Chapter 18. One Night At Duck's

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Duck Fredricksen- a self-proclaimed Reagan enthusiast and high school senior had offered to take the party to his house, celebrating the district's best baseball team ending up in a catastrophic ballooning accident, leaving the Warhol Warthogs the fourth best team there was.

I knew little about Duck, other than the fact that he got a BB gun for Christmas in '76, which was easy to gather from the framed picture standing on the coffee table.

Fay and I sat on the floor between the table and the striped sofa, where a sophomore couple had shoved us down to make out. I was sickened already.

"Why do you think they call him Duck?" Fay asked, pointing at the party host who was looking passed out by the fireplace.

"I always thought it was 'cause he liked ducks," I answered, taking the picture in my hand.

"If he liked ducks they'd call him something harsh, like duckfucker or something," Fay said, "there's no such thing as a nice nickname."

"I'm glad I don't have a harsh nickname."

"Sure you do. Tavi told me the Beth Israel kids call you Rosh Hashanah."

"I was better off not knowing that."

With all that time I spent on solving Charlie's little penny dreadful, I might as well have spent this one Thursday night in my room, brushing up on social studies. Or hell, I could've watched a movie, or caught up with Family Ties.

I got why Fay wanted me there. She always talked about how intellectual and oh so stimulating those parties over at Grant were, the ones with her communist comrades rather than the middle-class classmen we were now stuck with, but she showed nonetheless, to prove her worth, to get to say she was there.

Fay and I moved on to some more meaningless banter, while another incident was cumulating one floor above us, in Duck's personal bathroom.

In spite of Sam's enthusiastic encouragement to get me to come, I hadn't seen him all night.

He had finally managed to get a hold of Jude Yuri, whom he had been to contact consistently since last Friday to tell him he was currently stacked with fat stacks of cash.

Jude eventually agreed to come meet him at Duck's party, on the condition that Sam introduced him to some girls in his year.

"Christ, Sam," Jude snickered, scratching the back of his buzzcut dome, "did you kill someone for this cash?"

"Well, someone died," Sam confirmed, the last buzz acquired assured he'd give out more information than he should have, "I just got paid."

Jude - the legendary community college dropout at age eighteen, sniffed through his stuffed nose while fishing the goods out of his pocket. He handled larger cargo inside empty cassette cases, Sam's order was hidden under the cover of Twisted Sister's Stay Hungry.

"You're about to be the life of this wack-ass high school party," Jude remarked.

"Nah, Warhol kids don't fuck with this stuff," Sam scoffed, intoxicated by the excitement of holding the cassette case in his hand, "not like I'd share, anyway."

Sam handed him two hundred-dollar bills. It was probably the most money Jude had ever held at once.

"You better be economical with that," Jude warned, "Halvar got busted over the weekend, and I'm looking for new suppliers."

"Halvar got busted?"

"Shit, he totaled some yuppie kid's car, and now he's on his way to rehab."

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