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The Other Now

Tales of Tomorrow

The Other Now 

Jan 22 1953



CAST:

ANNOUNCER

OMENTOR, host


HAYNES, the lawyer

JANE

JIMMY

MRS. MOONEY, the cleaning woman

TONY, the bad driver

THATCHER, the detective




MUSIC: THEME ... FUTURISTIC ... THEN UNDER


ANNCR: Tales of Tomorrow. Tales beyond human imagination -- until they happen.


MUSIC: ACCENT AND UNDER


ANNCR: Tales of Tomorrow. Story Number Four. 


MUSIC: ACCENT AND UNDER


ANNCR: "The Other Now," by Murray Leinster.


MUSIC: CLIMAX AND OUT


OMENTOR: This is your host, Omentor, saying hello for ABC.


MUSIC: IN AND UNDER


OMENTOR: Look at your watch. Oh, but don't take it too seriously. If it's a few seconds after nine p. m., Eastern Standard Time, in California it's three hours earlier. In London, it's two o'clock tomorrow morning. And in Japan it's almost tomorrow afternoon. What time is it right now on the planet Saturn? A silly question? I wonder. The point is, Time is a clock with many faces. Your time is not necessarily anyone else's, and what we think of as the present is only relative. Let's prove that thesis with a remarkable tale from Galaxy, the science fiction magazine -- a most timely story, titled, "The Other Now."


MUSIC: ACCENT AND FADE UNDER


HAYNES: (NARRATES) My name is Hal Haynes. I was Jimmy Patterson's best friend -- which is why he dared tell me this story you are about to hear. I'm speaking into a recording machine; the tape to be played back only after my death -- for reasons that'll become obvious as you listen. 


MUSIC: UP FOR ACCENT ... THEN BEHIND HAYNES--


HAYNES: (NARRATES) First, you've got to understand that Jimmy and Jane Patterson loved each other like no two other people I ever met. That's important to the story. It all began about a year after their marriage. They'd been to a party at my apartment and started home about two in the morning.


SOUND: RUNNING AUTO ENGINE IN AND UNDER


JANE: Darling?


JIMMY: Hm?


JANE: (CHUCKLES) Nothing. (CHUCKLES)


JIMMY: Well, what's so funny?


JANE: You. The way you always stick out your jaw when you're behind the wheel. It's kinda cute.


JIMMY: (LIGHTLY) Now, I resent that. A man is attractive, handsome, virile, compelling -- but never cute. (CHUCKLE)


JANE: (REASSURING) Darling, you're all those things. And cute. (BEAT) Jimmy, that truck in front of us-- What's that long pole sticking out behind it?


JIMMY: Looks like a steel girder. Yeah, that's what it is. 


JANE: Oh.


JIMMY: See the red flag?


JANE: (INHALES, LIGHTLY) Pass that truck, please.


JIMMY: What's the matter, hon'?


JANE: I don't like driving behind that thing. It makes me nervous.


JIMMY: (AMUSED) All right. Here we go.


SOUND: AUTO ENGINE REVS UP ... NEXT DIALOGUE EXCHANGES ARE VERY FAST


JIMMY: (TENSE) Jane, brace yourself!


JANE: What?


JIMMY: The truck's stopping short; air brakes!


SOUND: TIRES SQUEAL ... THEN UNDER


JANE: Jimmy! We're skidding!


JIMMY: I know! I can't stop!


JANE: (SCREAMS)


SOUND: AUTO CRASHES INTO TRUCK


MUSIC: BIG ACCENT ... THEN OUT BEHIND--


HAYNES: (NARRATES) Jimmy phoned me from the hospital. When I got there, the doctors told me about Jane. Death had been mercifully swift. Jimmy was sitting on a bench in one of the corridors, his face buried in his hands.


SOUND: HOSPITAL CORRIDOR BACKGROUND ... HAYNES' STEPS APPROACH


HAYNES: Jimmy? (NO ANSWER) Jim, it's me.


JIMMY: (HOARSE, GRIEF-STRICKEN) Did they tell ya?


HAYNES: Yeah. What can I say?


