|"A Message From Charity"|
Scene from "A Message From Charity"
|Episode no.||Season 1|
|Directed by||Paul Lynch|
|Written by||Alan Brennert |
(Based on the short story "A Message from Charity", by William M. Lee. The story was first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (November 1967))
|Original air date||November 1, 1985|
Peter Wood is a teenager sick with a fever that puts him in telepathic contact with Charity Payne, a Puritan girl from Colonial Massachusetts (specifically 1700), who also has the same type of fever. The two share realistic thought-visions of each other's worlds and Charity has a glimpse of the world in the year 1985. The teenagers discover they can communicate and form a true friendship.
When Charity is discovered (when she tries to humble a know-it-all neighbor girl) she is branded a witch for her knowledge of future events. Now her friend from the future must help her escape the clutches of her villagers and prove she is not a witch before she is tried and executed.
Peter discovers an historical record that two dead bodies would be discovered near Charity's township, which had been proven to be men whom the judge murdered over a deal gone wrong. However, the judge died of a heart attack prior to the discovery, and the Crown confiscated his lands since they could not try him. At her trial, Charity claims this is not witchcraft, but second sight. Charity tells of a dead sea captain and another man, causing the judge to find her not guilty. Afterward, Charity tells Peter that they probably should not go on communicating, lest more problems arise. Peter sadly agrees and they bid each other goodbye.
Approximately one year later, Peter receives one last telepathic call from Charity. She has left him a message at a local landmark known as Bear Rock. Peter finds Charity's message: chiseled into Bear Rock is a Valentine-like heart with the initials "PW + CP".
He reached out with his mind, searching for some trace of her...but found only silence. Peter Wood was alone...
(At this point, Peter is on campus, talking and joking with his friends.)
A new year with new friends and a new confidence and, in time, he began to doubt whether it had ever really happened. Until, one day...
(At this point in the narration, Charity contacts Peter for the final time and tells him she is breaking their vow not to contact each other, but she wants him to know she has left him a message on Bear Rock. He sprints there, sees the heart and initials, and smiles.)
Harmon Brook is very different today. Its waters not quite as pure, its banks lined with tract homes and shopping centers. But Bear Rock is still there. And so is a message, a message from a girl long gone, and yet, not really gone in heart and mind. A last remembrance of friendship and first love. A love that will live, only and always...in the Twilight Zone.