I was reading Arcata Eye and found inspiration. For good or ill.
The cops had been there before, of course, prodding the teen-agers from the house, from their New Year's Eve revelry, into their cars, which poured pell-mell out of the suburban cul-de sac. In this oft-repeated dance, the Kids returned as soon as the black and whites were gone.
It might have been the third time, maybe the fourth, when a straggled band of young pedestrians--those without cars--mis-timed their re- re- re-return. They had little option when the squad car skidded to a stop and a puffed-up officer jumped out promising, "Someone's gonna go to jail." He gathered the motley group of seven, boy and girl alike, pulling one from behind a shrub, foiling his comical attempt at a hiding place, his knobby legs peeking out as clear and obvious as the North Star.
Rituals began, of straight lines, touching noses and blatant threats. Nervous glances were exchanged undetected, secret plans made with eyes and shared thoughts. To protect the illicit items on various persons, a bag of this, a vial of that, an ID of someone else.
The cuffs appeared quickly and shockingly, glinting in the moonlight, like hard winter's breath. The officer turned and bent his charge, the catalyst to escape. And two were off.
They churned like ghosts, ignoring the shouts behind them, into the cul-de-sac. Indiscriminately, they lunged at a fence, forever claiming an amusing impression they ran right through it, leaving a Bugs Bunny outline of their bodies behind, when in fact, they'd learn later, they'd knocked it right the fuck down. It may have been three fences, maybe four, until they found themselves in quiet, in a grove of junipers, under cars, hearts thundering and prayers rapidly repeating.
They found each other after a time, planned their long walk to safety. They'd been down this road before. Had, in fact, some hard and fast escape plans for just such events, though they no longer ate grass to mask the scent of booze. So they traveled, cowering at every engine, leery of headlights, diving haphazardly into the shadows at the slightest hint of either.
Home was several neighborhoods away, long past the hour when help could be summoned in the desperate tap on a buddy's window. The two laughed nervously at their plight, charted the course and stepped cautiously among the dark.
The high school quad seemed like safety. They'd made it that far with minimal trouble. Home free. A bit of a hike, but the adrenaline and danger was like a wind at their back. They eased onto the bench, site of so many memories, and began to smoke, illicitly, talking about the evening, their good fortune, what became of the others, especially the Cuffed Guy. They didn't know.
Until his Mom called in the morning. Then everybody knew. Everything.