JIMMY: (EXHALES, IN DESPAIR) Oh, Hal, she's gone. She's gone.


HAYNES: I know.


JIMMY: It happened so fast. A freak accident. Doesn't make sense.


HAYNES: I know. (BEAT) Listen, anything I can do?


JIMMY: (IGNORES HIM, DISTRAUGHT) One minute she was beside me alive, and the next minute-- Hal, why did it have to happen this way? Why couldn't it have been me?


MUSIC: IN AND UNDER


HAYNES: (NARRATES) The next three months were bad. At first, I feared Jimmy might do something desperate. But soon the torture of being alive while Jane was dead slacked up until, from an intolerable agony, it became a dull, ever-present ache. The worst moment was coming home from work to the empty apartment, so Jimmy arranged always to have the cleaning woman there. It was better than nothing. On the night the thing really began, Jimmy came home from work with the usual hopeless ache in his heart. Putting the key in the lock, he thought: if only Jane were there to meet him. If only by some miracle. But--


MUSIC: OUT


HAYNES: (NARRATES) --there were no miracles; he knew that. He unlocked the front door--


SOUND: FRONT DOOR UNLOCKS 


HAYNES: (NARRATES) Opened it--


SOUND: FRONT DOOR OPENS


HAYNES: (NARRATES) Began to walk in.


SOUND: JIMMY'S FOOTSTEPS


HAYNES: (NARRATES) And crashed against the door.


SOUND: JIMMY STUMBLES INTO FRONT DOOR


HAYNES: (NARRATES) It was closed. He'd just opened it, but it was closed. Jimmy's first impression was that his brain was playing tricks on him. Had he really opened that door? It seemed to him that he had. But in his confused state of mind, he couldn't be absolutely sure. He unlocked the door again.


SOUND: FRONT DOOR UNLOCKS 


HAYNES: (NARRATES) Or was it again? Opened it--


SOUND: FRONT DOOR OPENS


HAYNES: (NARRATES) And walked into the apartment.


SOUND: JIMMY'S STEPS IN ... FRONT DOOR CLOSES


HAYNES: (NARRATES) The cleaning woman, Mrs. Mooney, was in the living room.


SOUND: JIMMY'S STEPS IN 


JIMMY: Hello, Mrs. Mooney.


MOONEY: Oh, Mr. Patterson. How do you feel today, sir?


JIMMY: Fine, thanks.


MOONEY: You didn't sleep again last night, sir.


JIMMY: 'Course I did.


MOONEY: When I came in this afternoon, the bed was still made up, just as I'd left it yesterday.


JIMMY: I fell asleep in the armchair. Please stop checking on me, Mrs. Mooney.


MOONEY: I don't want you to think of it that way, Mr. Patterson. But you haven't been yourself since the missus-- Well, what I mean is, I'm worried about you.


JIMMY: There's nothing to worry about. (BEAT) Anyone phone while you've been here?


MOONEY: Mr. Haynes called.


JIMMY: What'd he want?


MOONEY: Said he hadn't heard from ya for a couple of days. Wants you to call him back, sir.


JIMMY: Thanks, I'll do that. Anything else?


MOONEY: Yes, I - I found this carton of cigarettes in the missus' desk.


JIMMY: (MILDLY SURPRISED) Those are Jane's.


MOONEY: Yes, sir.


JIMMY: Must have overlooked them when I cleaned out the desk.


MOONEY: What should I--?


JIMMY: (DISMISSIVE) Throw 'em out. (CHANGES MIND) No. No, just a second. Put them back in the desk.


MOONEY: All right, sir.


JIMMY: (TROUBLED) Before you do that, Mrs. Mooney, there's, uh, something I, uh, want to ask you. (BEAT) Did you hear me come in just now?


MOONEY: (SURPRISED) Yes, sir.


JIMMY: Well, did you notice if I opened the front door once -- or twice?


MOONEY: (PUZZLED) Why would you open the door twice, sir?


JIMMY: I don't know if I did; that's what I'm trying to find out. Did you hear the door open twice?


MOONEY: I really couldn't say, Mr. Patterson.


