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Scene 21 Snippet

The houseboat is about a quarter mile from the coastline, in open water where flooded trees are unlikely to be encountered. Further out in the water by a mile or more are the tops of some high-rise buildings, a small city, flooded.

FINEGAN is standing on the front of the houseboat, holding onto a corner post, looking in that direction. He ducks into the house and returns with the radio he collected earlier at the farmstead. He tucks the end of the long wire used as an antenna into the spot where the corner line is tied around the post, so it sticks up into the air as far as possible. FINEGAN is expecting that the buildings hold a short-wave tower. There is a flexible wire from the antenna to the radio. FINEGAN is turning dials this way and that, holding his ear close at times. Suddenly the radio crackles.

of a voice, strident.


. . mayday . . mayday.


What's your location?

There is a pause, as apparently this is the first response to the call in some time. The POLITICIAN can be heard over the radio talking to others in the room.


. . got someone . .

Then, back into the radio mic.


Florida, sinking fast. We need rescue. We've tried to raise the coastguard. Can you send some boats or choppers? . . Who are you anyway?

FINEGAN is rolling his eyes skyward at the unrealistic requests, knowing that these people did not pay attention to all the warning signs and failed to take action on their own when they should have.


I'm a private party and don't run boats. Can you see the mainland? Do you have something at hand that will float?