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The Plague

Jane Reemerging: A Play in One Act


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Scene: An apartment in the city on a warm summer night. As the curtain rises we see a robed figure leaning out of the window.

Jay (enters wearing robe and pajamas): Jane? Are you leaning out of the window again?

Jane (startled; bumps head; leans back into apartment): Shhhhhh! I think I hear the cicadas! I think it's for sure this time!

Jay: It's the ice cream man. Why don't you come back to bed?

Jane (dejected; closes window): I thought there was supposed to be a locust invasion this summer! They promised!

Jay: Cicadas need trees, dear. There are no trees in the city.

Jane: I've reworked my speech. It's really a killer now! (Whips paper out of typewriter.) OK, now I've got dead cicadas in my hair, see, and I'm knee deep in them. Pick it up from where the frenzied crowd rises and chants.

Jay: Come on, Jane, it's late . . .

Jane: Please, Jay, I need your help!

Jay: OK,OK. (Throws up arms and flops down on couch.) Dump Daley! Dump Daley!

Jane (standing on coffee table): Mr. Mayor, how could you let this happen? How could a once-grand city like Chicago be caught without a comprehensive cicada plan?

Jay: Dump Daley! Etcetera.

Jane: Here's the new stuff (clears throat): What we have endured is nothing less than a glimpse of apocalypse. I quote from Exodus 10:14: "And the locusts came up over the land of Egypt . . . they covered the surface of the whole land, so that the land was darkened, and they ate every plant of the land and all the fruit of the trees. . . . Thus nothing was left on tree or plant of the field in all of Egypt." From the Book of Joel: "What the gnawing locust has left, the swarming locust has eaten: And what the swarming locust has left, the creeping locust has eaten: And what the creeping locust has left, the stripping locust has eaten . . . like war horses, so they run, with a noise as of chariots. . . . They enter through the windows like a thief!"

Jay: Bravo. Let's go to bed.

Jane (suddenly pensive): Maybe we can move to Schaumburg. Do they have trees out there?

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