Stand by Me (1986) Script

I was 12 going on 13 the first time I saw a dead human being.

It happened in the summer of 1959, 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 1,281 people, but to me it was the whole world.

It's the Bossman Bob Cormier here. It's a beautiful Friday morning in Portland.

It's 90 KLAM degrees and getting hotter.

Up the ladder with another platter, it's Bobby Day with Rockin' Robin.

It's boss.

Hey, how do you know a Frenchman's been in your backyard?

I'm French, okay.

Your garbage cans are empty and your dog's pregnant.

Didn't I just say I was French?

-I knock. -Shit.

Twenty-nine.

Twenty-two.

Piss up a rope.

Gordie's out, Ole' Gordie just bit the bag and stepped out the door.

Come on, man, deal.

Teddy Duchamp was the craziest guy we hung around with.

He didn't have much of a chance in life.

His dad was given to fits of rage.

One time he held Teddy's ear to a stove and almost burned it off.

I knock.

You four-eyed pile of shit.

The "pile of shit" has 1,000 eyes.

What?

What's so funny? Come on. I've got 30, what have you got?

Sixteen.

Go ahead, keep laughing.

You're down to your ride, pal.

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.

That's not the secret knock.

I forget the secret knock. Let me in.

Vern.

Come on, you guys, open up.

Oh, man, you guys are not gonna believe this. This is so boss.

Oh, man, wait till you hear this.

You won't believe it. It's unbelievable.

Let me catch my breath. I ran all the way from my house.

I ran all the way home Come on. You guys, listen to me, 'cause this is boss.

Just to say I'm sorry Okay, forget it. I don't have to tell you nothing.

Hold on, you guys. Hold on. What is it, man?

Okay, great, you won't believe this, sincerely.

I ran all the way home Screw you guys. Forget it.

What is it?

Can you guys camp out tonight?

I mean, if you tell your folks we're gonna tent out in my back field?

Yeah, I think so.

Except my dad's kind of on a mean streak. He's been drinking a lot lately.

You got to, man. Sincerely, you won't believe this. Can you, Gordie?

Yeah, probably.

So what are you pissing and moaning about, Verno?

-I knock. -What?

You liar! You ain't got no pat hand.

You didn't deal yourself no pat hand.

Make your draw, shitheap.

You guys want to go see a dead body?

Well, I was under the porch digging, you know?

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 treasure map 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.

You didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

Jesus Christ, Billy. We gotta do something.

Why? Who cares?

-We saw him. -So?

It ain't nothing to us. The kid's dead so it ain't nothing to him, neither.

And who gives a shit if they ever find him? I don't.

But it's that kid they were talking about on the radio.

Brocker or Brower or Flowers, whatever his name is.

The train must have hit him.

Big fucking deal.

We had all followed the Ray Brower story very closely, because he was a kid our age.

Three days before, he'd gone out to pick blueberries and nobody had seen him since.

I think we should tell the cops.

You don't go squawking to the cops after you boosted a car, you idiot.

They're gonna want to know how the hell we got way out on Back Harlow Road.

Now they know we don't got no car.

It's best we just keep our mouth shut, and then they can't touch us.

Look, we could make an anonymous call.

They trace those calls, stupid. I seen it on Highway Patrol and on Dragnet.

Yeah, right.

I just wish we never boosted that goddamned Dodge.

I wish Ace had been with us. We could've told the cops we was in his car.

Well, he wasn't!

-Are we gonna tell him? -We're not gonna tell nobody.

Nobody, never. You dig me?

I know the Back Harlow Road.

It comes to a dead end by the Royal River. The train tracks are right there.

Me and my dad used to fish for Cossies out there.

Jesus Christ, man, if they would have known you were under there, they would've killed you.

Could he have gotten all the way from Chamberlain to Harlow? That's really far.

Sure. He must have started walking on the train tracks and just followed them the whole way.

Yeah. Yeah, right.

And then after dark, a train must have come along and...el smacko.

Yeah.

Hey. Hey, you guys, I bet you anything that if we find him, we'll get our pictures in the paper.

-Yeah, we could even be on TV. -Sure.

-We'll be heroes. -Yeah.

I don't know. Billy will know I found out.

He's not gonna care. 'Cause it's gonna be us guys that find him.

Not Billy and Charlie Hogan, and the boosted car.

They'll probably pin a medal on you, Vern.

Yeah, you think so?

Sure.

What'll we tell our folks?

Exactly what you said.

We'll all tell our folks we're tenting out in your back field.

You tell your folks you're sleeping over at Teddy's.

Then we say we're going over to the drag races the next day.

We're rock solid until dinner tomorrow night.

Man, that's a plan-and-a-half.

But if we do find that kid's body over in South Harlow, they'll know we didn't go to the drag races. We'll get hided.

