Nick of Time


EXT. MAIN STREET - RIDGEVIEW, OHIO - DAY

FADE IN and PAN DOWN from a sunny sky to a young married couple, DON 
and PAT CARTER, who look a little bored.  They ride in a CONVERTIBLE 
that's being towed through the streets of a small town.  Pat shakes 
her head in disbelief that this happening.  The tow truck pulls into 
a GARAGE and parks.  Don, glances at Pat, gets out of the driver's 
seat, stretches his stiff back, looks around at the little town --
which is Dullsville.  He crosses to the MECHANIC who has just emerged 
from the truck.

                                DON 
                        (to the mechanic)
                How long is this gonna take?

                                MECHANIC
                Like I told you, nobody stocks fuel pumps 
                around town.  I'll have to send in to Dayton 
                for it.

                                DON
                How long will that take?

                                MECHANIC 
                        (unhooking the car)
                Oh, three, four hours.  Better figure on four 
                to play safe.

A disappointed Don leaves the mechanic and helps Pat out of the car.

                                PAT 
                        (to Don)
                Four hours?  Crazy.

                                DON
                Let's get some lunch.

                                PAT
                Lunch?  We can homestead.

They start walking down the sidewalk hand in hand, searching for a place 
to eat.  Don and Pat are in their twenties -- casually dressed, a 
nice-looking couple.

                                PAT 
                        (playfully) 
                June, prune, honeymoon.

                                DON 
                        (smiling) 
                Quiet.

                                PAT 
                        (mocking him) 
                Quiet.

                                DON 
                Don't think I should phone the office again, 
                huh?

                                PAT 
                You are going to lose that promotion if you 
                keep pestering them, lover.

                                DON 
                I'm gonna lose it anyway.

                                PAT 
                Ah, that's a fine way to talk.  And I thought I 
                married a man with confidence.  And who is the 
                best man for the job?

                                DON 
                Me.  But...

                                PAT 
                But?

                                DON 
                But Thompson has seniority.

                                PAT 
                Ah.  Doesn't mean a thing.

                                DON 
                Little miss sunshine, hm?

                                PAT 
                        (all smiles)
                That's me.

He gives her a kiss on the cheek.  They approach a lamp post. For a 
moment, it looks as if they will pass it on opposite sides, but Don 
grabs Pat's hand and pulls her around to his side of the post, to avoid 
getting "bad luck."

                                DON 
                Bread and butter.

                                PAT 
                        (gently mocking him) 
                Yes, dear.

                                DON 
                Just trying to save your life.

They step off the curb and cross the street. Pat points out a diner
and the couple hurries to it. 

                                                DISSOLVE TO:

INT. DINER - DAY

Moments later, Don and Pat enter a little DINER called the "Busy Bee 
Cafe."  Shrimp: 85 cents.  Bacon, eggs and hot cakes: 70 cents.  Don 
gestures that they could sit at the diner's counter.

                                DON 
                Shall we?

But Pat wants to put some money in the jukebox first.

                                PAT 
                Let's have some music, shall we?

                                DON 
                Great.

They cross to the jukebox.  Pat deposits her coin and makes a selection 
while Don kisses the back of her neck.  The MUSIC begins, a romantic 
tune.  Don takes Pat in his arms and they dance.  A slow dance.  Cheek
to cheek.  They are very much in love.

                                PAT 
                I thought we came in here to eat.

                                DON 
                Guess we did.

Don looks back at the counter, but sees that they have danced over to an 
empty table.

                                DON 
                        (gestures to the table) 
                Shall we sit here?

As they sit side by side, Don's attention is immediately drawn to the 
table's odd napkin holder, which doubles as a penny fortune machine:  
insert a penny, ask a "yes-or-no" question, pull a lever, and the 
machine dispenses a small card with an answer to the question.  Sort of 
a 1960 version of the Magic 8-Ball.  Every table in the diner has one of 
these machines whose brand name is "Mystic Seer".  Atop each machine is 
the bobbing, plastic head of a horned devil, its face winking and 
grinning mischievously.

