, things could be worse.

CHARLENE: Always.

As Charlene walked away, he began to read his newspaper. As he sipped his tea and read the sports section, he suddenly put down his paper and began to wonder why a fifty-six-year old man from Florida, never married, no prospects would be in Denver, Colorado chasing women. Perhaps it was because of what he called a “wasted youth.” But instinct would always prevail and Chad’s Grill was his choice of the many sports bar restaurants in town. Its atmosphere was most agreeable. It was also a place he could go and not be depressed, and this was important.

After a few minutes, his tea was running low as Charlene approached.

CHARLENE: Like some more?

JAMES: Sure, one more’ll do it.

CHARLENE: Do what?

JAMES: Insure my next trip to the restroom.

CHARLENE: Sorry I asked. (then laughed)

James read his paper long enough to drink half his second glass of iced tea, then got up. The camera swings and follows him to the cash register – where he paid his bill.

 

ACT 3 – SCENE 1

 

FADE IN – Chad’s on a busy Saturday night. Customers are drinking, dining and having a good time. Camera zooms to far corner of the bar area where Joel and J.R. are sitting and talking. Then James enters and sits at opposite corner.

J.R.: Well, there he is again

JOEL: Oh yeah, Jim. He usually comes for dinner. Doesn’t he?

J.R.: Yeah, every night. I wonder why?

JOEL: (as he lights a cigarette) You’ve got me. Maybe he likes the place. Go figure.

J.R.: But why every night?

JOEL: What the hell do you care, man. He’s a paying customer, isn’t he?

J.R.: Uh-huh.

JOEL: Does he cause trouble?

J.R.: Well, not exactly.

JOEL: Then why worry about it?

J.R.: I don’t know. He’s just different somehow.

JOEL: Is there a law against being different?

J.R.: No, no law.

John Roberts (J.R.) was your textbook “company man” type manager – that is to say, by the book, rule with an iron fist, save Chad a buck at all costs, think with my brain, not my heart – in other words, a God damn robot. And in his travels, James had always thought that the owner of an establishment, any establishment, was almost always a nice person. And that the general manager of said place was nearly always a five-start prick or bitch – depending.

At this point Debbie, the barmaid walked over and handed James a menu. Debbie was, in James’ opinion, as close to being a “10” as a woman could get. She was a five-foot blonde in great shape – thirty years old. She was also married to a man to whom, it was rumored, was an alcoholic asshole.

 

DEBBIE: Hi, Jim. Are you eating tonight?

JAMES: Yes, I thought I would – as he surveyed the menu.

DEBBIE: I’ll check back in a few.

JAMES: Right. – looking up at her, then marveling as she walked away.

At that moment, Ms. Fortune entered and took a seat at an adjacent table. James watched as she sat down, then continued to inspect the fare. Debbie then returned.

JAMES: (hesitating) Huh? Oh, yes. I’m sorry. You caught me daydreaming.

DEBBIE: Oh, yeah! Aren’t they neat?

JAMES: Well, sometimes. (They laughed) I think I’ll have the flatiron steak.

DEBBIE: And how would you like that cooked?

JAMES: …You know, I think I’ll live a little. Make it medium rare.

DEBBIE: Oooh, neat. That’s how I like mine!

JAMES: Oh, cool. Well, there’s one thing we have in common.

Debbie smiled at him briefly. She thought he was handsome. She then returned to the bar and programmed his order.

JAMES: … and bring me a cup of chili first, okay? And a Diet Coke!

DEBBIE: Gotcha – and punched it into the computer.

 

As he polished off the last bite of his steak, Debbie was again standing before him. She had been a long-time employee at Chad’s and was very professional at her work, in addition to being intelligent, with a face that would be enviable by most goddesses.

There was also something about her that was most unusual among female bartenders, and that was the fact that she never used profanity in front of customers.

DEBBIE: So, how was it?

JAMES: Delicious!

DEBBIE: How ‘bout a refill on the Coke?

JAMES: Okay. But throw a shot of rum in it this time.

DEBBIE: RUM! (Opening her mouth widely in surprise, covering it with both hands) You? The teetotaler?!

JAMES: Well, as I said. I’ll live a little.

DEBBIE: Comin’ up! (and strutted away)

At this point, an inebriated customer decided to take it upon himself to skip out without paying his tab. But he would not even make it to his pickup truck before one of the waitresses, a 5’10” ex volleyball player named Sara, caught up with him as he was pissing next to his vehicle. Sara promptly horse-collared the dude, a retired car salesman – one Jim Orley, and dragged him back inside.