Nobody will care because everybody's gonna be so jazzed about what we found

-it's not gonna make a difference. -Yeah.

My dad will hide me anyway, but hell, it's worth a hiding.

-Shit, yeah. -Let's do it. What do you say?

-All right. -Gordie?

Sure.

Vern?

I don't know.

Vern.

Come on, Verno.

Vern.

-Come on, Verno. -Come on, Verno.

-Okay. -All right.

Too cool, too cool! Very cool! Very, very cool! Yes!

I wanted to share my friends' enthusiasm, but I couldn't.

That summer at home, I had become the Invisible Boy.

Mom, do you know where my canteen is?

Mom?

It's in Denny's room.

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.


Gordie, I got something for you.

This, my friend, is for you.

-But, Denny, this is your Yankee cap. -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?

-How much? -A bazillion.

A bazillion fish. And it looks good on you, too. Just like that.

Hey, Moe, I'm going blind.

Don't start with me, porcupine. Come here, give me a hug.

You found it.

You found it.

Yeah.

Why can't you have friends like Denny's?

Dad, they're okay.

Sure they are. A thief and two feebs.

Chris isn't a thief.

He stole the milk money at school.

He's a thief in my book.

It was almost noon as we set out to find the body of a dead kid named Ray Brower.

Right here's cool.

Hey, Chris.

-Thanks a lot. -Sure thing.

-Gordo. -Hey, man.

-You want to see something? -Sure. What?

-You okay? -Yeah, I'm fine.

-Come on, man. -What is it?

-Man, you've got to see this. -Come on, man. What is it?

Come on, what is it?

You want to be the Lone Ranger or the Cisco Kid?

Walking, talking Jesus!

-Where'd you get this? -Hocked it from my old man's bureau.

It's a .45.

I can see that.

-You got shells for it? -Yeah.

I took all that was left in the box.

My dad'll think that he used them himself shooting at beer cans while he was drunk.

-Is it loaded? -Hell, no. What do you think I am?

-Jesus! -Jesus!

Let's get out of here! Come on!

Gordie did it! Gordie Lachance is shooting up Castle Rock!

Shut up!

Hey, who did that? Who's letting cherry bombs off out here?

Oh, man, you should have seen your face. Damn, that was cool!

-That was really fine. -You knew it was loaded, you wet end!

I'm gonna be in trouble now. That Tupper babe saw me.

Shit, Gordie, she thought it was firecrackers.

I don't care. That was a mean trick, Chris.

Hey, Gordie...

I didn't know it was loaded.

-Honest. -You swear?

Yeah, I swear.

-On your mother's name? -Yeah.

Even if she goes to hell 'cause you lied?

Yeah, I swear.

Pinkie swear?

Pinkie swear.

Hey, girls, where you going?

Hey, come on, man. My brother gave me that!

And now you're giving it to me.

Give it to me! Come on, man, that's mine!

You're a real asshole, you know that?

Your brother's not very polite, Eyeball.

Now, Christopher, I know you didn't mean to insult my friend.

I know he didn't mean to insult me.

That's why I'm gonna give him the opportunity of taking it back.

-Shit. -Take it back, kid.

-Come on, man, stop it, you're hurting him. -You bastard! Let go, man.

-Stop it, man! Cut it out! -Take it back, kid.

-Cut it out! -Take it back.

You big... Okay, okay, I take it back. I take it back.

There.

Now I feel a whole lot better about this.

How about you?

Good.

See you later, girls.

Come on, just forget them.

What do we need a pistol for, anyway?

It's spooky sleeping out at night in the woods. You might see a bear.

Or a garbage can.

I brought a comb.

What do we need a comb for?

Well, if we get on TV we want to look good, don't we?

-That's a lot of thinking, Vern. -Thanks.

Two for flinching.

How far do you think it's gonna be?

If we follow the tracks all the way into Harlow, it'll be about 20 miles.

Sound about right to you, Gordie?

Yeah, it might even be 30.

Maybe we should just hitchhike.

-No way, that sucks. -Why not?

We could go out to Route 7 to the Shiloh Church, then down the Back Harlow Road. We'll be there by sundown.

That's pussy.

Hey, it's a long ways.

Did your mother ever have any kids that lived?

What do you mean?


We have to fill up at the junkyard. My dad said it's a safe well.

-Not if Chopper's there. -If Chopper's there we'll send you in.

Ha, ha. Very funny.

Hey, I'm kind of hungry. Who's got the food?

Oh, shit! Did anybody bring anything?

Not me. Gordie?

This is great. What are we supposed to do? Eat our feet?

You mean, you didn't bring anything, either?

Shit. This wasn't my idea. It was Vern's idea. Why didn't you bring something?

What am I supposed to do? Think of everything? I brought the comb.

