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Not so fast, Sonny Jim! You can’t take away my licence like that.

I’m directing you to take a licence test, madam.

His use of the word madam made Louisa feel like weeping with rage and punching him. Well, she snapped, I don’t want to detain you from the terribly useful work you’re doing. There are probably scores of elderly folk needing to be impounded. She thrust out her hand. Give me my black mark or whatever, and I’ll take the test.

He handed her a slip and stalked back to his car. Louisa found that she was shaking and her vision blurred. Now she was unfit to drive. She sat gripping the wheel, aware she was illegally parked and half-afraid that the policeman would come back and book her for that. At last her vision cleared and she started the car. She forgot about the vacuum bags until she reached home.

Louisa hung her raincoat on the back of the bathroom door. It would have been better to hang it from the shower rose so it wouldn’t puddle on the floor, but she had shrunk too much to reach the rose.

She glanced in the mirror. There she was, wig askew and stick-like legs protruding from distant corners of her skirt like a child’s drawing. Her legs had once been her best feature. “Time to take you out in the paddock, dear, and shoot you.” She realized she had spoken the words aloud and grunted with frustration. No need to fit every criterion that policeman might use to prove she was old and going a bit ga-ga.

What if she failed the driving test?

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