Stand By Me

Writer: I was twelve going on thirteen first time I saw a dead human being. It happened in the summer of nineteen-fifty-nine. A long time ago. But only if you measure in terms of years. I was living in a small town in Oregon called Castle Rock. There were only 1281 people, but to me it was the whole world. Radio: Hey it's the bossman Bob Cormier here. It's a beautiful Friday morning in Portland! It's 90 K.L.A.M degrees and getting hotter! Up the ladder with another platter! It's Bobbie Day with 'Rocking Robin'! It's boss! Chris: Hey, how do you know a Frenchman's been in your backyard? Teddy: Hey, I'm french, okay. Chris: Your garbage cans are empty and your dog's pregnant. Teddy: Didn't I just say I was french? Chris: I knock. Teddy: Shit. Chris: Twenty-nine. Teddy: Twenty-two. Gordie: Piss up a rope! Teddy: Gordie's out. Oh Gordie just bit the bag and stepped out the door! Chris: Come on, man, deal. Writer: Teddy Duchamp was the craziest guy we hung around with. He didn't have much of a chance in life. His dad was given fits of a rage. One time he held Teddy's ear to a stove and almost burned it off. Teddy: I knock. Chris: You foureyed pile of shit! Teddy: That pile of shit has a thousand eyes! What? What's so funny? Come on, I've got thirty, what have you got? Chris: Sixteen. Teddy Go ahead, keep laughing. I'd turn you right down. Writer: Chris Chambers was the leader of our gang and my best friend. He came from a bad family and everyone just knew, he'd turn out bad. Including Chris. Gordie: Knock the secret knock! Vern: I forget the secret knock, let me in! G,C,T: Vern! Vern: Come on you guys, open up! Oh man, you guys are not gonna believe this. This is so boss. Oh man, wait'll you hear this, wait'll you hear this. You won't believe it. It's unbelievable. Let me catch my breath. I ran all the way from my house. G,C,T: I ran all the way home. Just to say I'm sorry, sorry oh ... can't.. Vern: Come on, guys, listen to me. Guys, come on! Okay, forget it. I'll tell you nothing. Chris: Alright, guys, alright. What is it, man? Vern: Okay, great, you won't believe this sincerely. G,C,T: I ran all the way home! Vern: Screw you guys! Chris: What is it? Vern: Can you guys camp out tonight? I mean if you tell your folks, we're gonna tent on my backfield? C,G: Yeah. Chris: I think so. Said my dad's kind of on a mean streak. You know, he's been drinking a lot lately. Vern: You got to man, sincerely! You won't believe this! Can you, Gordie? Gordie: Yeah, probably. Teddy: So what are you pissin' and moaning about, Verno? Chris: I knock. Teddy: What! You liar, you ain't got no pat-hand. You didn't deal yourself no pat-hand! Chris: Make your draw, shitheap. Vern: You guys wanna go see a dead body? Well I was under the porch, digging, you know.. Writer: We all understood what Vern meant right away. At the beginning of the school-year he had buried a quart-jar of pennies underneath his house. He drew a treasuremap, so he could find them again. A week later his mom cleaned out his room and threw away the map. Vern had been trying to find those pennies for nine months. Nine months, man. He didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Charley: Jesus Christ, Billy, we gotta do something! Billy: What, who cares? Charley: We saw him. Billy: Saw? He ain't naught to us. The kid's dead, so it ain't naught to him neither. Who gives a shit, if they ever find him? I don't. Charley: It was the kid they were talking about on the radio. A Braker, a Brower, Flowers, whatever his name is. The train must have had him. Billy: Big fucking deal! Writer: We had all followed the Ray Brower-story very closely because he was a kid our age. Three days before he had gone out to pick blueberries and nobody had seen him since. Charley: I think, we should tell the cops. Billy: You don't go squawking to the cops after you boosted a car, you idiot. They gonna wanna know how the hell we got way on the Back Harlow road. Now they know, we don't got no car! It's best we just keep our mouths shut, then they can't touch us. Charley: I agree, but we could make an anonymous call. Billy: They trace those calls, stupid. I seen that on Highway Patrol and on Dragnet. Charley: Alright. I just wish we never boosted that goddamn Dodge. I wish, Ace had been with us. He could tell the cops we was in his car. Billy: Well he wasn't. Charley: We're going to tell him? Billy: We don't gonna tell nobody. Nobody never. You dig me? Teddy: I know the Back Harlow Road! It comes to a dead end by the Royal river. The traintracks are right there! Even my dad used to fish for cossies out there! Chris: Jesus Christ, man. If they would have known you were under the door they would have killed you. Gordie: Could he have gotten all the way from Chamberlain to Harlow? It's really far! Chris: Sure. He must have started walking on the traintracks and just followed them the whole way. Teddy: Yeah. Yeah, right. And then after dark the train must have come along -- Oh smacko! Chris: Yeah. Hey, hey guys! I bet you anything that if we find him we'll get our pictures in the paper! Teddy: Yeah, we'd even be on TV! Chris: Sure! Teddy: We'll be heroes! Chris: Yeah! Vern: I don't know. Billy will know how I found out. Gordie: He's not gonna care. Cos it's gonna be us guys who find him. Not Billy and Charley Hogan in a boosted car. They probably pin a medal on you, Vern. Vern: Yeah, you think so? Gordie: Sure! Vern: What'll we tell our folks? Gordie: Exactly what you said. We all tell our folks we're tenting out on your backfield. You tell your folks you're sleeping over Teddy's. Then we'll say we're going out to the drag-races the next day. ... ... until dinner tomorrow night. Chris: That's a plan and a half. Vern: But if we do find the kid's body over in South Harlow they'll know we didn't go to the drag-races! We'll get hided! Teddy: Nobody would care cos everybody is gonna be so jazzed about what we found it's not gonna make a difference! Chris: Yeah! My dad would hide me anyway. But hell that's worth a hiding! Teddy: Shit yeah! Chris: Let's do it! What d'you say? Teddy: Alright. Chris: Gordie? Gordie: Sure. Chris: Vern? Vern: I don't know. Chris: Vern! Teddy: Come on, Verno! Chris: Vern! Teddy: Vern! C/T: Come on, Verno! Vern: Alright. Writer: I wanted to share my friends' enthusiasm but I couldn't. That summer at home I had become the invisible boy. Gordie: Mam! You know where my canteen is?! Mam! Pops: It's in Dennis' room! Gordie: Oh. Writer: In April my older brother Dennis had been killed in a Jeep accident. Four months had passed but my parents still hadn't been able to put the pieces back together again. Denny: Gordie, I got something for you! This my friend is for you. Gordie: This is your Yankee-cap. Denny: No, no, this is your Yankee-cap. It's a good-luck cap. You wear that cap, you know how many fish we're gonna catch? Gordie: How much? Denny: A zillion. A zillion fish. It looks good on you too, just like that. Gordie: Hey, I'm going blind! Denny: Ah, don't start with me porcupine. Come here, come here, give me a hug. Pops: You found it. Gordie: Huh? Pops: You found it. Gordie: Yeah. Pops: Why can't you have friends like Dennis? Gordie: Dad, they're okay. Pops: Sure they are. A thief and two feebs. Gordie: Chris isn't a thief. Pops: He stole the milk-money at school. He's a thief in my book. Writer: It was almost noon as we set out to find the body of a dead kid named Ray Brower. Chris: ... Gordie: Hey, Chris. Chris: Thanks a lot! Driver: Sure thing! Chris: Gordoe. Gordie: Hey, man. Chris: D'you wanna see something? Gordie: Sure, what? Chris: Are you okay? Gordie: Yeah, I'm fine. Chris: Come on! Gordie: What is it? Chris: You got to see this. Gordie: Come on, man, what is it? Come on, what is it? Chris: You wanna be the Lone Ranger or the Cisco-kid! Gordie: Walking, talking, Jesus! Where'd you get this? Chris: Hawked it from my old man's bureau. It's a .45. Gordie: I can see that. Pchough! You got shells for it? Chris: Yeah. Took all that was left in the box. My dad will think that he used them himself shooting at beercans while he was drunk. Gordie: Pchough! Is it loaded? Chris: Hell, no! What d'you think I am? G,C: Jesus! Gordie?: Let's get out of here, come on! Chris: Gordie did it, Gordie Lachance, Gordie Lachance! Gordie: Shut up! Woman: Hey, who did that? Who's letting cherrybombs off back here? Chris: Oh man, you should have seen your face! Yeah that was cool! That was really fine! Gordie: You knew it was loaded, you wet end! I'll be in trouble now that Tupper-babe saw me! Chris: Shit, Gordie, she thought it was firecrackers! Gordie: I don't care. It was a mean trick, Chris. Chris: Hey, Gordie. I didn't know it was loaded. Honest. Gordie: You swear? Chris: Yeah, I swear. Gordie: On your mother's name? Chris: Yeah. Gordie: Even if she goes to hell because you lied? Chris: Yeah, I swear! Gordie: Pinky swear? Chris: Pinky swear. Eyeball: Hey, girls, where're you goin'? Gordie: Hey, come on man, my brother gave me that! Ace: And now you given it to me. Gordie: Give it to me! Come on! Man! That's mine! Chris: You're a real asshole, you know that? Ace: Your brother's not very polite, Eyeball. Eyeball: Now Christopher. I know you didn't mean to insult my friend. Ace: I know he didn't mean to insult me. That's why I gonna give him the opportunity of taking it back. Chris: Ah, oh shit! Ace: Take it back! Chris: Oh. Gordie: Come on, man, stop it! You're hurting him! Chris: You bastard! Leggo of me! Gordie: Stop it man! Ace: Take it back! Gordie: Cut it out! Cut it out! Ace: Take it back! Chris: Okay, I'll take it back! I take it back. Ace: There. Now I feel a whole lot better about this. How about you? Good. Eyeball: See you later, girls. Chris: Come on, just forget them. Vern: What do we need a pistol for anyway? Chris(?): It's spooky sleeping out at night in the woods. We might see a bear. Gordie(?):Or a garbage can. Vern: I brought a comb. Chris: What do we need a comb for? Vern: Well, if we get on TV we wanna look good, don't we? Gordie: It's a lot of thinking, Vern. Vern: Thanks. Teddy: Two for flinching. Vern: Aou! Teddy: How far d'you think it's gonna be? Chris: If we follow the tracks all the way into Harlow it might be about 20 miles. Some about right here, Gordie? Gordie: Yeah, yeah. Might even be thirty. Vern: Gee. Maybe we should just hitchhike. Teddy: No way, that sucks. Vern: Why not? We cold go down Route Seven to the Shiloh church. Then down the Back Harlow road. We'd be there by sundown. Teddy: That's pussy! Vern(?): Hey, it's a long ways. Teddy: Did your mother ever have any kids that lived? Vern: What d'you mean? All: "Have Gun, Will Travel" reads the card of a man! A knight without armour in a savage land! His fast gun-for-hire heeds the calling wind. A soldier of fortune he's a man called Paladin! Teddy: Paladin, Paladin, where do you roam? Paladin, Paladin, far, far from home. Gordie: We could fill up at the junkyard. My dad said it's a save well. Vern: Not if Chopper's there. Chris: If Chopper's there we'll send you in. Vern: Haha, very funny. Vern: Hey, I'm kind of hungry, who's got the food? Teddy: Oh shit! Did anybody bring anything? Chris: Not me. Gordie? Teddy: Well, this is great. What are we supposed to do? Eat our feet? Chris: D'you mean, you didn't bring anything either? Teddy: Oh shit, this wasn't my idea. It was Vern's idea. Why didn't you bring something? Vern: What'm I supposed to do? Think of everything? I brought the comb! Teddy: Oh great, you brought a comb. What d'you need a comb for if you don't even have any hair? Vern: I brought it for you guys! Gordie: Hey, hey, hey, hey! Let's see how much money we've got. Yeah. I got a dollar two. Sixty-eight cents from Chris. Sixty cents from Teddy. Seven cents, Vern? Vern: Haven't found my pennies yet. Gordie: Well, two-thirty-seven's not bad. Quidachioluo's is at the end of the little road that goes by the junkyard. I