                                DON 
                Well, what have we got here?  The mystic seer.

                                PAT 
                The what?  Let's try it, shall we?

                                DON 
                Have you got a penny, honey?  

                                PAT 
                I think so.

                                DON 
                What'll we ask it?

                                PAT 
                I don't know.

                                DON 
                I got it.

                                PAT 
                What?

Don deposits a penny.

                                DON 
                        (to the seer) 
                Does anything exciting ever happen around here?

He pulls the lever and a card pops out.  Smiling at Pat, Don reads the 
card in his HAND.

                                DON 
                        (reads aloud) 
                "It is quite possible."

                                NARRATOR (v.o.)
                The hand belongs to Mr. Don S. Carter, male 
                member of a honeymoon team en route across 
                the Ohio countryside to New York City. 

FAST PAN to a table opposite, where the omniscient NARRATOR sits, 
gently touching the devil's head on another Mystic Seer.  He wears a 
dark business suit, carries a lit cigarette, and speaks directly to the
audience.

                                NARRATOR 
                In one moment, they will be subjected to a gift 
                most humans never receive in a lifetime. For 
                one penny, they will be able to look into the 
                future. The time is now, the place is a little 
                diner in Ridgeview, Ohio, and what this young 
                couple doesn't realize is that this town happens 
                to lie on the outskirts of the Twilight Zone.

                                                FADE OUT

INT. DINER - DAY

FADE IN on Don and Pat seated at the table, studying a menu.  The 
diner's weird old COUNTERMAN sets a couple of glasses of water in front 
of them.  

                                COUNTERMAN
                Howdy.

                                PAT
                Hello.

                                DON
                Hi.

                                COUNTERMAN
                What'll it be?

                                PAT
                I think I'll have a tomato and lettuce on whole 
                wheat and some iced coffee, please.

                                DON 
                I'll have the same.

                                COUNTERMAN
                I've got some very good chicken-fried steak out 
                there.

                                DON 
                No, thank you.

                                COUNTERMAN
                No?

                                DON 
                No.

                                COUNTERMAN
                        (nods, off the menu)
                Uh, you finished with that?

                                DON 
                Yes.

The counterman takes the menu and departs.  Off the counterman, Don and 
Pat exchange glances.  Don takes a sip of his water and winces.

                                DON 
                        (off the water)
                Ohh.

                                PAT 
                Good, hm?

                                DON 
                Great.  He must've siphoned it out of a swamp.

As Pat digs through her purse for some make-up, Don empties his pockets, 
putting his key ring and some coins on the table.

                                PAT 
                What are you doing?

                                DON 
                Getting some pennies.

                                PAT 
                        (off the seer) 
                What're you gonna ask it now?

                                DON 
                What else?  

As Pat applies her make-up, Don puts a finger under the devil's chin, 
turns its head toward him, causing it to bob.

                                DON 
                        (to the seer) 
                Am I gonna be promoted, for Pete's sake?  

He deposits a penny, pulls the lever, takes the card, and reads it.

                                DON 
                Hey.  
                        (to Pat) 
                Look.

                                PAT 
                What?

He shows her the card.

                                DON 
                        (reads aloud) 
                "It has been decided in your favor."

                                PAT 
                Ah.  You see?  Your worries are 
                over.

Don looks around and sees a pay phone.

                                DON 
                I think I'll phone.

                                PAT 
                Honey!

                                DON 
                Well, I was gonna anyway.  Wasn't I?

They both grin.  Don picks up his spare change, crosses to the pay 
phone, inserts a coin, and dials the operator.  Pat continues to smile 
at Don's behavior.  She picks up his KEY RING from the table and looks 
at the rabbit's foot and four leaf clover on it.

                                DON 
                        (into the phone) 
                Hello, operator?  Give me Maine 
                one-eight-nine-nine-seven in St. Louis, please.  
                That's right.  How much?  Seventy-five cents?  
                        (to Pat) 
                Honey, you got another quarter on you?