JIMMY: Well, think back. Try to remember.


MOONEY: (THOUGHTFUL) Well, you did open it twice, sir.


JIMMY: Are you sure?


MOONEY: I think so, but-- Maybe I just imagined it. (CHANGES SUBJECT) You don't look so good, Mr. Patterson. You ought to take a nap before dinner.


JIMMY: I'm all right.


MOONEY: No, you aren't. I think--


JIMMY: (FORCEFUL) Please, Mrs. Mooney, stop fussing over me! (BEAT, QUIETLY) Just - leave me alone.


MUSIC: IN AND UNDER


HAYNES: (NARRATES) Jimmy took sleeping pills that night. When he finally drifted off, he dreamed of doors that were open when they should have been shut, and shut when they should have been open. During work the next day, the peculiar incident of the night before was in the back of his mind. And when he came home that night, he opened the door carefully--


SOUND: FRONT DOOR OPENS


HAYNES: (NARRATES) --wondering if it would be repeated.


MUSIC: OUT


HAYNES: (NARRATES) It wasn't.


SOUND: FRONT DOOR CLOSES ... JIMMY'S STEPS IN


HAYNES: (NARRATES) He hung up his coat and sat down in the armchair. 


SOUND: JIMMY SITS


HAYNES: (NARRATES) Wearily, he filled his pipe and struck a match to it. (BEAT) As he dropped the stub of the match into the ashtray--


JIMMY: (SURPRISED, TO HIMSELF) What's this? Cigarette stubs. Jane's brand. Freshly smoked. (CALLS) Mrs. Mooney! (NO ANSWER, LOUDER) Mrs. Mooney!


SOUND: INNER DOOR OPENS ... MRS. MOONEY'S STEPS IN


MOONEY: You want me, sir?


JIMMY: (ANGRY) I certainly do. Mrs. Mooney, who gave you permission to smoke my wife's cigarettes?


MOONEY: (CONFUSED) What's that, sir?


JIMMY: What right have you to smoke my wife's cigarettes?!


MOONEY: But I - I didn't do anything of the sort, Mr. Patterson. I don't know what you're talking about.


JIMMY: Well, right here in this ashtray are half a dozen of her--! (BEAT, STUNNED) They're gone.


MOONEY: Gone?


JIMMY: Cigarette butts-- They were in this ashtray a minute ago. Now they've disappeared.


MOONEY: Couldn't have been nothing in that tray, sir. I emptied all the ashtrays when I came in.


JIMMY: But I saw them. (BEAT, TO HIMSELF) Or did I? (BEAT) What's the matter with me? I-- Or is it me?


MUSIC: IN AND UNDER


HAYNES: (NARRATES) Was he losing his grip? In a grim sort of way, the thought made Jimmy feel almost cheerful. During the day, work was a godsend. Sometimes he was able to thrust aside for hours the fact that Jane had gone. Now, in the same way, he grappled with the question of his sanity. When Mrs. Mooney left for the evening, he went to the desk where Jane had kept her household accounts. He set the whole thing down on paper, examined it methodically, checking all the facts. He was about to do so when he noticed Jane's diary on top of the desk. For a moment, his mind stopped; his brain reeled.


JIMMY: (TO HIMSELF) Jane's diary. What's it doing here? I - thought I'd locked it in the trunk. (BEAT) I know I put it in the trunk.


MUSIC: UP FOR A CHILLING ACCENT ... THEN UNDER


HAYNES: (NARRATES) He sat there, staring at the diary. It couldn't be on the desk. He'd locked it in the trunk, but there it was. With trembling fingers he thumbed through the pages until he reached the last entry.


JIMMY: (TO HIMSELF) September twenty-sixth? September twenty-sixth -- today's date! But that's impossible. How could this have been written today? Jane's dead. (BEAT, UNNERVED) And yet that's her handwriting.


MUSIC: UP FOR SHIVERY ACCENT ... THEN HAUNTING AND EERIE UNDER


HAYNES: (NARRATES) Feeling like a sleepwalker in a nightmare, he began to read the entry, and as he scanned the lines it was as though Jane's voice was in the room.