think we can get some stuff there. Chris: Train coming. Vern: Geronimo! Chris: Come on, Teddy! Teddy: No. A-a. I'm gonna dodge it. Chris: Come on, Teddy-man. Get off the tracks you're crazy. Teddy: Train-dodge. Dig it. Chris: Get the hell off the tracks, Teddy! You wanna get yourself killed? Teddy: Just like the beach in Normandy. Tfrrrrr. Chris: Come on, man. Come on Teddy: Don't need no babysitter. Chris: You do, too. Skin it. Teddy: Could have dodged it. Chris: Listen, Teddy, you can dodge it on the way back, man. Peace. Skin it. Writer: About this time Charley and Billy were playing mailbox-baseball with Ace and Eyeball. Ace: Shit, I'm out, goddamn it. Eyeball: Shouldn't have gone for a wooden one. Ace: Why don't you tell me something I don't know, asshole? Billy you're up. Billy: Ah, you guys go on. I don't wanna play no more. Eyeball: You can't quit. We only play three innings. That'd be an unofficial game. Charley: Hey, Ace. Ah. Me'n -- Ace: What's with you homos?! You've been actin' psycho all day. What is it? Billy: It's nothing, nothing, right? Ace: Well, if you gentlemen don't mind I'd like to finish this game before I start collecting my goddamn social security. Okay? You're up, Billy, move it! Billy: Alright. Ace: Let's play ball! Gordie: Hey, Vern, looks like your ma's been out drivin' again. Vern: Ah that's so funny I forgot to laugh. Teddy: Stand back, men! Paratroops over the side! Writer: No Trespassing was enforced by Milo Pressman, the junkman, and his dog Chopper. The most feared and least seen dog in Castle Rock. Legend had it that Milo had trained Chopper not just to sic, but to sic specific parts of the human anatomy. Thus a kid who had illegally scaled the junkyard fence might hear the dread cry: 'Chopper, sic balls!!' But right now neither the dread Chopper nor Milo was anywhere in sight. Chris: Teddy's crazy. Teddy: Come on men! Move it out! Gordie: Yeah. Chris: He won't live to be twenty I bet. Gordie: Remember the time you saved him in the tree? Chris: Yeah. You know I dream about that sometimes. Except in the dream I always miss him. I just get a couple of his hairs and down he goes. It's weird. Gordie: Yeah. That's weird. You didn't miss him. Chris Chambers never misses, does he? Chris: Not even when the ladies leave the seat down. Hey, I'll race ya! Gordie: No. I don't know. Chris: Right to the pump man, come on. Gordie: I'm -- I'm kind of tired. Chris: Go! Go! You're a dead man, Lachance! It looks like Lachance has got him this time. He's got Chambers' beat! But what's this? Chambers is making his move! Lachance is fading on it! Chambers at the tape! The crowd goes wild! Teddy: Have you guys been watching the Mickey Mouse Club lately? Others: Yeah. Teddy: I think Annette's tits are getting bigger. Chris: Think so? Teddy: Yeah, I think so. Gordie: Yeah. I think he's right. I've been noticing lately that the A and the E are beginning to bend around the sides. Vern: Annette's tits are great! Others: Yeah. Vern: This is really a good time. Chris: The most. Teddy: A blast. Writer: Vern didn't just mean being off limits inside the junkyard or fudging on our folks or going on a hike up the railroadtracks to Harlow. He meant those things but it seems to me now there was more and that we all knew it. Everything was there. And around us. We knew exactly who we were and exactly where we were going. It was grand. Vern: Great, spit at the fat kid. True good. What time is it, Gordie? Gordie: Uhm - It's a quarter after one. Vern: We better go get the food. The junkyard opens at three. Chopper will be here. Chris: Uuh - Sic balls! Teddy: You go. You can pick us up on the way back. Vern: I'm not going alone. We should all go. Teddy: I'm staying right here. Gordie: The odd man, I'm not going. Chris: Girls call it. We'll flip for it. Gordie: Okay. Odd man goes? Teddy: That's you, Gordie. Odd as a cod! Vern: Four tails! Oh Jesus, man, that's a goocher! Others: Come on man. That doesn't mean anything! Vern: No man, a goocher. That's really bad. You remember when Clint Bracken and those guys got wiped out on Weed Hill in Durham? Billy told me they were flipping for beers. An' they came up a goocher just before they got into the car. And bang! They all got totalled! I don't like this. Sincerely. Teddy: Verno! Nobody believes in that crap about moons and goochers! It's babystuff! Now come on. Flip again. Gonna flip or not? Chris: Come on, Vern, we don't have all day. Teddy: You lose, Gordie! Gordie loses! Oh Gordie just screw the food! Gordie: Does the word "retarded" mean anything to you? Teddy: Gordie, go get the provisions you morphradite! Gordie: Don't call me any of your mother's petnames. Teddy: What a wet end you are, Lachance! Gordie: Shut up! T+others: I don't shut up, I grow up. And when I look at you I throw up! Aeoo! Gordie: Then your mother comes round the corner and she licks it up. Others: Uhhhhh! Writer: Finding new and preferably disgusting ways to degrade a friend's mother was always held in high regard. Quida: Ain't you Denny Lachance's brother? Gordie: Yes, sir. Quida: Shame what happened to him. Bible says 'In the midst of life we are in death'. Did you know that? I lost a brother in Korea. You look like your brother Denny. People ever tell you that? Gordie: Sometimes. Quida: I remember the year he was All-Conference. Quarterback he played. Boy could he throw. Father God and Sonny Jesus! Pops: There'll be some scouts at the game tomorrow. Denny: I don't know, Pap. Gordie: Dad, m'I have the potatos? Pops: That's what I hear, son. Mother: Are you going to see Jane after the game? I think she's a lovely girl. Gordie: May I please have the potatoes? Pops: Dorothee don't talk to the boy about girls. He shouldn't be thinking about girls. This is the biggest game of his life. Dennis, when you're out there tomorrow -- Denny: Pap, did you read the story that Gordie wrote? Gordie wrote a story. It is really good. Mother: What did you write