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Hieronder vind je het volledige script van de film. Ik heb dankbaar gebruik gemaakt van Ron Fleischer’s Stand By Me page. Om te voorkomen dat je dit niet meer zou kunnen lezen als men daar de pagina offline haalt, hebben we deze hieronder geplaatst: even geduld a.u.b. – het is een groot bestand met veel foto’s.

<<The year is 1985. The Writer is alone, parked on a rural road. He appears pensive as he considers the late afternoon sun. He looks down and we see that he is looking at a newspaper headline which reads, Attorney Christopher Chambers Fatally Stabbed In Restaurant. Chris Chambers was a childhood friend. The Writer sees two young boys riding by on their bikes and he thinks about his own childhood, and one summer in particular…>>

Writer: 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!
<<Music: “Rockin’ Robin” (Bobby Day) 1958>>
<<Three young boys are playing Gin Rummy in their tree house.>>

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.
<<Laughter from Chris and Gordie.>>
Teddy: Didn’t I just say I was French?
Chris: I knock.
Teddy: Shit!
Chris: Twenty-nine.
Teddy: Twenty-two.
Gordie: Piss up a rope!
<<Gordie throws his cards down in disgust.>>
Teddy: <<Laughter from Chris and 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: 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!
<<Laughter from Chris and Gordie.>>
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: Chris Chambers was the leader of our gang, and my best friend. He came from a bad family, and everyone just knew he’d turn out bad, including Chris.

Gordie: <<Someone knocks on the tree house trap door.>>
That’s not the secret knock!
Vern: I forget the secret knock. Lemme in.
G,C,T: <<In unison.>>
Vern.
Vern: Come on you guys, open up!
<<Vern 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.
G,C,T: <<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 singing continues.>>
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.
G,C,T: <<Again interrupting Vern with singing.>>
I ran all the wa-ay home…
Vern: Screw you guys! Forget it.
Chris: <<The singing stops.>>
What is it?
<<Music: “Mr. Lee” (The Bobbettes) 1957>>
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?
<<Vern now has their undivided attention.>>
Well, I was under the porch digging, you know…

Writer: We all understood what Vern meant right away. At the beginning of the school year he had buried a quart jar of pennies underneath his house. He drew a 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.
Charlie: <<Cut to a depiction of the story Vern is telling the other boys about how he overheard his brother Billy talking to Charlie Hogan about finding a body.>>
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: 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?!
Teddy: <<Back to the present.>>
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!
Chris: Sure!
Teddy: We’ll be heroes!
Chris: Yeah!
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?
Gordie: Sure!
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?
Teddy: Alright!
Chris: Gordie?
Gordie: Sure.
Chris: Vern?
Vern: I don’t know.
Chris: Vern!
Teddy: Come on, Verno!
Chris: Vern!
Teddy: Vern!
C,T: Come on, Verno!
<<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: I wanted to share my friends’ enthusiasm, but I couldn’t. That summer at home I had become the invisible boy.
<<Cut to later at Gordie’s house. He’s looking for his canteen for the trip, but he can’t find it. He calls out the window to his mom, who is working in the backyard.>>
Gordie: Mom! Do you know where my canteen is?!
<<She does not respond.>>
Mom?!
<<Still no response. Gordie’s dad answers for her.>>
GFather: It’s in Denny’s room.
Gordie: Oh.
Writer: In April, my older brother Dennis had been killed in a Jeep accident. Four months had passed, but my parents still hadn’t been able to put the pieces back together again.
<<Gordie goes into Denny’s room to get the canteen. The room has not been altered since Denny’s death and is like a shrine. Throughout the room there is evidence of Denny’s athletic success. Gordie locates the canteen in the closet. He turns to leave, but pauses and remembers a fond moment with Denny.>>
Denny: Hey Gordie, I got somethin’ for you.
<<Denny gives Gordie a baseball cap.>>
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: Bazillion. Bazillion fish.
<<Denny takes the cap and puts it on Gordie’s head, pulling it down over his eyes. Denny speaks in a voice imitating (Stooge) ‘Moe’ Howard.>>
And it looks good on you too, just like that.

