Howard and Fredrick are two friends living in New England. One night, as they play chess during a horrible thunderstorm, a local man named Henry Wells appears at their door. Wells says his brain has been eaten, and sure enough he has a hole in his temple and his brain is missing. But he's alive and talking. Wells tells the two men about a craft wreathed in light which landed near the town, and about being attacked by a "thing" that ate his brain. Wells finally dies, and an alien begins speaking to the two men through Wells' body. The alien says it is coming for them, and the two men must figure out how to survive.