Friday, July 1, 2011

Bummer for Bemis..."Time Enough at Last"

LinkWhat would be more horrific: Nuclear war, being the last person on Earth,...your glasses broke? The Twlight Zone offers an answer. Like X Minus One's "Cold Equations" the Twlight Zone's "Time Enough at Last" is a devastating teleplay.

Twlight Zone

"Time Enough at Last"

Teleplay: Rod Serling

Short Story: Lynn Venable

November 20th, 1959

1. Standard opening
Shot of the sky...the various nebulae and planet bodies stand out in sharp, sparkling relief. The CAMERA has begun to PAN DOWN until it passes the horizon and is flush on the OPENING SHOT OF THE PLAY.

2. Int. Small bank [Day] Long angle shot looking up
Through high windows following the beams of sunlight until we're looking eye level across the bank from the front door. Three tellers' windows on the left, bank officers' desks on the right, safe deposit vaults at the far end opposite the front door, flanking the president's office. CAMERA PANS left until we're shooting toward the first teller's window with the little sign underneath the barred partition which reads: "Henry Bemis, Teller." DOLLY IN CLOSER until we're shooting over the partition down on him. He's a rotund, squat, plain-faced little man in his fifties with enormously thick glasses which are obviously an integral part of his living. At this moment he's making change for a customer, but on his lap is a big heavy book open about halfway. As he counts out the change he looks down at the book, chuckles, wets his fingers to separate bills, then wets them again to turn the page of the book. He finishes counting out the money.

Mrs. Chesters, have you ever read David Copperfield?

How's that?

A wonderful book! Here's this poor little fellah whose father has passed on and his mother has married a miserable man named Murdstone. And Murdstone has this sister Jane-

(looks up from the change he's given her to glare at him)
Mr. Bemis! You short-changed me again. You own me one more dollar. See? There's twenty-four here. I should have twenty-five.

Bemis peers myopically over toward the money, sorts it, then realizes his mistake.

I'm terribly sorry. I thought there were five ones there and there are only four.
(he hands her another bill)
I'm really sorry, Mrs. Chesters.
(then smiling)
There's another character in the story named Macawber. Mr. Macawber. He's always being taken to debtors' prison-

The woman grunts again, turns her back and starts to walk away.

(calls after her)
There's a wonderful woman in it too named Peggoty. She's David's nurse-

3. Med. close shot Bemis
He sighs deeply, closes the cage drawer, goes back to poring over the book.

4. Med. close shot page of book
As seen from over his shoulder. A shadow crosses it. Bemis switches the book so that it's back in the light. Again the shadow crosses it. This time Bemis looks up.

5. Angle shot looking up toward Mr. Carsville's face
This is the president of the bank, a little martinet of a man with a perpetually suspicious glint in his eye. Fastidious, insufferably correct, and about as warm as an ice tray.

6. Two shot Carsville and Bemis

I wonder if I might see you in my office, Mr. Bemis?

Why...why certainly, Mr. Carsville.
(he rises, smiles diffidently, gulps again)
I don't suppose you ever read David Copperfield, did you, Mr. Carsville?

No, Mr. Bemis, I have not! Now if you'll be good enough to accompany me?

Bemis, with trepidation, puts down the book and starts to follow the bank president past the other two tellers, who immediately busy themselves at their jobs.

7. Angle shot looking down at Bemis
As he walks toward the office.

Narrator's voice
The time is the day after tomorrow; the place is anywhere so long as it can accommodate a bank, a main street, and a library - along with a myopic little man named Henry Bemis who has only one passion in life and that is to read.
(a pause)
Mr. Henry Bemis - conspired against by brow-beaters and hen-peckers and by clocks whose hands waggle disapprovingly at him and always disallow the moments he'd love to use to read what he would.
(a pause)
In a moment from now, however, Mr. Bemis will have his chance to read in a world much different than the one he knows - a world without clocks or bank presidents; a world for that matter, without anyone!

