(A middle aged man, The Writer, is parked out on a rural road. He looks down at a newspaper headline which reads “Attorney Christopher Chambers Fatally Stabbed In Restaurant”. The Writer looks up and sees two young boys ride by on their bikes.)
(1959 – Castle Rock, Oregon)
Writer: (vo) I was twelve going on thirteen 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 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 gettin' hotter! Up the ladder with another platter, it's Bobby Day with "Rockin' Robin." It's BOSS!
(Three boys are playing Gin Rummy. They are Chris Chambers, Gordie Lachance, and Teddy Duchamp.)
Chris: Hey. How do you know a Frenchman's been in your backyard?
Teddy: Hey, I'm French, okay?
Chris: (ignoring Teddy) Your garbage cans are empty and your dog's pregnant. (He and Gordie laugh.)
Teddy: Didn't I just say I was French?
Chris: I knock.
(They all lay down their cards.)
Gordie: Piss up a rope! (He throws down his cards.)
Teddy: Gordie's out! Ole Gordie just bit the bag and stepped out the door! Hee-he-he-he!
Chris: Come on, man, deal.
Writer: (vo) 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.
Teddy: I knock.
Chris: You four-eyed pile of shit!
Teddy: The pile of shit has a thousand eyes! (Chris and Gordie laugh.) What!? What's so funny? Come on. I've got thirty. What've you got?
Chris: Sixteen. (He chuckles.)
Teddy: Go ahead, keep laughing. You're down to your ride, pal.
Writer: (vo) 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.
(Suddenly someone knocks on the tree house trap door.)
Gordie: That's not the secret knock!
Vern: (os) I forget the secret knock. Lemme in.
All 3: Vern.
Vern: (os) Come on you guys, open up! (He enters.) 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! (pause) Let me catch my breath. I ran all the way from my house.
Gordie, Chris, Teddy: (singing) I ran all the wa-ay home, just to say I'm sor-ry...
Vern: Come on you guys, listen to me. This is boss. Come on. (The others continue singing.) Okay, forget it. I don't have to tell you nothin'.
Chris: Alright. Hold on, you guys, hold on. What is it, man?
Vern: Okay. Great, you won't believe this. Sincerely.
Gordie, Chris, Teddy: (singing again) I ran all the wa-ay home...
Vern: Screw you guys! Forget it.
(They stop singing.)
Chris: What is it?
Vern: Can you guys camp out tonight? I mean, if you tell your folks we're gonna tent out in my back field?
Chris: Yeah, I think so. Except my dad's kind of on a mean streak you know, he's been drinkin' a lot lately.
Vern: You've got to, man. Sincerely. You won't believe this! Can you, Gordie?
Gordie: Yeah, probably.
Teddy: So, what are you pissin' and moanin' 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? (The others stop what they’re doing and turn to look at him.) Well, I was under the porch digging, you know...
(Vern’s House – Earlier That Day)
(Vern is under his porch surrounded by quite a few shallow holes.)
Writer: (vo) 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. He didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
(Suddenly Vern’s brother Billy comes out of the house and is talking to his friend Charlie Hogan about finding a dead body.)
Charlie: Jesus Christ, Billy. We gotta do something!
Billy: Why? Who cares?
Charlie: We saw him!
Billy: So?! It ain't nothin' to us. The kid's dead, so it ain't nothin' to him neither. And who gives a shit if they ever find him? I don't!
Charlie: It was that kid they were talkin' about on the radio—Brocker, or Brower, or Flowers, whatever his name is. The train must've hit him.
Billy: Big fuckin' deal.
Writer: (vo) 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'd seen him since.
Charlie: I think we should tell the cops.
Billy: You don't go squawkin' to the cops after you boosted a car, you idiot! They're gonna wanna 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 mouths shut, then they can't touch us.
Charlie: Look, we could ... we could make a 'nomynous call.
Billy: They trace those calls, stupid. I seen it on Highway Patrol and on Dragnet.
Charlie: Alright. I just wish we never boosted that goddamn Dodge! I wish Ace had been with us. He could've told the cops we was in his car.
Billy: Well he wasn't!
Charlie: We gonna tell him?
Billy: We're not gonna tell nobody! Nobody, never! You dig me?!
(Tree House – The Present)
Teddy: I know the Back Harlow Road! It comes to a dead end by the Royal River. The train-tracks are right there! Me 'n' my dad used to fish for Cossies out there!
Chris: (to Vern) Jesus Christ, man. If they would have known you were there they would've killed you.
Gordie: Could he have gotten all the way from Chamberlain to Harlow? That's really far.
Chris: Sure. He must have started walking on the train-tracks and just followed them the whole way.
Teddy: Yeah. Yeah, right. And then after dark the train must have come along ... el smacko!
Chris: Yeah. (pause) Hey, you guys! I bet you anything that if we find him we'll get our pictures in the paper!
Teddy: Yeah, yeah. We could even be on TV!
Teddy: We'll be heroes!
Vern: I don't know. Billy will know where I found out.
Gordie: He's not gonna care, 'cause it's gonna be us guys that find him, not Billy and Charlie Hogan in a boosted car. They'll probably pin a medal on you, Vern.
Vern: Yeah, you think so?
Vern: What'll we tell our folks?
Gordie: 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 goin' over to the drag races the next day. We're rock solid 'til dinner tomorrow night.
Chris: Man, 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 will care, 'cause everybody's gonna be so jazzed about what we found it's not gonna make a difference!
Chris: Yeah! My dad'll hide me anyway. But hell, it's worth a hiding!
Teddy: Shit, yeah!
Chris: Let's do it! Whaddya say?
Vern: I don't know.
Teddy: Come on, Verno!
Chris & Teddy: Come on, Verno!
(Chris puts Vern in a headlock and gives him some noogies. Teddy reaches over and pinches Vern's cheek.)
Vern: Okay, alright.
Teddy: Yeah, cool. Very cool. Very, very cool. Yes!
Writer: (vo) I wanted to share my friends' enthusiasm, but I couldn't. That summer at home I had become the invisible boy.
(Gordie’s House – Later)
(Gordie looks around his room for something, but obviously can’t find it. He calls out the window to his mother who is working with his dad in the backyard.)
Gordie: Mom! Do you know where my canteen is?! (She does not respond.) Mom?!
(She still does not respond so Gordie’s father answers him.)
Gordie’s Father: It's in Denny's room.
