Monsters Are Due on
Myra Brand, Steve’s wife
Pete Van Horn
Sally, Tommy’s mother
Ethel Goodman, Les’s wife
(Fade in on a shot of the night sky. The various
heavenly bodies stand out in sharp, sparkling
relief. The camera moves slowly across the heavens
until it passes the horizon and stops on a sign that
reads “Maple Street.” It is daytime. Then we see the
street below. It is a quiet, tree-lined, small-town
Ameri can street. The houses have front porches
on which people sit and swing on gliders, talking
across from house to house. Steve Brand is polishing
his car, which is parked in front of his house.
His neighbor, Don Martin, leans against the
fender watching him. An ice-cream vendor riding
a bicycle is just in the process of stopping to sell
some ice cream to a couple of kids. Two women
gossip on the front lawn. Another man is watering
his lawn with a garden hose. As we see these
various activities, we hear the Narrator’s voice.)
Narrator. Maple Street, U.S.A., late summer.
A tree-lined little world of front-porch gliders,
hopscotch, the laughter of children, and the
bell of an ice-cream vendor.
(There is a pause, and the camera moves over to
a shot of the ice-cream vendor and two small boys
who are standing alongside just buying ice cream.)
Narrator. At the sound of the roar and the flash
of the light, it will be precisely six-forty-three
p.m. on Maple Street.
(At this moment Tommy, one of the two boys buying
ice cream from the vendor, looks up to listen
to a tremendous screeching roar from overhead.
A flash of light plays on the faces of both boys and
then moves down the street and disappears.
Various people leave their porches or stop what they
are doing to stare up at the sky. Steve Brand, the
man who has been polishing his car, stands there
transfixed, staring upwards. He looks at Don
Martin, his neighbor from across the street.)
* fade in: cause the television image to appear gradually
Steve. What was that? A meteor?
Don. That’s what it looked like. I didn’t hear
any crash though, did you?
Steve. Nope. I didn’t hear anything except
Myra ( from her porch). What was that?
Steve (raising his voice and looking toward the
porch). Guess it was a meteor, honey. Came
awful close, didn’t it?
Myra. Too close for my money! Much too close.
(The camera moves slowly across the various
porches to people who stand there watching and
talking in low conversing tones.)
Narrator. Maple Street. Six-forty-four p.m. on
a late September evening. (He pauses.) Maple
Street in the last calm and reflective moment
( pause) before the monsters came!
(The camera takes us across the porches again.
A man is replacing a light bulb on a front porch.
He gets off his stool to flick the switch and finds
that nothing happens. Another man is working
on an electric power mower. He plugs in the plug,
flicks the switch of the mower off and on, but nothing
happens. Through a window we see a woman
pushing her finger up and down on the dial hook
of a telephone. Her voice sounds far away.)
Woman. Operator, operator, something’s
wrong on the phone, operator! (Myra Brand
comes out on the porch and calls to Steve.)
Myra (calling). Steve, the power’s off. I had
the soup on the stove, and the stove just
Woman. Same thing over here. I can’t get
anybody on the phone either. The phone
seems to be dead.
(We look down again on the street. Small, mildly
disturbed voices are heard coming from below.)
Voice One. Electricity’s off.
Voice Two. Phone won’t work.
Voice Three. Can’t get a thing on the radio.
Voice Four. My power mower won’t move, won’t
work at all.
Voice Five. Radio’s gone dead!
(Pete Van Horn, a...
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