"Voyage to Nowhere" was a story printed in the first issue of The Twilight Zone comic published by Gold Key.
Dan Harmon and Roy Corbett were enjoying their vacation out on the Atlantic when a sudden storm cropped up. As the men began to make their way slowly through the fog bank that had surrounded them, they narrowly avoided colliding into a small sailboat, The Wanderer. The boat's occupancy: one. One intriguing woman. A woman that one of the men would follow anywhere...even into the Twilight Zone.
Cast of characters
- inn keeper
- policeman #1
- policeman #2
"For Dan Harmon and Roy Corbett, this is no ordinary fishing trip! --They are about to make the catch of their career --in the Twilight Zone!"
While on a fishing trip, Dan Harmon and Roy Corbett encountered a thick fog. Drudging through the fog, they narrowly avoided crashing into another boat, a small wooden sailboat named The Wanderer with but a single occupant. Sitting at the tiller was a dark-haired woman in Victorian dress. As they passed closer, the woman asked, "Can you tell me the way to Rock Harbor?" When Dan gave her directions, she muttered, "Will I never get there?" as she briskly sailed off. It was at that point that Roy noticed they were in a flat calm, with no wind and yet the sails of The Wanderer had been full.
The two fisherman found their way out of the fog, only to observe that a Nor'easter had brewed up, creating large rough waves. As the storm began to truly wreak havoc, Dan noticed the mysterious woman's boat again. She was headed straight for a group of treacherous rocks. The men cranked up their motor and charged toward the woman, but did not make it to her before she had crashed into the rocks. After approaching closer to the scene of the collision, they were shocked to have found no sign of the wreck.
Unsure what truly happened, they sadly deduced she must have been swept under the waves. Beyond their help, they made the decision to take refuge in the port of Rock Harbor until the storm passed. They reached it safely, hours later, and checked into the local hotel, The Harbor Inn.
Over dinner, Dan and Roy shared the tragic series of events with the inn keeper. When Dan mentioned that the ship's name was The Wanderer, the inn keeper asked them to take a look at a portrait the inn kept over the fireplace. The portrait looked exactly like the forlorn woman they had seen! The inn keeper then consoled the fisherman, "You couldn't have done anything for the poor soul! What you saw out there was a ghost!"The inn keeper divulged that the woman's name was Carlotta Morney and she had at one time lived at the inn. She had fatefully perished the day she was to be married at Rock
Harbor, becoming the victim of an abrupt and deadly storm. This had occurred fifty years prior to the men's fishing trip. Ever since that time, the phantom boat had been sighted, trying desperately to find safe passage to the port of Rock Harbor. The husky man also told the young fishermen that it was very fortunate for them that they had not been able to help the ghostly woman. Her appearance had always preceded a howling gale and anyone caught in it while trying to help the specter would surely have died themselves.
Dan Harmon believed the supernatural story, but Roy could not accept that the beautiful woman they had seen was not real. The inn keeper observed this and voiced a concern to Roy that his friend may have had some "dangerous thoughts." By the next morning, Roy still had not fully accepted the tale, nor been able to forget about the ethereal maiden. Despite the urging by Dan to put aside Carlotta and enjoy the rest of their vacation, Roy could not help but think of her, out there somewhere, still in a dire situation.
As their vacation ended, Roy Corbett suggested that they return to Rock Harbor. Dan confonted his friend and warned him that he felt he may be getting wrapped up in something he did not fully understand. Roy admitted then, that he agreed and had heard the inn keeper's warning, but could not help himself. He felt he had to see the alluring damsel again—ghost or not.
Two days later, off the coast of Rock Harbor, the pair had again gone fishing, when they entered into a sudden fogbank just like the one that they had been in the day they had first seen Carlotta. Eagerly, Roy piloted the boat toward the location where she had been and again spotted The Wanderer in the distance! The obsessed man ignored his companion's urgent pleas to stay away and brought the boat in close to the sailboat. This time, when ill-fated Carlotta Morney asked, "Will I never get there?'' Roy jumped aboard The Wanderer and told the hapless woman that he would get her there safely. He took the rudder and the couple sailed off in the doomed boat, away from Dan.