She nods, smiles, digs in her pocketbook for her change purse and 
brings him the money.

                                PAT 
                        (teasing him) 
                Is this call necessary?

                                DON 
                        (into the phone) 
                Here you are, operator.  

He deposits the necessary amount.  A moment of tension follows, and 
then:

                                DON 
                        (into the phone) 
                Hello?  Connect me with Mr. Weldon's 
                secretary, please.  
                        (to Pat) 
                Keep your fingers crossed.

                                PAT 
                        (points to her head) 
                I'm doing it up here.

                                DON 
                        (into the phone) 
                Hello?  Hello, Pauline?  It's Don.  
                Fine.  Fine.  And you?  
                        (getting to the point) 
                What's the secret word, Pauline?  I 
                did?  
                        (to Pat, as he hugs her) 
                I made it.  
                        (into the phone) 
                Thank you, Pauline.  Yes, we'll send 
                you a post card from New York.  As 
                soon as we arrive.  Bye-bye.  Same 
                to you.  Goodbye.  
                        (hangs up, to Pat) 
                I made it.

                                PAT 
                Darling, I'm so proud of you.

They hug, return to the table, and sit.

                                DON 
                You're now looking at the world's youngest 
                office manager.

                                PAT 
                And, I'm happy to say, I told you so.

                                DON 
                        (off the seer) 
                So did he.

                                PAT 
                Yeah?  Well, I told you first.  I think we ought 
                to celebrate.  
                        (dips into her change purse) 
                Here's a dime for the jukebox. 

She hands Don the dime.

                                DON 
                Some success music.

Don rises and goes to the jukebox.

                                PAT 
                Or the "Triumphal March".

                                DON 
                Don't know whether I can find it here.

He selects a jaunty, generic version of "American Patrol" and, doing a
goofy little strut in time to the music, rejoins Pat at the table.

                                PAT 
                Crazy.

The counterman arrives with their sandwiches.

                                DON 
                        (to the counterman) 
                Oh.  Thank you.

                                COUNTERMAN
                You ain't gonna like this as much as you would 
                that chicken fried steak.

                                DON 
                        (affably)
                We'll bear up.

The counterman shrugs and departs.  Don and Pat are about to dig in.  
Pat hands Don a napkin.

                                PAT 
                Ah, office manager.  I think it's wonderful.

                                DON 
                        (off the seer) 
                Let's ask him something else.  He really came 
                through on that one.

                                PAT 
                        (off her sandwich) 
                Hmmm...  why don't you ask him why he didn't 
                warn us the whole wheat bread is stale?

Printed on the front of the Mystic Seer are some suggested questions 
which Don now studies.

                                DON 
                        (reads aloud) 
                "Does he/she love me?" 
                        (kisses Pat's cheek) 
                I know the answer to that one, hm?  
                        (reads aloud) 
                "Will I become rich?" 
                        (to Pat) 
                I know the answer to that one, too. I'm gonna 
                be the world's first millionaire accountant.

                                PAT 
                        (corrects him) 
                Office manager.

                                DON 
                Right.  
                        (to the seer) 
                Is it really gonna be four hours before we get 
                out of here?

Don deposits a penny, pulls the lever and takes the card.

                                DON 
                        (reads aloud) 
                "You may never know."  
                        (to Pat) 
                What does that mean?

                                PAT 
                Who knows?

                                DON 
                        (off the seer) 
                He does.

The DEVIL'S HEAD seems to be grinning right at Don.

                                PAT 
                Um hmm.  But it'll cost you another 
                penny.

Don snaps his fingers, a gesture of unconcern.

                                DON
                I'm an officer manager now.  

He deposits a penny.

                                DON 
                        (to the seer) 
                What do you mean, we may never know? No, that's 
                not a yes-or-no question. You mean, something 
                will keep us from knowing?  Something will 
                happen to us?  

Don pulls the lever and takes the card.