Writer: (vo) 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 goes into Denny’s room to get the canteen. He looks around the room for a moment. Nothing has been changed since Denny’s death, and the room looks like it’s waiting for Denny to come home. Gordie finds the canteen in the closet. He turns to leave, but pauses as he remembers a moment with his older brother.)
Denny: Hey Gordie, I got somethin' for you. (He hands a baseball cap to Gordie.) This, my friend, is for you.
Gordie: Hey, this is your Yankee cap.
Denny: No, 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. (He takes the cap and puts it on Gordie’s head, pulling it down over his eyes. He then imitates one of the Three Stooges.) And it looks good on you too, just like that.
Gordie: (imitating a Stooge) Hey, Moe! I'm goin' blind!
Denny: (still imitating) Ah, don't start with me, porcupine. Come 'ere, come 'ere. (He goes back to his own voice.) Gimme a hug.
(The boys hug.)
(Gordie is pulled out of his daydream by his fathers voice.)
Gordie’s Father: You found it.
Gordie’s Father: You found it.
(They leave Denny’s room and go into the hallway. Gordie’s father pulls the door shut.)
Gordie’s Father: Why can't you have friends like Denny's?
Gordie: Dad, they're okay.
Gordie’s Father: Sure they are. A thief and two feebs?
Gordie: Chris isn't a thief.
Gordie’s Father: He stole the milk money at school. He's a thief in my book.
(Gordie walks down the sidewalk headed to meet the other guys. He’s wearing the cap he got from Denny.)
Writer: (vo) It was almost noon as we set out to find the body of a dead kid named Ray Brower.
(A truck pulls up with Chris riding on the back, wearing a bedroll strung over his shoulder.. When he spots Gordie he tells the driver to drop him off.)
Chris: Right here's cool. (He jumps to the ground and walks over to Gordie.)
Gordie: Hey, Chris.
Chris: (to driver) Thanks a lot!
Driver: Sure thing!
Gordie: Hey, man.
(They continue on their way down the street.)
Chris: Wanna see something?
Gordie: (obviously preoccupied) Sure, what?
Chris: Are you okay?
Gordie: (tries to snap out of it) Yeah, I'm fine.
Chris: Come on, man!
(They run around the corner and into the alley behind a Diner.)
Gordie: What is it?
(Chris begins digging in his bedroll for something.)
Chris: Oh, man. You gotta 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?
(As he speaks he pulls a gun from his bedroll.)
Gordie: Walkin', talkin', Jesus! Where'd you get this?!
Chris: Hawked it from my old man's bureau. It's a .45.
Gordie: (takes the gun) I can see that. (He aims the gun at the trashcan and pretends to fire.) You got shells for it?
Chris: Yeah. Took all that was left in the box. My dad'll think that he used them himself shootin' at beer cans while he was drunk.
Gordie: Is it loaded?
Chris: Hell, no! What do you think I am?
(Gordie cocks the gun and pulls the trigger. The gun unexpectedly fires into the garbage can.)
Gordie & Chris: JESUS!
Gordie: Let's get outta here! Come on!
(The boys run down the alley, and Chris begins to taunt Gordie.)
Chris: Gordie did it! Gordie Lachance is shooting up Castle Rock!
Gordie: Shut up!
(As the boys run, one of the waitresses from the diner comes out the back door to see what the noise was.)
Waitress: Hey, who did that?! Who's lettin' cherry bombs off out here?!
(The boys walk quickly away from the alley.)
Chris: Oh, man! You should have seen your face! Damn, that was cool! That was really fine!
Gordie: (angry) You knew it was loaded, you wet end! I'm gonna be in trouble now, that Tupper babe saw me!
Chris: Shit, Gordie. She thought it was firecrackers.
Gordie: I don't care! That was a mean trick, Chris!
(Chris takes Gordie by the arm and stops him.)
Chris: (serious) Hey, Gordie. I didn't know it was loaded. Honest.
Gordie: You swear?
Chris: Yeah, I swear.
Gordie: On your mother's name?
Gordie: Even if she goes to hell 'cause you lied?
Chris: Yeah, I swear!
Gordie: Pinkie swear?
Chris: Pinkie swear.
(As they talk Ace and Eyeball come out of Irby’s Billiard Hall and confront them.)
Eyeball: Hey, girls. Where you goin'?
(Ace snatches Gordie’s cap off his head.)
Gordie: Hey, come on man! My brother gave me that!
Ace: And now you're givin' it to me.
Gordie: (trying to retrieve his cap) Give it to me! Com' ... come on man, that's mine!
Chris: (to Ace) You're a real asshole, you know that?
(Ace flicks his cigarette away and hands the cap to Eyeball.)
Ace: Ooh. 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'm gonna give him the opportunity of taking it back.
(He grabs Chris and takes him face down onto the sidewalk, and then Ace straddles him.)
Chris: Oh, shit!
Ace: Take it back!
(Ace continues to pop him a few times.)
Gordie: Come on, man! Stop it! You're hurting him!
Chris: Bastard! Let go, man! Shit!
Gordie: Stop it, man!
Ace: Take it back!
Gordie: Cut it out! Cut it out!
Ace: Take it back!
(Ace picks up his cigarette and prepares to burn Chris with it and so Chris relents.)
Chris: Okay, okay! I take it back! I take it back!
(Ace flicks the cigarette away and lets Chris get up.)
Ace: There. Now I feel a whole lot better about this. How about you? (Chris and Gordie don’t say anything.) Good.
(Ace and Eyeball begin to walk off.)
Eyeball: See you later, girls.
(Gordie watches hatefully as Ace and Eyeball walk off with his Yankees cap.)
Chris: Come on, just forget 'em.
(The boys have all joined up and are on their way. As they step onto the railroad tracks leading out of town Chris tells Vern and Teddy about the gun.)
Vern: Well, what do we need a pistol for anyway?
Chris: It's spooky sleeping out at night in the woods. You might see a bear—or a garbage can.
(They all laugh.)
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: That's a lot of thinking, Vern.
(Teddy fakes a punch at Vern and Vern flinches.)
Teddy: Two for flinchin'.
(Teddy hits Vern twice on the shoulder.)
Teddy: How far do you think it's gonna be?
Chris: If we follow the tracks all the way into Harlow, should be about twenty miles. Sound about right to you, Gordie?
Gordie: Yeah. Yeah, it might even be thirty.
Vern: Gee, maybe we should just hitchhike.
Teddy: No way, that sucks!
Vern: 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.
Teddy: That's pussy!
Vern: Hey, it's a long ways.
