James Holden: After the Party

Watching the CCTV footage, Colin was surprised by how much the figure it was tracking was swaying, but it was undoubtedly him veering to the left and the right of the pavement. Colin put his hand up to his mouth as the figure on the grainy video crossed the road – the only way that he hadn’t been run over as he shuffled unsteadily onwards was a lack of traffic outside Cockfosters tube station when he exited at 1.20am.

Cockfosters wasn’t even his stop, but he must have fallen asleep and been woken up by the London Underground staff when the train had reached the end of the line. He could symapathise with his drunken self’s reasoning that it would be a good idea to make the 45 minute walk home to Southgate. After the office Christmas party he must have felt invincible.

But unfortunately he wasn’t. Sure, he’d woken in his own bed, though that didn’t mean he’d got home safely. He watched intently the figure on the screen slowly navigated the route home, trying not to look at the police officers sat either side of him. He leaned forward as two figures suddenly appeared at the bottom of the screen, and felt himself blushing as he turned to one of the officers next to him.

“Is that them?”

“It is yes. Is this bringing back any memories?”

“Nope,” he said quietly.

When he had woken this morning, he had pulled himself together and set off for work, only to discover that he had lost his wallet the night before. He reported it stolen to the police for the crime number, but they had rung back and asked him to come in.

Watching the video he felt he should have been able to remember: the approach, the shoving, having his legs kicked from beneath him. He watched as one of them frisked him for his wallet whilst the other one pinned him down, them running away, him laying there on the pavement staring up at the sky, motionless until a car stopped and the driver helped him get back to his feet. He should have known, but he could only recall some of the events of the night before: the free bar, the dancing, the laughing and joking, the beer and the shots. But nothing that had happened after the party.

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About James Holden

Brought up in Yorkshire, James has washed up on the shores of London. He spends his days working as a political geek. His short stories have previously been read by the Liars League.
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