                                DON 
                        (reads aloud) 
                "If you move soon."  
                        (laughs quietly, to Pat) 
                What does that mean?

                                PAT 
                Well, he's a mystic.  What do you 
                expect?  

Don starts to deposit another penny.

                                PAT 
                I can see I'm going to have to be the frugal one 
                in our family.

                                DON 
                        (to Pat) 
                Just one more.  
                        (to the seer) 
                You mean that we're not supposed to move?  We're 
                supposed to stay here?

                                PAT 
                        (imitates a phone operator) 
                Just one question per penny, please.

But Don is taking this seriously.  A little too seriously for Pat who 
grows visibly uncomfortable over the next few minutes.  Don deposits a 
penny, pulls the lever and takes the card.

                                DON 
                        (reads aloud) 
                "That makes a good deal of sense."  
                        (to the seer) 
                How long sh-- No, uh...  

Don checks his watch.  It's almost 2:15.

                                DON 
                        (to the seer) 
                Should we stay here until two-thirty?  

Don deposits a penny, pulls the lever and takes the card.

                                DON 
                        (reads aloud) 
                "Try again."  

Don deposits a penny.

                                DON 
                        (to the seer) 
                Should we stay in here until three o'clock?  

Don pulls the lever and takes the card.

                                DON 
                        (reads aloud) 
                "There's no question about it."

Pat doesn't like where this is leading.

                                PAT 
                Don.  Let's take a look around the town, hm?

                                DON 
                Every answer seems to fit.

                                PAT 
                You're joking, aren't you?  I mean --

Don starts to deposit another penny, but Pat stops him.

                                PAT 
                Don, no more.

But Don gives her a look and deposits the penny anyway.

                                DON 
                        (to the seer) 
                If we don't stay in here until three o'clock... 
                something bad will happen to us?  

Don pulls the lever, takes the card, and reads it to himself.

                                PAT 
                Oh, Don, for heaven's sakes.

                                DON 
                        (hands Pat the card) 
                Read it.  

                                PAT 
                        (reads aloud) 
                "Do you dare risk finding out?"  
                        (to Don) 
                Don, let's go.

But, clearly, Don does not want to leave.  He quickly turns to his 
lunch.

                                DON 
                I haven't finished my sandwich yet.  
                        (starts to eat) 
                Don't you want some ice cream?

An awkward silence follows.  Don checks his watch.  It's still a little 
before 2:15.  

                                                DISSOLVE TO: 

INT. DINER - DAY

The diner's CLOCK now reads four minutes to three.  Pat buys a pack of 
cigarettes from the diner's vending machine.  She smiles weakly at the 
counterman who seems to be wondering why she and Don are loitering.  In 
fact, she seems to be wondering the same thing herself.  She crosses to 
Don at the booth as he dawdles over a half-finished bowl of ice cream.

                                PAT 
                        (to Don) 
                Can we go now?

                                DON 
                Don't you want something cold to drink?

                                PAT 
                Please, let's go.

Don looks first at the clock and then at the devil's head, winking and 
grinning at him.

                                DON 
                        (to Pat) 
                All right.

Don kisses the rabbit's foot on his key ring as he rises and goes to 
the counter.

                                DON 
                        (to the counterman) 
                Say, can I have my check?

                                COUNTERMAN 
                You don't need a check, I know what 
                you had.  Two sandwiches, eighty 
                cents.  Iced coffee, a dollar ten.  
                Two ice creams, a dollar sixty.  
                With three cents tax.

                                DON 
                        (hands over some bills) 
                Here, keep the change.

                                COUNTERMAN 
                Thanks!  And come on back now.

Don joins Pat at the door. They exit the diner.

                                                CUT TO:

EXT. STREET - DAY

Moments later, Don and Pat cross the street, walking hand in hand.  Don 
wipes his brow.

                                PAT 
                Hot, hot, hot.

                                DON 
                Yeah.

                                PAT 
                Maybe it won't take them four hours to fix the 
                car, think?

                                DON 
                Maybe.