sweetheart? Pops: See? That's what I'm talking about. Football takes concentration. You start in on the girls and his mind's all over the place. Denny: Gordie, I really liked it. It was great. Quida: D'you play football? Gordie: Hm? Quida: Do you play football? Gordie: No. Quida: What do you do? Gordie: I don't know. Quida: Yeah. But your brother Dennis sure could play football. Here ya go, kid. A buck and a half, man. Milo: Hey! Hey you kid! What're you doing there?! Come over here! You, you! Come back here! Come back here goddammit! I'll sic my dog on you! C,T,V: Run, Gordie, run! Milo: Chopper sic him, sic him boy! Writer: Now he said "sic him boy". But what I heard was "Chopper! Sic! Balls!". Gordie: C,T,V: Come on! Gordie: That's Chopper? Writer: Chopper was my first lesson in the vast difference between myth and reality. Teddy: Come on, Choppy! Kiss my ass, Choppy! Kiss my ass! Come on bite shit! Come on, Choppy, sic balls, Choppy! Milo: Hey you kids! Stop teasing that dog! You hear me? Stop it! Sonny, I'll beat your ass teasing my dog like that! Teddy: Yeah, like to see you try to climb over the fence to get me, fatass! Milo: Don't you call me that, you little tin-weasel peckerwood loony's son! Teddy: What did you call me? Milo: I know who you are. You're Teddy Duchamp. Your dad's a loony. A loony up in the nuthouse at Togus. He took your ear. And he put it to a stove. And he burnt it off. Teddy: My father stormed the beach at Normandy. Milo: He's crazier than a shithouse rat. No wonder you're actin' in the way you are. With a loony for a father. Teddy: You call my dad a loony again and I'll kill you. Milo: Loony, loony, loony. Teddy: I'm gonna rip your head off and shit down your neck! Milo: You come on and try it you little slimy bastard! Chris: He wants you to go over there so he can beat the piss out of you and then take you to the cops! Milo: You watch your mouth, smart guy! Let him do his own fighting! Gordie: Sure you only outweigh him by five hundred pounds, fatass! Milo: I know your name. You're Lachance! I know all you guys. And all your fathers are gonna get a call from me! Except for the loony up in Togus. Teddy: Son of a bitch! Milo: You come back here! Come back here, you hear me?! Teddy: Nobody ranks my old man! Milo: Come back here! Teddy: My father stormed the beach in Normandy! Milo: I said come back here! Teddy: He stormed the beach, you fat head! Milo: Come back here! Vern: We showed him - Thought we were a bunch of pussies. Teddy: He ranked my old man! Writer: I wondered how Teddy could care so much for his dad who practically killed him. And I couldn't give a shit about my own dad who hadn't laid a hand on me since I was three and that was eating bleach from under the sink. Teddy: He ranked my old man! Chris: What d'you care what a bad old pile of shit like him says about your dad? Gordie: He still stormed the beach in Normandy, right? Teddy: He did it. Vern: You think that pile of shit was at Normandy? Teddy: He did it, alright? Vern: He know nothing about your old man. He's just dogshit. Chris: Whatever is between you and your old man. He can't change that! Teddy: Forget it! alright? Just forget it! Vern: "Have Gun, Will Travel" reads the card of a man. A knight without armour in a savage land. Teddy: I'm sorry if I'm spoiling everybody's good time. Chris: It's okay, it's okay, man. Gordie: I'm not sure it should be a good time. Chris: You saying you wanna go back? Gordie: No. Going to see a dead kid, maybe it shouldn't be a party. Vern: Yeah, like if he's really bad like all cut up with blood and shit all over him; I might have nightmares! Chris: Come on, Vern. Vern: You know like all guts and eyeballs . . . jumping ground? Chris: Shut up, Vern. Others: Come on, goddamnit! Vern: Can't help it, sorry. Writer: It was only a quarter to three but it felt much later. It was too hot and too much had happened. We weren't even close to the Royal River yet. We were gonna have moving if we were gonna have to make some real miles before dark. Eyeball: Hold still, will you. Hold it. So what's with you and this Conny Palermo chick? Jack: I've seeing her for over a month now and all she let me do is feel her tits. Ace: She's a catholic, man. They're all like that. If you wanna get laid, you gotta get yourself a Protestant. Choose good. Radio: A KLAM newsbreak. We interrupt to bring you an update on the search for the missing twelve years old Ray Brower. The Police have expanded their efforts to include Motton, Durham and the outlying areas. Police indicated . . Eyeball: ... give up. The kid's gone, they're never gonna find him. Charlie: Not where they're looking. Jack: Hey Eyeball's right, Charlie, they're never gonna find him. Eyeball: Will you hold still you're making me fuck up the snake part. Vince: I tell you how they're gonna find him: Ten years from now some hunter's going to the woods taking a leak and wind up pissin' on his bones. Charley: I bet you a thousand bucks they find him before that! Eyeball: I bet you two thousand dollars they don't! Charley: Well asshole -- Jack: Hey what's the big deal? Who cares? Ace: Will you two just shut the fuck up. If either one of you assholes had two thousand dollars I'd kill you both. Radio: Hey we're back here with the Bossman Bob Cormier. From the racks and stacks it's the best on wax! It's the Chordettes with Lollipop! Chris: Hey, I got some Winstons. Hawked them from my old man's dresser. One apiece for after supper. Gordie: Yeah, that's cool. Chris: Yeah that's when a cigarette tastes best: after supper. Gordie: Great. D'you think I'm weird? Chris: Definitely. Gordie: No man, seriously. Am I weird? Chris: Yeah. But so what; everybody is weird. You ready for school? Gordie: Yeah. Chris: Junior High. You know what that means. By next June we'll all be split up. Gordie: What're you talking about, why would that happen? Chris: It's not gonna be like grammar-school, that's why. You're taking your college-courses