Teddy: Did your mother ever have any kids that lived?
Vern: What do you mean?
(Teddy just shakes his head.)
(The boys walk along singing the theme song from ‘Have Gun, Will Travel’.)
All: "Have Gun, Will Travel" reads the card of a man. A knight without armor in a savage land. His fast gun for hire heeds the calling wind. A soldier of fortune is the man called, Paladin.
(The other three stop singing so Teddy finishes the song alone.)
Teddy: Paladin, Paladin, where do you roam? Paladin, Paladin, far, far from home.
(Gordie checks their water supply.)
Gordie: We could fill up at the junkyard. My dad says it's a safe well.
Vern: Not if Chopper's there.
Chris: If Chopper's there, we'll send you in.
Vern: Ha-ha. Very funny. (pause) Hey, I'm kinda hungry. Who's got the food?
Teddy: Oh, shit! Did anybody bring anything?
Chris: Not me. Gordie?
(Gordie shakes his head ‘no’.)
Teddy: Oh, oh, this is great! What are we supposed to do, eat our feet?!
Chris: You mean you didn't bring anything either?
Teddy: Well shit, this wasn't my idea! It was Vern's idea. Why didn't you bring something?
Vern: What am I supposed to do, think of everything? I brought the comb!
Teddy: Oh, great! You brought the comb! What do you need a comb for? You don't even have any hair!
Vern: I brought it for you guys!
Gordie: Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey! Let's see how much money we got. (All the boys sit down and begin to count their money.) Yeah, I got a dollar-two. Sixty-eight cents from Chris. Sixty cents from Teddy. (Vern is the last one to hand Gordie his money.) Seven cents, Vern?
Vern: I haven't found my pennies yet.
Gordie: Well, two-thirty-seven's 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.
Chris: Train comin'.
(Chris, Vern, and Gordie climb off the tracks, but Teddy doesn’t move. He stands facing the oncoming train.)
Chris: Come on, Teddy!
Teddy: No. Uh-uh. 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 at Normandy. (He imitates firing a machine gun.) Tfffffffffft.
Chris: Come on, man. Come on! (He grabs Teddy and struggles with him, trying to get him off the tracks. He finally does so and the train goes by, blowing its whistle.) I'm just tryin' to save your life, man! You wanna kill yourself?! Is that what you want, goddamn it?! You're tryin' to kill yourself!
(There is a moment of tense silence as Teddy just stares at Chris.)
Teddy: I don't need no babysitter.
Chris: You do too. (Chris holds out his hand.) Skin it.
Teddy: I could've dodged it.
(Teddy ignores Chris’s outstretched hand and starts to walk away.)
Chris: (goes and stops Teddy) Listen, Teddy. You can dodge it on the way back, man. Peace. Skin it.
(There is another pause, but then Teddy skins it.)
Writer: (vo) About this time Charlie and Billy were playing mailbox baseball with Ace and Eyeball.
(All of the guys are riding in Ace’s convertible with the top down, taking swings at mailboxes as they drive by.)
Ace: Aw shit, I'm out! Goddamn it!
Eyeball: Shouldn't have gone for a wooden one.
Ace: Why don't you tell me somethin' I don't know, asshole. Billy, you're up!
Billy: Nah. You guys go on. I don't wanna play no more.
Eyeball: Hey, you can't quit. We only played three innings. That would be a non-official game.
Charlie: Hey, Ace. Uh, me 'n... (Billy elbows him and he stops talking.)
Ace: (suspicious) What's with you homos? You've been actin' psycho all day. What is it?
Billy: It's nothin', nothin'— (to Charlie) It's nothin', right?
Ace: Then, if you gentlemen don't mind, I'd like to finish this game before I start collectin' my goddamn Social Security, okay?! You're up, Billy. Move it.
Billy: Alright, gimme this fuckin' thing.
Ace: Let's play ball!
Charlie: Heh-heh-heh. Foul ball.
(Castle Rock Salvage)
(The boys walk up to the junkyard and see all the wrecked cars.)
Gordie: Hey Vern, looks like your ma's been out drivin' again.
Vern: Oh, that's so funny I forgot to laugh.
(The boys prepare to climb the chain link fence and Teddy pretends he’s a soldier in combat.)
Teddy: Stand back, men! Pkooooowwww! Paratroops, over the side!
(He throws his bedroll into the junkyard and climbs the fence after it. The other boys follow suit.)
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: (os) Where's the B.A.R.?! Come on! Come on, men! Move it out!
Chris: He won't live to be twenty, I bet.
Gordie: Remember that 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 is weird. But 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: Nah, I don't think so.
Chris: Aw—right to the pump, man. Come on.
Gordie: Ahh, I'm kind of tired ... GO!!
Chris: Oh! You're a dead man, Lachance! (Gordie has a head start, but Chris quickly catches up, calling the race as he runs.) 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! (He imitates the sound of a roaring crowd.)
(The boys have filled their canteens and are resting in the shade.)
Teddy: Hey, you guys been watching the 'Mickey Mouse Club' lately?
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 starting to bend around the sides.
(They all laugh.)
Vern: Annette's tits are great.
Vern: This is really a good time.
Chris: The most.
Teddy: A blast.
Writer: (vo) 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 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.
(Teddy takes a mouthful of water and spits Vern on the side of the head with it. Everyone laughs except for Vern.)
Vern: Great. Spit at the fat kid. Real good. (wipes his face) What time is it, Gordie?
Gordie: Umm, it's quarter after one.
Vern: We better go get the food. The junkyard opens at three. Chopper will be here.
Chris: Ooh. Sick 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 stayin' right here.
Gordie: Yeah, man I'm not goin'. I'm not goin' all the way out there.
Chris: Girls, girls, girls, cool it. We'll flip for it.
Gordie: Okay. Odd man goes?
Teddy: That's you, Gordie. Odd as a cod.
Gordie: Flip or eat lead.
(The boys each flip a nickel and compare.)
Vern: Four tails! Oh Jesus man, that's a goocher!
Chris: Come on, Vern. That doesn't mean anything! Let's go again.
Vern: No man. 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 was flippin' 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.
Teddy: Verno! Nobody believes that crap about moons and goochers, it's baby stuff! Now come on, flip again. (He, Gordie, and Chris flip again, but Vern does not.) You gonna flip, or not?!
Chris: Come on, Vern. We don't have all day.
(Very flips again.)
Teddy: You lose, Gordie! He-he-he-he! Gordie loses! Ole Gordie just screwed the pooch!
