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Several neighbors hope to find safety in the only bomb shelter on their street when an announcement comes over the radio that enemy missiles are approaching. Can it shelter all of them? Does its owner let them in? Here is the story……
SYNOPSIS OF ACT ONE: On a summer evening, a birthday celebration is going on at Dr. Stockton's. Among those present are his neighbors: the Hendersons, the Weiss’s and the Harlowes. In the midst of it comes unexpectedly over the radio the announcement of the President of the United States declaring a state of emergency of for suspected enemy missiles approaching. The party breaks up and the neighbors hurry home.
However, shortly afterwards they return one after another to the Stockton house for the simple reason that they want to survive —— want to share with the Stocktons the bomb shelter which is the only one on their street.
OUTSIDE STOCKTON HOME
HENDERSON: It'll land any minute. I just know it. It's going to land any minute——
MRS. HENDERSON: (grabs hold of him) What are we going to do?
Throughout above and following dialogue, a portable radio carried by one of the children carries the following announcement:
ANNOUNCER'S VOICE: This is Conelrad. This is Conelrad. We are still in a state of Yellow Alert. If you are a public official or government employee with an emergency assignment, or a civil defense worker, you should report to your post immediately. If you are a public official or government employee……
MRS. HARLOWE: Jerry, ask again.
HARLOWE: Don't waste you time. He won't let anyone in. He said he didn't have any room or supplies there and it's designed for three people.
MRS.HENDERSON: What'll we do?
HARLOWE: Maybe we ought to pick out just one basement and go to work on it. Poll all our stuff. Food, water, everything.
MRS.HARLOWE: It isn't fair. (she points toward Stockton house) He's down there in a bomb shelter completely safe. And our kids have to just wait around for a bomb to drop and ——
HENDERSON: Let's just go down into his basement and break down the door?
A chorus of voices greet this with assent.
As HENDERSON rushes through toward the basement entrance, HARLOWE overtakes him saying:
HARLOWE: Wait a minute, wait a minute. All of us couldn't fit in there. That would be crazy to even try.
WEISS: Why don't we draw lots? Pick out one family?
HARLOWE: What difference would it make? He won't let us in.
HENDERSON: We can all march down there and tell him he's got the whole street against him. We could do that.
HARLOWE: What good would that do? I keep telling you. Even if we were to break down the door, it couldn't accommodate all of us. We'd just be killing everybody and for no reason.
MRS. HENDERSON: If it saves even one of these kids out here——I call that a reason.
The voice comes up again.
WEISS: Jerry, you know him better than nay of us. You're his best friend. Why don't you go down again? Try to talk to him. Pleased with him. Tell him to pick out one family —— Draw lots or something ——
HENDERSON: One family, meaning yours, Weiss, huh?
WEISS: (whirls around to him) Why not? I've got a three-month-old infant——
MRS. HENDERSON: What difference does that make? Is your baby's life any more precious than our kids?
WEISS: (shouting at her) I never said that. If you're going to start trying to argue about who deserves to live more than the next one ——
HENDERSON: Why don't you shut your mouth, Weiss? (with a wild, illogical anger) That's the way it is when the foreigners come over here. Aggressive, greedy, semi-Americans——
WEISS: (his face goes white) Why you garbage-brained idiot you——
MRS. HENDERSON: It still goes, Weiss! I bet you're at the bottom of the list——
WEISS suddenly flings himself through the crowd toward the man and there's a brief, hand-to-hand fight between them broken up by HARLOWE who stands between them breathless.
HARLOWE: Keep it up, both of you. Just keep it up. We won't need a bomb. We can slaughter each other.
MRS.WEISS: (pleading) Marty, go down to Bill's shelter again. Ask him ——
WEISS: I've already asked him. It wouldn't do any good.
One again the siren sounds and the people seem to move closer together, staring up toward the night sky. Off in the distance we see searchlights.
