Summary : What If one of the grimmest sequences from Elfen Lied's backstory had been a 1960's episode of 'The Twilight Zone'? Meet a girl named Katy, who lives in an orphanage where she is scorned and isolated. Submitted for your approval... Title : Other Songs : The Girl At Eleven Author : 'Goji' Rob Morris Series : Elfen Lied and the original Twilight Zone Rating : PG13, for heavily implied violence Part : 1/1 Format : Script form, bracketed by a fictional 'episode history' Other Songs : The Girl At Eleven by Rob Morris A number of things conspired against the 'lost' episode of The Twilight Zone called "The Girl At Eleven". Submitted by Jerome Bixby (TZ's 'It's A Good Life', Star Trek's 'Charlie X') with the collaboration of a Japanese fan of the series (whose heir the Serling estate ceded the idea to outright in a 1999 agreement), it seemed doomed from the outset. It was to have been shown on Friday, November 22nd, 1963, the day after Thanksgiving in the US - and the day the US and perhaps the world suffered a great loss. It was already odd that a new episode of any series would be shown on a holiday weekend, when people were visiting the friends and relatives they hadn't seen on the day itself. Yet while this was hardly the only oddity in Twilight Zone broadcast history, the real bump came not from any TV executive fretting about wasted ratings, but from the grief over the fallen Chief Executive. The news coverage about President Kennedy's death extended far into hours that normally saw no news coverage at that time. Rod Serling fretted, naturally, and fretted is of course a euphemism. His show had escaped scrutiny by way of a refuge in audacity, scripts so outlandish in premise that Standards & Practices shrugged when it read them, unable to grasp some layered meanings. But while it had Science Fiction and Fantasy elements, "The Girl At Eleven" also had a more mundane situation at its core, and that is perhaps what doomed it all the more. With the schedule disrupted by the news marathon, network censors caught up on past due work and gave certain shows a second look. "The Girl At Eleven" was ultimately deemed too grim, too violent, this despite the staff working overtime to avoid so much as a drop of blood or a glimpse of real death. In time, Lynn Okamoto, the heir to the creator of the original idea, reworked it to great effect in a classic Japanese manga series. But now, as its 50th anniversary nears, we give you what might have been, at least one mystery of 1963 solved at last. ____________________________________________________________________________ START EPISODE OPEN "There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call "The Twilight Zone". " ( The camera pans over a playground; The equipment on it isn't rotting, but nor is it well kept at all; A matronly woman calls in to a group of children; they don't seem either excited or happy, and their looks indicate they have no desire to go back inside to a dismal, blank-looking building) Attendant : Come now, playtime's over! (Children start to go inside) Serling : Playtime is over, and yet it seems playtime never began here. Not here, where the last fantasy of the world comes to live out its final years. The fantasy where in the child who has no parents suddenly gains them, and friends as well, and all is happy. This is an orphanage. Not the cruelest example of this needed social commitment, but as we will see, hardly the nicest either. In this case, as perhaps in some others, the orphanage is a place of misery, from the highest official overseeing it to the one child who lives at the dead bottom of a well of scorn, each layer of misery above her preying mercilessly on the next, until at long last her young soul is covered in nothing but bite marks. (One girl is hanging back; The attendant notices) Attendant : Katy! Come in now--don't cause trouble. (Katy is pretty, but her look is rather blank and fighting off sad) Katy : I was just trying to avoid trouble. You know, with the other kids. Attendant : Well, that's just not possible for you, is it? Now get in! (Katy's hair is unusually thick, especially close to her temples) (Katy goes in, and the teacher begins to lead the class in a song) Class : At night in the village the watchman cried "Elf!" A very small elf was asleep in the wood - just at eleven!