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MUSED Literary Magazine.

The Blizzard: A One-Act Play

Ruth Z. Deming


BONNIE: A redhead who is always chipper. 28 years old.

DAVE: Her boyfriend, born in Scotland, 35 years old.

ERICA: Bonnie’s younger sister, 26, with long black hair in braids.

CARLOS: A family friend, born in Ecuador, 19. His dark hair is cropped short.

The four friends are in one car, driving home from the resort town of Cape May, New Jersey.


BONNIE, in the driver’s seat: Am locking the doors now.
A loud click is heard.

BONNIE: I think we can make it home before the blizzard comes.

ERICA: Bonnie, you’re a speed demon. Don’t go too fast, for heaven’s sake, or we’ll speed right into the Delaware River.

CARLOS: Be nice to your sister, Erica.

BONNIE: That’ll be the day. (pause) Look I’m going 25, the speed limit.

DAVE: Hey, my girlfriend knows what she’s doing. Let’s just relax and have a pleasant ride.

ERICA: If I know my sister, she’s gonna change the subject now.

BONNIE: Remember that time, Erica, I made you get out of the car and walk home? I’d be happy to go back to our motel and leave you there.


DAVE: Radio okay, Bon?

He turned it on. Static at first as he punched the buttons until he got country western…

Everyone in the car groaned.

And then WPRB-FM in Princeton, New Jersey.

WPRB-FM: Expecting nasty weather. Government advisory: Go home and stay home. Roads will be icy and slippery.

DAVE: Yeah, we know, we know. Don’t spose I’ll be hearing my Celtic music back in Glasgow, or 105-FM, where a lucky call can land you in Vegas.

BONNIE: Vegas? Guess humans are the same all over. Wanting to win the grand prize. Something free without paying for it, like a lottery ticket.

ERICA: Did I ever tell you about my friend Levi?

BONNIE: Only a million times.

CARLOS: Tell us, sweetie.

ERICA: Levi and I used to date. Nice guy. Attached to the Internet like Elmer´s Glue. All he did was do research. The guy was a genius.

We’d be eating at the Vietnamese restaurant and he’d be looking down at his iPhone. At night if I stayed over, he’d be listening to music from all over the world. Australia, London, Istanbul. Lying there, moving to the music, laughing under his headphones.


ERICA: Who needs him?

CARLOS: You’ll find someone, Sweetie.

BONNIE: Carlos, the prince of Quito! All he needs to do is look at a woman and they’re in his lap.

Everyone laughed.

BONNIE: Dave, please hand me the Superpass, so I can get across the bridge free. It’s in the glove box.

ERICA: Look at all the cars trying to get out of here. My goodness, this is serious!

BONNIE: We have plenty of time, don’t we Davey?

DAVE: Seems like.

BONNIE: Good thing I had my wipers changed at the inspection.

ERICA: A few flakes are coming down.

BONNIE: Hard to imagine a real blizzard is coming, but these wipers work well, see everyone? (She turned them on to flick off a few drops of snow.)

CARLOS: Remember the blizzard last year?

BONNIE: All’s I have to do is go in my backyard and I remember. This climate change stuff is no joke. It brought on an early spring. A pine tree was so weighed down, it fell to the ground and smothered a sparrow’s nest and the babies inside.

DAVE: Now that IS sad. But at my condo, and this is really terrible, an older woman, not terribly old, about 70, was walking outside to her car, fell on the ice, and lay there, just lay there, in her hat and gloves, and, damn, she froze to death.

ERICA: Treacherous, that’s a word Daddy loves to use. Wonder how he and Mommy are doing in their condo in Jupiter, Florida?

BONNIE: That’s where we should all be now. Anyone have any powers of prognostication?

ERICA: My sister is so smart. Loves using those big words to show off.

DAVE: All it means is to prophecy. Like Cassandra in The Trojan War. She got in a whale of trouble, though. No one believed her.

BONNIE: I do believe we’re gonna make it home on time. Am keeping a car length behind that Subaru in front of me.

ERICA: Which looks like a woman in an ermine coat crawling along. Yet, stays in her own lane.

BONNIE: Our sister Amy in Oregon – Quito, Oregon (she laughs) – drives a Subaru Quest. Great ratings from Car and Driver.

ERICA: The longer we drive, the more we learn. Where’d she get the money?

BONNIE: Some people work for a living and don’t live off disability for their so-called bad backs.

ERICA: Yeah, but aren’t Subarus expensive?

BONNIE: Not if you’re the head librarian at the Ashland Public Library.

ERICA: Not bad. And I do have a bad back.

BONNIE: Plenty of surgeons in the Philadelphia area.

ERICA: The operation doesn´t always work.

CURTAIN CLOSES, then reopens onto stage that looks gray. On screen in background, light flakes of snow are falling.

DAVE: Good! That frosted over sign reads, “50 miles to Philadelphia.” Babe, I’ll come over your house as long as you’ve got “well tidy scran.”

BONNIE: Of course I do!

DAVE laughs. She don’t even know what it means.

ERICA: A 12-course meal, Rolling Rock beer, and heat.

CARLOS: Ya see that? A white Toyota truck was swaying back and forth and almost crashed into the bridge railings. He should get a speeding ticket if he’s not dead already.

BONNIE: These things happen and not only in film noir movies. Let’s not talk about death, okay?

ERICA: We’ll all gonna die some day.

CURTAIN DESCENDS, then rises onto a dimly lit stage. Gray in color. On screen in background, thick flakes of snow are falling. The car has moved a little stage left.

DAVE: I’ll get something good on the radio. WXPN should be within hearing distance.

BRUCE WARREN on WXPN: Sad news. We just learned of the death of one of the original Temptations, Dennis Edwards, 74. In his memory, we’ll play “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” and “I Can’t Get Next to You.”

BONNIE: Oh, I can’t take it.

DAVE: You’re doing a great job, Babe. Slow and steady and we’ll get home.

Fifteen minutes later they pulled into Bonnie’s condo.

BONNIE: Jeez! You can barely see the houses.

CARLOS: They look like white wedding cakes with coconut frosting on top.

ERICA: Sweets for the sweet. Ever go out with an older woman, Carlos?

CARLOS: I like a little salsa in the mix. Hot dancer, hot woman.

ERICA: I’ll snag you yet, Carlos. Just you wait.


BONNIE, singing: C´mon to my house. Gonna give you candy. We’ll have a snow party. First, we’ll eat. Cheese ravioli – waiting for us in the freezer - and then we’ll go outside and make snow angels.

DAVE and CARLOS in unison: Snow angels?

BONNIE: You shall see. It´s what you do in the snow if you´re a fun lovin´ kid. Just prepare to have the most fun you’ve ever had. But first the feast.

They get out of their car for the first time, bow to the audience and the curtain closes.