HARLOWE: Searchlights. It must be coming closer.
HENDERSON: (as he suddenly pushes HARLOWE aside and heads for the steps) I'm going down there and get him to open up that door. I don't care what the rest of you think. That's the only thing left to do.
MAN # 1: He's right. Come on, let's do it.
INSIDE THE SHELTER
GRACE is holding tight to PAUL. STOCKTON stands close to the door listening to the noises from outside as they approach. There's a pounding on the shelter door that reverberates.
OUTSIDE THE SHELTER
HENDERSON: Bill? Bill Stockton? You've got a bunch of your neighbors out here who want to stay alive. Now you can open the door and talk to us and figure out with us how many can come in there. Or else you can just keep doing what you're doing —— and we'll fight our way in there.
HARLOWE appears and pushes his way through the group and goes over to the shelter door.
HARLOWE: Bill. This is Jerry. They mean business out here.
STOCKTON'S VOICE: And I mean business in here. I've already told you, Jerry. You're wasting you time. You're wasting precious time that could be use for something else……like figuring out how you can survive.
NAM # 1: Why don't we get a big, heavy log to break the door down?
HENDERSON: We could go over to Bennett Avenue. Phil Kline has some giant logs in his basement. I've seen them. Let's get one. And we'll just tell Kline to keep his mouth shut as to why we want it.
WEISS: Let's get hold of ourselves. Let's stop and think for a minute——
HENDERSON: (turning to face WEISS) Nobody cares what you think. You or your kind. I thought I made that clear upstairs. I think the first order of business is to get you out of here.
With this he strikes out, smashing his fist into WEISS's face in a blow so unexpected and so wild that WEISS, totally unprepared, is knocked against the wall. His wife screams and, still holding the baby, rushes to him. There's a commotion as several men try to grab the neighbor and HARLOWE is immediately at WEISS's side trying to help him to his feet. Once again the sirens blast.
HENDERSON: (should over the noise and commotion) Come on, let's get something to smash this door down.
They start out of cellar toward the steps.
INSIDE THE SHELTER
STOCKTON slowly turns to face his wife. The angry screaming cries of the people ring in their ears even as they depart.
GRACE (looks up) Bill? Who were those people?
STOCKTON (turning to stare toward the door) "Those people?" Those are our neighbors, Grace. Our friends. The people we've lived with and alongside for twenty years. (then in a different fixed expression and in a different tone) Come on. Paul. Let's put stuff up against this door. Everything we can.
The man and boy then start to pile up a barricade, using furniture, the generator, books, any movable object they can get their hands on.
OUTSIDE OF THE SHELTER
The mob marches down the street carrying a large heavy log that is perhaps fifteen feet long. Their own shouts mix with the sound of the intermittent siren and with the voice of the announcer on the Conelrad station.
ANNOUNCER'S VOICE: We've been asked to once again remind the population that they are to remain calm, stay off the streets. This is urgent. Please remain off the streets. Everything possible is being done in the way of protection. But the military and important civil defense vehicles must have the streets clear. So you're once again reminded to remain off the streets. Remain off the streets!
The minute the mob gathers before the STOCKTON house, they smash into it, carrying the giant log. They move down the cellar steps. As the log smashes into the shelter door, the siren goes up louder and more piercing and it is at this moment that we see both WEISS and HARLOW join the men on the heavy log to lend their support to it.
INSIDE THE SHELTER
STOCKTON and Paul lean against it as it starts to give under the weight, under the pressure. The air is filled with angry shouts, the intermittent siren, the cries of women and children.
INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF THE SHELTER
And it all reaches one vast pitch just as the door is forced open. PAUL and STOCKTON are pushed back into the shelter and just at this moment the light go on in the basement. The siren also reaches its top and then suddenly goes off and there is absolute dead silence for a long moment. Then from the portable radio in the corner comes
ANNOUNCER'S VOICE: This is Conelrad. This is Conelrad. Remain turned for an important message. Remain tuned for an important message. (a pause) The President of the United States has just announced that the previously unidentified objects have now been definitely identified as being satellites. Repeat. There are no enemy missiles approaching. Repeat, there are no enemy missiles approaching. The objects have been identified as satellites. They are harmless and we are in no danger. Repeat. We are in no danger. The state of emergency has officially been called off. We are in no danger. Repeat. There is no enemy attack. There is no enemy attack.
MRS.WEISS: (her eyes closed and crying softly) Thank God. Oh, thank God.
WEISS: (in a whisper, his face bruised and blood clotted) Amen to that.
HENDERSON: Hey, Marty …… Marty ……I went crazy. You understand that, don't you? I just went crazy. I didn't mean all the things I said. (he wets his lips, his voice shaking) We were all of us …… we were so scared ……so confuse. (he holds out his hands in a gesture) Well, it's no wonder really, is it? I mean…… well, you can understand why we blew our tops a little ——
There's a murmur of voices, a few half-hearted nods, but they're all still in a state of shock.
HARLOWE: I don't think Marty's going to hold it against you. (then turning to STOCKTON) I just hope Bill won't hold this —— (he points to the wreckage around him) against us. We'll pay for the damage, Bill. We'll take up a collection right away.
As STOCKTON walks past them across the cellar and up toward the stairs, all eyes are on him and there's an absolute dead silence.
WEISS: (his voice shaky and nervous) We could …… we could have a block party or something tomorrow night. A big celebration. I think we deserve one now.
He looks around smiling at the others, a nervous smiles born of a carry-over of fear and the realization that something has taken hold of all of them now. Something deadening in its effect and disquieting beyond words.
STOCKTON takes a step up on the stairs then stops and turns back toward them. His face is expressionless.
HARLOWE: (with phony laughter desperately trying to relieve situation) Block party's not a bad idea. (looking around at the others) Anything to get back to normal.
STOCKTON: (looks from face to face and slowly shakes his head) Normal? (a pause) I don't know. I don't know what "normal" is. I thought I did, but I don't any more.
HARLOWE: I told you we'd pay for the damages——
STOCKTON: (stares at him) The damages? (he nods) I wonder if we realize just what those damages are? (he looks from face to face again) Maybe the worst of them was finding out just what we're like when we're normal. The kind of people we are. Just underneath the surface. I mean all of us. A lot of naked animals who attach such great importance to staying alive that they claw their neighbors to death just for the privilege. (he leans against the stairway wall, suddenly desperately tired, very softly as he turns away from them) We were spared a bomb tonight……but I wonder if we weren't destroyed even without it.
He continues up the steps.
n. (sth. that gives) cover or protection 掩蔽（处）
synopsis (pl. synopses)
n. summary or outline (of a book, play, etc.)提要，梗概
n. marking (of an event or a special occasion) with public or private rejoicings 庆祝
n. middle part
ad. later, after that
vt. make shorter by using fewer words 缩略，删节
vt. take roughly, snatch eagerly
a. that can be easily carried or moved 手提式的
vt. a person who reads news or introduces people on radio or television
n. a person who is employed
a civilian emergency program for protecting people and their property against enemy attacks or natural disaster 民防
