It was the snow that finally brought her back to her senses. Large clusters of wet sticky flakes dropped, rather than drifted, down from the infinity of gray above her. Cynthia King blinked her eyes. She tried to bring her surroundings into focus, her world back into order. Above her, colored lights – red, blue, and yellow – played tag in heavy snowfall. Under her back, the ground was cool, soothing. Surprised she wasn’t colder, she wriggled the fingers of both hands, and found the scratchy reassurance of a heavy wool blanket between her bare skin and the earth. She may not have known exactly where she was, but she knew at least she wouldn’t freeze to death. She hugged the blanket close to her body and tried to sit up.
The change in perspective provided some much needed information. Cynthia realized where she was: the vacant lot between her apartment building and the next, well away from the pavement. Up the street a bit, a large crowd had gathered around an ambulance and several police cars. “Ah,” she thought, “someone’s party must have gotten out of hand. Wait–not my party?”