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Huff Puff

by Shari Gledhill



Three people, all connected by one man. Shona and Julie are victims of the same serial rapist. Peter’s sister was another victim, and now she suffers terribly from the trauma. He wants revenge. They all do. Unfortunately, the courts decided that Ralph Quinn, the prime suspect, was innocent and he walked free. Unable to let this lie, Shona contacted the others, determined to dish out their own justice. And now Ralph is in a damp, abandoned warehouse, tied to a chair, blindfolded and bleeding.

At first he is unconscious, the result of being hit over the head by a cricket bat. When he awakes he is terrified. He calls out for help but there is no one to hear him. Hours pass and Ralph begins to give up hope. But then there is a voice in the darkness. Shona.

She is the ringleader of the kidnappers. She is the one with most hatred for Ralph. She was a strong independent woman before the attack. She resents what Ralph took away from her and wants to make him pay. She takes off his blindfold and mocks him. He begs to be released. Soon Julie enters. She is much more timid than Shona. The terror of what happened to her is still strong. Yet she is fascinated by the prisoner. He looks different. More human. They are joined by Peter. He is the youngest of the group but almost unhinged by what has happened to his sister. Shona takes Julie out for some air and Ralph tries to appeal to Peter to let him go. Peter will not be moved. Ralph realises that he is truly in trouble. 

Time passes and Ralph is alone once more. This time it is Julie who comes to see Ralph alone. Ralph tries to convince her that he is innocent and tells her about his wife and son. Julie is deaf to his pleas at first, but slowly she begins to see that maybe they have got this wrong. Maybe they have kidnapped and tormented an innocent man. 

Just as Julie is about to release Ralph from his bonds, Shona and Peter enter. Shona is outraged that Julie has fallen for Ralph’s lies and decides the time to act is now. She gets Ralph to his feet and instructs Peter to take his trousers down and get the knife. 

The tension becomes unbearable as the characters fight over what to do. Eventually Julie makes Shona see sense and they release Ralph. Broken, Shona sits in the chair that once was Ralph’s prison. He enters, now cleaned up and ready to go home. 

Just as we feel the nightmare has ended, Ralph reveals that Shona was right along. He WAS the big bad wolf. He grabs the knife and pulls Shona close. She summons the last of her strength and rage to grab the knife and tell him: “I don’t believe in happy ending either, Ralph”.


  45 mins approx


  (2m, 2f)
  • Ralph Quinn – a man being held captive
  • Shona Riley – the ringleader.
  • Julie Wilson – a victim.
  • Peter Straw – brother of a victim.


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