The police baton banged along steel bars, stabbing at my slumbering brain.

“She’s awake,” called out the young constable, carrying two coffee mugs.

Heaving upright, the ceiling seemed to drop on my head. “Oww!” Palms cradled my oversized skull. Powder coated eyeballs winced at the grey surroundings. Scents of stale socks combined with urine and soured cheese singed my sinuses, and my tongue was slick with sand. If this was awake, shoot me now!

“Um…” Yep, my ability to form words was lost in my sludge filled brain.

The Sergeant sipped from his cup, while slipping his baton into his accoutrement belt. “You’re in the drunk tank, young lady.”

“OH maannnn.” My heavy head dropped as far as my stiff neck would allow.

“And there’s that: ‘I’ve stuffed-up look’.” The Sergeant pointed at me with his mug.

I glared at the cops… in triple vision.

“Now comes the ‘oh, shit, how did I stuff up,’ look.” The constable snorted into his coffee mug.

Fingers raked through tangled hair, mixed with grass and dried mud that covered my shirt. “What the hell!” Amazing how those three little words echoed inside the cubicle cell. But–classed as vintage by my peers– was my bicycle relic, resting beside me. In jail!

“Your father said to let you sleep it off and he‘ll come and fetch ya after he’s dropped your Nan off at church.”

Head down. I repeated the mantra, “I’m dead.” Not from the cops. But dad. And I couldn’t remember a damned thing to even try and talk my way out of it.

Collapsing back onto the slab, I cuddled up beside my pushbike. Somehow, I’d become the sideshow freak of Sunday-speak in a town that never forgets–ever. Was it too late to ride away and join the circus? Why was my bike being arrested?

What the hell did I do?

 

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