Gordie: <<Gordie plays along by imitating (Stooge) ‘Curly’ Howard.>>
Hey, Moe! I’m goin’ blind!
Denny: <<Still imitating Moe.>>
Ah, don’t start with me, porcupine. Come ‘ere, come ‘ere.
<<Denny returns to his own voice as he grabs Gordie.>>
Gimme a hug.
<<The boys embrace. Suddenly, Gordie is startled out of his daydream by his father’s voice.>>
GFather: You found it.
Gordie: Huh?
GFather: You found it.
Gordie: Yeah.
<<They exit Denny’s room into the hallway, and Gordie’s dad pulls the door shut. He turns and speaks to Gordie.>>
GFather: Why can’t you have friends like Denny’s?
Gorie: Dad, they’re okay.
GFather: Sure they are. A thief and two feebs?
Gordie: Chris isn’t a thief.
GFather: He stole the milk money at school. He’s a thief in my book.
Writer: <<A few minutes later we see Gordie walking down the sidewalk, on his way to meet the other boys. He’s wearing his Yankee cap.>>
It was almost noon as we set out to find the body of a dead kid named Ray Brower.
Chris: <<Chris has hitched a ride to meet the others. When he sees Gordie he tells the driver to drop him off.>>
Right here’s cool.
<<Chris jumps to the ground.>>
Gordie: Hey, Chris.
Chris: <<To the driver.>>
Thanks a lot!
Driver: Sure thing!
Chris: Gordo!
Gordie: Hey, man.
Chris: <<As they walk down the street together.>>
Wanna see something?
Gordie: <<Acting distant.>>
Sure, what?
Chris: <<Sensing Gordie’s mood.>>
Are you okay?
Gordie: <<Trying to snap out of it.>>
Yeah, I’m fine.
Chris: Come on, man!
<<They run around the corner and into the alley behind the Blue Point Diner.>>
Gordie: What is it?
<<Chris is digging into his bedroll for something.>>
Chris: Oh, man. You gotta see this!
Gordie: <<Getting more excited now.>>
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 pistol from the bedroll.>>
Gordie: Walkin’, talkin’, Jesus! Where’d you get this?!

Chris: Hawked it from my old man’s bureau. It’s a .45.
Gordie: <<Gordie takes the pistol from Chris.>>
I can see that.
<<Gordie takes aim at a nearby trashcan and pretends to fire, mimicking the sound of a shot.>>
Pkoooo! 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: Pkoooo! Is it loaded?
Chris: Hell, no! What do you think I am?
<<Gordie cocks the hammer and pulls the trigger. The gun unexpectedly fires into a garbage can.>>
KA-BLAM!!
G,C: JE-SUS!
Gordie: Let’s get outta here! Come on!
<<The boys run away and Chris begins to laugh and taunt Gordie.>>
Chris: Gordie did it! Gordie Lachance is shooting up Castle Rock!
Gordie: Shut up!
<<As the boys run down the alley, Francine Tupper, a waitress from the Blue Point Diner comes out the back door to investigate the noise.>>
Waitress: Hey, who did that?! Who’s lettin’ cherry bombs off out here?!
Chris: <<Back on the sidewalk in front of the businesses, the boys hurriedly walk away from the area.>>
Oh, man! You should have seen your face! Damn, that was cool! That was really fine!
Gordie: <<Angrily.>>
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: <<Chris takes Gordie by the arm and stops him. Chris is serious now.>>
Hey, Gordie. I didn’t know it was loaded. Honest.
Gordie: You swear?
Chris: Yeah, I swear.
Gordie: On your mother’s name?
Chris: Yeah.
Gordie: Even if she goes to hell ’cause you lied?
Chris: Yeah, I swear!
Gordie: Pinkie swear?
Chris: Pinkie swear.
Eyeball: <<As Gordie and Chris are talking, Ace and Eyeball come out of Irby’s Billiard hall and confront them.>>
Hey, girls. Where you goin’?
<<Ace snatches Gordie’s Yankee cap.>>
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: <<Ace flips his cigarette away and hands the cap to Eyeball.>>
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.
<<Ace grabs Chris and takes him to the sidewalk, straddling him face down.>>
Chris: Oh, shit!
Ace: Take it back!
Chris: Oh!
<<As Ace sits on him.>>
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 from the sidewalk beside Chris and menaces him with it, bringing it closer and closer to his face.>>