                                PAT 
                Don, you didn't really want to stay in there, 
                did you?

                                DON 
                        (unconvincingly) 
                No.

                                PAT 
                Honest?

                                DON 
                Well, why was it so specific?

                                PAT 
                Specific?  Sweetie...

They both stop, having crossed the street.

                                DON 
                "If you move soon." "That makes a 
                good deal of sense." "Try again."  
                "There's no question about it." "You 
                may never know." "Do you dare risk 
                finding out?" 

                                PAT 
                Don, it's just a napkin holder in a 
                little cafe in Ridgeview, Ohio.

                                DON 
                Oh, I know.  I know...  All right.  
                What about my promotion, then?  
                Didn't it tell me "It has been 
                decided in your favor"?  Isn't 
                that...?  Oh, forget it.  I suppose 
                I'm just being stupid.

                                PAT 
                No, you're not.  You're just--

                                DON 
                Don't say it.  Superstitious.  It's 
                like you married an alcoholic, isn't 
                it?  Only instead of bottles in the 
                chandelier, it's rabbit's feet and 
                four leaf clovers in my pockets, in 
                the car...

                                PAT 
                And.. and you're all mine.

Pat gives him a kiss.  He puts his arm around her and again they stroll 
down the sidewalk hand in hand.  For a moment, everything seems back to 
normal.  Until Don looks around nervously.

                                PAT 
                What are you doing?

                                DON 
                What?

                                PAT 
                Well, you keep looking around as if--

                                DON 
                Do I?

                                PAT 
                You are worried.  You're worried about that -- 
                Oh, Don, I-I wonder when you act like this.

                                DON 
                I'm sorry.  I'm not trying to upset you.

                                PAT 
                I know you're not.

                                DON 
                Doesn't change the facts, though.

                                PAT 
                What facts?

                                DON 
                Six straight answers.

                                PAT 
                Oh, Don, please.

                                DON 
                Oh, stop treating me like a retarded child or 
                something.  I didn't make those answers up.

A large TRUCK is rolling slowly down the next street as Don and Pat 
step off the curb to cross.  Don pulls Pat into the STREET figuring they 
can easily get across.

                                PAT 
                Oh, Don, wait.

                                DON 
                We can make it.

But a speeding car suddenly passes the truck and nearly runs the couple 
down.  Don pulls Pat to safety at the last moment.  They fall against a 
parked car.  On the sidewalk, townspeople MURMUR about the near 
accident.  Shaken, a relieved Don and Pat hug one another as Don looks 
at the large CLOCK over the Main Street Jewelers: it's exactly three.  

                                                DISSOLVE TO: 

EXT. STREET - DAY

Don and Pat regroup on a nearby park BENCH, moments later.

                                DON 
                You all right?  Quite a moment.

                                PAT 
                If you hadn't pulled me out of the way of that 
                car -- one squashed honeymoon.

                                DON 
                Come on.

They rise and Don leads her by the hand down the STREET.

                                PAT 
                Well, where're we going now?  

Pat freezes when she sees they are heading back to the diner.

                                PAT 
                We're not going back to that--

                                DON 
                Why not?

                                PAT 
                All right.  I admit it was a... strange 
                coincidence.

                                DON 
                If it was a coincidence, well, what are you 
                worrying about us going back, then?

                                PAT 
                I'm not.

                                DON 
                So, stop worrying.  Just the same, you will 
                admit that for a coincidence it was pretty 
                far-fetched?

                                PAT 
                Maybe.

The honeymoon couple walk toward the diner, no longer hand in hand.

                                                FADE OUT

INT. DINER - DAY

Don and Pat enter and head toward the table with the seer on it -- but 
stop dead in their tracks at the sight of something before them.  Pat 
seems quietly pleased but Don looks pretty grim.  Two little old ladies 
sit at the table sipping sodas.

                                PAT
                        (ironic, to Don)
                Well! Someone's sitting in front of our Mystic 
                Seer.