Oh, great, you brought the comb.

What do you need a comb for? You don't even have any hair.

I brought it for you guys, when we get there.

Hey, hey, hey!

Let's see, how much money have we got?

Yeah, I got $1 .02.

And 68 cents from Chris.

Sixty cents from Teddy.

Seven cents, Vern?

I haven't found my pennies yet.

Well, $2.37 is not bad.

Quidacioluo's is at the end of that little road that goes by the junkyard.

I think we can get some stuff there.

Train coming.

Geronimo!

-Come on, Teddy. -No.

I'm gonna dodge it.

Come on, Teddy, man. Get off the tracks. You're crazy.

Train dodge. Dig it?

Get the hell off the tracks, Teddy. You want to get yourself killed?

Just like the beach at Normandy.

-Come on, man. Come on. -No, no!

Don't tell me what to do or I'll kill you.

You son of a bitch!

I was just trying to save your life, man.

You want to kill yourself? Is that what you want, God damn it?

You tried to kill yourself.

I don't need no babysitter.

You do, too.

Skin it.

I could have dodged it.

Listen, Teddy, you can dodge it on the way back, man.

Peace.

Skin it.


About this time, Charlie and Billy were playing mailbox baseball with Ace and Eyeball.

Shit, I'm out. God damn it!

Shouldn't have gone for a wooden one.

Why don't you tell me something I don't know, asshole?

Billy, you're up.

You guys win. I don't want to play no more.

You can't quit.

We only played three innings. That'd be a non-official game.

Hey, Ace, me and...

What's with you homos? You've been acting psycho all day.

What is it?

It's nothing. Nothing. It's nothing, right?

Then if you gentlemen don't mind, I'd like to finish this game before I start collecting my goddamned Social Security, okay?

You're up, Billy. Move it.

All right, give me this fucking stick.

Let's play ball.

Foul ball.

Hey, Vern, looks like your ma's been out driving again.

That's so funny I forgot to laugh.

Stand back, men!

Paratroopers, over the side!

"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.

Teddy's crazy.

Where's the B.A.R.? Come on, men, move it out!

Yeah. He won't live to be 20, I bet.

Remember the time you saved him in the tree?

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.

Yeah, that is weird.

But you didn't miss him.

Chris Chambers never misses, does he?

Not even when the ladies leave the seat down.

Hey, I'll race you.

-No, I don't think so. -Right to the pump, man. Come on.

-I'm kind of tired. 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 and it's Chambers at the tape.

The crowd goes wild.

A 12-pointer.

Hey, you guys been watching The Mickey Mouse Club lately?

Yeah.

I think Annette's tits are getting bigger.

-You think so? -Yeah, I think so.

Yeah, I think he's right.

I've been noticing lately that the A and the E are starting to bend around the sides.

-Annette's tits are great. -Yeah.

This is really a good time.

The most.

A blast.

Vern didn't just mean being off limits inside the junkyard or fudging on our folks or going on a hike up the railroad tracks to Harlow. He meant those things, but it seems to me now it 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.

Great, spit at the fat kid. Real good.

What time is it, Gordie?

It's 1:15.

We'd better go get the food. Junkyard opens at 3:00.

Chopper'll be here.

Sic balls.

You go. You could pick us up on the way back.

I'm not going alone. We should all go.

-I'm staying right here. -Yeah, man, I'm not going.

Girls, cool it. We'll flip for it.

Okay.

Odd man goes.

That's you, Gordie, odd as a cod.

Flip or eat lead.

Four tails.

Oh, Jesus, man, that's a goocher.

-Come on, Vern. -That doesn't mean anything.

No, let's go again.

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 and they came up with a goocher just before they got into the car.

And, bang! They all got totaled.

I don't like this. Sincerely.

Verno, nobody believes that crap about moons and goochers.

It's baby stuff. Now come on, flip again.

You gonna flip or not?

Come on, Vern, we don't have all day.

You lose, Gordie.

Gordie loses.

Old Gordie just screwed the pooch.

Does the word "retarded" mean anything to you?

Gordie, go get the provisions, you morphadite.

Don't call me any of your mother's pet names.

What a wet end you are, Lachance.

Shut up.

I don't shut up, I grow up. And when I look at you, I throw up.

And then your mother goes around the corner and she licks it up.

Finding new and preferably disgusting ways to degrade a friend's mother was always held in high regard.

Ain't you Denny Lachance's brother?

Yes, sir.

Shame what happened to him.

The 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?

Sometimes.

I remember the year he was All-Conference.

Quarterback, he played.

Boy, could he throw.

Father God and Sonny Jesus.

Could be some scouts at the game tomorrow.

-I don't know, Pop. -Dad, could I have the potatoes?