Chris: Okay, okay! I take it back! I take it back!
Ace: <<Ace flips the cigarette away and lets Chris up.>>
There. Now I feel a whole lot better about this. How about you?
<<No response from Chris and Gordie.>>
Good.
Eyeball: <<Ace and Eyeball leave Chris and Gordie behind, and Gordie has lost his Yankee cap.>>
See you later, girls.
Chris: <<Gordie watches hatefully as Ace and Eyeball walk away. Eyeball is wearing his Yankee cap. Chris tries to comfort Gordie.>>
Come on, just forget ’em.
Vern: <<A few minutes later all four boys have joined up and are beginning their trek. As they step onto the railroad tracks leading out of town, Chris has just told Vern and Teddy about the gun.>>
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.
<<Laughter.>>
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.
Vern: Thanks.
Teddy: <<Teddy fakes a punch to Vern’s face. Vern flinches.>>
Two for flinchin’.
<<Teddy slugs Vern twice on the shoulder.>>
Vern: Ow!
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.>>
All: <<Singing the theme song from their favorite TV western.>>
“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.

Teddy: <<Teddy finishes the ballad alone.>>
Paladin, Paladin, where do you roam? Paladin, Paladin, far, far from home.
Gordie: <<Considering their water supply.>>
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?
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.
<<The boys take a seat between the rails to count their money.>>
Yeah, I got a dollar-two. Sixty-eight cents from Chris. Sixty cents from Teddy.
<<Vern is the last to ante up. Chris can’t believe Vern’s contribution.>>
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’.
Vern: Geronimo!
<<As he, Chris and Gordie clear the tracks. Chris notices that Teddy is still on the tracks, 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.
<<Teddy imitates a machine-gun.>>
Tfffffffffft.
Chris: Come on, man. Come on!
<<Chris grabs Teddy and struggles with him, trying to pull him off the tracks. Finally he succeeds, and the train whizzes 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!
Teddy: <<There is a moment of tense silence once the train has passed. Teddy stares at Chris.>>
I don’t need no babysitter.
Chris: You do too.
<<Pause. Chris holds out the palm of his hand.>>
Skin it.