JANE: (FILTER) This morning I went to the cemetery. It's very bad. Three months since the accident. Time doesn't make it any easier to bear. Oh, Jimmy! Jimmy, I miss you so much.


JIMMY: (ASTONISHED) Jane?


JANE: (FILTER) Developing a personal hatred for chance. Chance, luck, whatever it is -- it's not an abstraction any more. It was chance that killed Jimmy. Could have been me instead, or neither of us. Standing over Jimmy's grave today, I realized that -- and it was almost more than I could stand.


MUSIC: UP FOR ACCENT ... THEN UNDER


JIMMY: (TO HIMSELF, WITH CERTAINTY) She's alive. She wrote this. She thinks I'm the one that's dead.


HAYNES: (NARRATES) Taking a pen, Jimmy began writing desperately under Jane's entry in the diary.


SOUND: SCRIBBLE! OF PEN ON PAPER ... THEN BEHIND--


JIMMY: (HALTINGLY, AS HE WRITES) Jane, where are you? I'm not dead. I thought you were. In Heaven's name, where are you?


HAYNES: (NARRATES) After that, Jimmy's mind went blank. When he came to his senses again, he was sitting at an empty desk -- no diary on it, and no pen between his fingers.


JIMMY: (TENSE, TO HIMSELF) Where is it? That diary -- where is it? (BEAT, DISHEARTENED) Aw, I must have dreamed it. Fallen asleep in the chair and dreamed it. (BEAT) No. No, it was here! I could swear it was here! I wrote an entry underneath Jane's. Or did I? Am I imagining things? I've got to find out. There must be some way to get to the bottom of this.


MUSIC: UP FOR AN ACCENT AND OUT


HAYNES: (NARRATES) The next morning, Jimmy bought a small camera with a flashbulb attachment. That night when he came home from the office, he had the camera ready. He unlocked the door--


SOUND: FRONT DOOR UNLOCKS 


HAYNES: (NARRATES) --and opened it.


SOUND: FRONT DOOR OPENS 


HAYNES: (NARRATES) Then before he walked in, he put out his hand; struck wood.


SOUND: SMACK! OF HAND AGAINST FRONT DOOR


HAYNES: (NARRATES) The door was still closed. He stepped back, quickly aimed the camera at the door, and snapped the shutter.


SOUND: SNAP! OF SHUTTER


HAYNES: (NARRATES) The glare of the flashbulb blinded him for a moment. But when he was able to see again, the door was open.


MOONEY: (OFF) That you, Mr. Patterson?


JIMMY: Yes, it's me.


SOUND: MRS. MOONEY'S STEPS IN


MOONEY: (APPROACHES) I thought I heard something.


JIMMY: (SHEEPISH) I, er-- I was just taking a picture.


MOONEY: A picture?


JIMMY: Look, Mrs. Mooney, are you finished with your work?


MOONEY: I thought I'd just get the laundry together and take it out with me.


JIMMY: (FIRMLY) Let that go until tomorrow. Good night, Mrs. Mooney.


MUSIC: IN AND BEHIND HAYNES--


HAYNES: (NARRATES) Jimmy waited impatiently until the cleaning woman was gone. Then he moved the film in the camera and put in a new flashbulb. Walking to the desk, he hardly dared to hope the diary would be there again, but there it was -- open -- with a ruler across the pages to keep it so. He saw yesterday's entry and his own message. And beyond that was more writing in Jane's hand.


JANE: (FILTER) Jimmy! Darling! When I opened the diary today, I found a message from you -- as though you were alive. I - know that can't be; it's all imaginary wish fulfillment and I'm crazy to answer you, but-- (INHALES) Please, darling -- if I am sane and you are alive somewhere, tell me where you are.


HAYNES: (NARRATES) With all his being, Jimmy wanted to write his reply, but he was afraid to spend the additional time. He aimed the camera at the diary and pressed the shutter button for the second time.


SOUND: SNAP! OF SHUTTER


JIMMY: (TO HIMSELF) The diary. It disappeared again. Where did it go to? Where did it come from in the first place? What's happening here? (BEAT, DECISIVE) Wherever that diary is, that's where Jane is. I've got to find her.


