copyright © 2003 Dwayne Yancey


By Dwayne Yancey

Copyright 2003; all rights reserved.

(Two men, Merle and Billy, are sleeping around a dying campfire. Eddie is awake, and looking up at the sky. They’re farmers who have been out hunting coyotes.)

EDDIE: Merle, you still awake?

MERLE: Hrrrmph.

EDDIE: Merle, wake up.

MERLE: Hrrmph.

EDDIE: Merle, quick, there’s something you gotta look at.

MERLE: Hrrmph.

EDDIE: Merle!

MERLE: What? I was almost asleep.

EDDIE: There’s something you gotta see.

MERLE: Can’t it wait ‘til morning?

EDDIE: No! Look up there!

MERLE: Look up where?

EDDIE: In the sky!

MERLE: I don’t see a thing.

EDDIE: You’ve got your hat over your eyes.

MERLE: I thought it was kinda dark.

EDDIE: Well, it is dark. It’s nighttime. But look up there. What do you see?

MERLE: Um, stars.

EDDIE: Yeah, but what about that really bright one?

MERLE: What about it?

EDDIE: It’s pretty bright, don’t you think?

MERLE: Yeah, so?

EDDIE: Well, it just seems brighter than the other stars.

MERLE: You woke me up just for that? You idiot, I ought to knock you so flat that you’

d be seeing stars, for sure. Now let me go back to sleep.

EDDIE: It’s just weird, you know? I’ve never seen a star that bright before.

MERLE: Look, some stars are brighter than others. That’s just the way they are. The brighter they are, the closer they are to earth. Now let me go back to sleep.

EDDIE: Actually, that’s not true.

MERLE: What’s not true?

EDDIE: What you just said.

MERLE: What did I just say?

EDDIE: That the brighter ones are close to earth. Actually, some of the brightest ones are pretty far away.

MERLE: OK, fine, you’re an astrology expert now. You figure it out and let me go back to sleep, OK?

EDDIE: Actually it’s astronomy. Astrology is that stuff they do in horoscopes.

MERLE: Whatever. Just let me sleep, OK? If you hear a coyote, then you can wake me up. That’s what we came out here for – to keep the coyotes away from the sheep.

EDDIE: Sorry. It’s just I haven’t seen a star like that before.

MERLE: Well, maybe it’s not a star at all.


MERLE: Maybe it’s an airplane.

EDDIE: It’s not moving.

MERLE: Maybe it’s a satellite then.

EDDIE: It’s still not moving.

MERLE: Well, I don’t know then, maybe it’s a planet or something. Now, please, just let me – 

EDDIE: It’s not a planet.

MERLE: How can you be so sure?

EDDIE: Well, because Venus has already set, and Mars is over there, and Jupiter hasn’t come up yet and Saturn isn’t that bright – what? It’s here in the almanac.

MERLE: Well, if you know so much, why are you asking me?

EDDIE: Don’t be so touchy. I just thought you might know.

MERLE: Well, I don’t, OK? Now let me –

EDDIE: All right, all right, I’ll let you get back to sleep.

MERLE: Thank you.

(Merle lays down. There’s a pause.)

EDDIE: It could be a supernova.

MERLE: A super-what?

EDDIE: A supernova. A star that’s blown up.

MERLE: Well, there you go then.

EDDIE: A supernova. Now that would really be something.

(Billy begins to wake up.)

BILLY: Hrrrmph.

EDDIE: Billy, are you awake?


EDDIE: I said, are you awake? Or are you asleep?


EDDIE: No, you’re awake, or no, you’re asleep?

MERLE: Good Lord, Eddie, no means no!

EDDIE: But it could have been either one – well, it could have been.

BILLY: What’s going on?

EDDIE: You see that star up there? The really bright one?

BILLY: Uh-huh.

EDDIE: You ever seen it there before?

BILLY: Nope.

EDDIE: So what do you think it is?

BILLY: Oh, that’s easy.

EDDIE: It is?

BILLY: Sure.

EDDIE: What is it then?

BILLY: It’s a sign from God.

EDDIE: Oh, don’t be ridiculous.

BILLY: Well, you asked.

(Billy goes back to sleep. Eddie looks up in the sky.)

EDDIE: It could be one of them, whatcha call, pulsating stars. Pulsars, they call ‘em. Not Quasar. That’s like the TV set. Yep, I betcha anything it’s a pulsar.

-------------- THE END -----------------


Three males:

Merle, who’s trying to sleep

Eddie, who’s awake

Billy, who does sleep through most of it


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