This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.
Embry finds a grave of one of his crew and sees jets in the sky, anachronistic for the time. He collapses in the sand, and we discover that he is actually suffering hallucinations from a hospital bed, years after being scheduled to be aboard the fatally missing flight of King Nine. Guilt-ridden, he is punishing himself. A newspaper shows a headline about the wreckage of a plane that has been found in the desert that triggered his shock and hallucinations.
The nurse, fetching his shoes, discovers that they are mysteriously filled with sand.
Enigma buried in the sand, a question mark with broken wings that lies in silent grace as a marker in a desert shrine. Odd how the real consorts with the shadows, how the present fuses with the past. How does it happen? The question is on file in the silent desert. And the answer? The answer is waiting for us in the Twilight Zone.
Inside this curio shop next week, from amidst this old-school rococo and some fusty, moth-eaten antiquary, will emerge a bottle - this one. And from it will step a genie to give Mr. Luther Adler four wishes. But he'll discover, as will all of you, that there's an economics to magic - a high cost of wishing. Next week, a most intriguing tale - "The Man in the Bottle." Thank you and good night.
This was the first episode to feature the familiar Marius Constant Twilight Zone theme and the first to feature an on-camera Rod Serling narration at the beginning of the episode.
The aircraft used was a B-25C-10NA 42-32354 which still exists in storage with Aero Trader, Borrego Springs, CA.