MUSIC: BIG ACCENT ... THEN BEHIND HAYNES--


HAYNES: (NARRATES) That's the story Jimmy told me. Now, I'm a lawyer, trained to take testimony. I mention the fact because I want it understood that I have not colored this story in any way. I've told it exactly as Jimmy told it to me -- flatly and baldly, without any attempt to make it sound reasonable. As Jimmy said--


JIMMY: Well, that's it, Hal. That's exactly how it all happened.


HAYNES: But, look here, it's impossible.


JIMMY: I don't blame you for feeling that way about it. I'd say the same thing -- if I didn't have evidence to the contrary.


HAYNES: Evidence? You mean those photographs?


JIMMY: That's right.


HAYNES: Let me have a look at them.


SOUND: PHOTO HANDED OVER BEHIND--


JIMMY: Sure. There's the first one -- the shot of the door. Looks like a double exposure, doesn't it?


HAYNES: (EXAMINES PHOTO) Hmm. You've got two doors here, nearly at right angles, both hung from the same door frame.


SOUND: PHOTO HANDED OVER BEHIND--


JIMMY: Here's the second shot. If you look close, you may be able to read Jane's handwriting on the page of the diary.


HAYNES: Yeah. (READS) "Jimmy darling, when I opened the diary today, I found a message from you -- as though you were alive."


JIMMY: Well, Hal? Do you still say it's impossible?


HAYNES: Yes.


JIMMY: But, Hal--


HAYNES: Jim, I'm your friend. You believe that, don't ya?


JIMMY: Sure I do, but you can't--


HAYNES: Now, there's a perfectly logical explanation for these incidents. Not a pleasant explanation, but the only one that makes any sense. Now, that door opening and closing, Jane's cigarettes in the ashtray-- You saw all that because you wanted to see it. You made it up; not consciously -- but out of your desperation. Now, you had to believe that somehow, somewhere Jane is still alive.


JIMMY: (SIMPLY) I do believe that, Hal.


HAYNES: But, man, can't you see you're kidding yourself?


JIMMY: If so, how do you explain the photograph of that door?


HAYNES: Trick photography. You covered half the film and exposed with the door closed. Then you exposed the other half of the film with the door open.


JIMMY: Maybe an expert photographer could do that, but I never even owned a camera until yesterday.


HAYNES: Look, you followed directions when you took those shots, didn't ya?


JIMMY: Yes.


HAYNES: Well, then you must have been following directions when you took that trick shot of the door.


JIMMY: Okay, okay. But how do you explain the second photograph -- the one with Jane's handwriting? Now, you were Jane's lawyer; you'd recognize her handwriting, wouldn't ya?


HAYNES: I suppose so.


JIMMY: Look at that photograph. (BEAT) Isn't that Jane's handwriting?


HAYNES: (EXHALES) Looks like hers, but it could be a forgery.


JIMMY: Forgery? But who would want to forge--?


HAYNES: You would, Jim.


JIMMY: (INCREDULOUS) I wou--?


HAYNES: That's right. Now, I had a client once; a girl. She accused a man of beating her up. She was absolutely sincere; she really believed it. But her own family admitted that she'd made the marks on herself. And the doctors agreed that she'd unconsciously blotted the memory of doing it out of her mind afterward.


JIMMY: (QUIETLY) You think I forged all this unconsciously?


HAYNES: But what other possibility is there?


JIMMY: Remember the accident, Hal? Now, we came up behind that truck. When we skidded into it, the girder could have hit me -- or Jane, or neither of us.


HAYNES: What does that prove?


JIMMY: It was pure chance that Jane was hit. It could have been me. If it had been me, Jane would be living in the apartment. She might very well have written that entry in the diary, isn't that so?


HAYNES: What's the point?


JIMMY: The point is this. (SLOWLY AND CLEARLY) There are a lot of possible futures. When today was in the future, there were a lot of possible todays. The present moment is only one of any number of presents that might have been. Now, that night before the girder came through our windshield, there were three possibilities: one in which I was hit, one in which neither one of us was hit, and one in which-- Well, you do see what I'm getting at, Hal?