Don's in no mood for irony.  Pat turns and walks over to the counter.
She looks up to see that Don still stares at the little old ladies.

                                PAT
                Don?

A frustrated Don turns to her stiffly.

                                PAT
                Why don't you try this one? Or one of the 
                others?  I'm sure that--

Don joins her at the counter but keeps his eyes on the little old 
ladies.  Don and Pat sit at the counter.  Don tries unsuccessfully to 
contain his frustration.

                                PAT
                Don?

                                DON 
                        (still staring)
                What?

                                PAT
                Well, look at me.

Don looks at her.

                                PAT
                Well, you-you really don't think that... that 
                gizmo can foretell the future, do you?

                                DON 
                It foretold ours.

                                PAT
                How?  How did it?

The counterman arrives and brings them a couple of glasses of water.

                                COUNTERMAN
                Oh, back already.  What'll you have?

                                DON 
                        (to Pat)
                Honey?

                                PAT
                Oh, I'll have some iced coffee, please.

                                COUNTERMAN
                        (to Don)
                How 'bout you?

                                DON 
                Same.

The counterman goes to fetch the drinks.  Pat turns to Don.

                                PAT
                All right. How?

                                DON
                When that car almost hit us it was three 
                o'clock.  Exactly when that machine said.


                                PAT
                Don.  You said three o'clock.  Not the machine.  
                You decided to sit in here as long as we did.  
                You.  Oh, this is ridiculous.  Can't you see 
                that you made up all the details -- and all 
                that-that thing did was give back generalities?

                                DON 
                What are you getting so upset about?

                                PAT
                You.  That you could even consider the 
                possibility that--

                                DON 
                Will you listen--?

Don and Pat quiet down as the counterman arrives with the drinks.  

                                DON 
                        (quietly, to Pat)
                Will you listen--?

Don suddenly sees that the little old ladies are getting up to leave.

                                DON 
                        (to the counterman)
                Excuse me.  

                                COUNTERMAN
                Yes?

                                DON 
                Can you give me some pennies?

                                COUNTERMAN
                Oh, sure.  How many?

                                DON 
                Ten.

The counterman grabs a huge jar of pennies and counts them out as the 
little old ladies leave the table. 

                                DON 
                        (to Pat)
                Come on.

Don rises from the counter and hurries to the now-vacated table. One of 
the old ladies pays the counterman and they exit the diner. Pat brings 
the drinks from the counter to the table where Don sits, having already
deposited a penny, with his finger under the devil's chin.  Unlike 
earlier, Pat sits on the opposite side of the table from Don.

                                DON 
                        (to the seer) 
                Did you know about the car almost hitting us? 

Don pulls the lever and takes the card.

                                DON 
                        (reads aloud) 
                "What do you think?" 

Don looks at Pat who looks away.  Don deposits another penny.

                                DON 
                        (to the seer) 
                Will we reach New York all right now? 

Don pulls the lever and takes the card.  He reads it silently, sighs, 
and smiles at Pat.

                                DON 
                        (reads aloud) 
                "Your chances are good."

                                PAT 
                        (ironic) 
                Very precise.

                                DON 
                Honey, what do you expect?  A slip should come 
                out and say "Hiya, Donsy and Patsy, so how's 
                by you?"

The counterman arrives and clears the table of the little old ladies' 
soda glasses.

                                COUNTERMAN 
                Excuse me.

The counterman leaves with the dirty glasses.

                                DON 
                        (quietly, to Pat) 
                I never said these slips were made for us 
                personally.  I only said--

                                PAT 
                I heard.  
                        (tries to reason with him)  
                Don.  Don't you realize that you could get the 
                same kind of answers from any one of these 
                machines in here?  Try and see.

                                DON 
                The same kind, maybe, but not the same answers.  

Don deposits a penny.

                                DON 
                        (to the seer) 
                Will it still take four hours before the car is 
                ready? 

Don pulls the lever and takes the card.  He reads it silently, breaks 
into a broad grin, and shows it to Pat.

