Panther

In the darkness on stage we hear crickets and the sounds of a woods at night, and then the lights for Panther come up on John Rose, a very old man, sitting on a fallen tree.  The year is 1988 and John says that there is something waiting for him in the woods.  He says that Jessie, his sister, long dead, told him to watch out for panthers.  He reminisces about the members of his family who have passed, saying he would have died himself if he had not promised Jessie that, if she could not live to be a hundred, he would.  He talks about seeing 21 wild turkeys, “like giant cockroach demons,” race across his back yard.  He tells us his dreams of uncovering a hole in the side of a hill that is a portal to some terrible place, and of being in a dark theatre and seeing a girl in black, speaking to herself in a strange gibberish as she moves past him to her lover sitting alone in the front row.  He feels warm breath near him in the darkness of the woods.  He has endured his hundred years.  He calls out “Jessie?” twice and the lights go to black.