-That's what I hear, Son. -Are you going to see Jane after the game?

I think she's a lovely girl.

-Dad, may I please have the potatoes? -Dorothy, 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... -Pop, did you read the story Gordie wrote?

Gordie wrote a story.

-It was really good. -What did you write, sweetheart?

Now, 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.

Gordie, I really liked it.

-I thought it was great. -I don't want you interrupting me.

Now you see I'm talking to the boy, don't you?

You play football?

Hmm?

Do you play football?

No.

What do you do?

I don't know.

Yeah, well, your brother, Denny, sure could play football.

Here you go, kid. $1 .50 of hamburger.


Hey, you, kid! What are you doing there? Come over here!

You, come back here, God damn it! I'll sic my dog on you.

Run, Gordie, run! Run, Gordie!

Chopper, sic him! Sic him, boy!

Now, he said, "Sic him, boy."

But what I heard was, "Chopper, sic balls."

That's Chopper?

Chopper was my first lesson in the vast difference between myth and reality.

Come on, Choppie. Kiss my ass, Choppie. Choppie. Kiss my ass.

Come on, bite shit.

Go on, Choppie. Sic balls, Choppie.

You kids, stop teasing that dog! You hear me? Stop teasing him!

Sonny, I'm gonna beat your ass, teasing my dog like that!

Yeah, I'd like to see you try and climb over this fence and get me, fat ass!

Don't you call me that!

You little tin-weasel peckerwood loony's son!

What did you call me?

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 burned it off.

My father stormed the beach at Normandy.

He's crazier than a shithouse rat. No wonder you're acting the way you are, with a loony for a father.

You call my dad a loony again and I'll kill you.

Loony, loony, loony.

I'm gonna rip your head off and shit down your neck.

No, I'm gonna kill him!

You come on and try it, you little slimy bastard.

He wants you to go over there so he can beat the piss out of you and then take you to the cops.

You watch your mouth, smart guy. Let him do his own fighting.

Sure, you only outweigh him by 500 pounds, fat ass.

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.

-Come on, man. -I'm gonna kill you! I'm gonna kill you!

-Get him away from that man. -You little foul-mouthed whoremaster.

You son of a bitch!

You come back here.

Come back here, you hear me?

-Nobody ranks out my old man. -Come back here.

-My father stormed the beach at Normandy. -I said come back here!

-He stormed the beach, you faggot! -Come back here.

We showed him. Thought we were a bunch of pussies.

He ranked my old man.

I wondered how Teddy could care so much for his dad who'd 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 for eating bleach under the sink.

He ranked my old man.

What do you care what a fat old pile of shit like him says about your dad?

He still stormed the beach at Normandy, right?

Yeah, forget it.

Do you think that pile of shit was at Normandy?

Forget it, all right?

He don't know nothing about your old man. He's just dog shit.

Whatever's between you and your old man, he can't change that.

Forget it, all right? Just forget it!


I'm sorry if I'm spoiling everybody's good time.

It's okay, man. It's okay.

I'm not sure it should be a good time.

-You saying you want to go back? -No.

But going to see a dead kid, maybe it shouldn't be a party.

Yeah, like if he's really bad, like all cut up and blood and shit all over him, -I might have nightmares. -Come on, Vern.

You know, like all guts and eyeballs all ready to jump and grab...

-Shut up, Vern. God damn it! -Come on, Vern.

I can't help it.

Sorry.

It was only 2:45, 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 to get moving if we were gonna make some real miles before dark.

Hold still, will you?

So, what's with you and this Connie Palermo chick?

I've been seeing her for over a month now, and all she'll let me do is feel her tits.

She's a Catholic, man. They're all like that.

You want to get laid you gotta get yourself a Protestant.

A Jew's good.

A KLAM newsbreak.

We interrupt to bring you an update on the search for the missing 12-year-old Ray Brower.

The police have expanded their efforts to include Motton, Durham and the outlying areas.

Shit, when are they gonna give up?

The kid's gone. They're never gonna find him.

Not where they're looking.

Hey, I was right, Charlie, they ain't never gonna find him.

Would you hold still? You're making me fuck up the snake part.

I'll tell you how they're gonna find him.

Ten years from now, some hunter's gonna go in the woods to take a leak, wind up pissing on his bones.

I bet you $1,000 they find him before that.

Bet you $2,000 they don't.

-Well, asshole... -Hey, what's the big deal?

-Who cares? -Would you two just shut the fuck up?

If either one of you assholes had $2,000, I'd kill you both.

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.


Hey, I got some Winstons.

Hocked them off my old man's dresser.

One apiece for after supper.

-Yeah, that's cool. -Yeah.

That's when a cigarette tastes best, after supper.

Right.

Do you think I'm weird?

-Definitely. -No, man, seriously.