                                DON  
                Hey. "It has already been taken care of."

                                PAT 
                        (icily) 
                Swell.  Let's go then.

                                A MAN'S VOICE 
                        (to Don) 
                Mister?  

Don and Pat turn to see the mechanic approaching them.  As the mechanic 
speaks, Don looks first at Pat, who averts her eyes, and then the 
devil's head, which merely grins at him.

                                MECHANIC 
                        (to Don) 
                Your car's ready.  Got a lucky break. Found a 
                fuel pump right here in town.  Last one they 
                had, too.  Figured you'd be walking around a 
                couple hours before you finally came to the 
                garage so I come lookin' for ya.

                                DON 
                        (to the mechanic) 
                Thank you.  We appreciate it.  We'll be right 
                over.

                                MECHANIC 
                Okey doke.

The mechanic departs.

                                DON 
                        (pointedly, to Pat) 
                Coincidence?

                                PAT 
                Yes.

                                DON 
                All right, then.  You ask it some questions.  
                Or are you afraid to?

                                PAT 
                        (gets an idea) 
                All right.  

Pat deposits a penny.

                                PAT 
                        (to the seer) 
                Will we reach Columbus by tomorrow?

                                DON 
                        (to Pat) 
                We're not going through Colum--

But Pat knows this and figures she can stump the machine.  She pulls 
the lever.  Don takes the card.

                                DON 
                        (reads aloud) 
                "If that's what you really want."

Only a little discouraged, Pat deposits a penny.

                                PAT 
                        (to the seer) 
                Will I ever be married?

Pat pulls the lever.  Don takes the card.

                                DON 
                        (reads aloud) 
                "The answer to that is obvious."

Pat deposits a penny.  She's a little fazed.

                                PAT 
                        (to the seer) 
                It's not possible to foretell the future, is 
                it?

Don pulls the lever and takes the card.

                                DON 
                        (reads aloud) 
                "That's up to you to find out."

Pat deposits a penny.  She's almost hysterical now.

                                PAT 
                        (to the seer) 
                You're just a stupid piece of junk, aren't you?

Pat pulls the lever.  Don takes the card.

                                DON 
                        (almost gloating, reads aloud) 
                "It all depends upon your point of view."

                                PAT 
                I don't want to stay here anymore, Don.

Pat rises abruptly and starts to leave.  Don grabs her arm.

                                DON 
                Even if it's true?

                                PAT 
                Especially if it's true.

                                DON 
                What are you talking about?  I think you are 
                afraid of it.

                                PAT 
                Not of it.  

                                DON 
                Of what then?

                                PAT 
                Don't you know?

But Don doesn't know.  Pat turns and starts to walk away.  Don doesn't 
follow.  He stays at the table and fanatically starts asking a series of
 questions, rapidly depositing pennies, pulling the lever and reading 
the cards to himself.  Pat watches in horror.

                                DON 
                        (to the seer) 
                Are we always gonna live in St. Louis?  Are we 
                going to live in the east?  Are we going to 
                live in the west?  Are we going to live in this 
                country?

                                PAT 
                Don.  Don.

                                DON 
                What?

                                PAT 
                Let's go.

                                DON 
                        (stares at the seer) 
                No.

                                PAT 
                Are you just gonna stay here?

                                DON 
                I... don't know.

                                PAT 
                        (crosses to him) 
                Oh, sweetheart.  Listen to me. Please, if you 
                love me, just listen to me...

Don cradles her face in his hands.

                                DON 
                No, you listen to me.  This machine is 
                predicting our future.  Do you think I could 
                just walk away from it? 

Don cradles the seer.

                                PAT 
                I'm not talking about that machine anymore.  
                I'm talking about you.  

Don is stung by this.

                                PAT 
                Are you just going to sit here and let that... 
                that... that thing run your life?

Pat stalks away and turns her back on Don.

                                DON 
                Run my life?  

Don stares at the seer for a long moment, then rises and crosses to Pat.

                                DON 
                Run my life?