8. Med. close shot door to president's office
As the two men arrive. Carsville opens the door, motions Bemis in, then squares his small shoulders, goes in behind him, and slams the door.





9. Int. Carsville's office [Day]
The bank president sits behind a giant, extravagantly neat desk where everything is in carefully placed piles. In front of him stands little Henry Bemis, his hands folded in front of him.

Now, Mr. Bemis, I shall come to the point of our interview. I shall arrive via the following route which is namely: what constitutes an efficient member of this organization. Viz - a bank teller who knows his job and performs it, i.e., an organization man who functions within an organization! You, Mr. Bemis, do not function within the organization. You are neither an efficient bank teller nor a proficient employee. You are a reader, Mr. Bemis.

A reader, sir?

A reader. A reader of books. Of magazines. Periodicals. Newspapers. Pamphlets. Brochures. Catalogues. Advertisements. Tracts. Ad infinitum! When you're waiting on customers you have a book in your lap. When you're making the daily tally sheets, one eye is on a printed page. I see you constantly going down into the vault downstairs during your lunch hour. Do you know how I became president of this bank, Mr. Bemis? I was a teller once myself, you know. Thirteen years a teller, I'm proud to say. Became a bank president because I would spend my lunch hour in the following manner. Five minutes sandwich. Two minutes milk. One minute cookie. Fifty-two minutes spent learning of banking and finance. Practicing adding up figures. Subtracting. Dividing. Compounding interest. And after twenty-one years passing through the ranks - you know how I wound up?

Bemis shakes his head miserably.

I wound up as president of the bank.
(he drums his fingers on the desk)
Ultimatum, Mr. Bemis. You will henceforth devote your time to your job and forget reading - or you'll find yourself outdoors on a park bench reading from morning to night - for want of having a job! Do I make myself perfectly clear?

(nods humbly)
Yes, sir, you do. It's just that-

Just that what, Bemis? Make it quick and then get back to your cage.

(forlornly, softly)
It's just wife doesn't allow me to read at home. When I come home at night and pick up the paper, she yanks it out of my hand. After dinner when I try to look at a magazine, she hides them. It's gotten so that...I find myself trying to read the labels on condiment bottles on the dinner table. Now she won't even let me use catsup.

Unasked I give you my reaction to this. Your wife is an amazingly bright woman. I remember last November you spent the better part of the days reading campaign buttons on customer's lapels. You'll recall, Mr. Bemis, the young woman who took considerable offense at this and tried to hit you with the umbrella.

I remember that very well, Mr. Carsville. She never gave me a chance to tell her that I was only looking at who she was voting for.

(rises and turns his back, folds his hands behind him)
Good day, Mr. Bemis.

Good day, Mr. Carsville.

10. Track shot
As he turns and starts toward the door. He pauses momentarily by a table near the door that has some magazines on it. He tilts his head so that he can read the cover of one of the magazines.

11. Different angle Mr. Carsville
Who looks over his shoulder, clears his throat warningly. Bemis hurriedly takes his eyes off the magazines, smiles a little sick, and then hurries out of the office.


12. Int. Bemis living room [Day]
SLOW PAN SHOT ACROSS THE ROOM, which is small, tidy, and antiseptically unattractive, as if furnished by a woman yoga whose basic tenant of living is self-denial. The CAMERA WINDS UP ITS PAN on a shot of Mr. Bemis sitting in the corner of the room with a newspaper. His wife's voice pierces the quiet.

Helen's voice
Henry? HEN-RY?

Bemis puts the paper down and forces a smile.

Yes, dear, I'm in the living room.

13. Full shot the room
As Helen enters. This is a woman in severe clothes and severe shoes and a severe face. She strides purposefully over to Henry, back hands the paper out of his hands.

Do you want more coffee or don't you?

(shakes his head)
No thank you, dear.

Then tell me that and don't sneak off into the living room to bury yourself in newsprint! I think we've gone over this quite enough, Henry. I won't countenance a husband of mine sacrificing the art of conversation-
(she stops, staring at him)
All right! What's so funny?