Gordie: Does the word retarded mean anything to you?
Teddy: Gordie, go get the provisions, you morphodite.
Gordie: Don't call me any of your mother's pet names.
Teddy: What a wet end you are, Lachance!
Gordie: Shut up.
Others: I don't shut up, I grow up. And when I look at you I throw up. Aaaaaaaaaaaa!
Gordie: And then your mother goes around the corner and she licks it up.
Writer: (vo) Finding new and, preferably, disgusting ways to degrade a friend's mother was always held in high regard.
(Gordie is now in the store and is buying some food.)
Clerk: Ain't you Denny Lachance's brother?
Gordie: Yes, sir.
Clerk: Shame what happened to him. The Bible says: 'In the midst of life we are in death.' Did you know that? (Gordie doesn’t respond.) I lost a brother in Korea. You look like your brother—Denny. People ever tell you that?
Clerk: I remember the year he was All-Conference. Quarterback, he played. Boy, could he throw. Father God and Sonny Jesus!
(While he is talking, Gordie remembers another time with his brother.)
(Gordie and his family are gathered for dinner. Denny sits next to him.)
Gordie’s Father: Could be some scouts at the game tomorrow.
Denny: I don't know, Pop.
Gordie: Dad, could I have the potatoes?
Gordie’s Father: (ignoring Gordie) That's what I hear, son.
Gordie’s Mother: Are you going to see Jane after the game? I think she's a lovely girl.
Gordie: Dad, may I please have the potatoes? Dad!
(Denny hands Gordie the potatoes.)
Gordie’s Father: 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...
Denny: Pop, did you read the story that Gordie wrote? Gordie wrote a story. It was really good.
Gordie’s Mother: (condescending) What did you write, sweetheart?
Gordie’s Father: 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.
Denny: (aside to Gordie) Gordie, I really liked it. I thought it was great.
Clerk: You play football?
Clerk: Do you play football?
Clerk: What do you do?
Gordie: I don't know.
Clerk: Yeah, well your brother Denny sure could play football. There ya go, kid—buck-and-a-half for hamburg'.
(Castle Rock Salvage)
(Gordie returns to the junkyard with the food. When he gets there he sees that the others are not where he left them. He spots them waiting just outside the fence. As he spots them Milo walks around the corner and sees Gordie trespassing.)
Milo: Hey! Hey you, kid! What're you doing there?! Come over here! You! You! (Gordie starts running towards the fence.) Come back here! Come back here, goddamn it! I'll sick my dog on you!
Boys: Run, Gordie! Run!
Milo: Chopper, sic him! Sick him, boy!
Writer: (vo) Now, he said, "Sick him, boy." But what I heard was, "Chopper, sick balls!"
(Gordie screams as he runs for his life.)
Boys: Come on!
(Gordie makes it to the fence, climbs it, and jumps down to safety on the other side. He turns to see Chopper, who is a nice looking Golden Retriever.)
Gordie: That's Chopper?!
Writer: (vo) Chopper was my first lesson in the vast difference between myth and reality.
(Teddy taunts the dog by rubbing his rear end against the fence.)
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 teasin' him! (He reaches the fence and talks to the boys through it.) Sonny, I'm gonna beat your ass, teasing my dog like that!
Teddy: Yeah. I'd like to see you try to climb over this fence and get me, Fatass!
Milo: Don't you call me that, you little tin-weasel peckerwood loony's son!
Teddy: (silent pause) 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 in 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' the way you are, with a loony for a father.
Teddy: You call my dad loony again and I'll kill you.
Milo: Loony, loony, loony.
Teddy: Ahhhhhh! I'm gonna rip your head off and shit down your neck! (He starts to climb back over the fence, but the other boys hold him back.) Oh, I'm gonna kill that asshole!
Milo: You come on and try it, you little slimy bastard!
(Chris is holding Teddy back.)
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 500 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 had started to calm down, but at that he blows up again. The other boys have to drag him off.)
Teddy: I'm gonna kill you! Son of a bitch!
Milo: (yelling) You little foulmouthed whoremaster! You come back here! Come back here! You hear me?!
(The boys are now walking down the path leading away from the Junkyard.)
Teddy: (sobbing) Nobody ranks out my old man!
Milo: Come back here!
Teddy: My father stormed the beach at Normandy.
Milo: I said, come back here!
Teddy: He stormed the beach, you fathead!
Milo: Come back here!
(The boys round the bend and are finally out of sight of the junkyard.)
Vern: We showed him. Thought we were a bunch of pussies.
Teddy: He ranked my old man. (Begins to cry.)
Writer: (vo) 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 for eating bleach under the sink.
Teddy: He ranked my old man.
Chris: What do you care what a fat old pile of shit like him says about your dad?
Gordie: He still stormed the beach at Normandy, right?
Teddy: Just forget it.
Vern: You think that pile of shit was at Normandy?
Teddy: Forget it, alright?
Vern: He don't know nothin' about your old man. He's just dog shit.
Chris: Whatever is between you and your old man—he can't change that.
Teddy: Forget it, alright?! Just forget it!
(There is a moment of quiet, then Vern tries to lighten the mood by singing.)
Vern: "Have Gun, Will Travel" reads the card of a man. A knight without armor in a savage land...
(He trails off when no one else joins in.)
Teddy: I'm sorry if I'm spoiling everybody's good time.
Chris: It's okay, man. It's okay.
Gordie: I'm not sure it should be a good time.
Chris: You saying you wanna go back?
Gordie: No. But goin' to see a dead kid—maybe it shouldn't be a party.
Vern: Yeah. Like if he's really bad, like all cut up and blood and shit all over him. I might have nightmares...
Chris: Come on, Vern.
Vern: ...you know, like all guts and eyeballs all ready to jump and grab...
Chris: Shut up, Vern.
Others: Come on, goddamn it!
Vern: I can't help it. Sorry.
Writer: (vo) 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 to get moving if we were gonna make some real miles before dark.
(Ace’s gang are all hanging around out in a field. One of them is working on a car. Eyeball is working on a tattoo on Billy’s shoulder.)
Eyeball: Hold still, will ya? Hold it. So, uh, what's with you and this Connie Palermo chick?
Billy: Ah, I've been seeing her for over a month now and all she'll 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—a Jew's good.
Radio: A K-L-A-M newsbreak. We interrupt to bring you an update on the search for the missing twelve-year-old, Ray Brower. The police have expanded their efforts to include Motton, Durham, and outlying areas. A spokesman for the police indicated...