- And he thinks that the nightingale must have called him by name from the valley, or Silpelit might have sent for him. So the elf rubs his eyes, comes out of his snail-shell house, and is like a drunken man, his nap was not finished; and he hobbles down, tip tap, through the hazel wood into the valley, slips right up to the wall; there sits the glow-worm, light on light. (Last line shows emphasis on Katy's face) "What are those bright windows?" (Cut over to Rod Serling, standing in a corner of the class, as always unseen) Serling : The song is Elfenlied, by the German poets Eduard Morike and Hugo Wolf. It is a somber little song, fitting for a place in which it seems the world we know and take for granted exists hidden behind a bright window. The song, to keep it simple, tells the story of someone excluded and confused, glimpsing a place they may not enter, and after mishaps and injury, being asked if they have had enough. In case you hadn't guessed, the one excluded and confused here is Katy herself - she's not like the other children, nor like anyone you are ever likely to meet. When the time comes for Katy to be asked if she has had enough, it is likely to be an answer heard as low as the softest whisper and yet also loud enough to shake the highest heavens - in the Twilight Zone. (Episode Resumes, see title "The Girl At Eleven") (Class is finishing singing) "What are those bright windows?" There must be a wedding inside; the little people are sitting at the feast, and fooling around in the ballroom. So I'll just take a peep in!" Shame! he hits his head on hard stone! Well, elf, had enough, have you? Cuckoo! Cuckoo! (They sit down; Random Boy has his hand up) Teacher : Yes--you have a question? RB : Teacher? Why does the Elf even think that someone's calling for him? Teacher : That's a very good question. Does anyone know the answer? (Katy offers it up) Katy : In the original German, Elf also means Eleven, and it was Eleven O'clock, and when he heard the cuckoo clock, the Elf... Teacher : (Annoyed) Katy, did you raise your hand? Katy : No, but I studied really hard, and I had the answer, and I just wanted to... Teacher : You wanted to show off, Katy. You always want to show off. Why would you, of all people, want to be noticed? RB : (Chuckling) It's eleven now, Katy. Is that why you thought someone was calling for you? (Cruel laughter that the teacher does nothing to stop emerges) (The class is dismissed later; Katy is blocked from leaving by three boys) Katy : (annoyed but calm; always calm) Let me go, Tommy! (Perhaps Katy is played by Lisa Loring, later Wednesday Addams, albeit with long curls at this point; In a 'TV Land' twist, Tommy is perhaps played by Ken Weatherwax, her future TV brother Pugsley; in any event, Tommy looks arrogant, as though the misery in the orphanage suits him and his goals; his is a smile that has never been wiped off his face) Tommy : Why do you wear those big hair ribbons? Katy : You know why. (Smiling, he tries to reach for them, but she keeps moving away) Tommy : Hold her still. (Two other boys, smiling but less confidently, grab Katy's arms; She glares, but Tommy plucks off her hair ribbons; revealed are two distinctive flesh ridges on either side of her head) Boy 1 : It's like she has cat ears! Boy 2 : Or antenna like a bug's. Tommy : Nah---they're horns--because she's a devil-girl--maybe we should call you Lucifer. Katy : I'm not a devil, and all your mean words can't make me into one. Tommy : Then maybe you're just an animal. Demons and devils have horns, but so do oxen. Anyway, you're sure not Human---Horns. Boys 1 and 2 : Horns! Horns! Horns! Tommy + Boys : Horns! Horns! Horns! (The ruckus by this time has caught the attention of the nearby teacher) Teacher : That's enough noise. Oh, Katy! You know you're never supposed to remove those ribbons--are you trying to draw attention to yourself again? Do you want everyone in the world to see you have those things sticking out of your head? (Katy doesn't cry or plead; but the injustice of this is still plainly in her eyes) Katy : I didn't remove the ribbons. Tommy and his friends did. Tommy : Katy's lying again, teacher. Just like she always does. (The teacher's contempt for Tommy is only a little less) Teacher : Well, you're all a bunch of little animals, aren't you? (Again turns to Katy) Teacher : But you're the worst, aren't you? They at least don't look the part. Well? Don't stand there staring. Do you