The Standalones

Chapter Twenty-Three

Ken Preston

20 June 2024

Silhouette of a rock band against a spotlight and the words The Standalones

Hospital. He needed to get to hospital as soon as possible. If he didn’t get some medical attention soon, he was probably going to die. Maybe he should dial 999, demand an ambulance. Paramedics. This was an emergency.

Danny Lamb had never been hungover this badly before.

He rolled over and immediately regretted it. Thin, hot needles pierced his brain. Tiny worms wriggled in the thin, greasy soup that had collected in his stomach. Danny kept his eyes screwed shut. If he opened them, he knew he would be permanently blinded by the harsh morning daylight.

For a brief moment, Danny remembered that Fred had come back with him last night, preferring to sleep on one of Danny Lamb’s tattered, broken settees than go home and face Irene’s wrath.

Surely Fred was suffering just as much as Danny? Maybe even worse, him being a lot thinner than Danny. A lot smaller.

Nah, forget it. Fred can look after himself.

Danny burped. Wiped a greasy sheen of sweat off his face with the palms of his meaty hands. How many pints of beer had he downed last night? And then had they moved on to vodka and whisky?

Danny groaned as another wave of nausea rolled through his vast stomach and up into his chest and throat. Someone twisted the hot needles in his head, ratcheting the agony up another to another level.

Please, someone call an ambulance!

“Danny? Danny, mate, wake up.”

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