Eyeball: Shit. When they gonna give up? The kid's gone. They're never gonna find him.
Charlie: Not where they're lookin'.
Billy: Hey, Eyeball's right, Charlie. They ain't never gonna find him.
Eyeball: Will you hold still?! You're makin' me fuck up the snake part.
Vince: 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 'n' wind up pissin' on his bones.
Charlie: I bet you a thousand bucks they find him before that!
Eyeball: I bet you two thousand dollars they don't!
Charlie: Well, asshole...
Billy: 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!
(Teddy and Vern walk in front singing ‘Lollipop’ along with the radio, while Chris and Gordie lag behind.)
Chris: Hey, I got some Winstons. Hawked 'em off 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: Right. (pause) Do you think I'm weird?
Gordie: No man, seriously. Am I weird?
Chris: Yeah, but so what? Everybody's weird. You ready for school?
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'll be taking your college courses and me, Teddy and Vern will all be in the shop courses with the rest of the retards makin' ashtrays 'n' birdhouses. You're 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: I'm not goin' in with a lot of pussies. Forget it!
Chris: Well, then you're an asshole!
Gordie: What's asshole about wantin' to be with your friends?!
Chris: It's asshole if your friends drag you down! You hang with us you'll just be another wise guy with shit for brains.
(Farther up the tracks Vern and Teddy are having a discussion of their own.)
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 nothin'. 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.
(Cut back to Chris and Gordie.)
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 waste of time!
Chris: That's your dad talking.
Chris: Bull-true! 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! (He pauses then softens his tone.) You're just a kid, Gordie.
Gordie: Oh gee, thanks Dad!
Chris: I wish the hell I was your dad! You wouldn't be goin' around talking about taking these stupid shop courses if I was. It's like God gave you somethin', 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.
(Vern realizes that Chris and Gordie have fallen way behind.)
Vern: Come on, you guys! Let's get moving.
Teddy: Yeah. By the time we get there the kid won't even be dead anymore!
(The boys have reached a long railroad bridge over a small river. They all glance at each other and then at the bridge, uncertain if they want to chance crossing it.)
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 'til dark. If we go across here we can get to the same place in ten minutes.
Vern: Yeah, but if a train comes there's nowheres to go.
Teddy: No there isn't. We'll just jump.
Chris: Teddy, it's a hundred feet.
Vern: Yeah, Teddy.
Teddy: Look, you guys can go around if you want to. I'm crossing here. And while you guys are dragging your candy-asses halfway 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?
(They opt to cross the bridge and take their chances. Teddy and Chris are the first ones to start across. Vern begins crossing on his hands and knees. Gordie is the last one. He touches the rail and feels no vibrations so he starts to cross. As Vern crawls across he can see the river below. As he nears the middle of the bridge the comb falls out of his pocket. He grabs for it but misses and it falls down into the river. He sighs and turns to Gordie.)
Vern: I lost the comb.
Gordie: Forget it, Vern.
(Vern continues across, but very slowly. Gordie is getting nervous because Vern is taking so long. He kneels down to feel the rail again and feels something. He looks back and sees the smoke from an oncoming train over the treetops.)
(The others turn to look and then begin to haul butt across the bridge.)
Vern: Oh shit.
(Vern tries to crawl faster, but Gordie is screaming at him to get up and run or they'll be killed.)
Gordie: Get up, Vern, damn it! Get up! Go man! Shit! We're gonna die goddamn it, get up!
Vern: But I'm gonna fall!
Gordie: Damn it! Goddamn it, get up! Go! Go!
(Gordie pulls Vern up and they begin to run. By this time Chris and Teddy have made it safely to the other side, shouting for Gordie and Vern to hurry. Just moments before the train is about to hit them Gordie shoves Vern off the bridge and jumps after him onto the embankment. After the train passes, Chris and Teddy rush to make sure they are safe.)
Chris: Hey, at least now we know when the next train was due.
(It’s evening now and the boys have found a place to camp for the night. They have built a fire and are sitting around it cooking their hamburger on some sticks.)
Teddy: Man, that was the all-time train dodge! Too cool. Vern, you were so scared you looked like that fat guy Abbott and Costello when he saw the mummy.
Vern: I wasn't that scared.
Vern: No. Really, I wasn't. Sincerely.
Gordie: Okay, then you won't mind if we check the seat of your Jockeys for Hershey squirts, will you.
Vern: Go screw.
Chris: (watching Vern’s hamburger) Hey, Vern. You better turn yours over.
Vern: This is the way I like to do it.
(Vern’s hamburger falls of the stick and into the fire.)
Vern: Aw man! Aw, no man! You got any more, Gordie?
Gordie: (laughing) Sorry, Vern.
Vern: It's not funny! What am I supposed to eat?!
Teddy: Why don't you cook your dick?
(They all laugh at Vern.)
Chris: It'd be a small meal.
(Vern manages to retrieve his hamburger from the fire.)
Vern: Aha! Screw you guys, I got it! Hah-hah-hah-hah!
(The boys have all eaten and are enjoying the cigarettes provided by Chris.)
Vern: Nothin' like a smoke after a meal.
Teddy: Yeah. I cherish these moments. (Chris and Gordie laugh.) What?! What'd I say?
Chris: Hey, Gordo. Why don't you tell us a story?
Gordie: Ah, I don't know.
Chris: Oh, come on.
Vern: Yeah, come on, Gordo. But not one of your horror stories, okay? I don't wanna hear no horror stories. I'm not up for that, man.
Teddy: Why don't you tell us one about Sgt. Steele and his battling leathernecks?
Gordie: Well, the one I've been thinkin' 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 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.
Vern: Oh, yeah. My cousin's like that. Sincerely. She weighs over 300 pounds. Supposed to be a '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: Will you 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. 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.
Mayor: Is this thing on? Can you hear me? Now, the next contestant in the great Tri-County Pie Eat, Principal John Wiggins! (applause) And, our celebrity contestant from K-L-A-M in Portland, the Bossman himself, Bob Cormier! (more applause)
Cormier: Heyyyyy, from the racks and stacks it's the best on wax. How about another double golden oldie twin-spin sound sandwich from K-L-A-M in Portland! Iiiiiiiiiiiiiit's...
Mayor: Next, a newcomer to the pie-eat, but one we expect great things from in the future, young master David Hogan!
(Travis intentionally trips Lardass as he walks onstage. He then puts up a friendly front as he helps Lardass to his feet.)
Travis: Are you alright, young man?