Am I weird?

Yes, but so what? Everybody's weird.

You ready for school?

No.

Junior high.

You know what that means.

By next June we'll all be split up.

What are you talking about? Why would that happen?

'Cause it's not gonna be like grammar school, that's why.

You'll be taking your college courses, and me, Teddy and Vern, we'll all be in the shop courses with the rest of the retards making ashtrays and birdhouses.

You're gonna meet a lot of new guys. Smart guys.

-Meet a lot of pussies is what you mean. -No, man.

Don't say that. Don't even think that.

I'm not going in with a lot of pussies, forget it.

Well, then you're an asshole.

What's asshole about wanting to be with your friends?

It's asshole if your friends drag you down.

You hang with us, you'll just be another wise guy with shit for brains.

You think Mighty Mouse could beat up Superman?

-What are you, cracked? -Why not?

I saw the other day, he was carrying five elephants in one hand.

Boy, 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.

Yeah, maybe you're right.

Would be a good fight, though.

I mean, you could be a real writer someday, Gordie.

Fuck writing! I don't want to be a writer.

-It's stupid. It's a stupid waste of time. -That's your dad talking.

-Bullshit! -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.

Oh, gee thanks, Dad.

I 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, and 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 out for them.

And if your parents are too fucked-up to do it, then maybe I should.

Come on, you guys, let's get moving.

Yeah, by the time we get there the kid won't even be dead anymore.


Any of you guys know when the next train is due?

We could go down to the Route 136 bridge.

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.

We go across here, we can get to the same place in 10 minutes.

Yeah, but if a train comes, there's nowheres to go.

Hell, there isn't. You just jump.

-Teddy, it's 100 feet. -Yeah, Teddy.

Look, you guys can go around if you want to.

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.

You use your left hand or your right hand for that?

You wish.


I lost the comb.

Forget it, Vern.


Train!

Oh, shit!

Move it, man! Go on! Move it!

Get up, Vern! Damn it!

Get up! Move it!

Shit, Vern!

-Get up, man! -I don't want to. We're gonna fall.

We're gonna die, damn it! Get up!

Go.

-Vern, you gotta go faster! -I can't, Gordie!

Run!

Run. Run, man! Move your ass, man!

Move it!

Faster! Run! Go!

-Run, God damn it, run! -Run, run, run!

Faster!


Hey, at least now we know when the next train was due.

Man, that was the all-time train dodge. Too cool.

Vern, you were so scared you looked like that fat guy in Abbott and Costello, when he saw the mummy.

I wasn't that scared.

No, really, I wasn't. Sincerely.

Okay, then you won't mind if we check the seat of your Jockeys for Hershey squirts, will you?

Go screw.

Hey, Vern, you'd better turn yours over.

-This is the way I like to do it. -Fine.

Oh, man! Oh, no, man!

You got any more, Gordie?

Sorry, Vern.

This is not funny. What am I supposed to eat?

-Why don't you cook your dick? -It'd be a small meal.

Screw you guys, I got it.

Nothing like a smoke after a meal.

Yeah, I cherish these moments.

What? What did I say?

Hey, Gordo, why don't you tell us a story?

I don't know.

-Oh, come on. -Yeah, come on, Gordo.

But not one of your horror stories, okay?

I don't want to hear no horror stories. I'm not up for that, man.

Why don't you tell us one about Sergeant Steele and his battling leathernecks?

Well, the one I've been thinking about is kind of different.

It's about this pie-eating contest.

The main guy of the story is this fat kid that nobody likes, named Davie Hogan.

Like Charlie Hogan's brother, if he had one.

Good, Vern.

Go on, Gordie.

Well, this kid, he's our age, but he's fat. Real fat.

He weighs close to 180, but, you know, it's not his fault. It's his glands.

Oh, yeah, my cousin's like that. Sincerely.

She weighs over 300 pounds. Supposed to be a "hyboid" gland or something.

I don't know about any "hyboid" gland, but what a blimp!

No shit. She looks like a Thanksgiving turkey.

-And, you know, this one time... -Will you shut up, Vern?

Yeah, right. Go on, Gordie. It's a swell story.

All the kids, instead of calling him Davie, they call him Lardass. Lardass Hogan.

Even his little brother and sister call him Lardass.

At school they put this sticker on his back that says, "Wide Load."

And they rank him out and beat him up whenever they get a chance.

But one day he gets an idea.

The greatest revenge idea a kid ever had.

-Is this thing on? Can you hear me? -Yeah!

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!

Thanks, man.

Hey, from the racks and stacks it's the best on wax.

How about another double, golden oldie, twin-spin sound sandwich from KLAM in Portland?

-It's... -Boss!

Next, a newcomer to the Pie Eat, but one we expect great things from in the future, young master David Hogan.

