Morag awoke to the horror of her alarm. It was the sound of her trying to play Ode to Joy on a piano, and it was truly and undeniably appalling stuff. She’d been known to sleep through fire alarms, car alarms and burglar alarms, but never this alarm. She rolled over onto her side preparing to leap out of bed and begin the morning chaos that was the ritual of her getting ready for work when something exploded in her head, making her retch violently and dash to the bathroom at an alarming and impressive speed.
Clutching the sides of the toilet, her eyes streaming she tried to piece together how she came to be in this particular state. A hangover was no surprise, more mornings consisted of hangovers than not, but she’d not been sick since she was twenty and discovered the joy of jaegerbombs. Had she been drinking jaegerbombs again? She sniffed the contents of the toilet suspiciously. No, that wasn’t the smell of Jaeger. Something smelt strange. She leant against the bath and tried to conjure up some memories of the night before. Weatherspoons, she remembered that much. Wine. Red wine, definitely. The man had been wearing a suit hadn’t he? He was nervous, she remembered that much.
Morag used the toilet and the edge of the bath to slowly raise herself from the floor, and looked in the mirror with more than the usual amount of horror. The blood vessels in her cheek had burst. Shit, she looked... well... shit. Her hair looked as if it was trying to escape from the horror of being her, and was therefore roaming in every direction other than downwards. She put her hands up to attempt to smooth it into submission, once again noticing a strange smell wafting about her. What on earth had she been drinking? Whisky. She remembered the whisky. How many did they have? Four or five maybe? Doubles? Probably all of them were doubles. Well that was a lot of whisky. But still? Vomiting at her age? She considered brushing her teeth and having a shower, but both tasks seemed far too arduous for this hour, so she walked back into her bedroom, attempting to locate her phone. She found it under a large mound of clothes and most of the contents of her handbag, which she’d for some reason decided to spread about on the floor. She glanced at the time on the screen- 8.23am. That was ok, she could easily get ready, recover from her state of near death and drive ten miles to work before 9am. Well, it was probably humanly possible anyway.
She decided to have a little lie down on the floor before she undertook any more morning tasks. She lay down, the carpet marking her cheek, the cold radiator sticking into her spine and looked at the mess all over the floor. She turned her head towards the window and saw sitting there on the windowsill the offending object. An empty bottle of Advocaat. She ran her tongue over her teeth and realised the strange smell was the smell of raw egg yolks combined with whiskey and left to age at the back of her drinks cupboards for three and half years. It was almost entirely full when she had left the house to go on her date last night. She’d drank an entire bottle of what was essentially aged custard with a hunt of good old whisky last night. Why on earth had she done that?
She sat up again, her head spinning even more now that it knew she had consumed an entire bottle of Advocaat, the custard scent on her tongue left her unsure if she should try to run to the toilet again. She glanced down at the contents of her handbag and began attempting to put the assortment of crap she had spread over the floor back in it. She threw her phone in, then grabbed her purse and checked the damage. There didn’t appear to be any money in it, but then she couldn’t as such remember how much she had taken with her. And she could well have been using her card all night. She dropped the empty purse in the bag along with her keys and a handful of empty sweet wrappers and old receipts that she couldn’t be bothered to throw away. Then she looked in shock at what had been hiding beneath the receipts. Lambert and Butler? Where the hell did those come from? She hadn’t smoked since she was in University, she didn’t even like smoking. She tentatively picked up the packet and looked inside. There was one half smoked cigarette left, out of a packet of twenty. Bloody hell. She sniffed at her hair and another piece fell into place. That would also explain the weird smell and the nausea. But what could have made her drink Advocaat and smoke? Had the date taken a turn for the worse that she no longer remembered? She shook her head, and instantly regretted the violent movement, as fragments of her brain were dislodged and the smell of custard began to waft back into her mouth, she blundered back into the bathroom feeling truly bemused.