Boy: (in audience) Hey, Lardass! How was your trip?!
Travis: (aside to Lardass) I hear you got a big appetite, Lardass. Don't even think about winning this.
Boy2: (in audience) Boy, are you fat!
Mayor: Don't pay any attention to those fools, Lardass—uh, Davie.
(Lardass walks across the stage to take his place and the Benevolent Order of Antelopes mock him in rhythm with his steps.)
BOOA: Boom-baba-boom-baba... Boom-baba-boom-baba-boom.
Mayor: And now, the one you've all been waiting for, the four-time champion, our own, Bill Travis! (The crowd cheers and the Mayor takes a moment to talk aside to Travis.) Listen, I got ten ridin' on you myself, Billy-boy. (to crowd) Alright, are you ready?! Hands behind your backs, gentlemen! Drum roll!
Twins: Hey, Lardass! Chow down, Wide Load!
Mayor: Heh-heh-heh ... GO!
(The contest begins and within a few seconds Lardass has finished his first pie.)
Lardass: Done! (eats another pie) Done!
Lardass: (eats another pie) Done!
Mayor: (aside to Lardass) You better pace yourself if you wanna hold out, boy.
Crowd: Lardass! Lardass!
(The boys are all deeply into the story and are hanging onto Gordie’s every word.)
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.
(Gordie’s Story – Before the Contest)
(Lardass stands outside the Pie Contest Tent and drinks a bottle of Castor Oil and a raw egg. He then enters the tent. We then cut back to the contest.)
Gordie: (vo) Diving into his fifth pie, Lardass began to imagine that he wasn't eating pies. He pretended he was eating cow-plops, and rat guts in blueberry sauce.
Crowd: Lardass! Lardass!
Gordie: (vo) 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 took one look at Bill Travis and 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 Donnelley 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!
(Chris, Teddy, and Vern cheer.)
Chris: Oh man, that was the best, just the best!
Teddy: Then 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 ending is that? What happened to Lardass?
Gordie: I don't know. Maybe he went home and celebrated with a couple of cheeseburgers.
Teddy: Geez, that ending sucks! Why don't you make it so that ... so that Lardass goes home and he shoots his father, then he runs away an', and he joins the Texas Rangers. How about that?
Gordie: Ah, I don't know.
Teddy: ...something good like that.
Vern: 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 in the contest?
Gordie: No, Vern. They just let him in.
Vern: Oh, oh, great! Great story!
Teddy: Yeah, it's a great story, Gordie. I just didn't like the ending.
Chris: Hey Verno, where's the radio? Let's see if we can get some sounds.
(Vern hands the radio to Chris.)
Writer: (vo) 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 could only have one food for the rest of my life? That's easy. Pez. Cherry flavored Pez. No question about it.
Teddy: Goofy's a dog. He's definitely a dog.
Gordie: I knew 'The $64,000 Question' was fixed. There's no way anybody could know that much about opera.
Chris: He can't be a dog. He 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 on Wagon Train-ing.
Vern: God. That's weird. What the hell is Goofy?
Writer: (vo) Not one of us mentioned Ray Brower, but we were all thinking about him.
(The boys are preparing to go to sleep for the night, but as they do they hear a howl close by.)
Vern: Oh, my God!
Teddy: It's that Brower kid! His ghost is out walking in the woods.
Vern: (begins to pray) I promise I won't hawk no more dirty books. I promise I won't say no more bad swears. I promise I'll eat all my lima beans. (Teddy taps him on the shoulder, startling him.) Ah!
Teddy: Two for flinching! (He hits Vern twice on the shoulder.)
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: Oh, don't say that.
(Teddy gets up and starts walking away from the fire.)
Chris: Hey Teddy, sit down!
Teddy: I'm gonna go look for it. I wanna see the ghost!
Vern: Don't say that!
Teddy: I just wanna see it! I wanna see what he looks like. (Suddenly there is a loud chorus of howls. Teddy stops in his tracks, and goes back to the fire.) Jesus H. bald-headed Christ!
Vern: Maybe we should stand guard.
Chris: Yeah. That's a good idea.
Teddy: Gimme the gun. I'll take the first watch. (The other boys all lay down to go to sleep. It’s quiet now and the only thing that can be heard is Teddy.) 2300 hours, Corporal Teddy Duchamp stands guard. No sign of the enemy. The fort is secure.
Chris: (from his bedroll) Shut up, Teddy, and keep your eyes peeled.
(Teddy mimes shooting the gun.)
Others: Hey Teddy, cut it out! We're trying to sleep!
Teddy: (almost whispering) The dogfaces rested easy in the knowledge that Corporal Teddy Duchamp was protecting all that was dear to them.
(The night passes uneventfully as the boys sleep. Vern takes his turn and spends it pointing the gun in the direction of every noise he hears. Christ is the next to stand guard. He hears Gordie groaning in his sleep.)
(Gordie is at his brother’s funeral. The coffin is being lowered into the grave. Gordie’s Father puts his hand on Gordie’s shoulder and Gordie turns to look at him.)
Gordie’s Father:It should have been you, Gordon.
Gordie: Uhmmmmmm. Ahhh!
(Gordie snaps awake.)
Chris: Are you okay?
Chris: You were dreaming.
(Gordie doesn’t speak for a moment.)
Gordie: I didn't cry at Denny's funeral. (pause) I miss him, Chris. I really miss him.
Chris: I know. (pause) Go back to sleep.
(Chris gets up and walks over to sit by a nearby tree. Gordie gets up and joins him.)
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 in.
Gordie: What do 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 low-life Chambers kids.
Gordie: That's not true.
Chris: Oh, it is. No one even asked me if I took the milk money 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. (pause) But maybe I was sorry, and I tried to give it back.
Gordie: You tried to give it back?
Chris: Maybe, just maybe—and maybe I took it to old lady Simons and told her, and all the money was there. But I still got a three-day vacation because it never showed up. And maybe the next week old lady Simons had a 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 this story. Me, Chris Chambers, kid brother to Eyeball Chambers. Do you think that anybody would have believed it?
Chris: And do you think that that bitch would have dared to try something like that if it would have been one of those douche bags from up on The View if they had taken the money?
Gordie: No way!
Chris: Hell no! But with me?! (pause) 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. (begins to cry) 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. (gets embarrassed) I guess I'm just a pussy, huh?
Gordie: (whispering) No way, man. No way.