-Are you all right, young man? -Hey, Lardass, how was your trip?

I hear you got a big appetite, Lardass.

Don't even think about winning this.

Boy, are you fat.

Don't pay attention to those fools, Lardass. I mean, Davie.

And now, the one you've all been waiting for.

The four-time champion, our own Bill Travis.

Listen I got $1 0 riding on you myself, Billy Boy.

All right. Are you ready?

Hands behind your backs, gentlemen.

Drum roll.

Hey, Lardass. Chow down, Wide Load.

Go.

Done!

Done!

Done!

Done!

You better pace yourself, if you want to hold out, boy.

Come on, Lardass!

-Lardass! -Lardass!

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.

Principal John Wiggins.

And our celebrity contestant from KLAM in Portland, The Bossman himself, Bob Cormier!

Hey, from the racks and stacks it's the best on wax.

How about another double, golden oldie, twin-spin sound sandwich from KLAM in Portland?

It's...

Done.

Diving into his fifth pie, Lardass began to imagine that he wasn't eating pies.

He pretended he was eating cow flops and rat guts in blueberry sauce.

Done.

-Lardass! -Lardass!

Slowly, a sound started to build in Lardass' stomach.

A strange and scary sound, like a log truck coming at you at 100 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 took 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 Donelley 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'd created.

A complete and total barf-o-rama.

-Too cool! Too cool! -Man, that was the best, just the best.

-Yeah. -Then what happened?

What do you mean?

I mean, what happened?

What do you mean, "What happened?" That's the end.

How can that be the end? What kind of an ending is that? What happened to Lardass?

I don't know.

Maybe he went home and celebrated with a couple of cheeseburgers.

Jeez, that ending sucks.

Why don't you make it so that Lardass goes home and he shoots his father?

Then he runs away and he joins the Texas Rangers. How about that?

I don't know.

Something good like that.

I like the ending. The barfing was really good.

But there's one thing I didn't understand.

Did Lardass have to pay to get into the contest?

No, Vern, they just let him in.

Oh, great, great story.

Yeah, it's a great story, Gordie. I just didn't like the ending.

Hey, Verno, where's the radio? Let's see if we can get some sounds.

Here.

We talked into the night.

The kind of talk that seemed important until you discover girls.

All right. All right.

Mickey's a mouse. Donald's a duck. Pluto's a dog.

What's Goofy?

If I could only have one food for the rest of my life?

That's easy. Pez.

Cherry-flavored Pez. No question about it.

Goofy's a dog. He's definitely a dog.

I knew The $64,000 Question was fixed.

There's no way anybody could know that much about opera.

He can't be a dog. He wears a hat and drives a car.

Wagon Train is a really cool show, but did you ever notice that they never get anywhere?

They just keep wagon training.

God, that's weird.

What the hell is Goofy?

Not one of us mentioned Ray Brower, but we were all thinking about him.

Oh, my God.

It's that Brower kid.

His ghost is out walking in the woods.

I promise I won't hock no more dirty books.

I promise I won't say no more bad swears. I promise I'll eat all my lima beans.

Two for flinching.

What is it, Chris?

Maybe it's coyotes.

Sounds like a woman screaming.

It's not coyotes. It's his ghost.

Don't say that.

Hey, Teddy, sit down.

I'm gonna go look for it. I want to see the ghost.

Don't say that.

I just want to see it! I just want to see what he looks like.

Jesus H. bald-headed Christ!

Maybe we should stand guard.

Yeah, that's a good idea.

Give me the gun. I'll take the first watch.

2300 hours. Corporal Teddy Duchamp stands guard.

No sign of the enemy. The fort is secure.

Shut up, Teddy, and keep your eyes peeled.

-Teddy, cut it out, okay? -I'm trying to sleep.

The dogfaces rested easy in the knowledge that Corporal Teddy Duchamp

-was protecting all that was dear to them. -Teddy.


It should have been you, Gordon.

Are you okay?

You were dreaming.

I didn't cry at Denny's funeral.

I miss him, Chris.

I really miss him.

I know.

Go back to sleep.


Maybe you could go into the college courses with me.

That'll be the day.

Why not? You're smart enough.

They won't let me.

What do you mean?

It's the way the people think of my family in this town.

It's the way they think of me. I'm just one of those low-life Chambers kids.

That's not true.

Oh, it is.

No one even asked me if I took the milk money that time.

I just got a three-day vacation.

Did you take it?

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.

You tried to give it back?

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 this brand new skirt on when she came to school.

-Yeah, it was brown and it had dots on it. -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 this story.

Me, Chris Chambers, kid brother to Eyeball Chambers.

Do you think that anyone would have believed it?

No.

And do you think that that bitch would have dared tried something like that if it'd been one of those douche bags from up on the View, if they had taken the money?

