Exhausted, I rubbed at my eyes, scratching my stubbled chin whilst I waited for the duty officer to bring my sister out of the holding cells. She'd always been a wild child, but since turning nineteen she'd taken it to extremes, going to raves and getting wasted on alcohol or party drugs. A few months ago, she'd come home utterly out of her head on something- my guess was Ecstasy- and woken the household. After that, my mother and father had grounded her, for all the good that did for someone of her age. A few days ago they'd flown out on a hybrid business trip/anniversary holiday to Europe, strictly admonishing her to stay at home and behave in their absence.
She seemed to have taken it as a challenge, though; the moment they left, she flaunted their rules by staying out late. Not wanting to upset my parents or risk them cutting their long-awaited trip short to deal with something that might sort itself out, I held off informing them. Tonight- well, this morning, more accurately- though...
Karen had attended some underground rave in an abandoned warehouse. The Police had busted the party after getting complaints about the noise from nearby companies; they'd sprung the party-goers, arresting a large number of them for trespassing and possession of illegal substances. My sister had attempted to flee, gambling she would be safe in a knot of fleeing revellers; she'd twisted her ankle badly, and escaped trampling only by being at the very back of the group. When she'd been bought in, the Police had run a broad-spectrum toxicology screen on her whilst the other injuries were assessed.
The results had come back positive; I had been called in to bail her out after the initial arrest, but the drug testing forced them to add new charges to that, and I was presently being held up whilst the bail for those cleared and a Doctor evaluated her condition.
A door opened, the portly and balding uniformed officer who had the job of handling bails and releases that night motioning me to follow him to an interview room. In contrast to my sister, sitting on a chair with her legs drawn up under her chin and scowling, this was my first time on the business end of law enforcement, and I looked around, curious. The cop shows have it all wrong, I thought, disappointed. There were no gleaming steel and glass cells, no room-wide mirror panels; just flaking paint and the faint smell of ammonia used to clean the floors.
I sat through the bail process, adding my signature where required and listening to the conditions intently, knowing Karen was too spaced out to follow anything, giggling maniacally beside me and rocking back and forth in either stress or excess excitement. As we finished up, the Doctor they'd called in dropped by, telling me there was little they could do; they'd administered a dose of anti-congestants to ensure the drug she'd taken wouldn't depress her breathing and telling me she was basically going to have to sleep it off.
I nodded gravely, helping my sister to her feet. As she sagged against me, the medical officer continued to fill me in on the drug; it was something called GHB, known on the streets as "Fantasy." It was supposed to be a downer, but in the club scene it was used to induce a feeling of euphoria. More darkly, it tended to make users energetic for a short period, then tranquil and sleepy after that. In sufficient doses, it also caused amnesia, making it perfect for drink spiking. Looking her over one last time, he noted that she'd probably be "up all night."
At that, Karen visibly lit up, grabbing my crotch and slurring out "Yee-ah! All night long." Blushing, I got her to surrender her grasp on me. The Police officer and the medical offsider broke down into helpless laughter; mustering the tattered shreds of my dignity, I guided my sister out of the station and to my waiting car.
When we got home, I decided to save effort by bringing Karen in through the back patio, avoiding the hazards of the front lawn. As I dug through my keys to find the right one, again wishing my paranoiac parents would just have a simple master set, Karen took the opportunity to try and escape again, staggering out onto the back lawn. Ordinarily that would have been fine, but my parents were having it landscaped during their absence; the gardening company had torn away the turf, leaving bare earth behind. With the summer showers that had come through as the sun went down and the cool night that had followed, the result was, as my sister had discovered, a quagmire.
Hearing the muffled thump as she fell face-first into the mud, I spun around. Blinking in shock, my sister sat up in her personal swamp, covered in muck. Great. Just great. I cast about for a solution, not wanting to have to mop the floors or risk dirtying the carpet inside the house. Although I knew my parents would blame Karen for what had happened, they were going to be pissed off enough about her being hopped up and arrested without adding to it. She might be an annoying little bitch, but if what the medical attendant at the station had said was right, the jag after coming off the drug was going to be bad enough by itself.
The only thing presenting itself was the hose clipped to the house's back wall. Sighing, I turned it on Karen, who decided to treat it as a game. When she finished capering under the spray, I got her on to the paved terrace, and then inside, dripping all the way. Digging some old towels out of the hallway cupboard to sop up the track of water she'd left, I stowed her in the bathroom, telling her I'd be back with a dressing gown. It didn't take too long to clean up, so I headed into her disaster zone of a bedroom and dug out her favourite fluffy pink dressing gown from its camouflage of cleverly placed catalogues and unidentifiable detritus. As I lifted it away, I found a small cache of clear, zip-locked bags. Each one contained a small, white pill. Shaking my head, I detoured to the upstairs toilet, wrapped them in toilet paper to weigh them down, and then flushed the lot.
That done, I knocked on the bathroom door. I could hear the water hitting the tiles, but nothing else; warning my sister I was coming in, I peered around the corner. She had gotten as far as stripping off her sodden clothes before being distracted; instead of taking a shower, she'd decided to lay down on the bathroom counter, legs apart, with a hairbrush buried in between her legs. Cackling madly at my evident shock, she stepped up the pace. I stood there, rooted to the spot, not knowing what to do. On the one hand, it was my sister; on the other, the Doctor had stressed the amnesiac properties of the drug, and it wasn't as though my sister looked too bad.
.... There is more of this story ...