(Gordie is on the last watch and it is beginning to get light out. As he sits on the railroad track reading a comic book, a deer walks out of the forest and stops a few feet from him. He looks at it and smiles. The deer considers Gordie for a moment and sniffs the air, then it trots away just as suddenly as it had appeared. In the distance a train can be heard.)
Writer: (vo) 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.
(The boys are on their way once more.)
Vern: Geez, Gordie. Why couldn't you get some breakfast stuff, like uh, Twinkies and Pez and root beer?
Gordie: Sorry, Vern. I guess a more experienced shopper could have gotten more for your seven cents.
Writer: (vo) 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.
(The boys have reached the river and are at a point where the tracks curve away from the path of the river. They guys pause to decide which way to go.)
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: Let's go.
Teddy: Take no prisoners! Tfffffffffffft!
(The others start towards the field, but Vern hangs back.)
Vern: Hey, you guys! It's a lot safer if we, uh...
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!
(Ace and Billy are shooting pool.)
Billy: Ace, I gotta tell you somethin', but you gotta swear on your mother's good name that you won't tell anybody.
Ace: You got it, pal.
(Charlie and Eyeball are fishing.)
Charlie: Hey, Eyeball. You know that Brower kid?
Eyeball: What about him?
Charlie: Well, I could tell you somethin' about him, but you gotta swear on your mother's good name you ain't gonna tell nobody.
Writer: (vo) 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.
Billy: Hey, listen Ace. Um, maybe me 'n' Charlie shouldn't go.
Charlie: Yeah. Maybe you can go without us.
Ace: You guys are actin' like my grandmother havin' 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 doin' there—we're just here 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 and 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.
(The boys are wading through ankle deep mud.)
Vern: I hate this shortcut.
Teddy: (mocking Vern) I hate this shortcut!
(Vern fakes a punch at Teddy, and Teddy flinches.)
Vern: Ha-ha-ha! You flinched! Two for flinching! (Before Vern can punch Teddy, Teddy slugs Vern twice on the shoulder. Vern is shocked.) But—you flinched!
Teddy: I know. Two for flinching. (He smiles smugly.)
(The boys approach an area of standing water in their path.)
Vern: How are we supposed to get across this?
Teddy: We'll use you as a raft.
Vern: Very funny.
(Chris breaks off a branch and tests the depth of the water.)
Chris: Hey, it's not that deep. We can walk across.
(The boys all step into the water and begin to make their way across. After 2 or 3 steps the bottom drops off and they tumble into chest deep water. They quickly come to their feet but are sopping wet.)
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!
(Teddy jumps Vern and they start wrestling around in the water.)
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.
Vern: Haaaah, rank-out!
Teddy: (turns to Chris) Oh! That's it, Chambers! You just signed your own death warrant—you die, Chambers! (He jumps Chris and they splash around for a few moments, then Vern joins in.) Get him! Get Vern! Vern Tessio, you die!
(Chris notices that Gordie is making his way to the far side of the water.)
Chris: Hey! Where do you think you're goin' Lachance.
Teddy: Yeah, Lachance!
Gordie: Come on, you guys.
Teddy & Chris: Pile on! (They go after Gordie and drag him back into the water.) Pile on! Pile on!
(Vern jumps on Gordie’s back and pretends to choke him.)
Vern: Sleeper hold! Sleeper hold! No one gets out of a sleeper hold!
Gordie: Stop it! I'm serious! (They struggle for a few more moments then Gordie notices something.) Vern, there's something on your neck!
Vern: Yeah, right. I'm not falling for that one, Lachance.
(They all stop and look at Vern’s neck.)
Chris: No, Vern. There is something on your neck.
Teddy: It's a leech. Leeches! Jesus Christ, get 'em off!
(The boys exit the water and frantically strip down to their shorts to check each other for leeches.)
Chris: Hey Gordie, man, there's some on your back!
Gordie: Get 'em off!
Chris: Are there any on mine, man?!
(Gordie feels something in his underwear. He looks down the front and sees a leech.)
Gordie: Oh, Chris. (The others look on, shocked, and not knowing what do to. Gordie is almost crying.) Oh shit, Chris. Oh shit, man.
(He reaches down and extracts the leech. When he pulls his hand up it’s bloody. He holds up his bloody hand, and promptly faints. The others run to his side.)
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 it 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: (coming around) Yeah.
Chris: Let's go.
(They all get dressed again and are ready to move on. Gordie is resting against a tree nearby. He is very quiet.)
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're you, his mother?
Chris: Eat shit.
Teddy: You eat shit!
Vern: Hey, hey, hey, I think Chris is right. Let's go back.
Teddy: Oh, ha-ha! What a surprise! The king of the pussies wants to go back too!
Vern: Stop calling me that!
Teddy: What, pussy?
Vern: Stop it.
Teddy: Pussy, pussy, pussy, pussy!
Vern: You four-eyed psycho!
(Vern is fed up. He charges Teddy and takes him down.)
Teddy: Ow! Get off me! Ow, get...
(Vern is straddling Teddy and slugging him over and over.)
Vern: Two for flinching—you like it?! You like it?! Two for flinching—you like it?! Huh, Teddy?! You like it?! You like it?!
Chris: Come on, break it up!
(Gordie is finally fed up from the constant bickering. He reacts to the fight going on.)
Gordie: Stop it. (No one hears him, so he speaks louder.) Stop it! (Still no one hears him, so he yells.) STOP IT!! (The others all stop and turn to look at him.) I'm not goin' back.
(As they get up and dust off, Teddy speaks to Vern under his breath.)
Vern: Shut up, retard.
Writer: (vo) 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.
(Ace and Vince driving separate cars, side-by-side down a two-lane highway, racing on their way to Harlow. Vince is determined to beat Ace this time.)
Vince: No way, Ace! Not this time, man! No way!
Eyeball: Go for it, Vince. Go for it!
(Vince looks ahead and sees an oncoming truck in Ace's lane.)
Vince: Oh my God, I got him! I got him! You are history, guy. Hi-sto-ry!
(Charlie is riding with Ace, and sees the oncoming truck.)
Charlie: Fall back, Ace!! Come on, don't fuck around!! Jesus Christ Ace, fall back man!
(Both racers hold their place in a game of chicken. At the last second, the truck wisely swerves off of the road to avoid a wreck. Ace is then able to floor it and pass Vince for the win.)
Vince: Shit man, shit!
Ace: (to himself) I won.
Eyeball: You let him beat you, ya cock knocker! Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!
(Back Harlow Road)
Chris: Comin' through the woods, I bet we saved over an hour.