-No way. -Hell, no.

But, with me...

I'm sure she had her eye 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 just never thought, I never thought that a teacher...

Oh, who gives a fuck anyway?

I just wish that I could go someplace where nobody knows me.

I guess I'm just a pussy, huh?

No way, man.


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 of it until just now.

Jeez, Gordie, how come you didn't get some breakfast stuff like Twinkies, and Pez, and root beer?

Sorry, Vern. I guess a more experienced shopper could've gotten more for your seven cents.

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.

Gentlemen, the Royal.

God, the tracks go way out of the way.

If we cut across this field right here, we'll be there in an hour.

I think we should stick to the tracks.

I say we go across the field.

Gordie?

-Yeah. -Let's go.

Take no prisoners!

Hey, you guys, it's a lot safer if we...

Come on, men. Let's take on the...

You don't know what's in those woods.

-Let's go. We're gonna get... -Hey, you guys, wait up for me!

Ace, I gotta tell you something, but you gotta swear on your mother's good name that you won't tell anybody.

You got it, pal.

Hey, Eyeball, you know that Brower kid?

What about him?

I could tell you something about him, but you gotta swear on your mother's good name you ain't gonna tell nobody.

Billy and Charlie had managed to keep their enormous secret for about 36 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.

Hey, listen, Ace. Maybe me and Charlie shouldn't go.

Yeah, maybe you could go without us?

You guys are acting like my grandmother having a conniption fit.

I don't see your problem.

We go up with a whole bunch of fishing gear, and if a cop asks what we're doing there, "We're here to take a couple of steelhead out of the river and look what we found."

Yeah, come on, man, we're gonna be famous.

We're gonna be on every radio and TV show in the country.

I still don't think we should go.

Okay. Okay.

You've stated your position clearly.

Now, I'm gonna state mine.

Get in the fucking car. Now!

-Let's go. -Yeah, let's go.

-I hate this shortcut. -"I hate this shortcut."

You flinched! Two for flinching.

But you flinched.

I know. Two for flinching.


How are we supposed to get across this?

-We use you as a raft. -Very funny.

Hey, you know, it's not that deep. We can walk across.

I told you we should have stuck to the tracks.

Is it me, or are you the world's biggest pussy?

I suppose this is fun for you.

No, but this is.

Want some more?

-Stop it, come on! -Come on, Teddy, act your age.

This is my age.

I'm in the prime of my youth, and I'll only be young once.

Yeah, but you're going to be stupid for the rest of your life.

Rank-out!

Oh, that's it, Chambers. You just signed your own death warrant.

You die, Chambers!

Get him! Get Vern!

-Vern Tessio dies! -No, Teddy, you're gonna die!

Hey, where do you think you're going, Lachance?

-Yeah, Lachance? -Come on, you guys.

Pile on!

-Come on, you guys. I don't wanna do this. -Pile on!

Get off!

-Sleeper hold. Sleeper hold. -Stop it. I'm serious.

No one gets out of a sleeper hold.

Vern, there's something on your neck.

Yeah, right, I'm not falling for that one, Lachance.

No, Vern, there is something on your neck.

It's a leech. Leeches!

-Oh, my God! -Leeches!

Jesus Christ!

Oh, my God!

Get them off!

They're on me!

-Gordie, man, there's some on your back. -Get them off!

-Oh, my God! They're all over my legs! -They're on your back!

Are there any on mine, man?


Oh, Chris.

Oh, shit, Chris.

Oh, shit, man.


Gordie, man, are you okay?

Can you hear me?

Gordie, are you there?

Maybe he's dead.

He's not dead. He's still breathing, you idiot.

Well, I don't know.

Just cool it, you guys. He just fainted.

Gordie?

God, I never met anybody who fainted before.

Maybe he made a bad mistake and looked at your face.

Shut up, Teddy.

You okay, Gordie?

-Yeah. -Let's go.

Maybe we should take Gordie back.

Great, Chambers, now you're turning pussy, too!

What's your problem, Duchamp?

He had a leech hanging from his balls. He fainted.

What are you? His mother?

-Eat shit. -You eat shit.

I think Chris is right. Let's go back.

What a surprise! The king of the pussies wants to go back, too.

-Stop calling me that. -What, "Pussy"? Pussy!

-Stop it! -Pussy!

You four-eyed psycho!

Get off me!

Two for flinching. Do you like it? Do you like it? Two for flinching.

-Stop it. -You like it, huh, Teddy?

-Come on, you guys. Break it up. -Stop it. Stop it!

I'm not going back.

-Idiot. -Shut up! Retard.

At the time, I didn't know why I needed to see that body so badly.

Even if no one had followed me, I would have gone on alone.

No way, Ace! Not this time, man. No way!