n. place of duty岗位
vt. intend; make a drawing or patterns of (sth.) 设计
n. a room or rooms in a house which are below street level 地下室
vt. put (thing or money) together, esp. for common advantage 把……集中在一起（共用）
n. things in a mass; matter
n. sth. said or cried by many people at one time; song fro all to sing together 齐声说的话（或喊声）合唱
n. gate, door, or other opening by which one enters 入口处
vt. catch up with 赶上
a. mad, foolish
vt. have enough space for; provide with a room in which to live or stay 容纳；向……提供住宿
vi. make continual and deeply felt requests 恳求(used for expressing surprise or disapproval)
vi. move or travel rapidly; move quickly round and round 飞速移动；旋转
n. child during the first few years of its life 婴儿
a. highly valued; of great value or beauty 珍贵的
vt. Have a right to; be worthy of 值得
a. be against logic; without logic 不合逻辑的；无缘由的
n. person belonging to a foreign country
a. always ready to quarrel; not afraid of opposition; enterprising 挑衅的；放肆的；积极进取的
a. excessively eager to acquire; wanting to get more than one's share贪婪的
n. a very stupid or foolish person 白痴
bet(bet or betted)
vt. be very sure; risk (money) on the result of a future event 确信；用……打赌
vt. move (oneself) violently, esp. in anger throw violently or with force 使（自己）猛扑；用力扔，掷
a. in close contact 逼近的，直接交手的
vt. kill (animals, people) in large numbers 屠杀
n. penetrating whistle as a warning 警报
n. powerful light with a beam that can be turned in any direction 探照灯
n. a severe beating or blow 猛击
vi. echo repeatedly 回响
n. wide street in a town
a. of great size or force
n. man, animal, or plant much larger than normal
vi. produce a hard sharp sound 发出刺耳响声
n. an underground room, usu. used for storing goods 地窖
vi. leave a place
n. barrier of objects put across or in front of sth. as a defense 障碍；街垒
n. a machine which generates, usu. electricity
a. that can be moved
n. a large noisy and disorderly crowd, esp. one that has gathered for mischief or attack 一伙人；一群暴徒
a. pausing or stopping at intervals; not continuous 断断续续的
vt. tell or cause (sb.) to remember 提醒
a. connected with soldiers, armies 军事的
n. a means of carrying or transporting sth. 车辆（统称）
a. (of sound) very sharp and clear, esp. in an unpleasant way; penetrating 尖厉的；刺穿的
vi. bend; yield to pressure 弯曲；塌下
n. the degree of highness or lowness of a musical note or speaking voice 声音的高低，调子
vt. adjust (a radio or television receiver) to respond to waves of a particular frequency
ad. without a doubt; clearly
a. that cannot cause harm
vt. injure the outside of 碰伤；使（皮肉）青肿
int. may this be true 阿门（基督教徒祈祷结束时的用语）
int. (used to call attention or express surprise)
n. movement, usu. of the hands, to express a certain meaning 姿势，手势
n. a soft low sound
a. showing little effort and no real interest.
n. the broken parts of a destroyed thing 残骸
a. shaking or unsteady
(AmE) a party of celebration help in the street by the residents of a block or neighborhood, esp. to raise funds for a local church or block club
n. sth. carried or left over 剩余物
n. being or becoming conscious
v. (cause to) lose strength, feeling, brightness, etc.
a. pretended; false
n. laughing 笑声
ad. with little hope of success 绝望地；拼命地
prep. beneath; under
a. not covered by clothes; nude 裸体的
vt. tear, seize, pull with claws or hand 用爪抓
vt. break to pieces; put an end to 摧毁
PHRASES & EXPRESSIONS
in the midst of
in the middle of
cease to be together 散开
grad/get/take hold of
get possession of; grasp 抓住
find space or room (for sth. or sb.)
use lots to decide sth. 抽签
make a / the difference
have an effect or influence; matter 有关系，有影响
grow louder, stronger or brighter
move towards, go to
work out; understand (sth. or sb.) by thinking 解决，算出；理解，弄清楚
otherwise; if not
be ready to act ( not merely talk); be serous 是当真的
heap up 堆起
get one's hands on
find; get possession of
in the way of
in the matter of; as regards 在……方面； 关于
be lit （灯）亮
stop or give the order to stop; cancel 停止；取消
blow one's top
(sl.) explode with anger 在发脾气
allow(sth) to affect one's judgement of (sb.) 因（某事）而嫉恨（某人）
owing existence to; deriving or resulting from
Conelrad (short for Control of Electromagnetic radiation)