Ella got out of bed, went to the loo and considered getting dressed, maybe she could just put a coat on over her pyjamas, then she saw her Kermit onesie on the side. It was warm, much cosier that any coat she had. She pulled it on and zipped it up. She pulled the hood up too, buttoned the flap across her chin. Super cosy. She needed some shoes that the frog feet would fit into, she opened her wardrobe. Boots. That would do it. She folder the feet up and neatly as she could and pushed her feet inside the boots, bit tight and she could do the zip up, but okay. She grabbed her keys and phone and started off into the night.
It was cold and the steering wheel was freezing, but fortunately she had a pair of gloves – a left over from a gorilla fancy dress costume she’d worn last year – stuffed into the drinks holder by the radio. She pulled them on and laughed at her own hands, furry on the outside, smooth on the palm, perfect for driving really, she had plenty of grip with them.
She started the car and headed off the find Sam. It didn’t take her long to reach the road Sam and Charlie had broken down on. She approached a mini-roundabout which gave her a choice of left or right. That was when she realised she wasn’t sure which end MacDonald’s was, which way she should turn; left or right.
As she approached the junction she kept to the middle of her lane, keeping both options open. As she got closer she decided on left, then, at the last second, she remembered, glanced in her rear view mirror and veered right. She could see MacDonald’s a few hundred yards ahead.
The flashing blue light filled her, so did the siren, she pulled over to let them pass.
They pulled up in front of her, ensuring she couldn’t pass.
She watched in horror, her heart thumping in her chest, as the policeman got out of the car and came towards her. He bent down to her window. She lowered it slowly and gave him a nervous smile.
‘Would you like to step out of the car please?’
Ella slowly turned the lights and the engine off. She picked up her phone and opened the door.
The policeman, mid-thirties and quite dishy in his uniform, looked her up and down as she got out of the car; his eyes finally came to rest on her gorilla hands.
‘What’s the problem?’ Ella’s voice squeaked.
‘Have you been drinking?’
‘If you’d like to accompany me back to the police car.’ He started walking at the same time managing to move Ella along without actually touching her. Ella waddled along the road, her boots tight on her feet and flapping around her legs. When they got to the car, he opened the back door and invited her to get in.
As Ella climbed into the rear seat a car went by and tooted at her. A loud wolf whistle resounded down the road and someone, somewhere shouted ‘needeep.’
‘Friends of yours?’ Ella was relieved to see there was another officer in the car and it was woman.
‘Name,’ the female officer said, her tone indicating that it had already been a long night. Ella gave her name, then her address, then her car registration number, but they already had that. ‘Blow into this.’ The officer passed Ella a breathalyzer, the male officer explained how to blow properly.
‘But I haven’t been drinking.’ Ella did a quick reckoning in her head, she had drunk last night, but not tonight. Could that still be in her system? Surely not. She hadn’t had that much. Had she?
‘You were driving erratically, that usually suggests intoxication,’ the officer said, sighing. ‘And you’re obviously in some sort of fancy dress, been or going to a party. Just blow.’
Ella blew and the male officer took the breathalyzer from her and looked at the reading, he waited, looked up and almost smiled at her.
‘Okay, that’s fine. You obviously haven’t been drinking. What about drugs.’
‘Absolutely not,’ Ella said, she could hear her own indignation.
‘Do you usually drive like that?’ he said.
‘Erratically,’ he said again. ‘You appeared to go one way then veer off in the opposite direction. Very dangerous.’
Ella’s phone rang and Sam’s face popped up on the screen. Ella went to answer the phone.
‘Please don’t answer the phone,’ the woman officer’s voice droned.
‘But that’s why I changed direction, I’m picking my friend up outside MacDonald’s, I couldn’t remember which end of the road it was. Now she’s ringing to see where I am. She’s probably worried.’
‘And your clothes?’ The male officer said. Ella thought she could see the hint of curled lip.
‘I was in bed when she called.’
‘Yes. In that. Mmm.’
‘Not against the law is it?’
‘Okay, you can go,’ the female officer interrupted, having spent the last few minutes looking at her phone. ‘Everything’s in order. Just watch how you drive.’
‘That’s it?’ Ella was relieved and annoyed.
‘Frog outfits aren’t against the law, so yes, that’s it. You might want to think about your footwear.’ The male officer got out of the car and opened the rear door so Ella could get out. He escorted her half way back to her car then stood and watched as she walked towards it. ‘Bye gorilla hands,’ he said, turning and walking back to the police car. As he opened the door Ella heard his colleague laugh and he joined in.
‘Bastards,’ she hissed as she turned her engine and lights on.
‘You’ve taken ages,’ Sam said as Ella pulled up. ‘The AA is already here. It’s not as bad as we thought. I think I’ll stay and go home with Charlie.’
‘But, I’ve…’ Ella started. ‘Okay.’
‘Sorry to have got you out in the cold.’ Sam leant in to kiss Ella on the cheek by way of an apology. ‘You didn’t come out in public like that? Thank God it’s dark.’ She shook her head and turned to walk away.
This is a first draft, so is subject to change and please excuse any errors.
Missed excerpts from previous chapters? Check them out. I’ll be publishing an excerpt from chapter seven next week – follow my blog so you don’t miss it.
And, if you haven’t already tried them, check out my free short stories. (Completely different to this, and my two books). And if you like a little paranormal/mystery/romance and general British weirdness, try The Finder and The Illusionist.