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"Perilous Journey"
Tz goldkey 01cvr
Publisher:Gold Key
Series:The Twilight Zone (Gold Key)
Issue:Vol. 1, No. 1 (0016-211)
Pages:10 pages
Editor:
Writer:
Penciler:Reed Crandall
Inker:Reed Crandall
Colorist:
Letterer:Ben Oda
Cover Credits:
Cover Date:November 1962
Genre:Sci-Fi
Based On:N/A
Reprinted In:
Previous Story:"The Time Machine"
Next Story:"Do Not Touch Exhibit"

"Perilous Journey" was a story printed in the first issue of The Twilight Zone comic published by Gold Key.

Explorers Larry Clark and Ron Harrison were skiing down the side of a mountain when Larry fell into a deep hole and discovered a strange world inhabited by enigmatic winter scenes and bizarre human-like children. Without warning, the children attacked him! One of the strange kids, a girl, takes an interest in Larry and leads him away to safety. Unfortunately for Larry, things would only become more mindboggling. This refuge was a room with mirrored walls and what he would see in the relection of those mirrors can only be explained...inside the Twilight Zone.

Story details

Cast of characters

Lead characters

Minor characters

  • Bob - explorer
  • Hal - explorer
  • unnamed child #1-12

Opening narration

"Two skiers, Larry Clark and Ron Harrison, caught in a bad snowstrom, are about to take the only way out --a quick slide through the Twilight Zone!"

Story summary

Larry Clark fell into a deep chasm which had abruptly opened beneath him while he was skiing down a mountain with his companion, Ron Harrison. After falling for some time, he came to a rest in a pile of snow near a frozen lake. Strangely, he found that a group of odd children were ice skating on the lake, dressed in modern attire with orange hued skin. Larry greeted the children warmly but the only response came in the form of a barrage of ice and snowballs. Only one child, a girl in a purple dress, seemed hospitable toward him, mutely directing him to follow her.

The pair left the young attackers behind and entered a bizarre icy canyon nearby. The gorge was filled with miniature houses not even the height of Larry. Suddenly, a polar bear loomed over the rim standing before them. Larry grabbed his firearm and fired two shots into the attacking beast, but the bullets had no effect. Again, the girl managed to lead the bewildered man away from harm.

Tz goldkey 01-1 polarbear

Larry took on the polar bear

They entered into a room with reflective icy walls, minimally decorated with modern objects such as a couch, a stool, a cushioned bench and a wood-burning fireplace. The chilled Larry immediately set about warming himself by the fire, while the girl began to admire her image in the mirror-like walls. When Larry finally looked up at her reflection, he was amazed to see not a little girl, but a buxom and beautiful woman in a red dress!

"Your reflection," Larry sputtered, "you're beautiful! What happened?" This time the girl finally replied. The seductive brunette explained that it was actually Larry that had magically made her reflection appear as it did. Before he could utter a response, the reflection appeared in front of him, grabbing his hand. The two sat down on the couch while the transformed girl explained that only while in that room with him would she be a woman and upon leaving the room she would revert again to being a child, a transformation she hoped to desperately avoid.

Tz goldkey 01-1 bench

Larry went berzerk

Inexplicably—perhaps out of panic or confusion—Larry lofted the bench high above his head and threw it into one of the mirrored walls. He succeeded in shattering the mirror, but then the entire room began to shake and collapse inward. The dark-haired woman bemoaned, "I will grow older --always older! Old and ugly!"

The alarmed man cowered at first, trying to avoid the falling snow and ice, but was left unharmed. Soon he spotted a potential exit, a gap in the wall similar to the one that he had originally fallen into before arriving in this absurd place. Following it, he arrived outside the mirrored room, but then found himself trapped in a deep hole with no way out. He had begun to dig his way back to find the girl, when he heard a scratching noise. It was Ron! He had been able to recruit two others, Hal and Bob, to help him rapel down the shaft in which Larry had fallen.

Ron urged Larry to climb up the rope, but Larry hestitated and told him they needed to look for the girl. His companion assured him that he was the only person in the shaft. Begrudgingly, Larry agreed and the two friends made their way back to the surface. Together, the four men trudged through the snow drifts back to their space saucer and departed.

Tz goldkey 01-1 ship

The explorers headed for home

Later, in the safety of their spaceship, Larry and Ron changed out of their heavy parkas and

pants. "I hope our next space trip takes us toward the sun instead of away from it!" exclaims Ron. Afterwards, they began to discuss the strange events that had taken place. Larry laments having left the most beautiful girl he had ever seen behind, sure that he had not imagined the whole incident. His companion was not so convinced, but comforted his confused friend with the fact that their space probe had been successful and that soon they would be back on Earth.

Closing narration

"...right on schedule!...From a million miles above the Earth in the Twilight Zone!"

Response and analysis

Themes

Keywords

Space | Space travel | Exploration | Surrealism | Aliens | Paranormal | Age

Notes and annotations

  • The story was prefaced with a page of facts ("Frozen Worlds of Space") about the planets Saturn and Jupiter, seeming to imply that the planet in the story may have been one of the two.
  • The possibility of skiing on either Jupiter or Saturn is highly unlikely, because there is no frozen water on Saturn to create snow [1] and Jupiter is comprised mostly of hydrogen[2] which can form into a slurry mixture[3], but probably would not function like snow suitable for skiing as pictured in the story. Nor would they be able to breathe on either world without oxygen tanks. [4]

Technical information

Creative crew

Production companies

Technical specs

Trivia

Notes and references

Notes

  1. WikiAnswers contributors. "Does it snow on Saturn?." Version: June 15, 2009. Retrieved: June 15, 2009.
  2. WikiAnswers contributors. "Does it snow on Jupiter?." Retrieved: June 15, 2009.
  3. Wikipedia contributors. "Slurry ice." Version: May 28, 2009. Retrieved: June 15, 2009.
  4. Wikipedia's contributors. 'Oxygen." Version: June 11, 2009. Retrieved: June 11, 2009.

References

External links

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