‘Hey, Riley.
Doesn’t this make me look like Grandma?’

‘I dunno.’

‘She always used to wear these hair nets, remember?’

‘No. I dunno.
I don’t remember.’

‘Course you do.’

‘No, I don’t.’

‘Hey, look.
That guy is watching us.
Bet he thinks we’re gonna rob him or something.’

‘Why’d we do that?’

‘He’s like —
He’s like the sheriff —
And and and —
We’re in this small town in the middle of a dustbowl —
And he’s like —
Chewing on tobacco and watching us beadily from across the street —
Tipping his dark hat down over his eyes —
Scuffing the dirt with the toe of his boot.
There’s a tumbleweed rolling slowly across the street.
He narrows his eyes.
These two ruffians aren’t from around these parts.’

‘So we’re —

Looking for gold.
For bounties.
We live out on the road and we ride horses over the plains and we let the sun beat down on us.
And at night we pitch tents and lie on our bedrolls looking up at the sky —
And it is so —
Huge —
Just this inky expanse, all studded with stars.
All we do is ride.
And we eat when we need and we sleep when we need but we don’t stop —
We just keep going.
We don’t need anybody else —
Just us.’

‘What’s that got to do with the sheriff?’

‘He, uh —
Right, yeah.
So we’ve stopped in this town —
We’re looking for supplies - ‘

‘What about the maiden?’

‘Well —
Yeah, we’re looking for her potion —
From the merchant —’

‘Do cowboys make potions?’

‘They can.


I didn’t know they could.’

‘Anything’s possible here.

‘I guess.’


Well —
Let me talk to the sheriff.
See if —
He can point me to the merchant.
Or —
Just get me the potion himself, I guess.’



‘Who cares?’

‘Don’t —
Look —
Just stay here.
She goes to the counter. Quietly, so Riley doesn’t hear:
Uh —
I’m picking up a prescription?’

For you?’

‘Uh, no.
For my mum?’

‘Got the prescription?’

‘Uh yeah —

And the note?’

‘The what?’

‘The note.
How old are you?’

‘Why do you need to know that?’

‘Cos this is a pharmacy.
And you’re picking something up on the behalf of someone else.
And you look pretty young, truth be told.’

‘I’m fifteen.’

‘That your sister?’


‘Step away from the display, young lady.’


‘Riley just —
Stand still.’

‘I am!’

‘I can See You!’

‘You’re like a little duo.’


‘That’s nice.
Um, but yeah, I can’t give you the prescription if you don’t have a note from your parent or guardian.
You’re under sixteen so.’

‘I —
I’m actually sixteen.
I didn’t —
It was my birthday last week.
I’m just used to saying that I’m fifteen.
I forgot.
My mistake.’

‘Uh huh.’


‘And of course, you don’t have any I.D. —’

‘Because I’m only —’

‘Because you’re only —’


I can’t give them to you.
I’m sorry.
If you go back and ask your parent to give you a note —
Or they can come pick up their prescription themselves’

‘Okay well that’s clearly not possible right now, because I’m here, aren’t I?

I’m sorry.
I just.
You know my mum, right?
Have you met her?
She comes in every two months for these.’

‘If she wants someone to pick up the prescription for her, she needs to call in advance to let us know.’

‘Okay, I I I —
I get that, I just —
She must have forgotten, or —
I don’t know.
I’ve done it for her before.’

‘I’m sorry.’

I really —

Sorry, I’m not —
It’s been a bad day.

Like I’m just trying to —
Do my best.
It doesn’t matter.’

‘She’s not evil.’

‘Riley —’

‘She’s just -’

‘This isn’t a conversation for kids.’

‘She’s just trying to help the maiden.’

‘The maiden?’


‘Our mum.’

‘ Okay.

I’m sorry.
It’s not that —
I’m sorry.’

‘It’s fine.
Come on.’

They leave the shop.

‘You didn’t get it?’