Nothing dear. It's just that that sounded sort of funny. A husband of yours.
How many husbands have you had? I'm the only one.

(throws the paper aside)
I would appreciate that not being rubbed in! We're playing cards tonight. I want you to change your shirt.


(challengingly, ready to pounce)
That's quite right - cards! We're going over to the Phillips' house.
(a pause)
Well, Henry? Anything to say?

(looks up at her tiredly, takes off his glasses and puts them aside, rubs his eyes)
No, dear. Nothing to say. What time are we due there?

In about fifteen minutes. That's why I want you to change your shirt. Try to look at least remotely respectable!

14. Med. close shot Henry
As with open and blind eyes he feels around for the glasses.

15. Close shot Helen
As she watches him, just a suggestion of some strange and almost malevolent enjoyment of his disability.

16. Close shot Henry's hand
As it gets close to the glasses.

17. Close shot Helen's hand
As it moves them away.

18. Close shot Henry
As he finally reaches them, picks them up, puts them on. He looks up smiling at Helen.

I'll be ready, dear.

Helen stares at him again with an undisguised dislike. She whirls around and walks out of the room.

(over her shoulder)
See that you are!

19. Full shot the room
As Henry rises, starts to walk out, suddenly stops, bites his lip in deep concentration, cranes his neck to look off into the foyer and the distant dining room to make sure he's not being watched. Then he goes over almost on tiptoe to the corner of the room to a small end table, opens the drawer, feels deep into the back of the drawer, and takes out a small pocket book. We can see its cover which reads, "A Book of Modern Poetry." He looks at the cover and smiles, puts it under his coat, then starts to walk out of the living room.

20. Flash shot Helen
As he almost bumps into her. She stands towering over him like a prison guard.

21. Two shot

(in a very soft voice)

(forces a smile)
Yes, my dear?

What have you got, Henry?



Why nothing, dear-

Helen reaches in almost gleefully to take out the small pocket book hidden in his coat.

What's this, Henry?



That's odd. How did that get there?

I could only hazard a guess.
(she looks at the cover and reads)
"A Book of Modern Poetry."
(a pause)
Yours, Henry?

Bemis nods miserably.

Would you like to read me some, Henry?

(his eyes go bright)
Read you some? Aloud? From the book?

Do you want to?

Bemis takes the book from her proffered hand.

Why...why, Helen, I'd be delighted to. This has lovely things in it, really. There's one or two from Longfellow. Edna St. Vincent Millay. Robert Frost. Carl Sandburg-

22. Med. close shot the book in his hand
As with shaking, excited fingers he starts to open it.

23. Extremely tight close shot first page
And then all the others as he turns them. Each one has been criss-crossed with a black pencil so that none of the writing can be seen. He turns page after page. CAMERA PULLS BACK for a MEDIUM SHOT of Bemis with his stricken white face under the thick glasses.

Helen? Who did that?

Who do you think did it, Henry? You should thank me, really! A grown man who reads silly, ridiculous, nonsensical doggerel!

It isn't doggerel! There were some beautiful things here-

I say it's doggerel. I also say it's a waste of time.

She grabs the book from him, rips at it with her hands, tearing out pages that flutter out. Bemis goes down on his knees, grappling for the pages.

Helen, please. Please, don't-

She continues to rip at the book and the pages continue to flutter down. His glasses slip off and once again he's left groping in a world without sight.

24. Angle shot looking up at Helen
Her face distorted with dislike. PAN SHOT down to her foot which is very close to the glasses. We can see his hand nearby groping over the floor looking for them.

25. Close shot her foot again
As it moves over to step on the glasses.

26. Angle shot looking up at her face
Willful, purposeful, evil.

27. Close shot the foot
As it's about to come down on the glasses. Just at this moment Henry's hand finds them, retrieves them.

28. Angle shot looking down on him
As he puts the glasses on and looks up at her.

29. Reverse angle looking down at him tight on his face Helen's p.o.v.
He rises very slowly, stares at the woman.

(in a low voice)
Why, Helen? Why do you do these things?

