The Storyteller (The Twilight Zone)
|The New Twilight Zone episode|
|Episode no.||Season 2
|Directed by||Paul Lynch|
|Written by||Rockne S. O'Bannon|
|Original air date||October 11, 1986|
|“||Two women. A man. A chase down library steps. And so, our story begins. Like life, all stories have a beginning, a middle and end. But the distances between beginning and end, between story and life, can sometimes be deceptive. Especially when viewed through the shifting prisms of the Twilight Zone.||”|
Dorothy Livingston, a retired teacher, is visiting her niece when she bumps into one man she can never forget. As he leaves in a taxi, Dorothy and her niece decide to follow him in another taxi. While they go after him, Dorothy tells the story of how she met that man. It is 1933 and Dorothy has been assigned to a small school somewhere in West Virginia. The teacher she is replacing informs her that Mica Frost, one of the students, should be allowed access to the library at all times. Once in class she meets Mica, a boy who is always writing on his notebook.
Believing Mica's behavior is unusual, Dorothy asks him to tell his parents to come to school to talk to her. Mica informs her that his parents are dead. Mica tells Dorothy that he lives only with his grandfather and that he can't come to meet her and that she can't meet him at their home either. On her way back home, Dorothy decides to spy on Mica but she bumps into something and makes a loud noise which makes Mica come out of the home to check immediately. Mica explains to her that he writes stories that keep his grandfather alive, or rather, that he writes stories that keep his great-great-great-grandfather alive by only reading to him a half of the story a night, leaving the ending for the next night and then starting a new one and so on. He says he has done so, just like his father and his grandfather before him. Dorothy tells him that even if this was possible, should he keep such an old man alive? Mica claims that he feels the obligation to do so, just like his daddy before him.
Next morning at school, Mica has an accident when he falls from a tree, hitting his head and breaking an arm. He is taken to spend the night with the town's doctor but he doesn't want to because there won't be anyone to keep his great-great-great-grandfather alive. Dorothy, feeling somehow responsible for the old man, goes to his home that night and reads him a story she makes up. The next day, Mica rushes home, only to find out his great-great-great-grandfather alive and well. He is also surprised to find out that Dorothy was there to read a story to save the old man's life. She tells Mica she's still not convinced, but she felt that she should read a story "just in case".
Back in the present, Mica gets out of the taxi and walks up some stairs, followed closely by Dorothy and her niece. He enters a door and as it opens, we start to hear Dorothy reading this story to her own mother, who asks excitedly "what happens next? Did she find the man? Was he really 200 years old?" Dorothy smiles and answers "Tomorrow, mother" and leaves, with the old lady waiting in excitement for tomorrow's story...