have something smart-mouthed to say? (Katy is obviously holding back what she's feeling; It now begins to make her ill) Katy : Teacher, I don't feel at all well. (Teacher sighs) Teacher : Well, it makes sense you're always sick, doesn't it? You make yourself sick, as well as others. All right, we'll go to the nurse. (As they walk off, Tommy's friends smile) Boy 1 : Got her good, didn't we? Boy 2 : Yeah, real good, huh Tommy? (Tommy frowns) Tommy : Not good enough. She always keeps from crying or even showing that she might. That part's gonna change really soon, though. (The nurse puts Katy to bed in a room adjacent to her office) Nurse : Just rest up, Katy. You'll be fine soon. Katy : Ma'am, why am I so strange? Nurse : Life is strange, Katy. You're just a little girl with a fever--who needs her rest. (The nurse is an older woman; unlike the younger teacher, who feels trapped teaching children she despises, she is accepting and even if Katy's horns throw her off, she doesn't allow it to show) Katy : You're the only one whose nice to me around here. Nurse : (Apprehensively, because she knows it to be a lie) No, No, no. That's not true at all. You have lots of friends here. Now, no running off to the field. I know you like being outside, but you need warmth and rest. Katy : I'll rest. I always feel stronger after I rest. ( The nurse leaves, but the door is ajar; Someone else in the room - or are they? - begins to speak to Katy) Other : (Voice cold and cruel-sounding) When are you going to listen to me? Katy : (whispering, so no one can hear) I'm not. I've told you I wouldn't. So please just go away. Other (still in the shadows, the voice of another child) : Did you ever read about something called evolution, Katy? Katy : Of course. Living things change and adapt over time. I studied it very hard. But teacher said I was just--- Other : We know what teacher says. We know what teacher always says. What they all say - even the nurse, I'll bet. Because just by being born, you caused them to be left behind. You're the new evolution, Katy. And it makes them afraid. All of them. Not just here at the orphanage. Katy : Someday I'll find a place where I'm accepted. Maybe even loved. Other : Like you loved that stray puppy you found, Katy? Oh, how you loved him. Gave him some of your own food. But it wasn't enough, so you asked that girl to help you feed him. She promised to, but what did she do instead? Katy : She...she told Tommy about the puppy, and he found it. He showed it to me. Then he took a rock and he...and he...(once more avoiding tears) Other : And you told what he did, and what happened? Teacher and others made sure you were the one who got in trouble. That is how it will always go, Katy. Because this is their world. A world made for them, and for people like them. Katy : I know. But I can't change that, any more than I could save my puppy. I only have two arms. Other : What if I told you that you could have all the arms you ever wanted? Arms that can do anything, and can never be blocked or held down. Arms strong enough to lift the whole world, turn it upside down, and shake the garbage out of it? Katy : Then...I could build a world that works for me. But I don't have arms like that. Other : Then how did those handprints get on the ceiling of your room? With your arms, you can even make other children like you be born, till the old Humans just go away forever. You won't be a freak if everyone else has what you have. Katy : I think what you're describing is horrible. Once and for all, why don't you just go away forever? (The Other comes out of the shadows; She is of course, not merely another child, but another Katy, one seen only by her, but who also may not be imaginary) Other-Katy : Oh, stop that. You know I'm the one person who will never ever leave you. Because I'm the only one who's on your side. (Cut to commercial) (Show will be right back /is back musical bumpers) (We are now out in the nurse's office; The nurse is filling out a report, presumably on Katy; the Teacher is sitting, and looks over at the door to the room Katy is resting in. Her look is one of obvious and undisguised contempt) Teacher : This is how many times she's been sick, now? Why doesn't she do everyone, herself included, a favor, and just... Nurse : (looks up from her work) We are talking about a child, you know. Specifically, one of the children under our