HAYNES: Are you really suggesting there's more than one present? That in some other present Jane is alive and you're the one that's dead?


JIMMY: That's it, Hal. Some other dimension in time or space through which Jane and I have managed to communicate.


HAYNES: But - but how?


JIMMY: Well, it's beyond me, but there must be some scientific explanation.


HAYNES: Aw, Jim, you aren't serious.


JIMMY: Why not?! Before the atomic bomb exploded, all reasonable people said atomic energy was preposterous. Every new discovery, every new step forward is preposterous. Until it happens!


MUSIC: BIG ACCENT ... THEN UNDER


HAYNES: (NARRATES) I couldn't shake Jimmy's argument. After he left, I tried to decide on some course of action. Treat him as insane? But he was my friend. Besides, his delusion wasn't dangerous, not even to himself. I decided to wait for developments. 


MUSIC: GENTLY OUT FOR--


SOUND: RESTAURANT BACKGROUND (DINERS MURMUR, ET CETERA) 


HAYNES: (NARRATES) One evening about a week later, Jimmy and I had dinner together. He seemed to be in good spirits. He looked over the menu.


JIMMY: What're you going to order, Hal?


HAYNES: Uh, steak.


JIMMY: (AMUSED, UPBEAT) Me, too. (BEAT) Well, what's new, counselor?


HAYNES: Well, I was about to ask you that. (BEAT) Have you, um--? Have you had any more communication with Jane?


JIMMY: (VERY CASUAL) Oh, sure. We write each other notes every night. And, by the way, I was right, Hal. Jane agrees there is more than one present. Now, in the present I exist in, Jane was killed. But in her present, I'm the one that's dead.


HAYNES: Oh, look, let's not get into that again.


JIMMY: I don't mind talking about it. Now that I know Jane's alive, life is bearable. (BEAT) Matter of fact, there's only one drawback.


HAYNES: Only one drawback, huh? What's that?


JIMMY: Well, now that Jane and I have found each other, we'd - like to get together. Some day we hope to be able to bridge that gap.


HAYNES: Isn't that rather far-fetched?


JIMMY: No, no. No, sometimes when Jane and I are writing notes to each other, both of us can - can feel the barrier between us wearing thin. Once it seemed to me that we actually touched hands, but I wasn't sure.


HAYNES: (SORROWFUL) Jim-- Aw, Jim--


JIMMY: (INNOCENTLY) What's the matter?


HAYNES: (RESIGNED) Aw, nothing. Go on with what you were saying.


MUSIC: IN AND BEHIND HAYNES--


HAYNES: (NARRATES) I let him go on -- describing what he wrote to Jane and what she wrote to him, and how they both yearned for the time when the barrier between them would disappear and they'd be together again. That continued for several weeks. Then one night as we were sitting in the park--


SOUND: NOCTURNAL PARK BACKGROUND (CRICKETS CHIRP, ET CETERA) 


JIMMY: Hal, remember what I told you about the barrier wearing thin?


HAYNES: Sure, yeah.


JIMMY: Well, Jane and I, we're pretty close now. I'm almost certain I saw her in the living room last night.


HAYNES: Jimmy, listen--


JIMMY: Disappeared before I could get to her. If I could only put my hands on her. If I could - touch her just once.


HAYNES: Jim, you've got to stop this.


JIMMY: What?


HAYNES: Do something about these hallucinations.


JIMMY: Hold on, Hal--


HAYNES: Don't you see they're progressive? It started with seeing notes and cigarette butts, and now - you're seeing people.


JIMMY: (TENSE) You trying to tell me I'm losing my mind?


HAYNES: No, but I think you ought to have a talk with a psychiatrist. With the proper treatment those hallucinations would disappear. But if you don't get help, this--


JIMMY: (INSISTENT) I don't need any help. There's nothing wrong with me. (BEAT, QUIETLY) My contacts with Jane are not hallucinations and I can prove it.


HAYNES: How?


