A young woman, Amanda, is waiting by a bus stop. A middle-aged man, Brian approaches from behind and puts his hand over her mouth.
BRIAN Don’t move. Don’t scream. Understand? Nod for yes.
BRIAN Feel that knife in your back?
BRIAN That’s a knife. Open your bag.
Amanda opens her bag. Brian rifles through it over her shoulder.
AMANDA Please, just take anything. Take the bag it has my purse in it just please don’t hurt me please.
BRIAN Shut up.
He takes out her lipstick.
BRIAN What’s this?
AMANDA Uh. Lipstick?
BRIAN I know that. What shade is it?
AMANDA Uh. Um. Autumn Bronze. I.
BRIAN Would that go with a peach dress?
BRIAN A peach dress. Would it go?
AMANDA I. I. What do you want from me?
BRIAN Come on it ain’t rocket science. It’s just a question.
AMANDA It depends on the dress. I don’t.
BRIAN It’s peach.
AMANDA Wha. Wh.
BRIAN As in the fruit.
AMANDA What shape?
AMANDA The dress. What shape is the.
BRIAN: Oh fuck. Erm. Above the knee. Kind of droops down at the front. Like that.
Brian demonstrates on her, leaning over her shoulder.
AMANDA: What um. What material is it?
BRIAN: It’s backless. What?
AMANDA: The material?
BRIAN: Oh. It’s silky.
BRIAN: Yeah it’s like that silky kind of. You know.
BRIAN: Yeah yeah chiffon. Well?
AMANDA I don’t know. I’d need to see it.
BRIAN You can’t see it she’s in the car.
AMANDA I don’t know then. I’m Sorry. I.
BRIAN Just have a guess.
AMANDA Please let me go. Please.
BRIAN Look. It’s our anniversary. Restaurant’s double booked us. Sposed to see a fuckin show in an hour. That ain’t gonna happen. She’s in tears cos she’s come out without her make up. Whole thing’s a fucking shambles. Now I’m asking you a simple question. This lipstick. Her dress. Will it go?
AMANDA It’ll look great.
AMANDA Yes. Now please.
BRIAN You’re not just saying that?
AMANDA She will look iridescent.
BRIAN Good. Cheers.
AMANDA Now please let me go.
He puts the lipstick in his pocket.
BRIAN One more thing. What’s this smell like?
He takes out a bottle of perfume from her bag.
AMANDA Just take it. Take it and go.
BRIAN I’m not gonna just take it. Who do you think I am?
AMANDA Oh for god’s. Okay. It smells like a spring glade. Um. Quite light. Heathery. Fruity with a touch of honey blossom. But there’s a smokiness to it as well. Like. Like burnt candles.
Beat. Brian looks at the bottle.
BRIAN Only she usually wears that Chanel stuff. You know.
AMANDA Chanel number 5.
AMANDA It’s a very popular fragrance.
BRIAN Does it smell like that?
AMANDA Not really.
BRIAN Are you.
He sniffs her.
He sniffs her again.
BRIAN That’s alright. Yeah, quite fruity innit?
AMANDA Fruity yes.
BRIAN But with a kind of.
AMANDA Smokiness. Burnt candles.
He pockets the perfume.
Amanda spins out of his clutch and produces a can of pepper spray.
AMANDA Stay away. Stay away from me.
Brian takes out a pair of glasses and puts them on.
Amanda falters with the spray. Brian brandishes the knife and takes the pepper spray from her.
He reads the label, sniffs the nozzle, winces, puts it in his pocket. He keeps her in place with the knife.
AMANDA Listen. Just. I live right around the corner. I know a lot of people in this neighbourhood and my boyfriend is at home so don’t think you can hurt me and get away with it, alright? Do you understand me?
BRIAN You live around here do you?
AMANDA Literally just down the road. I can run there in less than a minute and my boyfriend’s home.
BRIAN What’s it like then round here? We looked at a place on Talbot road. I quite liked it but the wife says this is a bit of a dodgy area.
AMANDA A dodgy? Ha. Well believe it or not I’ve had no problems up until now.
BRIAN Got two kids you see so gotta be careful really. Where they grow up and that. Nice park though apparently. Ever been?
He gestures with the knife to the park down the road.
BRIAN: Just down there on the right.
As his back is turned Amanda takes out her phone and starts dialling.
Brian turns back, sees her phone, moves in close.
AMANDA Stay away from me. Don’t come near me.
BRIAN Is that a Blackberry? Only I was thinking of getting an iPhone. Pick up my emails when I’m out and about, you know. She says they’re for kids. Reckons I should one of them instead. I told her. I said professionals use them and all. But she says those things are better. How is it, any good?
AMANDA Oh my god. Are you serious?
BRIAN Fairly serious, yeah. I’ve still got a few weeks left on my old contract.
AMANDA Listen, I’m going to call the police right now. I’m going to tell them I’m being held up by the shittiest mugger ever. And I’ll show them this picture.
BRIAN What picture?
Amanda take a picture of the Brian with her phone.
AMANDA That picture.
BRIAN That come out alright?
BRIAN Impressive in this light.
AMANDA Are you listening to me?
BRIAN What is that, 2 Megapixel?
AMANDA I’m calling the police right now.
She puts the phone to her ear.
BRIAN Don’t do that please.
AMANDA I have a positive ID so.
BRIAN It’s my anniversary.
AMANDA I don’t give a fuck. You’re threatening me.
BRIAN We’ve got a show booked in.
AMANDA Do you think I’m just gonna.
BRIAN Now I’m actually quite serious about this.
She moves away, phone to her ear, he follows.
AMANDA I can even see your car from here. Is that your wife? I take it back, no amount of lipstick can make that look. Hello? Yes, hello, I need the police.
Brian steps in close to her. Amanda stops talking.
Brian pulls the blade from her stomach and she crumples.
He helps her on the way down until she is lying flat. Her breathing is fast and shallow.
BRIAN I did say
AMANDA Huh. Huh. Help. Me.
AMANDA Help muh. Me.
BRIAN: Shhh. Shhh it’s okay. Just. Shhh, Listen listen listen. Do you know any good local restaurants? She likes Italian, I’m more of a Thai man myself.
Brian holds her. She dies.
Brian looks at his hands, covered in blood. He turns back to her handbag, rummages through it.
BRIAN Babywipes. What kind of woman doesn’t keep fucking babywipes?
He gives up, wipes his hands on her jacket and exits.