and me Teddy and Vern will all be in the shop-courses with all the rest of the retarders making ashtrays and birdhouses. You gonna meet a lot of new guys. Smart guys. Gordie: Meet a lot of pussies is what you mean. Chris: No man. Don't say that, don't even think that. Gordie: Not going to meet a lot of pussies, forget it! Chris: Well then you're an asshole! Gordie: What's asshole about wanting to be with your friends? Chris: It's asshole if your friends drag you down! You hang with us, you'll be just another wise guys with shit for brains. Vern: You think Mighty Mouse could beat up Superman? Teddy: What? Are you cracked? Vern: Why not? I saw the other day he was carrying five elephants in one hand! Teddy: You don't know nothing. Mighty Mouse is a cartoon. Superman is a real guy. No way a cartoon could beat up a real guy. Vern: Yeah. Maybe you're right. Would be a good fight though. Chris: You could be a real writer someday, Gordie. Gordie: Fuck writing! I don't wanna be a writer! It's stupid! It's a stupid wasted time! Chris: That's your dad talking. Gordie: Bullshit. Chris: Bulltrue. I know how your dad feels about you, he doesn't give a shit about you. Denny was the one he cared about, and don't try to tell me different! You're just a kid, Gordie. Gordie: Oh gee, thanks, dad! Chris: Wish the hell I was your dad. You wouldn't be going around talking about taking these stupid shop-courses if I was. It's like God gave you something, man. All those stories that you can make up. An' he said: This is what we got for you, kid, try not to lose it. But kids lose everything unless there's someone there to look after them. And if your parents are too fucked up to do it then maybe I should. Vern: Come on you guys, let's get moving! Teddy: Yeah. By time we get there the kid won't even be dead anymore! Vern: Any of you guys know when the next train is due? Chris: We could go down to the route-136-bridge. Teddy: What, are you crazy? That's five miles down the river. You walk five miles down the river you gotta walk five miles back. That could take till dark. If we'll go across here we'll get to the same place in ten minutes. Vern: Yeah. But if a train comes there's nowheres to go. Teddy: Well, there isn't? You just jump. Chris: Teddy that's ahundred feet. Vern: Yeah, Teddy. Teddy: Okay. You guys can go round if you want. I'm crossing here. And while you guys are dragging your candy-asses half way across the state and back I'll be waiting for you on the other side, relaxing with my thoughts. Gordie: You use your left hand or your right hand for that? Teddy: You wish. Vern: I lost the comb. Gordie: Forget it, Vern. Gordie: TRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIN! Vern: Oh shit. Gordie: Go man, go man! Get up Vern! Dammit! Get aaaap! Go man! Shit, Vern, you! Get up! Vern: But I'm gonna fall! Gordie: Dammit! Goddammit get aaap! Go! Go! Chris: Hey, at least now we know when the next train was due. Teddy: Man. That was the old-time train-dodge. Too cool. Vern you were so scared you looked like the fat guy in Abbot and Costello the time he saw the mummy. Vern: I wasn't that scared! Others: Vern! Vern: No, really, I wasn't. Sincerely. Gordie: Okay. Then you won't mind if we check the seats of your Jockeys for Hershey-squirts, will ya? Vern: Oh screw. Chris: Vern, you better turn yours over. Vern: 't is the way I'd like to do it. Chris: Fine. Vern: Oh man! You got any more, Gordie? Gordie: Sorry, Vern. Vern: It's not funny, what am I supposed to eat? Teddy: Why don't you eat your dick? It would be a small meal. Vern: Screw you guys I got it! Vern: Nothing like a smoke after meal. Teddy: Yeah. I cherish these moments. Chris: Teddy: What? What did I say? Chris: Hey, Gordoe, why don't you tell us a story? Gordie: I - I don't know. Chris: Oh come on. Vern: Yeah, come on, Gordoe. But not one of your horrorstories, okay? I don't wanna hear no horrorstories. I'm not up for that, man. Teddy: Why don't you tell us one about Sergeant Stone and his battling leathernecks? Gordie: Well the one I've been thinking about is kind of different. It's about this pie-eating contest. And the main guy of the story is a fat kid that nobody likes named Davie Hogan. Vern: Like Charlie Hogan's brother. If he had one. Chris: Good Vern. Go on, Gordie. Gordie: Well this kid is our age but he's fat, real fat. He weighs close to one-eighty. But you know it's not his fault it's his glands. Vern: Oh yeah, my cousin's like that, sincerely. She weighs over three hundred pounds. Supposed to be Hyboid Gland or something. Well I don't know about any Hyboid Glands, but what a blimp. No shit she looks like a Thanksgiving turkey. And you know this one time -- Chris: Shut up, Vern. Vern: Yeah, yeah, right. Go on, Gordie, it's a swell story. Gordie: Well all the kids instead of calling him Davie they call him Lardass. Lardass Hogan. Even his little brother and sister call him Lardass. A-at school they put a sticker on his back that says 'wide load', and they rank him out and beat him up whenever they got a chance. But one day he gets an idea. The greatest revenge-idea a kid ever had. Mayor: The thing on? Can you hear me? Now the next contestant in the great tri- county pie-eat Principal John Wiggins! And our celebrity- contestant from KLAM in Portland the Bossman himself; Bob Cormier! Cormier: Hey, from the racks and stacks it's the best on wax. How about another olden golden twin spin sound set. With K-L-A-M in Portland iiiiiiiiit's ! Crowd: Boss! Mayor: A newcomer to the pie-eat but one we expect great things from in the future. Young master David Hogan! Travis: Are you alright, young man? Heckler: Hey, Lardass, how was your trip? Travis: I hear you got a big appetite, Lardass, don't even think about winning this. Heckler2: Boy are you fat! Mayor: Don't pay any attention to those fools, Lardass -uh- Davie. Crowd: Boum-baba-boum-baba--. Boum-baba-boum-baba-boum. Mayor: And now the one you've all been waiting for, the