care? Teacher : If I could find another teaching position, I'd leave all these little wretches behind, and send animal control to do their good work on our dear Katy. Nurse : That's enough! You know, I opposed you being hired here. I can't even imagine why you want to teach at all, with the way you seem to feel about all children. As to Katy, yes, her appearance is strange, even off-putting. But at heart, she tries to be a good kid. Stop making her into Lucifer, for pity's sake. Teacher : Well, she's far worse than Lucifer, isn't she? Lucifer keeps down in Hades. That monster, with those--those things--sticking out of her head? It's we poor saps on Earth who have to deal with her. That cold stare of hers---never crying, almost never reacting, like Human emotion is a sin for her. (Flash to inside the room; Katy is trying to ignore their argument; her eyes seem to close finally) Nurse : Well, what do you expect? The children and half the staff in this place take ridiculous steps to make it clear to her that she is hated. The poor thing closed herself off from the world, because that world spurned her for nothing she ever did. For a condition of birth. Teacher : She drove that one girl mad. Tell me that isn't the mark of a monster. Nurse : That girl helped that little thug Tommy and his hench-boys to kill an innocent puppy that Katy was feeding. If anyone, she was the monster. Then, the guilt ate at her mind until she swore up and down that Katy had---heh---invisible arms that swirled around her head while she slept. Horns are not a thing on one's head---they are a mark of the spirit, and if so, Katy's are puny things compared to the other ones here--and compared to some in this very room. Teacher : I'm going to tell the senior staff how much of an animal-lover you are. (Nurse has had enough) Nurse : Another thing I can never figure is why you came back here. You were miserable here as a child, and you've left none of that behind as a teacher. Is that why you're punishing Katy? For daring to be more miserable than even you were, not so long ago? Well, I'm putting you out of your misery. Come Monday, I am going to push my old and dear friends on the senior staff to send you packing as soon as possible! (Teacher reacts with anger; Grabs at the Nurse) Teacher : You can't take my position away! How will I live? Nurse : Let go of me! All that is none of my concern. You brought this on yourself. Teacher : You dare to side with that little monster over me, you hateful... (The nurse is pushed back, and strikes her head against the filing cabinet, which also falls on her; this is cut away from, but is also quite obvious) Teacher : (Nervous and panicky) I'm not the one who caused this. It's not my fault! (The next day, Katy awakens, but the mess and evidence has been cleaned up; She sees a note) (Note Reads "Katy, please meet me in the Music Room - Teacher.") Katy : But its Saturday. There are no classes. Other-Katy : (Wary but resigned) Better go. Don't give them an excuse. Not that they need one. (Katy goes along to the Music Room; It is early and the other children in their rooms on the opposite side of the orphanage are very much asleep; The music room by necessity has walls that are thicker; the outside wall by the hallway is solid by appearance alone) Katy : Teacher? Teacher : Come in, Katy--and close the door. Tell me, how is your penmanship? Can you do cursive writing? (By the standards of their usual discourse, the teacher is actually being nice, and Katy is now off her guard) Katy : Yes, Teacher. I practice it every day. Teacher : Can you sign your name legibly? Katy : Sure. Teacher : I don't believe you. Sign it here, and prove it to me. (Almost excitedly, Katy signs where she is told) Katy : Is that good enough, Teacher? (Teacher takes the sheet away; gestures) Teacher : Lock the door! (Tommy and the two other boys emerge from hiding and do just that; Katy looks around with apparent fear) Katy : Teacher, what's going on? (Teacher holds up the signed letter) Teacher : Oh, it's horrible dear. Someone killed our nurse--and then you ran away, leaving this signed confession. Rid of her, rid of you. See, Katy, you're about to pull a disappearing act. (The two other boys grab her arms and hold her; The Music Room, with its many busts of famous composers lining the shelves, seems an odd place for the promised violence) Katy : I can't just