JIMMY: (INHALES) Look, Hal, didn't you have a near-accident on the parkway last night? Didn't a car coming around a curve on the wrong side of the road almost smash head-on into you?


HAYNES: (SURPRISED) Why, yes, it did. I almost went into the ditch trying to get away from it. (BEAT) How did you know that?


JIMMY: (SIMPLY) Jane told me.


HAYNES: Jane?


JIMMY: She said that, in her time channel, a crash killed Tony Shields.


HAYNES: You - you mean Tony Shields was the driver of that other car?


JIMMY: That's what Jane says.


HAYNES: But it's impossible!


JIMMY: (THERE'S YOUR PROOF) There. Jane doesn't lie, Hal. Why don't you check with Tony?


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: PHONE RINGS AND IS ANSWERED (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE)


TONY: (FILTER) Hello?


HAYNES: That you, Tony?


TONY: (FILTER) Yes?


HAYNES: This is Hal Haynes. Look, Tony, there's a little thing that's been bothering me; I'd like to ask you about it. Were you driving your car on the parkway last night?


TONY: (FILTER) Yeah, I was.


HAYNES: You sure it was last night?


TONY: (FILTER) Well, sure, I'm sure. Why? What's up, Hal?


HAYNES: Well, did you almost run into another car coming around that curve near Hawthorne?


TONY: (FILTER, SURPRISED) Why, that's right. Oh, say, Hal, how'd you know that? (NO ANSWER) Hal, are you still on the line? Didja hear me?


HAYNES: (STUNNED) Yeah. Yeah, I heard ya. I was the driver of the other car, Tony.


TONY: (FILTER) Well, I'll be hanged. Talk about a small world. Say, Hal, I owe you an apology. I was on the wrong side of the road. Musta scared ya half to death.


HAYNES: Yeah. Yeah, you certainly did.


TONY: (FILTER) I'm sorry, Hal, but, uh-- There's one thing I don't get. It was pretty dark last night; how'd you recognize me?


HAYNES: (FEEBLY) Well, I, uh, wasn't quite sure. That's why I phoned.


MUSIC: BIG ACCENT ... THEN UNDER


HAYNES: (NARRATES) I hung up, feeling dizzy. Jane had told the truth. But Jane was dead. But if she was dead, how could she know about Tony Shields and what happened on the parkway? It made no sense -- no sense at all -- unless Jane actually existed in some other level or dimension. But that was nonsense. Sheer nonsense. Still, I had to talk to Jimmy.


SOUND: PHONE RECEIVER UP 


HAYNES: (NARRATES) I dialed his number.


MUSIC: OUT 


SOUND: ROTARY DIAL (SIX DIGITS) ... PHONE RINGS (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE), THEN CONTINUES IN BG


HAYNES: (NARRATES) The phone rang a number of times. I was about to give up when--


SOUND: PHONE IS ANSWERED (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE)


JIMMY: (FILTER, AGITATED) Hello?


HAYNES: Jim? This is Hal. I gotta talk to you.


JIMMY: (FILTER, QUICKLY) Not now. I'm very busy.


HAYNES: But this is important. I just spoke to Tony--


JIMMY: (FILTER, URGENT) Please, Hal, hang up.


HAYNES: All right, I'm coming over to your place.


JIMMY: (FILTER, QUICKLY) No, you can't do that! I don't want you here now! (BEAT, QUIETLY TENSE) Hal, Jane and I are very close. The barrier's getting thin. Paper thin. We've touched each other again.


HAYNES: When did this happen?


JIMMY: (FILTER) Just now, before you phoned. We're hoping -- hoping and praying -- that the time barrier is about to break.


HAYNES: (DISTURBED) But it can't! What would happen if you turned up where she is, or if she turned up here?


JIMMY: (FILTER) I don't know, but we'd be together and that's all we care about.


HAYNES: Aw, but, Jim, listen to me--


JIMMY: (FILTER, HARSH WHISPER) Shut up, Hal! (BEAT) She's - she's here.


HAYNES: What?


JIMMY: (FILTER, SLOWLY, IN AWE) She's come through the barrier. Here in this room. I see her. (TO JANE) Jane, is it really you?