Because I'm married to a fool.

There'll come a time, Helen. There'll come a moment when-

He leaves the rest unsaid.

(challengingly, ugly)
When what, Henry?

When I'll be forced to pay you back for twenty years of indignities, and cruelties, and misery-

Helen throws back her head and laughs, a shrill, piercing, grating laugh which goes on for a moment then suddenly seems to die in her throat as she stares at the intense face of the little man in front of her and for the first time a look of concern crosses her face which boarders on fear. Bemis goes down and picks up the rest of the pages, crumples them up in his hand, carries them over to a waste basket, puts them in. Then he starts out the room.


He stops but keeps his back to her.

Are you going to change your shirt now? We've only got a few minutes.

Bemis slowly turns toward her.

I'm going to bed, Helen. I learned those poems by heart. I'm going to bed and say them to myself. And you can't vandalize what's inside my mind. You can't climb in there and pencil out some beautiful language.

He turns and goes out of the room.


30. Int. Bank [Day] Close shot clock on wall
Which is just striking noon. PAN SHOT down the wall to a LONG ANGLE SHOT of Bemis at his cage as he looks up at the clock, pulls down the cage window, puts out a sign which reads: "Next window please," takes a small lunch bag, pulls a book out from the back of a drawer, walks slowly past the cages over to the vault entrance.

31. Med. close shot vault entrance
A large, heavy sealed door that is partly opened. Bemis slips in behind.

32. Angle shot looking down stairway leading to vault
As he very slowly walks down.


33. Int. Vault room
Flanked and crowded by safe deposit boxes, et al. Bemis sits on the floor, adjusts his glasses, opens up the bag, starts to gnaw on a sandwich while he reads, voraciously, delightedly, all-consumingly.

34.-37. Different angles Bemis
As he eats and reads. First a small book, then a newspaper, then a pamphlet.

38. Med. close shot newspaper
That he's laid aside neatly as his feet. The headline stares up. It reads, "'H Bomb would mean total destruction,' says scientist."

39. Angle shot looking over Bemis's shoulder
Toward newspaper.

40. Close shot Bemis
As he takes out a pocket watch, looks at it, puts it alongside in view.

41. Different angle Bemis
Looking toward him from the newspaper so that both the headline and Bemis's face are visible.

42. Pan shot across the floor
Over the newspaper toward the watch. At this moment there's a loud rumble that grows and grows and grows until suddenly it's an earsplitting, detonating, all-consuming, giant moment of thunder.

43. Extremely tight close shot pocket watch
As the glass over its face cracks.

44. Extremely tight close shot newspaper
As suddenly dust and plaster start to drip on it.

45. Close shot Bemis
As his eyes beneath the thick glasses suddenly look up startled. The walls and floor start to shake. Cracks appear. Bemis slowly inches to his feet very alarmed now. He goes to the door and starts to open it. He wrenches it to get it open.

46. Med. long shot over his shoulder
Toward the open door and the foot of the stairway as a huge flash of light and noise blasts him back.

47. Angle shot looking down on floor
As Bemis lands head first back into the room, dust and plaster falling on him.

48. Angle shot looking down at him
As he lies motionless on the floor.





49. Int. Vault high hat shot looking across floor
At Bemis who awakens from unconsciousness, struggles to his hands and knees, touches his glasses, which hang askew off one ear, then rises blindly, groping, not completely with it yet.

50. Moving shot with him
As he gets up on his feet, stumbles over to the now smashed open door, which hangs on half a hinge, walks up the debris-and-dust covered stairway.


51. Different angle as he reaches the top
Stands there looking out toward what should be the interior of the bank.


52. Reverse angle Bemis's p.o.v.
This is the interior of the bank as seen through his myopic eyes, distorted, hazy, and completely out of focus.

53. Close shot Bemis
As with nervous trembling fingers he adjusts the glasses and puts them on.


54. Reverse angle again Bemis's p.o.v.
As seen just at the moment he puts his glasses on. This is the interior of the room, smashed beyond recognition. A gaping hole in the wall, tellers' cages, desk, money, beams, everything lying around in smashed heaps.