(They stop walking.)
Gordie: Is this the Back Harlow Road?
Chris: That Brower kid must be around here someplace. Teddy, you and Vern watch the left side of the tracks, we'll take the right.
(The boys start walking along the tracks, looking into the brush. A few moments pass. Suddenly Vern spots him.)
Vern: There he is! I see him! Look! Look over there! I see him! I see him!
(They see a shoeless foot sticking out from under a bush on the riverbank.)
Writer: (vo) 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.
Writer: (vo) 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. (Gordie sits down on a log and stares at the body, not moving, not saying anything. Chris is concerned.) Gordie?
Gordie: Why did you have to die?
Vern: What's the matter with Gordie?
Chris: Nothing. Why don't you guys just go over there and look for some branches, okay?
(Teddy and Vern move off.)
Gordie: Why did he have to die, Chris? Why did Denny have to die? Why?
Chris: I don't know.
Gordie: It should've 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. (He begins to cry.)
Chris: He doesn't know 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 God. (He begins to cry harder.)
Chris: You're gonna be a great writer someday, Gordie. You might even write about us guys, if you ever get hard up for material.
Gordie: (weeps for a few more moments, then stops) Guess I'd have to be really hard up, huh?
Ace: (walking up) What the fuck do you know about this?
Eyeball: Sumbitch! My little brother!
Ace: You wasn't plannin' on takin' the body from us, was you boys?
Chris: You get away, man. We found him—we got dibs.
Ace: Aw, we better start runnin' Eyeball, they got dibs!
Chris: We earned him, man. You guys came in a car. That's not fair. He's ours!
Eyeball: (mimicking Chris) That's not fair. He's ours. Well, not anymore.
(Teddy and Vern walk up.)
Teddy: There's four of us, Eyeball. You just make your move.
Ace: Oh, we will. Don't you worry.
(Just then Billy, Charlie, and the rest of Ace’s gang arrive.)
Charlie: Vern! You little sonofawhore! You was under the porch!
Vern: No, no, I swear, it wasn't me!
Billy: You little keyhole-peepin' bung-wipe, I oughta beat the livin' shit outta you!
(Billy takes off his belt to go after Vern, but Ace stops him as Vern runs off.)
Ace: Now, 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.
Charlie: Besides, me 'n' Billy found him first.
Teddy: Yeah, Vern told us how you found him. (mimicking Charlie) 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.
Charlie: That's it! 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 takes out a switchblade and advances on Chris.)
Ace: You're dead.
Teddy: Come on, Chris. Let's split.
Chris: They're not takin' him.
Teddy: Come on, Chris. This is crazy.
Chris: They're not takin' him!
Teddy: He's got a knife, man!
(Teddy runs off too. The others Cobra’s are beginning to get a little worried about what Ace might do.)
Eyeball: Ace, come on man.
Chris: You're gonna have to kill me, Ace.
Ace: No problem.
(Ace starts to attack Chris, putting the knife to his throat, but a gunshot is heard and everyone freezes.)
Gordie: You're not taking him! (Gordie has the gun in his hands and is pointing it directly at Ace.) Nobody is taking him.
Ace: Come on, kid. Just give me the gun before you take your foot off. (He pauses to size up Gordie.) You ain't got the sack to shoot a woodchuck.
Gordie: Don't move, Ace. I'll kill you, I swear to God.
Ace: Come on Lachance, gimme the gun. You must have some of your brother's good sense.
Gordie: (cocks the gun and aims it at Ace’s face.) Suck my fat one, you cheap dimestore hood.
Ace: What are you gonna do—shoot us all?
Gordie: No, Ace. Just you.
(Ace pauses, then backs away.)
Ace: We're gonna get you for this.
Chris: Maybe you will and maybe you won't.
Ace: Oh, we will. We're not gonna forget this, if that's what you're thinkin'. This is big-time, baby.
(Ace and his gang leave. The boys are now alone with the body of Ray Brower.)
Chris: 'Suck my fat one?'—Who ever told you you had a fat one, Lachance?
Gordie: Biggest one in four counties.
(Chris chuckles, as Vern and Teddy return from hiding.)
Vern: Are we gonna take him?
Teddy: But, we came all this way. We were supposed to be heroes.
Gordie: Not this way, Teddy. Chris, gimme a hand.
(The boys cover Ray Brower with a blanket.)
Writer: (vo) 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.
(The boys are walking towards home, at sunset.)
Writer: (vo) 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.
(As the boys enter town, they pause for a moment before going their own ways. No one knows what to say.)
Vern: Well, see you in school.
Teddy: See ya in Junior High.
(As Vern walks away he finds a coin in the street and bends down to get it. He holds it up for the others to see.)
Vern: A penny! (He walks away)
Teddy: Well, guys—I better get home before my mom puts me on the Ten Most Wanted list. (He starts to walk away, but stops and turns.) Hey, Chris. No hard feelings, okay?
Chris: No way, man.
(Teddy walks off in another direction, and as he does he begins to sing.)
Teddy: "Have Gun, Will Travel" reads the card of a man. A knight without armor in a savage land. His fast gun for hire...
Writer: (vo) 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 Lumberyard. Teddy tried several times to get into the Army, but his eyes and ear kept him out. The last time I'd heard, he'd spent some time in jail. He was now doing odd jobs around Castle Rock.
(Chris and Gordie are standing outside the tree house. Chris seems a little sad.)
Chris: I'm never gonna make it out of this town, am I, Gordie.
Gordie: You can do anything you want, man.
Chris: Yeah, sure. (pause) Gimme some skin.
Gordie: I'll see you.
Chris: Not if I see you first.
(Chris walks away, and as the writer continues to speak Chris’s image fades out.)
Writer: (vo) 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 had always made the best peace, tried to break it up. He was stabbed in the throat. He died almost instantly.
(The writer is in his study typing on a computer. As he types the words are visible on the screen.)
Computer Monitor: Although I hadn't seen him in more than ten years, I know I'll miss him forever.
(The writers son comes in with a friend. They are both dressed to go swimming.)
Son: Dad, can we go now?
Writer: You ready?
Son: Yeah. We've been ready for an hour.
Writer: (chuckles) Okay. I'll be right there.
Friend: He said that a half-hour ago!
Son: Yeah. My dad's weird. He gets like that when he's writing.
(The writer watches the boys leave and smiles to himself. He then begins to type once more.)
Computer Monitor: I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?
(The Writer turns off his monitor and joins the boys out front. They all get into the car and drive off.)