Teddy: I could’ve dodged it.
<<Teddy ignores Chris’ gesture and turns and starts to walk away.>>
Chris: <<Chris goes after Teddy and stops him.>>
Listen, Teddy. You can dodge it on the way back, man. Peace. Skin it.
<<Pause. Then Teddy skins it.>>
Writer: <<Music: “Great Balls of Fire” (Jerry Lee Lewis) 1957>>
About this time Charlie and Billy were playing mailbox baseball with Ace and Eyeball.
<<They are riding in Ace’s convertible with the top down, swinging 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…
<<Charlie is interrupted by Billy giving him an elbow.>>
Ace: <<Ace is suspicious.>>
What’s with you homos? You’ve been actin’ psycho all day. What is it?
Billy: It’s nothin’, nothin’—it’s nothin’, right?
<<Speaking first to Ace, then to Charlie.>>
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.
Gordie: <<Back to the boys as they approach Castle Rock Salvage and see all the wrecked cars.>>
Hey Vern, looks like your ma’s been out drivin’ again.
Vern: Oh, that’s so funny I forgot to laugh.
Teddy: <<As the boys prepare to climb the chain link fence into the junkyard, Teddy pretends to be a soldier in combat.>>
Stand back, men! Pkooooowwww! Paratroops, over the side!
<<He throws his bedroll into the junkyard and scales the fence after it. The other boys do likewise.>>
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: <<Heard clearly in the background, still playing soldier.>>
Where’s the B.A.R.?! Come on! Come on, men! Move it out!
Gordie: Yeah.
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.
<<Chris spits through a circle formed with his thumb and index finger.>>
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 gives chase, quickly catching up and 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! Chhhhhhh!
<<Chris imitates the sound of a roaring crowd.>>
Teddy: <<A few moments later, after the boys have filled their canteens and are resting in the junkyard, a song comes on the radio.>>
<<Music: “Whispering Bells” (The Del Vikings) 1957>>
Hey, you guys been watching the ‘Mickey Mouse Club’ lately?
Others: Yeah.
Teddy: I think Annette’s tits are getting bigger.
Chris: Think so?
Teddy: Yeah, I think so.
Gordie: Yeah, I think he’s right. I’ve been noticing lately that the ‘A’ and the ‘E’ are starting to bend around the sides.
<<Laughter.>>
Vern: Annette’s tits are great.
Others: Yeah.
Vern: <<After a few moments of reflection.>>
This is really a good time.
Chris: The most.
Teddy: A blast.
Writer: Vern didn’t just mean being off-limits inside the junkyard, or fudging on our folks, or going on a hike up the 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.
Vern: <<Teddy takes a mouthful of water and blasts Vern in the side of the head with it. Everyone laughs but Vern.>>
Great. Spit at the fat kid. Real good.
<<Vern pauses to wipe 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. Sic balls!
Teddy: You go. You can pick us up on the way back.
Vern: I’m not going alone. We should all go.
Teddy: I’m 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.
<<The other boys flip again.>>
<<Music: “Let The Good Times Roll” (Shirley and Lee) 1956>>
You gonna flip, or not?!
Chris: Come on, Vern. We don’t have all day.
<<Vern finally flips.>>
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: <<In unison.>>
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.
Others: Ooooooooh!
Writer: Finding new and, preferably, disgusting ways to degrade a friend’s mother was always held in high regard.
Quida: <<Gordie has now gone for food and has arrived at Quidacioluo’s store. It is a small store, with the owner the only employee. He recognizes Gordie.>>
Ain’t you Denny Lachance’s brother?
Gordie: Yes, sir.
Quida: 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?
Gordie: Sometimes.
Quida: I remember the year he was All-Conference. Quarterback, he played. Boy, could he throw. Father God and Sonny Jesus!
<<While he’s talking, Gordie lapses into another daydream. In it, his family is having supper together.>>
GFather: Could be some scouts at the game tomorrow.
Denny: I don’t know, Pop.
Gordie: Dad, could I have the potatoes?
GFather: <<Ignoring Gordie.>>
That’s what I hear, son.
GMother: 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!
GFather: 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: <<Denny notices that Gordie is being ignored. He tries to change the subject.>>
Pop, did you read the story that Gordie wrote? Gordie wrote a story. It was really good.
GMother: <<Condescending.>>
What did you write, sweetheart?
GFather: 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 as the folks talk on, ignoring them.>>
Gordie, I really liked it. I thought it was great.
Quida: You play football?
Gordie: Hmmm?
<<Returning from his daydream.>>
Quida: Do you play football?
Gordie: No.
Quida: What do you do?
Gordie: I don’t know.
Quida: Yeah, well your brother Denny sure could play football. There ya go, kid—buck-and-a-half of hamburg’.
Milo: <<Gordie returns to the junkyard with the provisions. When he arrives, he sees the boys are not where he left them. He spots them waiting outside the fence. Milo has arrived by now and sees Gordie trespassing.>>
Hey! Hey you, kid! What’re you doing there?! Come over here! You! You!
<<Gordie starts running toward the fence to escape.>>
Come back here! Come back here, goddamn it! I’ll sic my dog on you!
C,T,V: Run, Gordie! Run!
Milo: Chopper, sic him! Sic him, boy!
Writer: Now, he said, “Sic him, boy.” But what I heard was, “Chopper, sic balls!”