four-time champion, our own Bill Travis! Listen, I got ten riding on you myself, Billy- boy. Alright, are you ready! Hands behind your backs, gentlemen! Drumroll! Twins: Hey, Lardass! Chow down, wide load! Mayor: Ha, ha, ha. GO! Various: Done! Mayor: You better pace yourself if you wanna hold out, boy. Crowd: Lardass! Lardass! Gordie: What the audience didn't know was that Lardass wasn't really interested in winning. What he wanted was revenge. And right before he was introduced he'd gotten ready for it. Mayor: Principal John Wiggins! And our celebrity-contestant from KLAM in Portland the Bossman himself; Bob Cormier! Cormier: Hey, from the racks and stacks it's the best on wax. How about another olden golden twin spin soundset. With K-L-A-M in Portland iiiiiiiiit's ! Crowd: Lardass! Lardass! Various: Done! Gordie: By the time he was eating his sixth pie, Lardass began to imagine that he wasn't eating pies, he pretended he was eating cowflops and rat guts in blueberry-sauce. Crowd: Lardass! Lardass! Lardass: Done! Gordie: Slowly a sound started to build in Lardass' stomach. A strange and scary sound like a log-truck coming at you at a hundred miles an hour. Suddenly, Lardass opened his mouth. And before Bill Travis knew it he was covered with five pies worth of used blueberries. The women in the audience screamed. Bossman Bob Cormier take one look at Bill Travis and barfed on Principal Wiggins. Principal Wiggins barfed on the lumberjack that was sitting next to him. Mayor Grundy barfed on his wife's tits. But when the smell hit the crowd, that's when Lardass' plan really started to work. Girlfriends barfed on boyfriends. Kids barfed on their parents. A fat lady barfed in her purse. The Donnelly-twins barfed on each other. And the women's auxiliary barfed all over the benevolent order of antelopes. And Lardass just sat back and enjoyed what he created. A complete and total barforama. C,T,V: Yeah! Chris: Now that was the best, just the best. Vern: Yeah. Teddy: What happened? Gordie: What do you mean? Teddy: I mean, what happened? Gordie: What do you mean what happened, that's the end. Teddy: How can that be the end, what kind of an ending is that? What happened to Lardass? Gordie: I don't know. Maybe he went home and celebrated with a couple of cheeseburgers. Teddy: Jeeze. That sucks. Why don't you make it so that Lardass goes home, an' he shoots his father. An' he runs away. An' - an' he joins the Texas- Rangers. How about that? Gordie: I - I don't know. Teddy: Something good like that. Vern: I like the ending. The barfing was really good. But there is one thing I didn't understand. Did Lardass have to pay to get into the contest? Gordie: No, Vern, they just let him in. Vern: Oh! Oh great. Great story. Teddy: Yeah it's a good story, Gordie, I just don't like the ending. Chris: Hey, Verno, where's the radio, let's see if we can get some sounds. Vern: Here. Writer: We talked into the night. The kind of talk that seemed important until you discover girls. Gordie: Alright, alright. Mickey's a mouse. Donald's a duck. Pluto's a dog. What's Goofy? Vern: If I can only have one food for the rest of my life? That's easy. Pez. Cherryflavoured Pez. No question about it. Teddy: Goofy's a dog, he's definitely a dog. Gordie: I knew the sixty-four thousand dollars question was fixed. There's no way anybody can know that much about opera. Chris: He can't be a dog. Wears a hat and drives a car. Gordie: Wagon Train's a really cool show. But did you ever notice that they never get anywhere? They just keep wagon training. Vern: God, that's weird. What the hell is Goofy? Writer: None of us mentioned Ray Brower but we were all thinking about him. Vern: Oh my God! Teddy: It's that Brower-kid. His ghost's out walking in the woods. Vern: I promise I'll hawk no more dirty books. I promise I won't say no more bad swears. I promise I'll eat all my lima beans! Ah! Teddy: Two for flinching. Gordie: What is it, Chris? Chris: Maybe it's coyotes. Gordie: It sounds like a woman screaming. Teddy: It's not coyotes. It's his ghost. Vern: Don't say that. Chris: Hey Teddy, sit down! Teddy: I'm gonna look for it. I wanna see the ghost! Vern: Don't say that. Teddy: I just wanna see it! I wanna see what it looks like. ...! Vern: Maybe we should stand guard. Chris: Yeah, that's a good idea. Teddy: Gimme the gun. I'll take the first watch. Twenty-three hundred hours. Corporal Teddy Duchamp stands guard. No sign of the enemy. The fort is secure. Chris: Shut up, Teddy and keep your eyes peeled. Teddy: Tututuu! Tututuuu! Others: Hey, Teddy, cut it out! Try to sleep! Teddy: The dogfaces rested easy. In the knowledge that Corporal Teddy Duchamp was protecting all of what scared them. Chris: Teddy! Gordie: Pops: It should have been you, Gordon. Gordie: Aahh! Ohh. Chris: Are you okay? Gordie: Huh? Chris: You were dreaming. Gordie: I didn't cry at Denny's funeral. I miss him, Chris. I really miss him. Chris: I know. Go back to sleep. Gordie: Maybe you could go into the College-courses with me. Chris: That'll be the day. Gordie: Why not you're smart enough. Chris: They won't let me. Gordie: What d'you mean? Chris: It's the way people think of my family in this town. It's the way they think of me. Just one of those lowlife Chambers-kids. Gordie: That's not true. Chris: Oh it is. No one even asked me if I took the milkmoney that time. I just got a three-day vacation. Gordie: Did you take it? Chris: Yeah I took it. You knew I took it. Teddy knew I took it. Everyone knew I took it. Even Vern knew it I think. Maybe I was sorry and I tried to give it back. Gordie: Tried to give it back? Chris: Maybe, just maybe. And maybe I took it to Old Lady Simons and told her. And the money was all there. But I still got a three-day vacation because it never showed up. And maybe the next week Old lady Simons had that brand new skirt on when she came to school. Gordie: Yeah, yeah. It was brown and had dots on it! Chris: Yeah. So let's just say