As always, last night had been another well-crafted mistake. In between perhaps his third Hurricane or the second absinthe shot, his night had become a kaleidoscope of colours, sounds, and excitement. An endless rollercoaster of drinks, narcotics, and over exuberance that he knew he would regret in the morning. And he was beginning to regret it now. He opened his eyes and unstuck himself from the cold, tiled ground.
“You know, come to think of it you throw one hell of a party.” Came a voice hovering somewhere near the ceiling. “If I didn’t know better, you were trying to drink the bar dry.”
Frank raised himself to a sitting position, and looked around. Slowly. The normally pristine floor of his loft was littered with empty beer cans, half-drank bottles, cigar butts. Jesus Christ. This was going to be a pain to clean up. A sharp nudge in the small of his back interrupted his despair of the mess around him. Frank turned, and saw a curious face peering back at him. Twin grey-blue eyes examined his semi-sober features. He noted the silver loop clasped in one nostril, her blonde pixie cut, pursing her lips left and right rhythmically. She was also wearing his Jimi Hendrix shirt. And his sweatpants. Sydney would have a field day about this, if she ever found out.
Pixie Cut smiled at him, apparently unaware of the panic that was plastered across his face. Though, she had a nice smile. “Hey there. How’s the head?” She said as she extended a hand, and he took it. The kitchen spun, and his vision flickered, only for a second.
“Still on my shoulders, believe it or not. Remind me. What’s your name again?”
“Coralie. Nice name. Did we-” Frank stopped, as she raised a single eyebrow. “Well, okay then.” He looked down, and much to his dismay noted that he was wearing nothing but black boxers and oddly, one sock. Last night was definitely a bender to forget, he thought to himself. He moved towards the fridge, where he found the guts of the fridge to be empty, bar a suspicious-looking carton of milk, and curiously, his other sock. He scowled. Again, he had neglected to buy groceries for himself. “Listen do you want to get out of here, get a coffee or something? I know an excellent place down by-”
Coralie raised a finger to him, effectively making him quiet. “Do you hear that? That’s a faint… Buzzing.” She wandered over to the sink, and pulled out a bong and a boot.
“What? It’s legal!”
“Riiiight. Anyway, your boot is buzzing.” And with that, Coralie threw the boot towards him, which he caught with unsteady hands, and removed the phone within it.
“Is this Frank Taylor?” Came an high-pitched, unfamiliar voice crackling down the phone. He could hear lots of voices behind the speaker. The distinct rattle of something being pushed in an open room.
“It is. How can I help you?”
“My name is Sharon Oakley, sir, and I’m sorry to tell you this but I’m calling from Redhaven Central. Do you know a Sydney Chastain?”
Frank’s heart skipped a beat, and his mouth was suddenly a lot dryer than before. “Y-yes, I do.”
“I’m afraid that she’s been in an accident. You’re her emergency contact, so I called you before anyone else.”
Frank leant against the kitchen sink, holding the edge hard. Coralie looked at him, eyes blue and full of concern. “You okay?” she mouthed to him. Frank shook his head. Of course he wasn’t.
“I’ll be right there,” Frank said to the phone, and then snapped it shut. He had to get ready, changed. He had to get out of here.
“I’m guessing by the look on your face things haven’t turned out so well.” Coralie said, tapping her fingers against her side. “Listen, whatever it is, let me drive you. You’re not in a state to drive. Get dressed, and meet me outside in five.”
Frank looked at her, and felt the warm touch of relief blossom in his chest. “Thank you. I won’t be long.”
And he wasn’t – his car – a ’69 Chevy Camaro screeched out of his driveway and into the early morning sun, to Redhaven Central.