55. Moving shot Bemis
As he picks his way over the rubble over toward the front door.

56. Different angle looking at him
As he comes out the front door and looks slowly from side to side.

57.-60. Series of shots
Destroyed buildings, smashed beyond recognition.

61. Med. close shot Bemis
As he takes a few steps across a concrete sidewalk and sits on what is left of a curb. He looks to one side.

62. Pan shot across the sidewalk
To what is left of a newspaper stand. A torn and battered newspaper lies face up on the sidewalk, just a remnant of its headline remaining. It reads: "H Bomb"

63.-66. Different angles flash shots of the headline

67. Extremely close shot Bemis
As he buries his face in his hands. CAMERA PULLS BACK until it's shooting long on Bemis, a tiny, solitary figure of a man sitting in front of rubble.


68. Ext. Street Bemis
He comes out from behind a corner looking around and over his shoulder up to the sky, past rubbish and debris, as he walks toward the camera. He suddenly stops dead, looking across at something.

69. Pan shot over the rubble
To the remnants of a glass outdoor phone booth. About one pane of glass remains unscathed.

70. Different angle Bemis
As he walks over to it. En route he sees its door lying off to one side. He slowly enters the booth and almost as if in a trance lifts up the receiver, dials a number. There's absolutely no sound in the receiver. He puts the receiver back on the hook, turns and stands framed in the entrance to the booth, looking out at the nothingness that surrounds him.

71. Med. close shot
As he touches a bruise on his head, looks down at his fingers.

72. Shot over his shoulder toward phone booth
As suddenly the phone falls to the ground with a clatter of broken glass. An odd sound of a bell which is like a death knell.

73. Med. shot Bemis

(very softly)
They're all dead. They must be. Everybody's dead.
(a pause as he thinks)
Except me. I'm all right.
(another pause)
Why am I all right? I was right in the middle of-
(he stops abruptly)
The vault. I was down in the vault. That's why I'm alive - because I was down in the vault.
(another pause as he takes a step out of the booth)
The thing of it is, though...the thing of it is...I'm not at all sure I want to be alive.


74. Int. Bank long shot looking down
Past the destroyed tellers' windows at Bemis as he walks the same route he's taken so many times toward Carsville's office. He pauses by his own cage, bends over, and picks out his sign, which is warped and bent. He stares down at it, then throws it aside.

75. Track shot with him
As he walks toward Carsville's office. He reaches the closed door, tries it, then pushes in on it and it gives way under his pressure to fall on the ground.


76. Int. Carsville's office
Very little of it remains, except a section of the desk which has been thrown as if by some giant hand to a corner of the room to stand crazily on one end. Suddenly Bemis starts, as the sound of a voice is heard.

Carsville's voice
And so, ladies and gentlemen, members of the Interstate Banking Association, I can only tell you that an adherence to duty...a constant remembrance that a bank, like a political office, is a public trust...and a sense of loyalty and devotion to duty is what makes a bank great. These things are of the essence. These things are basic above all things. Just the qualities I've mentioned already.

There's a pause as Bemis takes a frightened, almost nightmarish, compelled walk over to the desk.

77. Angle shot looking over the desk
There's a lifeless hand holding onto the microphone of a battery operated dictaphone.

78. Pan shot over to the dictaphone
It still runs.

That's my speech for the Thursday night banquet, Miss Jackson. Would you type that up in triplicate for me?
(then the voice suddenly takes on a kind of dead repetitious tone)
Would you type that up in triplicate for me? Would you type that up in triplicate for me? Would you type that up in triplicate for me?

79. Different angle the dictaphone
As it suddenly bursts apart.

80. Angle shot looking from behind the desk
Up toward Bemis's face as he closes his eyes at the horror of what he's looking at, stumbles backwards across the room and then out the door.


81. Ext. Street shadow of Bemis
As he walks. CAMERA PULLS BACK for shot of him as he steps up a row of concrete steps that lead to nothing except a yard full of debris.


