Emily Articulated: A column by and about Millennials

Quarantine Morning: The Play

By Emily Erickson
Reader Columnist

Act One, Scene One: The Bedroom, Sandpoint, Idaho. Dawn.

Emily, a late-20s working-from-home writer, is sleeping in bed. She has wrestled all of the covers to her side of the mattress and her partner, Reid, lies shivering in his slumber. Bodi, their dog, snores gently from the end of the bed, his tail twitching in happy pup dreams, likely of squirrels.

The first beam of morning light shines through the window, it’s sunny tendril resting on Emily’s face. She stirs, accidentally nudging Bodi awake with her foot. He stirs, too. 

BODI: Morning miss. Is it that time already?

[Bodi strikes the tone of a tenured small town sheriff, and his dialogue is only recognizable to the audience. Emily hears a long sigh.]

EMILY: [With a whisper and a pat on Bodi’s head] Good morning sweet boy.

Emily takes note of the status of her nighttime cover-thievery, replacing the blankets on Reid with a chuckle. She rises from bed and begins to quietly sift through the laundry stuffed in the corner of the room, finding her hoodie. Pulling it on, she tiptoes out of the door.

[Stage lights dim, the spotlight focuses on Bodi]

BODI: [In a grave tone] Today, like every day, I wake with a boiling resolve in my belly, dedicated to my life’s mission of safety and security for the people around me. It’s no small feat, being a guard dog, and it’s a task that’s greatly misunderstood. The humans don’t recognize that when I bark, it’s for them. When I stop at regular intervals to pee on trees, it’s for them. When I strain against my leash toward the big, white trucks zooming in the road, it’s for them. [Pause, sigh] All of it is for them. 

Bodi hops off the bed and exits through the door.

[Blackout, End of Scene One]

Act One, Scene Two: The Kitchen, Sandpoint, Idaho. Early Morning.

Reid is still asleep in the adjacent room. Emily is attempting to be quiet while preparing the morning coffee. She reaches for the pot on the stove, gingerly positioning it under the sink. Peeking through the crack in the door to the bedroom, she takes a deep breath and turns the water on high. The steady stream splashes into the pot, filling to the brim within seconds. Emily swiftly turns off the water and listens for movement from the other room. [Silence.] She lets out her breath, and transfers the full pot from the sink to the stove, switching on the burner. 

Bodi is walking from window to window, his sentences are clipped and low, barely audible to the audience.

BODI: The tall window. Status. A small disturbance in the tall grass at the base of the tree. Will monitor throughout the morning. [He shuffles to the next window.] The long window. Status. A broken twig on the right-side birch. Suggests a climbing critter in the night. Interesting. Will keep my eyes peeled. [He moves to the door.] High door window. Difficulty seeing anything but the sky. Status…

Bodi freezes in place, lifting his nose to take several deep sniffs through his snout. His right paw lifts slightly off the ground and his curly tail stretches out to a point. 

BODI: [His voice is a crescendo, ending at a  full yell.] What… is… that? It’s a bird. A bird is in the tree. Miss! This is not a drill! There is an unauthorized flying object outside of the door window! Away you! Away! Get away you filthy flying son of a squirrel!

Startled by Bodi’s sudden bark, Emily drops her coffee mug on the floor, the cup shattering with a bang. In the adjacent room, Reid wakes with a groan.

[Blackout. End of scene 2]

Act Two, Final Scene. The Kitchen. Sandpoint, Idaho. Moments later.

Reid opens the bedroom door looking disheveled and sleepy. Emily is scrambling to pick up the pieces of the broken mug while sopping up coffee with a dirty kitchen towel. Bodi is pacing back and forth, clearly distressed.

BODI: I’m in disbelief. The injustice of it all. The bird. Flying outside of our home. While we slept. Threatening my humans and everything I hold dear with its presence. Its wings flapping with such spiteful arrogance. [Fade to a muttering stream of words.]

REID: What happened?

EMILY: Ugh, sorry. Bodi barked at god knows what and I dropped my mug, spilled the coffee. Evans Brothers coffee, too. [Sigh.] Good morning, anyhow. 

Hearing a whimper, Reid and Emily look up to see Bodi staring at the high window, anguish clear in his expression. Approaching him together, Reid and Emily begin soothing Bodi, petting his back and cooing shushes. Bodi rolls over, exposing his soft white belly. Reid and Emily look at each other and smile, and begin to rub his belly in unison.

BODI: [Closing his eyes, he whispers in a soft sweet voice.] All of it is for them.

[Blackout] The End.

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