Cold, white powder drizzles on the wind swept street. The fuel gauge tank reads: ‘E’.
Her fingers grip tight on the steering wheel. JUDE (33) peers through the foggy windshield. Nothing, she sees nothing for miles. Blindly following her Satnav, she was already an hour late, her hair still wet from the shower.
She checks her phone. Her battery life is 9%. She powers it off, steps out of the car, shoves her mobile in her pocket. The road is quiet. She rubs her hands along her arm to keep cold. She steps out onto the middle of the road, peers into the distance at oncoming headlights.
(Waves hands in the air)
The car slows to a complete stop. The driver’s seat window rolls down. NOAH (early 40’s) grins.
Kinda lonely out here isn’t it?
All I need is to get to the nearest station for some petrol. Do you have an extra gallon?
I don’t carry gallons of petrol in my trunk. Better chance of not blowin’ up.
(Steps back from the driver’s seat window)
I didn’t say I couldn’t give you a lift. It’s not safe to be out here, alone like this.
Ta, but I’ve seen too many Dawn of the Dead’s to know how this’ll end. I’ll just wait for a tow.
It’ll be a long wait then. National Holiday, no one’s around for miles.
I’ll be fine.
He turns off the engine.
(Steps back cautiously)
What are you doing?
(Steps out of car)
C’mon, don’t be an ass. I’m not gonna kidnap you. It’s like minus friggin’ twenty out here. Granted, if you keep me out here any longer, I might have to cut up your body parts and roast them to keep warm.
God, you’re hilarious.
Jude walks back to her car, leans on her car. Noah, in response, leans on his.
So, where are you heading Little Red?
(Hugs scarf tighter)
People heading nowhere don’t drive out in shitty weather for fun and I’m not leaving here until –
You don’t need to stay.
I need to know that you’ll be safe.
You don’t even know me.
I don’t have to.
He steps out of his car, pops his trunk, pulls out a thermos and then a mug.
You look a bit frozen right about now.
(Hands her the mug)
Here, I think you might need this.
Jude eyes the mug suspiciously.
It’s not poison.
And I’m supposed to take your word for it?
Exasperated, Noah takes a sip.
(Holds out hand)
I’m supposed to trust you because you can somehow withstand whatever concoction it is you invented so that you can con me into thinking that you’re a good guy. Forget it Stockholm.
(Gulps down the thermos cap)
Why don’t you just do us both a favour and get outta here.
If I were going to kidnap you,
(Pours another cup)
Don’t you think I would have done it by now?
I’m not entirely sure of your motives –
– Which is why…
(Offers her the thermos cap)
You should trust me.
(Accepts the mug)
– Which is why…
(Pours the liquid into the snow)
(Tosses the thermos cap into the snow)
Men like you, out looking for a good time destroying the lives you inhabit, if only for a short time.
Women like you, too guarded to distinguish between flirtation and genuine compassion. Girls,
(slams trunk, steps back into the driver’s seat)
I don’t have time for.
Noah puts his car into gear.
There is no one else out here.
She takes one last look down the empty road.
Take a ride with me, what have you got to lose. You’re going nowhere after all.
JUDE POV: A deer trots into view, stands frozen upon seeing the bright headlights. It locks eyes with her. They stare at each other for a moment.
Suddenly, a firecracker is heard, frightened, the deer runs off. Jude turns to see Noah, mobile in hand – a burning flame displayed brightly on screen.
You never know, right?
Jude takes one last glimpse at her car. She opens the passenger door to Noah’s car, steps in.
— They disappear down the road in a hail of exhaust.
Moments later, a tow truck arrives to the site of Jude’s deserted car — a red scarf lays crumpled in the middle of the road.
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