Gordie: <<Screams as he runs for his life.>>
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
C,T,V: Come on!
Gordie: <<Gordie makes it to the fence, scales it and jumps down to safety on the other side. He turns to see Chopper, who is a very friendly-looking Golden Retriever.>>
That’s Chopper?!
Writer: Chopper was my first lesson in the vast difference between myth and reality.
Teddy: <<Taunting Chopper by rubbing his rear end against the fence.>>
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!
<<Milo arrives at the fence and confronts the boys through the chain links.>>
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!
<<Teddy 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: <<Restraining Teddy and trying to reason with him.>>
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: <<Teddy had started to calm down, but now he blows up again. He’s still screaming as the other boys try to drag him away.>>
I’m gonna kill you! Son of a bitch!
Milo: You little foulmouthed whoremaster! You come back here! Come back here! You hear me?!
<<The boys are now making their way down the path away from the junkyard.>>
Teddy: <<Sobbing now.>>
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 faggot!
Milo: Come back here!
Vern: <<As the boys round a bend and are finally out of sight of the junkyard.>>
We showed him. Thought we were a bunch of pussies.
Teddy: He ranked my old man.
<<Crying now.>>
Writer: I wondered how Teddy could care so much for his dad who practically killed him, and I couldn’t give a shit about my own dad who hadn’t laid a hand on me since I was three, and that was 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!
Vern: <<After a few moments, Vern tries to lighten the mood by singing.>>
“Have Gun, Will Travel” reads the card of a man. A knight without armor in a savage land…
<<His voice trails off when no one else joins in.>>
Teddy: <<Recovering his composure now.>>
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: 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.
Eyeball: <<Music: “The Book of Love” (The Monotones) 1958>>
<<Eyeball is working on a tattoo on Billy’s shoulder.>>
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!
<<Music: “Lollipop” (The Chordettes) 1958>>
Chris: <<Cut back to the boys walking down the tracks. Teddy and Vern are up front, while Chris and Gordie are lagging behind.>>
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. Gordie is serious now.>>
Do you think I’m weird?
Chris: Definitely.
Gordie: No man, seriously. Am I weird?
Chris: Yeah, but so what? Everybody’s weird. You ready for school?
Gordie: No.
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.
Vern: <<Cut to Vern and Teddy who are having a much less academic discussion.>>
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.
Teddy: Sheesh.
Chris: <<Back to Chris and Gordie who are falling farther behind.>>
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.
Gordie: Bullshit!
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!
<<Pause. Chris 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: <<Realizing that Chris and Gordie have fallen way behind.>>
Come on, you guys! Let’s get moving.
Teddy: Yeah. By the time we get there the kid won’t even be dead anymore!
<<Music: “Everyday” (Buddy Holly) 1957>>
Vern: <<The boys have reached a long, narrow railroad bridge and are considering the liklihood of being caught mid-bridge by an oncoming train, and the consequences if they are.>>
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?
Teddy: You—wish.
Vern: <<The boys decide to cross over the bridge and take their chances. Teddy and Chris go first while Gordie hangs back with Vern.

Gordie touches the rail and feels no vibration, so he starts across. The river below is visible between the ties and Vern is too scared to walk, so he starts crawling across. As he nears the middle, the comb falls from his shirt pocket. He makes a grab for it but misses and the comb flutters down into the river below. Vern sighs heavily.>>
I lost the comb.

