This is part of an ongoing series called Graveyard Shift. It can be read alone or you can roll back in my archives and start from the beginning.
Please don’t puke. Please don’t puke Sergeant Valentine pleaded to an unspecified deity.
“You ok back there, girl?”, he asked his passenger.
The young lady lazily lifted her head from her lap and managed to grunt “Yes.” A questionable burp followed. She put her head back in her lap.
She’s gonna puke in my nice clean squad car. He breathed a sigh of relief when he pulled in front of her house. It wasn’t student housing or a dormitory, instead it was a private residence. He put the cruiser in park, got out and opened the rear door. He extended a hand to her and said, “OK, you’re home. Come on out.” Realizing that she was unable to do it on her own he reached into the back seat and helped her to her feet. He threw her arm around his shoulder and slowly helped her up the cobblestone walk to the front door. As he was about to try the handle, a woman about his age opened the door.
“What’s going on?”, she asked quizically.
“Good evening, ma’am. I’m Sergeant Valentine and I think I have your daughter, this is your daughter?”
She nodded in agreement. “Is she in trouble?”
“No, ma’am. I took her home under protective custody.” The mother looked confused. “Your daughter has had too much to drink this evening.”
“My daughter doesn’t drink!” she exclaimed.
“Are you quite sure about that?” Mike asked her.
“Positive. Her dad was a mean drunk and she cringes at the smell of it.”
The hair on the back of Mike’s neck stood up. There was clearly more going on here than he thought. This wasn’t adding up.
As if on cue, the young woman stepped off of the steps and began to vomit violently into the bushes. Mike held her up, instinctively pulling her hair back.
“Ma’am, if you’re quite sure. You ARE quite sure?”
“If you’re quite sure”, he continued. “I’d like to have her taken to the hospital and have a tox screen done on her. Something is not right.”
The mother stepped out of the house and knelt down to comfort her daughter. The young woman had ceased vomiting. Mike assisted the mother in sitting her upright on the stairs. As he did the sleeve of her shirt cleaved and Mike’s trained eye immediately zoomed in on the track marks on her forearm.
Well that explains a lot, he thought.
He called for a ambulance and waited with them until it arrived.