The police baton banged along steel bars, the sound stabbing at my stirring brain.

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

I sat upright as the ceiling seem to drop on my head. “Oww,” palms cradled my oversized skull, powder coated eyeballs winced at my surroundings, while scents of stale socks combined with urine and soured cheese singed my sinuses. My throat was clogged with thick glue along and my tongue 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 took his cup while slipping his baton into his accoutrement belt. “You’re in the drunk tank, young lady.”

“OH maannnn,” lowering my heavy head as far as my stiff neck would allow.

“And there’s that: ‘I’ve stuffed-up look’,” the Sergeant using his mug as a pointer.

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 fuck!” Amazing how those three little words echoed inside the cubicle cell. But, classed as vintage by my peers was my bicycle relic, beside me.

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

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

Collapsing back onto the slab cuddled up beside my pushbike, 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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