"They don't want us to leave. That's why they shut everything off."
"I just don't understand it. I tried to start it and it wouldn't start. You saw me. All of you saw me!"
This story takes place on Maple Street in a typical small town in America. On Maple Street, the residents see a flash of light, and believe it to be a meteor. The flash of light seems to stop everything from working: cars, telephones, and radios.
After the power outage, Tommy tells the people about the similarity between their situation and a story about aliens and ships from outer space, and they get scared. Pete Van Horn leaves to see if the power's out on another street.
It's the kid, Tommy!
"What about Goodman's car?"
Les Goodman's car starts up all by itself. People start to get suspicious and target Goodman. The people let their fear take over their common sense. They form a mob and confront Goodman, who tries to explain he is innocent.
The boy, I tell you!
It was Charlie!
I know it was Goodman!
A dark figure walks in on their street. The people get frightened and think its a monster. Charlie shoots this figure and kills it. They all then run over to see he shot Pete Van Horn.
Everyone now thinks Chalie shot him for a reason and he is guilty. The lights go on in his house, and people start to blame and target him. Charlie is accusing others to stop people from aiming at him. Now, its chaos. Everyone is yelling, throwing thing, blaming, and destroying each other.
But the kid knew what was going to happen this whole time!
"It was Charlie who killed old man Van Horn."
At the end, we see two figures in a spacecraft in the sky, controlling Maple Street's lights and energy. Figure 1 explains to figure two that if they just control a few things, the residents' fear will take over and they will destroy and betray one another. It explains how Maple Street is not unique, and if they continue this, the towns of Earth will get rid of each other, one by one.
So I take it Maple Street is not unique?
Nope, there are thousands of "Maple Streets" on this planet.