                                PAT 
                        (turns to face him) 
                Isn't that exactly what you're letting it do?  
                Don, it made you call the office before.  It 
                made you stay here instead of leave.  It made 
                you afraid to walk down the street.  And now 
                it's telling you where you're going to live.  
                Why, it's as if every superstitious feeling you 
                ever had is wrapped up in that one machine.  It 
                doesn't matter whether it can foretell the 
                future.  What matters is whether you believe 
                more in luck and in fortune than you do in 
                yourself.  Well, you can decide your own life.  
                        (reaches out to him) 
                You have a mind, a wonderful mind. Don't destroy 
                it trying to justify that cheap penny fortune 
                machine to yourself.

                                DON 
                Pat...

                                PAT 
                        (seems dazed) 
                We can have a wonderful life together, if we 
                make it wonderful... ourselves.  I...

Pat buries her face in Don's chest.  He embraces her.

                                DON 
                Pat...

                                PAT 
                        (sobs) 
                I don't want to know what's going to happen.  I 
                want us to make it happen.

                                DON 
                Don't cry, darling.  Don't cry.

The counterman approaches, concerned.

                                COUNTERMAN 
                        (to Don) 
                Is there something wrong?

                                DON 
                        (to the counterman) 
                No.  No, no, it's all right.  

The counterman withdraws.

                                DON 
                        (to Pat) 
                Don't cry.  We'll go.  We'll go. You're right, 
                I'm a jerk.

                                PAT 
                No, you're not.  You're wonderful.

                                DON 
                Yes, yes, I am.  I'm the world's biggest jerk.  
                Come on.  Let's go get our car.  
                        (more to the seer than to Pat) 
                Yes, that's right.  Let's go get our car, we'll 
                drive out of this town and go where we want to 
                go... anytime we please.

                                PAT 
                Oh, Don, I love you.

                                DON 
                I love you, too, baby.

Don kisses her on the mouth and leads her toward the door, stopping 
only to pay off the counterman.

                                DON 
                        (to the counterman) 
                Keep the change.

                                COUNTERMAN 
                        (to Don) 
                Thanks!  Come on back now.

Don and Pat exit.  The door hasn't even shut behind them when another 
couple, older and rather desperate looking, enter the diner, and move 
directly to the table where Don and Pat have spent much of the 
afternoon.  The man places a handful of pennies on the table as they 
sit.  An awkward pause follows.

                                DESPERATE WOMAN 
                        (resignedly, to the man) 
                Go ahead.

The man deposits a penny in the Mystic Seer.

                                DESPERATE MAN 
                        (to the seer) 
                Can we ask some more questions now?

The man pulls the lever and takes the card.  He and the woman silently 
read it.  She sighs in relief.  He deposits a penny.

                                DESPERATE MAN 
                        (to the seer) 
                Do you think we might leave Ridgeview today?

The man pulls the lever and takes the card.  He and the woman silently 
read it.  She sighs again, this time in despair.  He deposits a penny.

                                DESPERATE MAN 
                        (to the seer) 
                Is there any way out?  Any way at all?

Under the narration, the man pulls the lever and takes the card. The 
woman can't bear to look.  He reads the card silently and puts his hand 
to his mouth.  He deposits a penny, asks a question and pulls the lever.

                                NARRATOR (v.o.)
                Counterbalance in the little town of Ridgeview, 
                Ohio. Two people permanently enslaved by the 
                tyranny of fear and superstition, facing the 
                future with a kind of helpless dread... 

                                                CUT TO:

EXT. MAIN STREET - DAY

Don and Pat in their CONVERTIBLE as they leave town via Main Street.  

                                NARRATOR (v.o.)
                Two others facing the future with confidence, 
                having escaped one of the darker places of 
                the Twilight Zone.

Don and Pat turn a corner and disappear from view.  The Main Street 
clock reads a little after 3:20.

PAN UP to the sunny sky, DISSOLVE TO a starry night sky and FADE OUT.

==========================





1