James was about halfway through his drink when Amy Hartman came in the front door. As there were no vacant stools at the bar, she waited by the hostess stand as J.R. approached. They chatted briefly and then the couple next to James paid their tab and departed.

AMY: Oh, there’s some seats (pointing toward the bar) Later, J.R. nice seeing you.

J.R.: Same here. Enjoy.

Debbie saw Amy coming and cleared the space on the bar next to James first, in an attempt to make her sit there. It worked. Amy was a twenty-six-year old of average height with long, brown locks. She worked in a local laboratory that specialized in the study of infectious diseases. She was an avid supporter of “safe sex” and was not afraid to voice her opinion on the subject. But few that knew her believed she practiced what she preached. As she sat down, she gave James a brief glance. So brief in fact, that he didn’t have time to react. The next three minutes were free of conversation, then…

JAMES: You really need to try one of these.

AMY: One of what?

JAMES: Bacardi and Coke.

AMY: (turning her head slowly, looking at James) Do you really think I’ve never had a Rum and Coke before?

JAMES: Oh shit, here we go again – he mumbled.

AMY: Excuse me?

JAMES: Oh, nothing, just talking to myself.

AMY: Well, that must be intelligent conversation.

JAMES: You’d think I’d get tired of spending my whole life with my foot in my mouth – he thought, but said – I’m sorry. I won’t bother you again.

AMY: Thank you.

At this point, Phil Toland made his usual Saturday night appearance. He walked in and stood next to Amy. He almost never used a bar stool, as if picturing himself in an old west saloon. And he always wore one of his many Stetson has. But at 5’8” in height, he wasn’t exactly Matt Dillon. And Phil owned and operated a moving and storage company in west Denver. He also had a horse ranch in Deer Trail, about an hour east of town. Amy and Phil were long-time Chad’s customers and they began to chat. James listened as they talked and was amazed at how relaxed Phil seemed to be as he rattled off to Amy, never missing a beat. “Just don’t recommend a Rum and Coke” James thought.

Ms. Fortune then signaled Debbie to give James the beverage of his choice.

DEBBIE: Your next one’s on Ms. Fortune (pointing at the old woman)

JAMES: Thank you, ma’am! (waving to the lady) Just make it a Diet Coke. I don’t need a DUI, he told Debbie. (Ms. Fortune smiled weakly)

DEBBIE: Righto!

JAMES: Thank you, again.

MS. FORTUNE: Certainly. Why don’t you join me?

JAMES: Well… sure (moving to her table) I believe you’re the lady Joel and J.R. spoke so highly of.

MS. FORTUNE: Oh really? That’s so nice to hear. They’re good fellows.

JAMES: Yes, I agree.

They sipped their beverages for the next few moments, then the conversation resumed.

MS. FORTUNE: So, I understand your so called batting average with the opposite gender is somewhat lackluster.

JAMES: What?!... (looking at her in disbelief) Have you been talking…?

MS. FORTUNE: I haven’t been talking to anybody.

JAMES: Then, how…?

MS. FORTUNE: Never-mind that, How would you like your luck in that department to do a 180 degree turnabout?

JAMES: And just how do I do THAT?

At that moment, the white-haired Ms. Fortune looked toward the bar where Phil Toland was still talking to Amy Hart.

MS. FORTUNE: First of all, how did it feel to let that sawed-off cowboy take away that hot prospect?

JAMES: Who said anything about “let?”

MS. FORTUNE: It doesn’t matter, James, because I can alleviate your problems in the social world.

JAMES: You what? Who ARE you?

J.R. had now spotted the two conversing at the small table, then walked by and greeted them.

JAMES: So, what’s your connection with J.R.?

MS. FORTUNE: No connection, as you put it. We’re merely casual acquaintances.

JAMES: Casual acquaintances?

MS. FORTUNE: That’s right.

JAMES: Well, you were right about my problems in the social world, as YOU put it, and they certainly could use some alleviating, but…

Then James was distracted by a man’s voice behind him that sounded familiar. He turned to take a look, but he was mistaken. He then turned back around to continue what he was saying to Ms. Fortune.