-Go for it, Vince. Go for it. -You want to race? Oh, yeah?

Oh, my God, I got him.

You are history, guy. History!

-Fall back, Ace. -Come on, don't fuck around.

-Jesus Christ, Ace! Fall back, man! -What are you doing?

Shit, man! Shit!

I won.

You let him beat you, you cock-knocker.

Coming through the woods, I bet we saved over an hour.

-Teddy? -Yeah?

Is this the Back Harlow Road?

Yeah.

The Brower kid must be around here someplace.

Teddy, you and Vern watch the left side of the tracks.

-We'll take the right. -All right.

There he is! I see him! Look!

Look over there! I see him!

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.

Jesus.

The kid wasn't sick.

The kid wasn't sleeping.

The kid was dead.

Let's look for some long branches. We'll build him a stretcher.

Gordie?

Why did you have to die?

What's the matter with Gordie?

Nothing.

Why don't you guys just go over there and look for some branches, okay?

Okay.

Why did he have to die, Chris?

Why did Denny have to die? Why?

I don't know.

-It should have been me. -Don't say that.

-It should have been me. -Don't say that, man.

I'm no good. My dad said it. I'm no good.

He doesn't know you.

He hates me.

He doesn't hate you.

-He hates me. -No.

He just doesn't know you.

He hates me. My dad hates me.

He hates me. Oh, God.


You're gonna be a great writer someday, Gordie.

You might even write about us guys, if you ever get hard up for material.

I guess I'd have to be pretty hard up, huh?

Yeah.

What the fuck do you know about this?

Son of a bitch! My little brother.

You wasn't planning on taking the body from us, was you, boys?

You get away, man.

We found him. We got dibs.

We better start running, Eyeball. They got dibs.

We earned him, man. You guys came in a car. That's not fair. He's ours.

"That's not fair. He's ours."

Well, not anymore.

There are four of us, Eyeball. You just make your move.

Oh, we will. Don't you worry.

Vern, you little son of a whore.

-You was under the porch. -No, I swear it wasn't me.

You keyhole-peeping bung. I ought to beat the living shit out of you.

You guys have two choices.

You either leave quietly and we take the body or you stay and we beat the shit out of you.

And we take the body.

-Besides, me and Billy found him first. -Yeah, Vern told us how you found him.

"Billy, I wish we'd never boosted that car."

"Billy, I think I just turned my Fruit of the Looms into a fudge factory."

-That's it. Your ass is grass! -Hold it.

Okay, Chambers, you little faggot. This is your last chance.

What do you say, kid?

Why don't you go home and fuck your mother some more?

You're dead.

Come on, Chris, let's split.

-They're not taking him. -Come on, man, this is crazy.

-They're not taking him. -He's got a knife, man.

Ace, come on, man.

You're gonna have to kill me, Ace.

No problem.

You're not taking him. Nobody's taking him.

Come on, kid, just give me the gun before you take your foot off.

You ain't got the sack to shoot a woodchuck.

Don't move, Ace.

I'll kill you. I swear to God.

Come on, Lachance, give me the gun.

You must have at least some of your brother's good sense.

Suck my fat one, you cheap dime-store hood.

What are you going to do, shoot us all?

No, Ace, just you.

We're gonna get you for this.

Maybe you will and maybe you won't.

Oh, we will.

We're not gonna forget this, if that's what you're thinking.

This is big time, baby.

"Suck my fat one"?

Whoever told you, you had a fat one, Lachance?

-Biggest one in four counties. -Yeah.

Are we gonna take him?

No.

But we came all this way?

We were supposed to be heroes.

Not this way, Teddy.

Chris, give me a hand.

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 5:00 on Sunday morning, the day before Labor Day.

We'd only been gone two days, but somehow the town seemed different, smaller.

Well, see you in school.

-Yeah. -Yeah.

See you in junior high.

A penny.

Well, guys, I better get home before my mom puts me on the "1 0 Most Wanted List."

Hey, Chris?

No hard feelings, okay?

No way, man.


As time went on we saw less and less of Teddy and Vern until eventually they became just two more faces in the halls.

It 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 Arsenault Lumber Yard.

Teddy tried several times to get into the army, but his eyes and his ear kept him out.

Last I'd heard he'd spent some time in jail and was now doing odd jobs around Castle Rock.

I'm never gonna get out of this town, am I, Gordie?

You can do anything you want, man.

Yeah, sure.

Give me some skin.

I'll see ya.

Not if I see you first.

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'd always made the best peace, tried to break it up.

He was stabbed in the throat.

He died almost instantly.


Dad, can we go now?

-You ready? -Yeah, we've been ready for an hour.

Okay, I'll be right there.

He said that a half hour ago.

Yeah, my dad's weird. He gets like that when he's writing.