Seeing the Light

Author's Note: This is my first try at writing a skit. Tell me what you think! I'm not sure what's up with me and humorous crimes, but it seems to be my thing these days... Haha. Enjoy!

A small, dimly lit shop. The shop is filled with tall shelves of candles. There is a door at stage left complete with a bell and a cashier's counter at stage right. The counter has a cash register as well as another display candles.

Julie Harris is working as the sale's assistant for the afternoon. She is a college aged young woman with brown hair pulled into a high ponytail, wearing jeans, a brightly colored t-shirt, and sneakers She rearranges some of the candles near the counter. There are no customers in the shop.

As she works, Peter Gaffner bursts into the shop through the door, the gun in his hands pointed directly at Julie. He is dressed completely in black, including a black, knit cap over his short brown hair.

Peter: This is a robbery! On the floor!

Julie screams, but throws herself to the floor. Pleased that she has done as instructed, Peter puts the gun in the holster on his belt and pulls a black trash bag out from under his shirt. He then proceeds to put candles in it, one at a time. Julie watches from her position on the floor.

Julie: Uh, sir?

He does not look at her, instead continuing to put candles in the bag, one at a time.

Peter: What?

Julie: You do know this is a candle store, right?

He still does not look at her.

Peter: Yes.

Julie: Well, uh, no offense—really no offense because you're the one with the gun and I'm just this girl lying here on the floor, totally helpless, so please, please, don't shoot!—but what's the point of robbing a candle store? (He doesn't respond. She waits a beat before continuing.) It's just that there's a jewelry store to the right of us and a bank to the left. So, why choose a candle shop of all places?

Peter: (Still filling his bag) I like candles.

Julie: I do too, but you don't see me robbing the store. And besides, we're having a sale. Buy two, get one half off. Or, buy three, get the fourth free. There's even a little collection by the register that are all half off. If you take that into consideration, wouldn't buying in bulk be a lot easier than robbery?

Peter: No.

Julie: Are you sure? I mean, yeah, you have to pay for your purchases, but isn't that worth it to avoid all the cops and jail time and stuff like that, that comes with robbing a store? And as I said, we're having a sale. All lavender scented candles, only ninety-nine cents with the purchase of a fresh mint candle.

Peter stops and finally turns to her, a candle in one hand that hasn't quite made it into the bag yet. He considers this for a moment.

Peter: Where are they?

Julie: You know what? It's really hard to explain. Blue candles to the right of the watermelon shaped ones, six candles up from the yellow… it gets confusing. Let me just show you where they are.

She begins to get up, but before she can get far, Peter pulls the gun out again and points it at her. She screams and drops once more to the floor.

Peter: On the floor!

Julie: Sorry! Sorry!

The store is silent for a few seconds as Peter puts the gun away again and continues to put candles in his bag, one at a time.

Julie: I still don't get why you're robbing a candle shop when there's a bank and a jewelry store right next door.

Peter: I like candles.

Julie: You already said that and that's totally not an explanation. Don't you like jewelry and money more? I know I do. Because as nice as candles are, they're totally not going for much these days. For example, the flower candles over there are three dollars for set of four. You're not going to find any sets of four for three dollars over at the jewelry store. It would probably be more like… one ring for a hundred dollars, cheapest. Doesn't that sound like a better steal to you? Because, I mean, there's steals here too—all lace white, garden green, and rose pink candles are a dollar each to celebrate spring—but I don't think that's the kind of steal you're looking for—or I guess they will be once you steal them... But that's not the point! The point is, wouldn't it be better to rob some place with more… valuable products? And what about the bank? Forget products, gold, wax, or otherwise. They've got actual money! (Julie's eyes go wide in shock and realization as she realizes what she's suggesting.) I'm not saying I want you to rob the bank or the jewelry store or anything, I'm just trying to figure out what kind of person robs a candle shop when there's two way better places to conduct a robbery within less than a fifty foot radius!

Peter crosses to another shelf and begins taking more candles.

Peter: My fiancé wants candles at our wedding and her family's in the mob business, so I thought I'd go do this and impress her. Plus, in this economy you've got to save on everything you can, right?

Julie: Oh, then you should go for those white candles I was talking about before. We're always special ordering them for weddings.

Peter: Where are they again?

Julie: Over there.

She points to a shelf near the door.

Peter: Ah, thanks.

Peter spots them and walks over, dropping a few into his bag.

Julie: No problem.

White candles collected, Peter walks over to the counter and drops the bag on it. He pulls the gun back out points it at Julie again.

Peter: All right, get up off the floor now and take all the money out of the cash register.

Julie climbs off the floor, her hands above her head and walks behind the counter. She begins to punch a few numbers into the register as she talks. Peter keeps the gun trained on her, but less obviously.

Julie: Thanks for letting me get was pretty disgusting on this floor. Stacy, the other girl who works here after class was supposed to mop yesterday, but I really don't think she did… There's crap and dust getting all over my clothes now. Seriously, I thought some of the stuff down there might attack me… It's pretty rank. (There's a beat as she punches in the last number and the register dings open.) That'll be seventeen fifty-two, please.

Peter: What?

Julie: Seventeen fifty-two. I saw all the things you put in your bag, and your total is seventeen fifty-two.

Peter: This is a robbery! I'm not paying!

Julie: But it's only seventeen fifty-two!

Peter: I'm stealing a whole garbage bag full of candles, how the hell does it come to seventeen fifty-two?

Julie: Weren't you listening to anything I said? We're having a sale! Now come on, are you seriously going to steal seventeen fifty-two worth of candles? If I were your mob family wife, I would not be impressed.

Peter: You wouldn't? (He looks upset)

Julie: Uh, no. That's like shop lifting a bottle of really cheap perfume from a drugstore. There's no point.

Peter: But I'm holding you at gunpoint. (he waves the gun to prove his point) You don't hold people at gunpoint when you're shoplifting.

Julie: Doesn't make a difference. You're still only stealing seventeen fifty-two worth of merchandise. (She pulls a coupon out from under the counter) And if you make your purchase with this coupon, you get twenty percent off. Sorry buddy, you might as well pay and try your luck at the jewelry shop instead. Trust me. Your fiancé's going to be way more impressed if you bring home a bag of stolen jewelry instead of a bag of stolen candles. I think she'll forgive you for buying the candles, even with the economy the way it is these days.

Peter: I guess you're right…

Julie: Of course I am. That's fourteen oh two with the coupon.

Peter takes his wallet out of his back pocket, pulls out a twenty, and hands it to her. Julie gives him his change and he turns, leaving the store. She waves to him.

Julie: Thank you for your patronage andgood luck with the jewelry store! I'm rooting for you and I hope your fiancé's impressed!

Peter shuts the door behind him, which has been open the entire time. The moment it closes, Julie pulls her cell phone out of her pocket and dials 911.

Julie: Hello? Police? Yeah, I'd like to report a robbery. (Beat) The jewelry store downtown. (Beat) Description? Uh, white adult male, average height, all in black. He's carrying a big bag of candles. (Beat) No, he paid for those.