LOCATION – The Starlight speed dating agency; PAUL has just sat down across the table from MARTHA.
PAUL: Evening, my name’s Paul, what’s yours?
MARTHA: Pleased to meet you Paul.
PAUL: So what makes a girl like you want to speed date?
MARTHA: Honestly? A desire for companionship I suppose, how about you?
PAUL: True love, what else?
MARTHA: Are you always this optimistic?
PAUL: Best way to be I think.
MARTHA: Yet you are single, not the way you like things I assume?
PAUL: I split up with the girlfriend two months ago.
MARTHA: I’m sorry to hear that.
PAUL: Don’t be, it was a case of opposites attract, that is until we both woke up one morning and realised we had nothing in common.
MARTHA: I assume then that living on your own was not to your liking?
PAUL: Something like that. <PAUSE> How about you, any men in your life?
MARTHA: Not recently, I’ve been off seeing the world for the last couple of years; romance hasn’t been terribly high on the agenda.
PAUL: Good for you, who were you travelling with?
MARTHA: I was by myself.
PAUL: Really? Brave girl.
MARTHA: I’ve always liked my independence.
PAUL: Where was the last place you visited?
MARTHA: Thailand, I was out there for a month last February. I spent a few days in Bangkok before making my way over to Phuket. One of the best times to go if you haven’t already, weather is warm without being uncomfortable and you get to experience the Chinese New Year.
PAUL: You make it sound very attractive. Do you by any chance work in the tourism industry?
MARTHA: (Laughs) Actually I’m a taxi driver, ever need a lift home on the graveyard shift and I’m the girl to call.
PAUL: A taxi driver. (PAUSE) If I had to guess your occupation that wouldn’t have been near the top of the list.
MARTHA: What would your guess have been then?
PAUL: Stewardess perhaps?
MARTHA: Well that’s a nice thought but when I fly places I much prefer to be waited upon than serve people. Anyway what about you Paul, what path did you choose for yourself?
PAUL: This is going to sound rather dull, I’m a mortgage adviser. From where I’m sitting it seems you’re the one who’s lived the more adventurous life.
MARTHA: An old friend told me once, what is life if not the greatest adventure of them all; I’ve never forgotten those words.
PAUL: An interesting sentiment, where is he now?
MARTHA: Actually your he is a she; unfortunately she’s no longer with us.
PAUL: It seems it is my turn to apologise.
MARTHA: I suppose I’m lucky that I can remember her as being full of life, the way she always chose to be.
(Voice calls out from nearby, “Two minutes left”).
PAUL: Well that’s half our time together gone already.
MARTHA: Indeed, well then we’d best make use of what we have left.
PAUL: At the risk of sounding pompous, it sounds to me like you’re interested.
PAUL: You don’t give much away do you?
MARTHA: I rarely do, anyway I have been wondering something. You said earlier it has been two months since you parted ways with your last girlfriend, I get the sense this isn’t your first time at speed dating, am I right?
PAUL: Yes you are, in fact it was here I met her.
MARTHA: You were hoping lighting could strike twice in the same place then, how long ago was this?
PAUL: About eighteen months ago.
MARTHA: A speed dating veteran then?
PAUL: (Smiles) Not quite, though I have learned a couple of things.
MARTHA: Such as?
(PAUL leans in close to MARTHA and keeps his voice low).
PAUL: Between you and me I told a little white lie about my age.
(MARTHA replies, her voice also lowered).
MARTHA: Me too, are you older or younger than the age you gave?
PAUL: Older, I’m thirty four. I find that the woman who come here a lot less fun over a certain age. So how old are you then?
(MARTHA’s tone of voice becomes sharper).
MARTHA: Now don’t you know a gentleman should never ask a lady her age?
(PAUL leans back in his chair).
PAUL: I do believe my good lady that your anger is feigned.
MARTHA: I suppose I could tell you but, as the saying goes, I’d then have to kill you.
PAUL: I’ll take my chances.
(MARTHA licks her finger and traces a number out on the table between them).
PAUL: That old? Usually people are pushing up the daisies when they reach that age.
MARTHA: I suppose I’m just unique.
(Voice calls out from nearby, “All men please rotate one place clockwise”).
PAUL: Time is up then. (PAUL casts a look round). So where do we go from here?
MARTHA: I saw a cafe round the back on my way here earlier; we could go there if you want?
PAUL: Sounds like a plan.
(MARTHA and PAUL stand up and depart from the speed dating agency).
MARTHA: It’s not quite as warm as it was inside.
(PAUL turns to MARTHA and hugs her).
PAUL: We’ll be back indoors before you know it.
(PAUL lets go but MARTHA keeps hold; revealing herself as a vampire as she attacks PAUL, after a brief struggle she kills him by biting into his neck and letting him fall to the ground).
MARTHA: I really am that old; and you cannot say you weren’t warned.