disappear. People don't just disappear! Teacher : And if you do disappear, who will care? If you drop off the face of the Earth like you should, would anyone you know even bother to remember your name? You're not a Human girl. If I were doing this to a Human girl, I'd feel remorse. I feel none about you. (Tommy smiles) Tommy : See this rock, Horns? Your puppy didn't last for very long, and that left me disappointed. We'll see if you disappoint. Heh. We'll see if you even react. (But as he approaches, the rock is knocked out of his hand by nothing at all; Oddly, Katy begins to chuckle, then laugh ever louder, until it hurts the ears of those who mean her harm; They cover them in pain) Katy : She was right, wasn't she? WASN'T SHE? Do you want me to react, Tommy? (The framing letter flies into Katy's hands and a second later, is small pieces of confetti. The Teacher and the three young thugs are shoved against the blackboard wall, again seemingly by nothing at all. They are held fast by this same unseen force) Teacher : What are you doing? Katy : You were wrong, Teacher. I am Human. Tommy : You let me loose! Katy : I am what Humans will become, given time. The bad news for you is, Humans will still want to hit back, even when they evolve. Teacher : Katy? We--we can talk about this. Katy : Talk? But this is the Music Room, Teacher--and I want to sing! Boy 1 : Why can't I move? Katy : You can't move because I'm using my invisible arms. Arms that can do anything, and can never be blocked or held down. Arms strong enough to lift the whole world, turn it upside down, and shake the garbage out of it. But wait--I said I was going to sing. Boy 2 : You're not Human! Katy : No, stupid. Don't you remember? I just said I was Human. The ones who aren't Human--are all of you--and maybe one day I'll even find that girl again. I'll give her your rock, Tommy. Tommy (Tearing up) You--you have to stop! Katy : NO! I--have to sing. (Katy sings Elfenlied; her voice seems to carry unto itself; it is eerily beautiful) Katy : (Sings) "At night in the village the watchman cried "Elf!" A very small elf was asleep in the wood - just at eleven!- And he thinks that the nightingale must have called him by name from the valley, or Silpelit might have sent for him. So the elf rubs his eyes, comes out of his snail-shell house, and is like a drunken man, his nap was not finished; and he hobbles down, tip tap, through the hazel wood into the valley, slips right up to the wall; there sits the glow-worm, light on light. What are those bright windows? There must be a wedding inside; the little people are sitting at the feast, and fooling around in the ballroom. So I'll just take a peep in!" (Katy pauses her singing; winds begin to blow in the Music Room; camera cuts to close-ups of the very scared faces of her targets; The busts of the great composers on the shelves inexplicably are cut cleanly in half, one by one; The boys are crying; the Teacher's eyes are wide as saucers) (Katy resumes and finishes her song) Shame! he hits his head on hard stone! (Chairs and tables in the room are also split cleanly; the tormentors fate is sealed; Katy is smiling) Well, elf, had enough, have you? (Katy physically pulls back her arm and a howling wind builds; her smile is now a savage grin) Cuckoo! Cuckoo!" (We see the teacher's plainly terrified eyes as the wind-shear builds) Teacher : KATY, PLEASE DON'T DO IT!!!!!! (The Camera cuts to outside the locked Music Room; An awful cracking noise is heard and the very solid wall adjacent to the blackboard area and hallway suddenly gains a large and visible gash close to the floor; Light can be seen seeping through it; whether anything else will soon be seeping out is left to the imagination. The clear implication is that, whatever might have been on the other side of that wall, it or they aren't doing very well anymore) (Katy departs the Music Room; closes the door) Katy (looks back at the room disdainfully) Had Enough? Other-Katy (Joyful) : I'd say they had enough. (They depart the orphanage; At a small mound in front of a tree a good distance away, Katy lays down two flowers she picked) Katy : I'm sorry, Nurse. You were always nice to me, and I think that's why they hurt you. This is where I put my puppy to rest, and I hope you keep each other company. I'm stronger now. But if I'd been stronger before, both of you might still be alive. (Katy