82. Angle shot looking down at his feet
As he bends over and extricates a mailbox torn in half. The name "Bemis" is on it. He stares at it very thoughtfully for a long moment, then looks up and around and illogically, wildly, calls out.

Helen? Helen, where are you?

He walks back down the steps, skirts them and walks over to a large hole.


83. Reverse angle looking from the hole up toward him
As once again he shudders at what he sees, then backs away.


84.-87. Series of walking shots different angles Bemis's feet
They pass signs on the ground which read, "Post Office," "Dime a Dance," "Bijou Theatre."


88. Ext. Street [Day] Long shot looking through the facade of what was a grocery store
Half of the sign remains on the remnant of the window. On the other side, on the high shelves laden with canned food, sits Henry Bemis, an open, half-eaten can of soup lies to one side, a can of beer to the other. He sits there, leaning against one of the counters, staring off at nothing. He reaches down to pull out his watch, pats for it, then realizes he doesn't have it. Then he smiles sadly.

Maybe I can pick up a new watch. Maybe I can find a jewelry store.
(then he looks up at the canned food)
I won't starve to death anyway. Lots of food. It'll last for years. For years and years. All the food I can eat. All the food and then some.

He takes a deep breath, puts his head back, closes his eyes, takes off his glasses, and then very slowly drops off to sleep.


89. Ext. Destroyed street [Night] Pan shot down sidewalk
Until we're once again shooting in toward the grocery store. Candles have been lit and Bemis sits on a packing crate, reading the torn fragment of a newspaper. He lays it aside, goes over to a shelf, takes out a carton of cigarettes, opens up a pack, lights the cigarette on one of the candles. Then he sits back down on the crate, takes a deep drag on the cigarette, looks at the smoke as it streams out into the quiet night air. Then he rises again, goes over to a box of cigars, takes a handful and puts them in his pocket. He sees a box full of pipes, empties it on the top of the crate, selects one, puts that in his pocket, too. Then he crosses over to stand at the broken window staring out into the street.

90. Reverse angle looking toward Bemis
From the sidewalk.

(reflectively, with little emotion)
The worst thing...the worst thing. Is being alone.
(a pause)
Is this the way it's going to be? I mean...I mean will it be just sitting here on a box and eating and smoking cigarettes and reading the same half of a newspaper over and over again?

He reaches up and rubs his face, feeling the tremendous sense of depression that suddenly weighs over him. He retraces his steps back into what was left of the store, blows out the candles, then turns and walks out the skeleton door frame and out onto the street.


91.-94. Series of moving shots Bemis walking night and then day
SUPERIMPOSE pics of destroyed buildings.


95. Ext. Street Bemis
He lies on what was once a couch that has been flung onto the sidewalk by the explosion. He opens his eyes, blinks up at the sun, rises, dusting himself off, straightens his tie, succumbing to a habit of a lifetime, and then sort of smiles at himself, realizing what he's done. He pauses, looking off across the street.

96. Pan shot over to a convertible
That lies practically unscathed at the curb.

97. Reverse angle Bemis
As he smiles a little excitedly.

98. Angle shot looking down
As he runs over to the car.

99. Med. close shot car
As he gets in, honks the horn, turns the key. For a moment the engine seems to start and take, then dies down. He tries to start it over and over again. Nothing happens. He leans against the horn, his eyes close for a moment, then gets out of the car and starts back toward the other side of the street. Again he stops.

100. Close shot his foot
As it kicks away some debris to reveal a sign which reads, "Sporting Goods." His eyes go up, looking toward a display case that's been turned over on its side. He goes over to it, wrestles with it, finally turns it over. It lands with a crash of broken glass.

101. Med. close shot open display case
In it are guns and ammunition.

102. Close shot Bemis's hand
As he reaches in for a revolver, takes it out.

103. Med. close shot Bemis
As he sits on the remnant of a curb and starts to examine the gun. He lays it down at his side, stares forlornly out in front of him.