that I stole the milk money but Old Lady Simons stole it back from me. Just suppose that I told the story. Me, Chris Chambers, kid brother of the Eyeball Chambers. You think that anybody would have believed it? Gordie: No. Chris: And d'you think that that bitch would have dared try something like that if it would have been one of those dootch bags from up on The View if they had taken the money? Gordie: No way! Chris: Oh no! But with me! I'm sure she had her eyes on that skirt for a long time. Anyway she saw her chance and she took it. I was the stupid one for even trying to give it back. I never thought - I never thought that a teacher-- Oh who gives a fuck anyway? I just wish I could go to some place where nobody knows me. I guess I'm just a pussy, Gordie. Gordie: No way, no way. Writer: The freight woke up the other guys and it was on the tip of my tongue to tell them about the deer. But I didn't. That was the one thing I kept to myself. I've never spoken or written about it until just now. Vern: Jeeze, Gordie. Why couldn't you get some breakfast stuff like twinkies and root beer? Gordie: Sorry, Vern. I guess some more experienced shopper could have gotten more for your seven cents. Writer: With our stomachs rumbling we pressed on toward the Royal River. The reality of Ray Brower was growing and kept us moving despite the heat. For me, the idea of seeing that kid's dead body was starting to become an obsession. Chris: Gentlemen, the Royal. Teddy: God, the tracks go way out of the way. Chris: If we cut across this field right here, we'll be there in an hour. Vern: I think we should stick to the tracks. Teddy: I say we go across the field. Chris: Gordie? Gordie: Yeah. Chris: Let's go! Teddy: Take no prisoners! Tfrrrrrrr! Vern: Hey you guys! It's a lot safer if we ah-- Teddy: Come on men! Vern: You don't know what's in those woods! Teddy: Let's go! Vern: Hey you guys wait up for me! Billy: Ace I gotta tell you something but you gotta swear on your mother's good name that you won't tell anybody. Ace: You got it, pal. Charley: Hey Eyeball, you know that Brower-kid? Eyeball: What about him? Charley: I'd like to tell you something about him, but you gotta swear on your mother's good name that you ain't gonna tell nobody. Writer: Billy and Charley had managed to keep their enormous secret for about thirty-six hours, a personal record for both of them. By noon Ace and Eyeball had told their secret to everybody in the gang. I guess for those guys, protecting their mother's good name wasn't a top priority. Billy: Listen, Ace. Maybe me 'n Charley shouldn't go. Charley: Yeah, maybe you can go without us. Ace: You guys are actin' like my grandmother having a conniption-fit. I don't see your problem! We go up with a whole lot of fishing gear and if a cop asks what we're doing there we'll just have to take a couple of steelhead out of the river and look what we found! Vince: Yeah, come on, man we're gonna be famous! We're gonna be on every radio-TV-show in the country! Billy: I still don't think we should go. Ace: Okay. Okay. You stated your position clearly. Now I'm gonna state mine. Get in the fucking car! Now! Let's go. Vern: I hate this shortcut. Teddy: I hate this shortcut. Vern: Hahaha! You flinched! Two for flinching! But you flinched. Teddy: I know. Two for flinching. Vern: How are we supposed to get across this? Teddy: We use you as a raft. Vern: Very funny. Chris: Hey, it's not that deep, we can walk across. Vern: I told you we should've stuck to the tracks. Teddy: Is it me or are you the world's biggest pussy? Vern: I suppose this is fun for you. Teddy: No, but this is! Chris: Come on Teddy, act your age! Teddy: This is my age! I'm in the prime of my youth and I'll only be young once! Chris: Yeah, but you're gonna be stupid for the rest of your life. Teddy: Oh-oh, Chambers you just signed your own death-warrant! You die, Chambers! Chris: Hey, where're you think you're going Lachance? Teddy: Yeah, Lachance. Gordie: Come on you guys. Vern: Sleeper hold! Sleeper hold! Gordie: Vern, there's something on your neck! Vern: Gee, right. I'm not falling for that one, Lachance. Chris: No Vern, there is something on your neck. Teddy: It's a leech. Leeches! Jesus Christ! Get them off! Chris: Hey, Gordie-man there's some on your back! Gordie: Get them off! Chris: Are there any on mine then? Gordie: Oh Chris. Oh shit, Chris. Oh shit, man. Chris: Gordie, man, are you okay? Can you hear me? Gordie, are you there? Vern: Maybe he's dead. Teddy: He's not dead, he's still breathing, you idiot. Vern: Well I don't know. Chris: Hey, hey. Just cool you guys, he just fainted. Gordie. Vern: God, I never met anybody who fainted before. Teddy: Maybe he made a bad mistake and looked at your face. Chris: Shut up, Teddy. You okay, Gordie? Gordie: Yeah. Chris: Let's go. Chris: Maybe we should take Gordie back. Teddy: Oh great, Chambers, now you're turning pussy too! Chris: What's your problem, Duchamp? He had a leech hanging from his balls, he fainted! Teddy: What are you, his mother? Chris: Eat shit! Teddy: You eat shit! Vern: Hey, hey! I think Chris is right. Let's go back. Teddy: Oh haha! What a surprise, the king of the pussies wants to go back too! Vern: Stop calling me that! Teddy: Well, pussy. Vern: Stop it. Teddy: Pussy. Vern: Stop it. Teddy: Pussy, pussy, pussy. Vern: You four-eyed psycho! Gordie: Stop it. Stop it. STOP IT!! I'm not going back. Teddy: Idiot. Vern: Shut up. Retard. Writer: At the time I didn't know why I needed to see that body so badly. Even if noone had followed me, I would have gone on alone. Vince: No way, Ace! Not this time! No way! I got him! I got him! Charley: Fall back, Ace. Come on. Jesus Christ, Ace, fall back, man! Vince: Shit, man, shit! Ace: I won. Eyeball: You let him beat you ya cock knocker! Hahahaha! Gordie: Coming thru the woods I bet we saved over an hour. Teddy? Teddy: Yeah? Gordie: 'This the Back Harlow road? Teddy: Yeah. Chris: Brower-kid must be round here