Written by Jennifer Houlton


Outside, the landscape is lush like the land that tracks along the Great Wall of China. Inside, we’re in a glass room with itchy blue upholstery circa a 1960’s airport lounge. Our class of first grade students sprawl supine as the announcement comes that we’re about to make our move.

As the three closest to the exit, Rudy, another kid and I leave the building and start the winding walk past slow moving cars , up the dirt road, past rocks and streams and a waterfall.

“My mother told me that I shouldn’t ever travel alone.” Rudy says as he pulls up the green hood of his sweatshirt. “I think it’s okay.” I say , not quite sure. “As long as the three of us stick together, that’s what they told us.”

When we get to the place where the grownups are, we climb through a dirt tunnel, and come out into a wooden box. Behind the door, I can hear adult voices and I hesitate. I realize that the other kids never even left the airplane hangar. First the third kid, then Rudy goes through. I hear an adult woman’s voice. “Go to sleep” she says. “You’re never leaving here.”


Jennifer Houlton began her career at age eight playing a featured role on the NBC soap opera, The Doctors. At age eighteen, she left the show to attend Cornell University where she first began to write plays. Since that time, Jennifer’s plays have been produced in New York at Manhattan Class Company, The New Group, OBIE Award Winning Cucaracha Theatre and many more. Her film HUNT was a featured favorite at the Los Angeles Short Film Festival and she was one of four writers who received an EMMY for her work on the on-line comedy FLOATERS. Presently she is part of Zoetrope’s advanced screenplay writing class, and is in Post production on her feature film, WATER. WATER stars SHEA WHIGHAM (Silver Linings Playbook) Tony Award winner for WICKED, IDINA MENZEL, and Academy Award Nominee, MICHAEL SHANNON.

Jennifer is married to The Clash and Ian Dury’s former manager, Kosmo Vinyl.