La Shea Delaney (b. 1983) is a New York-based writer born in Los Angeles. Her book publications include Young Women’s Monologues from Contemporary Plays: Professional Auditions for Aspiring Actresses (2004). Her plays have been performed at the 13th Street Repertory Company, NYC (2012), Dixon Place, NYC (2012, 2011), Jimmy’s No. 43, NYC (2011), The Geraldine Page Salon, NYC (2011), and The Bowery Poetry Club, NYC (2009).
Delaney was awarded the Himan Brown Award by The MacDowell Colony (2009) and an Affiliated Artist Fellowship by New Georges. She received her B.F.A. from New York University and her M.F.A. from Brooklyn College.
Photo credit: courtesy of the artist
From: A Hollow Earth
Scene 6: Bobby alone with his weed plants. They have all grown to a uniform 20 feet.
Bobby walks from plant to plant trimming some of the leaves and putting them into trash bags. As he goes from plant to plant he tells them a story.
The island was small. The island was warm all the time. Arid and serene And one day all the animals started to disappear. First the stray dogs that roamed the streets as free as anyone else, the dogs that were smart enough to wait at red lights and if you looked their way seemed to give you a solicitous nod hello, they disappeared ﬁrst. It seemed like they had all decided to take a trip.
Then all of the rats that ransacked the trash were gone. Not like anyone was complaining, who likes rats really, but there was something sinister about the calm in the alley on trash day. No little clicking talons rummaging through the muck.
The trill of birds in the morning just stopped and when the towns folk would awake the silence was glaring.
The squawk or high pitched call of the birds down by the water disappeared. It wasn’t time for migration was it?
The grocer had to put a sign on his shop door informing people that there would be no eggs for awhile, it seems the island’s chickens had, all at once, stopped producing eggs.
The little skittering lizards that would laze in the sun, tanning on rocks seemed to have taken a rest-bit.
It was told that a little girl saw a whole hive of bees pack it up and head north. She was so afraid that the bees were coming towards her, to swarm and attack, but they acted as if they didn’t even smell her. She swore the queen had a tiny suit case. That seems unlikely.
Goats and badgers and sheep all vanished, in a moment, when no one was looking.
Pigs, weasels, scorpions seemed to sneak away silently.
Then one day a young ﬁsherman was sitting on his boat. Docked for a day of relaxation and he saw far down the coast, what looked like an ooze of green goop moving towards the water. He walked toward it and found a procession of hundreds of snakes followed by thousands of centipedes marching towards the sea. They would get to the edge and just keep going. They were evacuating this arid beautiful place.
Or maybe they were moving, towards the beginning, of the hollow? And if they were, why now?
No one knew until days later. But they really should have paid more attention.