‘No I didn’t get it.
Come on, we’re going home.’

‘But you said we needed to get’

‘I thought you wanted to go home.
You’ve been complaining for the last hour.’

We can hear the boys behind them.

‘I —’

‘We’re doing what you wanted.
So come on, we’re going home.
Hurry up.’


‘But we’re not gonna be able to save the maiden now.’


We’ll figure something else out.
We’ll —’



‘Oh, so you can hear us.
You’re in my maths class, aren’t you?’

‘Yeah, and?’

‘What’s your name again?’

Anyone home?
They snap their fingers.’

‘What do you want?’

‘Just saying hello.’

‘Can we get past?’

‘Dunno, can you?’

‘Yeah, can you?’

‘What are you, Tweedledum and Tweedledee?
Get out of the way.’

‘I feel like you’re missing a word.
I dunno.
What do you think?’

‘Tiny word.
Makes a whole lot of difference, though.

They wait.

Guess we can’t move.’
‘And who’s this?’

Atmosphere chills.

‘Hello there.’


Don’t what?
Say hello?
Hi there.

‘Why won’t she look at us?
Bit weird.’

‘I —
What do you want?’

‘What do you mean what do we want?’

‘We don’t Want anything.’

‘Just a chat, really.
Not that deep.
Don’t freak out.
We heard you earlier.
Playing a game or something?
Aren’t you a bit old to be playing pretend?’

‘Why won’t you tell us your names?
We just want to be friends.’

‘Where’re you going?

It’s just a question.
Where’re you going?
Where’ve you been?’


‘Okay, Which Shop?

(to Riley)

How about you?
You got any answers?’

‘I —’

‘Don’t talk to her.’

‘Why not?’

‘Why can’t he?’

‘You’re being very anal.
That’s your name, isn’t it?
Didn’t you get suspended?
Do I have that right?’

‘Oh man, I remember that now!’

‘What was that about?’

‘She punched Alice Anderson.
In the middle of Physics.’

‘Of Course.
Little psycho.

(to Eliza)

We’ve got that right, don’t we?
You’d tell us if we made a mistake?
If we’d got the wrong person?’

‘I heard she had to get stitches.
What did she do?
It must have been something really bad.
Don’t you think?’

‘She must have said some really bad stuff.’
‘What did she say?
What did she do?
I think I remember, actually.
Didn’t she say something about - ‘


‘Tell you what, I’d love to see you try and hit one of us.’

‘I’d be scared!
No, genuinely, I would be.
I’m not being funny.’

‘If you don’t get out of our way you’ll find out what it feels like.’

‘So aggressive.’
‘I’ll rip your balls off.
Just watch.’

‘Overreaction, much?
Go ahead.’

‘No-one’s stopping you.’

‘Off you pop.
They let them pass.’

‘Like mother like daughter, is it?
That’s what she said, isn’t it?’

The girls stop.


‘You know, I’m pretty sure I remember that’s what was said.’

‘Yeah, that’s what I heard too.’

‘I don't care what you heard.’
‘I heard your mum's —
A bit lacking.
In the brain department.’

‘Don’t say that.
Don’t ever say that again.’

‘Don't get stressy about it.’

‘Just facts.’

‘We all know it's true.
She's not the brightest crayon in the box.
That's what my mum says.
You know what I mean.’

‘Yeah it's very obvious what you mean.’

‘She's a few screws loose.
Can’t do anything.
Totally useless.
You’re a bit like that too, aren’t you?
Claire Baker said she always hears you crying in the bathrooms.
Says you go all weird and quiet.
Bit embarrassing.’

‘What would you know about it?’

‘So it’s true?’

‘Leave her alone.’


‘Little sister's got teeth.’

‘Could use some brushing.’

‘Disgusting little animal.’

‘Don't talk about her like that.’


‘Just leave us alone.’

‘I feel sorry for you.
Really, I do.
Having a mother like that.’

to Riley

‘And you. Having a sister the same.
Bet your mum’s got a porridge brain from all those pills.’