Soon, just as before, a chaotic storm erupted from seemingly nowhere. Dan Harmon watched in horror as he saw his friend was headed straight for the rocky crag that had destroyed the sailboat so many times before! Despite his best attempts, Roy Corbett was unable to steer away from the danger, just as he had been unable to resist the spectral woman's charms. Nothing could be done to avert the fateful event from repeating once more. The ghost ship had again disappeared, but this time with more than a single occupant.
Later that night, Dan reported the incident to the autorities. Although aware of the Morney legend, the two policemen had a difficult time accepting the harried fisherman's story. They suspected that, in reality, Harmon was responsible for Corbett's disappearance and was using the ghostly tale as a cover story. Dan suggested that they go to the scene of the crash to look for any evidence that might support his story and his innocence. The police agreed to go with him at dawn.
After arriving on the reef the next morning, they found Roy's sailing cap along the shore. The police were still suspicious, but then they came upon a weathered piece of wood that had been engraved with the name, The Wanderer. The police officer admitted that the wood easily looked fifty years old, though the ship had been claimed to have wrecked the prior day. Though confused, they still were unwilling to absolve Dan of any crime.
The officers decided to keep working on the case, but opted to take Dan back to the jail in the meantime, hopefully departing before a looming fog had time to roll in on them. The foursome—which included the inn keeper—was not so lucky. Soon, the fog had surrounded their boat. Then, in the distance, they noticed a small sailboat. It appeared just as The Wanderer had, only this time there were two figures in the boat!
The group watched first in amazement, then horror, as the ill-fated vessel passed them by—Corbett at the rudder and Carlotta at his side—and once more crashed onto the rocks. After witnessing this strange sight, the police had seen enough to quickly proclaim Dan Harmon innocent. He was released from custody and promptly sailed off in the boat that he and his friend once had shared...alone.
"It's the end of a cruise for Dan Harmon! But Roy Corbett has only begun his long journey through the Twilight Zone!"
Response and analysis
Notes and annotations
- Tales of ghost ships have long been reported in both folklore and history, such as the Flying Dutchman and the Mary Celeste, respectively.
- A Nor'easter is the popular name for a storm common along the East Coast of the United States and Atlantic Canada, typically occurring in winter. The name is based on the direction from which the storm winds originate and the geographical area where the storms appear, developing between 30 N. and 35 N. Nor'easters can cause coastal flooding, hurricane force winds, and heavy snow.
- Real world towns and villages located on the East Coast of North America with the name Rock Harbor include: Rock Harbor, Massachussetts and Rock Harbour, New Foundland. Also, a real Rock Harbor Inn existed in Hampton, New Hampshire, but burned down in 1985.
- Another fictional Rock Harbor appears in the novel, Climbing the God Tree by Jaimee Wriston Colbert. 
- Originally published in color
- Printed on newsprint, 10 pages
- Cover story; featured on the issue's painted cover and cover pin-up
- Reprinted in The Twilight Zone (Whitman) 92 and Mystery Comics Digest 03
Notes and references
- ↑ Wikipedia contributors. "List of ghost ships." Version: June 12, 2009. Retrieved: June 21, 2009.
- ↑ Wikipedia contributors. "Nor'easter." Version: April 27, 2009. Retrieved: June 21, 2009.
- ↑ Ed Ballam. "Beach Blaze Destroys Motel." Hampton Union, October 2, 1985. Retrieved: June 21, 2009.
- ↑ By Megan Harlan. "Books in Brief: Fiction - Climbing the God Tree Review." New York Times. January 17, 1999. Retrieved: June 21, 2009.
- Bob Klein and Mike Tiefenbacher. "The Twilight Zone no 1 (1962 series)." Grand Comics Database. Retrieved: June 19, 2009.