February 16 & 17: Sean Devine

February 16 & 17: WHICH WAY OUT?

Sean Devine




JACK and JILL sit inside their car, which is fully packed and crammed over with the remainder of their personal belongings. They are stuck in slow traffic on the Trans-Canada, on the Port Mann Bridge, heading eastbound.

The sound of car horns beeping is incessant.

JACK: We could take the first exit off the bridge, and then we could try to take back roads. But it looks like plenty of cars are doing the same thing and they look backed up as well.

JILL: And then what?

JACK: If we take back roads?

JILL: Yes.

JACK: It depends.

JILL: On what?

JACK: Do we keep going east to get past the fault zone or do we find higher ground to get past the wave zone?

JILL: Don’t you think we should’ve come to that decision before we took off in the car?

JACK: That’s beside the point.

JILL: Well, what’s the bigger threat?

JACK: (pause) I think we should find higher ground.

JILL: Then we’re going in the wrong direction if we want higher ground. We’re driving into flatland.

JACK: There’s mountains in this direction.

JILL: In a couple hundred kilometers. At this pace that’ll take hours. Days, maybe. Do we have that much time?

JACK: I don’t know.

JILL: How much time do we have?

JACK: I don’t know.

JILL: A couple of hours?

JACK: I don’t know, alright? It’s my first cataclysmic disaster. I haven’t been through one of these. I’ve only ever seen them on YouTube.

JILL: We should be going in the other direction. We should be going north.

JACK: North?

JILL: We should be driving to North Vancouver. That’s higher ground.

JACK: Sure, if we’re worried about the wave. But what it it’s not the wave? What if it’s the quake? Then we’d be screwed if we go in that direction.

JILL: There’s plenty of cars headed in that direction. They’re looking for higher ground. Maybe we’re going the wrong way.

JACK: Maybe they’re going the wrong way. Maybe they’re screwed.

JILL: I think we’d be screwed either way. No one’s moving in either direction. We’re not moving and we’re stuck on a bridge.

JACK: We could get out and walk.

JILL: (Pause) Are you serious?

JACK: We could get out and start walking right now. At least we’d be moving.

JILL: Are you serious?

JACK: Who knows how long we’re going to be stuck on the bridge? Who knows how long we’ve got?

JILL: How far would we get? What would we take with us?

JACK: (Pause) Was this preventable?

JILL: What?

JACK: This whole thing. If we’re going to die in a matter of hours, if you and I are going to die, it matters knowing whether or not it was just Mother Nature taking it’s course with the earthquake, or if it was cause by human activity with the tsunami.


JILL: You idiot.

JACK: What?

JILL: If it’s the tsunami —

JACK: Yes?

JILL: A tsunami’s got nothing to with human activity.

JACK: What?

JILL: You’re talking about rising sea levels. Rising sea levels are caused by climate change. Not tsunamis.

JACK: So this wasn’t our fault. Whatever happens.

JILL: Well, who knows. It’s all…

JACK: It’s all relative.

JILL: The butterfly flapping it’s wings in China, and all that.

JACK: But it’s interesting that I mixed the two options up, cause that’s like a statement on its own, you know. If you can confuse the two together: the man-made climate change disaster with the cataclysmic event due to Mother Nature, if you can confuse those, then that says something, you know?


JILL: Sure.

Pause. There’s a rumble.

JACK: Did you feel that?

JILL looks out the window.

JILL: Here it comes.