turns to leave, but hears a voice) Voice : Hey, Horns! (Katy turns to look in anger; a boy is approaching her) Katy : What about my horns? Boy : They're--they're so wonderful! (Going for another TV Land twist, this familiar boy is perhaps played by Butch Patrick, later Eddie Munster of The Munsters) Katy : (suspicious) You wouldn't think so if you had to live with them! Boy : Are you an Elf Princess or something? I mean, you're so pretty. Other-Katy : Get rid of him. He's setting you up for a fall, just like they did back in the orphanage. Boy : My name is Carter. Can we please be friends? (Katy's starving heart takes the chance; The boy is sincere, but she might not care if he wasn't) Katy : I'd like that, Carter. I'd like it a lot. Carter : Great! I have some money--I'll take you to see the zoo. Katy : Zoo? Carter ; Huh? A zoo is where people like you and me go to see these terrific animals. Katy : People--like you--and me? Carter : And if you're worried about your horns--- (Carter pulls a baseball cap from his back pocket; puts it on her head) Carter : You can wear this. Okay? (Katy smiles; The thought that someone like this even existed is overwhelming) Other-Katy : We have a world to build! Katy : (As Other-Katy pulls back into the shadows, but does not vanish) Okay, Carter. I want you to show me the zoo. I can't wait to go there---with you. (Their age aside, her look is already one of true love. The two walk off talking, happily as the scene pulls away from them) (Final narration) Rod Serling : If it seems odd to tack a happy ending onto so grim a story, let it be known that this is not an ending at all. Katy still has choices to make, and while her new friend is a very real and true one, love and friendship can still mean pain. For in a way, even the Homo Sapiens, the supposedly wise and strong Human being is still in many ways an animal, and certain instincts arise that may still mean a hard road for Katy, and maybe for her new friend. For while an animal can respond to love and affection, beware that animal that has gained a taste for blood, as Katy has. It is not a taste that can be easily taken back. There is hope for Katy, but that hope is leavened as well by fear. Fear and anger are forever the deadly twin enemies of love, in the sunlit world we think we know, and most certainly --- in The Twilight Zone. CLOSE EPISODE (Credits follow; A still of the scene with Katy being held after her hair ribbons are taken is shown) END EPISODE ____________________________________________________________ Once scrutinized, the episode was doomed. No matter how it was danced around, the fact remained that a central point of the plot was Katy murdering four people, three of them children, however loathsome they all were. Rod Serling chose to save his fights for scripts he could prevail on. One network executive said that they lost him just for mentioning what happened to the puppy. Originally, that puppy's death was to have been the event that finally broke Katy, but both Serling and Bixby realized it would never see the light of day, even if done as a shadowed shot like the Jack In The Box Man in "It's A Good Life". So it was that young Katy missed her chance to join the memorable children of the 1960's. Of course, the story has gained a new life in Japan as the memorable manga series Elfen Lied, written and drawn by the heir of Bixby's Japanese co-writer. With its strong characters and daring storylines, who knows? It might have even had a fan in Rod Serling himself. The way the network shut this down was so thorough, even the next planned episode was cancelled. Here is a next episode trailer, all that was ever made of it. Serling : Meet Peter. A bookish high school wallflower who is about to become that most envied and yet saddest of American icons - the superstar. As a science experiment he attends goes awry, his efforts at fame and fortune may cause his star to fall. Peter : Uncle Ben, you don't understand! The spider's irradiated bite lets me crawl on walls and jump like my feet have their own trampoline. You talk about showing responsibility? Heck, I did all that for years, and they made me into an outcast for it. Now they can all eat my dust and go hang, for all I care. Because from now on, Peter Parker is gonna live Amazing Fantasy Number 15! Serling : Be here for 'Amazing Fantasy Number 15' - next week - on the Twilight Zone.