JAMES: But as I was telling you, I…

Ms. Fortune had vanished, and before him, in the same chair she had occupied two seconds earlier, sat the most fantastic looking brunette he had ever seen. Now, totally speechless, he couldn’t help but stare. She was about thirty-five with long, jet-black hair which was draped over her cheeks, and bangs down to her eyebrows. And she had a body that would put the Playmate of the Year to shame. James continued to stare into her large, green eyes.

JAMES: Where did YOU come from?

GIRL: Oh, I’m sorry. This was the first vacant seat I saw, so I took it.

JAMES: No reason to apologize. Wasn’t there an older woman with white hair sitting there when you came in?

GIRL: An older woman?

JAMES: Yes.

GIRL: No, there was no one. You were quite alone.

James could only continue to stare.

JAMES: Well, would you like something?

GIRL: Sure, a Bloody Mary.

James flagged down a passing cocktail waitress who took the order and returned with it shortly thereafter. She drank it quickly… then,

GIRL: What’s wrong, James?

JAMES: I don’t think I know what’s going on here.

GIRL: We’re going on. (with a tantalizing stare)

JAMES: We’re g… Hey, how did you know my name?

GIRL: I’ve always known your name.

JAMES: Define “always”

GIRL: Always.

JAMES: Meaning WHAT? (in a slightly impatient tone)

GIRL: Meaning you need to be happy, and I’m here to make sure it happens.

JAMES: And just how do you propose to do that? (still not believing any of this)

GIRL: Why don’t we go outside where we can talk more privately?

JAMES: It’s a little chilly for that. Isn’t it?

GIRL: You have a heater in your car, don’t you?

JAMES: Yes, my car has a heater. (now deciding not to fight it any longer) Wouldn’t it help if I knew your name first?

GIRL: There’s plenty of time for that. Shall we? – picking up her purse, then standing. (She was six-foot one in her high heels and James was barely that wearing his boots).

JAMES: What the hell. (he thought as he got up and walked to the bar to settle his tab.

DEBBIE: Who’s your friend?

JAMES: I don’t know yet.

DEBBIE: Okay, if you say so.

JAMES: I’ll explain it to you later, hon.

DEBBIE: Cool. Maybe see you next week, huh?

JAMES: You got it.

 

ACT 3 – SCENE 2

 

JAMES: Where’s your car?

GIRL: I don’t have one.

JAMES: Then, how did you get here?

GIRL: I didn’t.

JAMES: I beg your p… Oh, never-mind. I’m parked over there. (His Dodge was at the other end of the row of cars near the main drag. They walked around to the passenger side).

JAMES: Climb in. (As he unlocked the door and opened it, she seated herself. As James was walking around to the driver side, she removed her high heels). I’ll have this baby warmed up in a jiffy. (As he got in and shut the door).

GIRL: It’s no problem. I don’t even feel the cold.

JAMES: My God, how do you stand it. You must have grown up in a cold climate.

GIRL: Well, not exactly. (She then removed James’ Denver Broncos cap and began to stroke his hair).

JAMES: You don’t believe in wasting time, do you? (giving her a puzzled look.

GIRL: But I could. I’ve got loads of it.

In spite of her beauty, there was something unsettling about her, he thought, as they gazed into each other’s eyes. Then, they kissed. Her mouth was very warm, and her tongue extremely long. After a two minute liplock, they came up for air.

GIRL: Did you like that?

JAMES: Not too shabby. (He was now stroking her hair back, away from her cheek. He nearly went into shock when he saw that her right ear was missing). What the…? (He then looked at the other side of her head – same story. He was about to say something, but it was too late as her pupils disappeared. He gasped as he grabbed the door handle. But he couldn’t take his eyes off of her and continued to stare, wide-eyed. Then the horns began to protrude out of the top of her head and through her hair. James screamed and piled out of the car. He was so terror stricken that he didn’t look before running out onto Union Boulevard. A city bus then struck him, throwing his more than sixty feet. The girl was now in her full native form. James was lucky he didn’t live to see it. Then, there in the front seat of the rented Dodge Neon, sat Ms. Fortune. She turned to look at the scene on Union Boulevard – and smiled.

 

The camera is now on the city bus, which was being surrounded by police cars and an ambulance. Rod Sterling stands near the back of the bus.

 

ROD: James Alexander, thrill seeker, and regrettably thrill finder. But he never realized that the price for being unique is extremely high – and he paid it…. In the twilight zone.

Camera swings up into the starry night.

 

TO THE READER: All characters in this “work” are real people –

EXCEPT MS. FORTUNE!!!


© Copyright 2019 Hown's Stories. All rights reserved.

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