some place. Teddy, you and Vern watch the left side of the tracks, we'll take the right. Teddy: Alright. Vern: There he is! I see him! Look! Look over there! I see him! I see him! Writer: None of us could breathe. Somewhere under those bushes was the rest of Ray Brower. The train had knocked Ray Brower out of his Keds just like it had knocked the life out of his body. Chris: Jesus. Writer: The kid wasn't sick. The kid wasn't sleeping. The kid was dead. Chris: Let's look for some long branches. We'll build him a stretcher. Chris: Gordie? Gordie: Why did you have to die? Vern: What's the matter with Gordie? Chris: Nothing. Why don't you guys just go for some long branches, okay? Gordie: Why did he have to die, Chris? Why did Denny have to die? Why? Chris: I don't know. Gordie: It should have been me. Chris: Don't say that. Gordie: It should have been me. Chris: Don't say that, man. Gordie: I'm no good. My dad said it, I'm no good. Chris: He doesn't know you. Gordie: He hates me. Chris: He doesn't hate you. Gordie: He hates me. Chris: No, he just doesn't know you. Gordie: He hates me. My dad hates me. He hates me oh oh God. Chris: You gonna be a great writer someday, Gordie. You might even write about us guys if you ever get hard up for material. Gordie: Guess I'd have to be really hard up, huh? Chris: Yeah. Ace: What the fuck do you know about this? Eyeball: Son of a bitch, my little brother! Ace: You wasn't planning taking the body from us, was you, boys? Chris: You get away man. We found him an' we got dibs. Ace: Ahh! You better start running, Eyeball, they got dibs! Chris: We earned him, man. You guys came in a car that's not fair, he's ours! Eyeball: That's not fair, he's ours. Well, not anymore. Teddy: There're four of us, Eyeball. You just make your move. Ace: Oh we will, don't you. Billy: Vern, you little sonofawhore you was under the porch! Vern: No I swear, It wasn't me! Billy: You little keyhole-peeping cuntlicking bungwipe, we'll beat the shit outta you! Ace: You guys have two choices. Either leave quietly. We take the body. Or you stay. We'll beat the shit outta you. We take the body. Charley: Besides, me 'n Billy found him first. Teddy: Yeah, Vern told us how you found him: Oh Billy, I wish we never boosted that car. Oh Billy, I think I just turned my Fruit of the Looms into a fudge factory. Charley: That's it. Your - your ass is grass! Ace: Hold it. Okay, Chambers, you little faggot. This is your last chance. What do you say, kid? Chris: Why don't you go home and fuck your mother some more. Ace: You're dead. Teddy: Come on, Chris, let's split. Chris: They're not taking him. Teddy: Come on, man, that's crazy. Chris: They're not taking him. Teddy: He's got a knife, man! Chris: You're gonna have to kill me, Ace. Ace: No problem! Gordie: You're not taking him. An' nobody is taking him. Ace: Come on kid, just give me the gun before you take your foot off. You ain't got the sack to shoot a woodchuck. Gordie: Move Ace. I'll kill you I swear to God. Ace: Come on, Lachance, gimme the gun. You must have at least some of your brother's good sense. Gordie: Suck my fat one you cheap dime-store hood. Ace: Are you going to shoot us all? Gordie: No Ace, just you. Ace: We're gonna getcha for this. Chris: Maybe you will, maybe you won't. Ace: Oh we will. We're not gonna forget this if that's what you think. This is big time, baby. Chris: Suck my fat one? Who ever told you had a fat one, Lachance? Gordie: Biggest one in four counties. Chris: Yeah. Vern: We're gonna take him. Gordie: No. Teddy: But we came all this way. We're supposed to be heroes. Gordie: Not this way, Teddy. Chris, gimme a hand. Writer: Ray Brower's body was found. But neither our gang nor their gang got the credit. In the end we decided that an anonymous phone-call was the best thing to do. We headed home. And although many thoughts raced through our minds we barely spoke. We walked through the night and made it back to Castle Rock a little past five o'clock on Sunday morning, the day before Labor Day. We'd only been gone two days. But somehow the town seemed different. Smaller. Vern: Well. See you in school. Chris: Yeah. Gordie: Yeah. Teddy: See you in Junior High. Vern: Penny! Teddy: Oh guys I better get home before my mom puts me out on ten most wanted list. Hey Chris? No hard feelings, okay? Chris: No way, man. Teddy: "Have Gun, Will Travel" reads the card of a man. A knight without armour in a savage land. Writer: As time went on we saw less and less of Teddy and Vern until eventually they became just two more faces in the halls. That happens sometimes. Friends come in and out of your life like busboys in a restaurant. I heard that Vern got married out of High-school, had four kids and is now the forklift operator at the Arsenal Lumberyard. Teddy tried several times to get into the Army but his eyes and his ear kept him out. The last I heard, he'd spent some time in jail. He was now doing odd jobs around Castle Rock. Chris: I'm never gonna get out of this town, am I, Gordie? Gordie: You can do anything you want, man. Chris: Yeah, sure. Gimme some skin. Gordie: I'll see you. Chris: Not if I see you first. Writer: Chris did get out. He enrolled in the College-courses with me. And although it was hard he gutted it out like he always did. He went on to College and eventually became a lawyer. Last week he entered a fast food restaurant. Just ahead of him, two men got into an argument. One of them pulled a knife. Chris who would always make the best peace tried to break it up. He was stabbed in the throat. He died almost instantly. Son: Dad, can we go now? Writer: You ready? Son: Yeah, we been ready for an hour. Writer: Okay, I'll be right there. Friend: He said that half an hour ago! Son: Yeah, my dad's weird he gets like that when he's writing. Writer: Although I haven't seen him in more than ten years I know I'll miss him forever. I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anybody?
THE END. ©2024