JANE: (FILTER)(EXHALES, LIGHTLY) Who else would it be? (WARMLY, DEEPLY) Hello, darling.


JIMMY: (FILTER, HAPPY) Jane!


SOUND: PHONE DISCONNECTS (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE)


HAYNES: Jimmy? (NO ANSWER) Jimmy?!


MUSIC: ACCENT AND UNDER


HAYNES: (NARRATES) He'd hung up on me. I dialed his number again. The phone rang and rang; no answer. I gave up and tried to figure it out. That woman's voice I heard over the phone-- Had I actually heard it? Was it Jane? Or was I becoming affected myself? I had to know. I went to Jimmy's apartment.


MUSIC: OUT WITH--


SOUND: DOORBELL RINGS ... NO ANSWER ... RINGS AGAIN ... THEN INSISTENTLY UNTIL [X]


HAYNES: (NARRATES) I rang the bell. Kept ringing and ringing. No one answered. [X] I tried to open the front door.


SOUND: BRIEF RATTLE OF LOCKED DOOR


HAYNES: (NARRATES) It was locked.


SOUND: RATTLE OF DOORKNOB


HAYNES: (NARRATES) The back door was locked, too. 


SOUND: RATTLE OF ANOTHER DOORKNOB


HAYNES: (NARRATES) The windows were shuttered.


SOUND: RATTLE OF WINDOW SHUTTERS; BANGING ON SHUTTERS


HAYNES: (NARRATES) There was no way to get in.


MUSIC: ACCENT THEN BEHIND HAYNES--


HAYNES: (NARRATES) I tried to phone Jimmy the next morning; no answer. I called his office at noon; he hadn't been there. Finally I went to the police and talked to Detective Thatcher. Thatcher and a couple of patrolmen went to the apartment; they forced the front door, got into the place, searched it, and found nothing. I was in the living room smoking a hopeless cigarette when Thatcher came to me.


THATCHER: All right, Mr. Haynes, let's have it.


HAYNES: Uh, have what?


THATCHER: This is a joke, ain't it?


HAYNES: Certainly not.


THATCHER: Now, look, mister, you tell us you're worried about your friend. We come here and find every darn window locked from the inside. Nobody here; nothing.


HAYNES: Well-- What's the gag?


THATCHER: How did he get out of the apartment and still leave all the doors and windows locked from the inside? He didn't disappear into thin air, did he?


MUSIC: ACCENT THEN BEHIND HAYNES--


HAYNES: (NARRATES) What could I say? That Jimmy had escaped into the Other Now? That he was alive on some other level or dimension of existence as yet unknown to us? Thatcher would have taken me straight down to the psychiatric ward. I said nothing. The police dragged ponds and rivers for Jimmy's body, put out missing person bulletins, and so forth. Eventually it was recorded that Jimmy left town -- and everybody accepted that obvious explanation. I'm the only one who knows what actually happened to Jimmy Patterson. So I'm setting this down for the record, to be placed in my safe deposit vault, and opened only after my death. You can't blame me. Would you care to spend the rest of your life in a - a straitjacket?


MUSIC: UP, FOR A CURTAIN


OMENTOR: That's it. "The Other Now" by Murray Leinster. Thanks to Galaxy, that wonderful science fiction magazine now on the stands. 


MUSIC: IN AND UNDER ... UNTIL END


OMENTOR: Next week, another extraordinary Tale of Tomorrow out of Galaxy Science Fiction Magazine called "The Stars Are the Styx" by Theodore Sturgeon, a tingling drama sure to send your imagination spinning out beyond the moon to the man-made planet called Curbstone, rendezvous of tomorrow's adventurers. This is your host, Omentor. (LIGHTLY) And remember -- we've got a date next week. Uh, our time.


ANNCR: Tales of Tomorrow. (BEAT) Heard in tonight's play were Lawson Zerbe as Haynes; Dick York as Jimmy. Raymond Edward Johnson was your host.


Music composed and conducted by Bobby Christian. Script adaptation by Michael Sklar. Produced by ABC, in association with George Foley and directed by Clark Andrews.

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