‘What do you think?
Any thoughts from the small one?’

‘Don’t talk to her.’

‘Why not?
Does she want to come with us?
We were going to the park.
We could take her.’

‘Put her on the swings.’

‘Go on the slide.’

‘Have a nice little time together.’

‘Leave us alone.’

‘Want to come with us?
We’re more fun than your sister, I think.’

‘I think so.
Come on.’

‘Don’t Touch Her.’


‘Do Not —’
‘Off we go.’




‘What the hell?’

‘Are you crazy?’

‘Are you insane?’

‘Riley, run!’

They start running away. The boys follow them.


‘Come back!’



‘Okay, it’s okay.
We can stop.
Are you okay?’

‘What were they talking about?
Why were they saying that stuff?

‘They were —
They were hyenas.
Waiting to pounce.

And —
They were…’

‘Who’s Alice Anderson?’

‘Just a stupid girl at school.’

‘Does Mum have a porridge brain?’

Of course not.’

‘They knew you get sad.’

We all get sad.’

‘What does that even mean?
Porridge brain.’

‘You don’t need to worry about it, okay?’

‘They’re at school with you.’

‘I know.’

‘They were being horrible.’

‘I know.’

‘They said all that stuff about you.
And Mum.’

‘Yes, Riley, I know.


‘They were —
Hunting for prey.
Prowling over the savannah in packs.
Lurking under scrub and bush, following the scent.
Feeding off fear.
But we got away.
They were just hyenas.’


‘No they weren’t.’
‘They were.’

‘What’s happening?’

‘The hyenas were -’


‘What do you mean, no?’

‘Is she coming back?’

I don’t —’

‘I want Mum.’

‘I know.’

‘Is she coming back?
She doesn’t care about us.’

‘Don’t say that.’

‘It’s true.’

‘It’s not.
Don’t ever say that.’

Riley starts to walk away, Eliza pulls her back roughly.


‘Don’t walk away from me.
I’m serious, don’t ever say that about her.’

‘Get off, you’re hurting me!
Riley hits her and runs down the street.’

‘Riley, come back!’

‘Leave me alone!’

‘You’re going to run into the road!’

‘Leave me alone!’


‘Stop, please.’

Riley breathes hard.

‘Hey, come here.’

They hug. Some safety now.

‘I’m sorry.’

‘No, I’m sorry.’

‘Where is she?’

‘The maiden, she’s -’

‘No maiden!
No more.
Where Is She?’


‘Oh God —
You scared us.’


‘No, it’s —
What do you want?’



‘But you said —’

‘Just —
Look, just make sure you get a note next time.
I can’t always do this.’

‘It’s her medicine?’


‘Thank you.’

‘It’s fine, it’s —’


‘I’d prefer to be a cowboy.
As opposed to being a sheriff.
Next time.
That’s all I’m saying.’

‘We’ll —
We’ll bear that in mind.’


I’ll be going.’


‘I’m not a baby anymore.’

‘She’s at home.’

But you said she was -’

‘I know.
I didn’t know what else to —
She’s at home.
She’s not —
Feeling well.’



‘But she’s always sick.’

‘Not always.
Well —

‘So she’s sick.
So —
She needs to go to the doctor.’

‘She has.’

‘So why isn’t she better?
Is it her tummy?’

It’s her —
It takes a while for her to get better.
You have to be patient.’

‘You said she was a lost maiden.
You said —’

‘Because I didn’t know what else to say!’

‘So what now?’

‘We go home.’

‘Is that it?
Then what?
We can help her, can’t we?
She’s gotten better before.
Maybe we can —
Well —
We’ve got the potion now.
So she’s saved, right?
That’s what you said?

Choose your path

45North Transparent white


Taking risks to challenge our ideas of self and the world in which we live.


Studio 44

Hackney Downs Studios
London E8 2BT
England, UK