Jan Donley, Author of The Side Door


It's Just the Wind - a look inside the manuscript

AT RISE: There are three doors (or suggestions of doors) on stage. A small stoop sits in front of each door. Each door has a small window. A light comes on and illuminates the window of the first door. PAT, a young woman opens the door and stands on the stoop. GAIL, a woman of the same age, joins her. They shut the door behind them.

watercolor of open window at night

PAT Did you hear that?

GAIL I did. (Pause.) Almost like a whisper.

PAT More of a whistle, I’d say.

GAIL Like someone’s calling a dog?

PAT No. (Pause.) Not an intentional whistle.

GAIL Accidental?

PAT Or incidental, I suppose.

GAIL I think it’s just the wind.

PAT But the air has been completely still all day.

GAIL That’s impossible. Air is never still.

PAT Really? You know that for a fact?
(Pat stops, listens.)
There it is again.

GAIL You’re right. It’s a whistle. (Pause.)

PAT Like a plane landing?

GAIL Not that kind of whistle.

PAT Or a car slowing down? (GAIL shakes her head.) Should I call the police?

GAIL It’s just the wind. There’s no reason to call the police if it’s just the wind.

You insist on blaming the wind.

GAIL You have a better theory, I suppose.

PAT Perhaps we should investigate.
(GAIL motions with her hand.)

GAIL After you.
(PAT steps off the stoop.)

PAT Look. There’s the tiniest sliver of a moon.

GAIL (GAIL looks up.) Is it new or old?

PAT I think you mean waxing or waning.

GAIL Does it make a sound when it does that? Maybe we heard the moon waxing.

PAT Waning would seem more likely.

GAIL Well, then. It’s waning. Problem solved. It’s not the wind. It’s the moon.

Look. (PAT points. GAIL looks.) There, on the sidewalk. A shadow coming toward us.

GAIL That’s not a shadow. It’s Ms. Green.

All writings © Jan Donley 1985-2018
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