104. Different angle Bemis's face
As gradually we see a resolution taking form. Once again his hand reaches for the gun. He picks it up and studies it again.

If it just weren't for the loneliness...for the sameness. If there was just something to do. Just something to do.
(another silence)
I'm sure I could be forgiven for this. The way things are...I know I could be forgiven...

The CAMERA PANS OVER to a shadow on the road. We see the gun in his hand. Slowly rising in an arc toward his head then suddenly stop. The hand goes down. The gun falls to the ground.

105. Flash shot the gun
As it lands on the ground.

106. Pan shot across the ground
To a set of concrete steps covered by the remnants of a large sign.

107. High hat shot
Looking toward Bemis as he runs toward the camera.


108. Extremely tight close shot sign
As Bemis suddenly hovers over it. The sign reads: "Public Library."

109. Long angle shot looking down
From a high stack of books at Bemis as he stares up in silent amazed, fascinated wonderment.

110.-112. Different angles Bemis
Walking through the bookshelves.

(as he walks)
Collected Works of Shakespeare. Complete Works of Dickens. Collected Plays of G.B. Shaw. Poems of Browning...Shelly, Keats. Great Dramas of the World.

113. Close shot Bemis
As he stands at the bottom of one of the high racks and suddenly in exultation pounds at it, screaming.

Books. Books. All the books I need. All the books I want.

Several books topple over to land near him and he continues to pound and shake, laughing, crying.

Keats. Shelly. Shakespeare. Shaw. Books.


114. Ext. Library [Day] Long shot Bemis
As he comes out from the center of a corridor carrying an armload of books. The CAMERA PULLS BACK to take in a shot of row upon row of books spread out in a line put there by Bemis in neat stacks.

115. Moving shot Bemis
As he walks from stack to stack. He sings songs as he goes past each stack hitting the top book.

January. February. March. April. May. This year. Next year. Year after. Year after that.

He stops at the last stack of books, turns to survey the long line of stacks and then hesitantly, almost fearfully, he reaches for the first book, holds it in his hand for a moment, feels it, fondles it, then he tucks it under his arm and walks over to the steps and sits down. His eyes scan the rows of books that we see behind him, then down to the pavement a few feet below him where there is a half-cracked clock lying face up. He puts the book down, rises, goes over to stand over the clock, smiles down at it.

And the best part...the very best part...there's time now. There's all the time I need. All the time I want. There's time enough at last.

He retraces his footsteps back over to the steps, sits down, leans against a pillar, looks down at the book, which lies open to its first page. He bends over to pick it up.

116. Extremely tight close shot his glasses
As they fall on the steps and break.

117. Extremely tight close shot
Looking up toward Bemis from the ground. The look on his face could only be described as that of a man suddenly beset by a demon. First horror, then fear, then a sick, all-pervading sadness and realization.

118. Reverse angle Bemis's p.o.v.
The book and broken glasses, distorted, fuzzy out of focus as his hand comes out from behind the camera, groping, touches the glasses, feels of them, and then lets them drop. Then the hand gropes over to the book, picks it up, holds it out in front of him. The page is blurred.

119. Different angle Bemis
Tears roll down his face. He slowly rises, the book clutched in his hands. The CAMERA STARTS A SLOW DOLLY away from him as he stands there all by himself amid the books, crying.

It isn't fair. It isn't fair at all. There was time now. There was all the time I needed. It isn't isn't fair...

The CAMERA CONTINUES its dolly back until we're on a tableau of the tiny figure of a man and the echo of his voice crying in the silence, the rubble, the loneliness. Over this tableau we hear the NARRATOR'S VOICE.

Narrator's voice
The best laid plans of mice and men...and Henry Bemis. The small man in the glasses who wanted nothing but time. Nothing but a moment out of an eon of moments. Nothing but an instant out of an eternity. Henry Bemis, now just a part of a smashed landscape. Just a piece of the rubble. Just a fragment of what man has deeded to himself. Mr. Henry the Twilight Zone.


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