Gordie: Forget it, Vern.
<<Gordie is nervous because Vern is taking too long to cross. He kneels down to feel the rail again. This time he feels something. He looks back and sees the smoke from an oncoming train puffing over the treetops as it approaches the bridge. Gordie shouts a warning.>>
TRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIN!!
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: <<These lines are not exact.>>
Go, Man! Get up, man! Move it! 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 continues to scream at Vern. By this time Teddy and Chris have reached the other side safely and are shouting encouragement to Vern and Gordie. Just moments before the train would have struck the boys, Gordie tackles Vern and they both tumble off the tracks and onto the far embankment. After the train passes, Chris and Teddy rush over to check on Vern and Gordie and find them dusting themselves off.>>

Chris: Hey, at least now we know when the next train was due.
Teddy: <<Music: “Come Go With Me” (The Del Vikings) 1957>>
<<The boys move on, and soon they find a campsite for the night. They have built a fire and are all sitting around it as the last daylight fades into the night.

The are using sticks with hamburger packed onto the ends to cook their meal. They are also discussing the events of the day.>>
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.
Others: Vern!
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.
Chris: Fine.
Vern: <<Vern’s hamburger droops and falls into the fire.>>
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?
<<All laughing now.>>
Chris: It’d be a small meal.
Vern: <<Happily, Vern is quickly able to retrieve his hamburger from the fire.>>
Aha! Screw you guys, I got it! Hah-hah-hah-hah!
Vern: <<After the boys have eaten, they settle in and enjoy a smoke.>>
Nothin’ like a smoke after a meal.
Teddy: Yeah. I cherish these moments.

C,G: <<Laughing at the comment.>>
Teddy: 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: <<Cut to the depiction of Gordie’s story as it is being told.>>
Is this thing on? Can you hear me? Now, the next contestant in the great Tri-County Pie Eat, Principal John Wiggins!
<<Applause from the audience.>>
And, our celebrity contestant from K-L-A-M in Portland, the Bossman himself, Bob Cormier!
<<Cheers and 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…
Crowd: BOSS!
<<More cheers and applause.>>
Mayor: Next, a newcomer to the pie-eat, but one we expect great things from in the future, young master David Hogan!

Travis: <<Travis intentionally trips Lardass as he walks on stage, then puts on a friendly front as he helps Lardass up.>>
Are you alright, young man?
Heckler1: 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.
Heckler2: Boy, are you fat!
Mayor: Don’t pay any attention to those fools, Lardass—uh, Davie.
Crowd: <<As Lardass walks across the stage to his seat the Benevolent Order of Antelopes mock him in rhythm with his steps.>>
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!
<<Cheers and applause.>>
<<Mayor aside to Travis.>>
Listen, I got ten ridin’ on you myself, Billy-boy.
<<Now he speaks to the crowd.>>
Alright, are you ready?! Hands behind your backs, gentlemen! Drum roll!
Twins: Hey, Lardass! Chow down, Wide Load!
Mayor: Heh-heh-heh … GO!

Lardass: <<The contestants bury their faces and begin eating. Within a few seconds, Lardass has finished his first pie.>>
Done!

Lardass: Done!
Travis: Done!
Lardass: Done!

Mayor: <<Aside to Lardass, who is way ahead of the other contestants.>>
You better pace yourself if you wanna hold out, boy.
Crowd: Lardass! Lardass!
Gordie: What the audience didn’t know was that Lardass wasn’t really interested in winning. What he wanted was revenge, and right before he was introduced he’d gotten ready for it.
<<Cut to flashback scene showing Lardass drinking a quart bottle of Castor Oil and eating a raw egg just before the start of the contest.>>
Gordie: <<Cut back to the contest in progress.>>
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!
Lardass: Done!
Gordie: Slowly, a sound started to build in Lardass’ stomach. A strange and scary sound, like a log truck coming at you at a hundred miles-an-hour. Suddenly, Lardass opened his mouth, and before Bill Travis knew it he was covered with five pies worth of used blueberries.

The women in the audience screamed. Bossman Bob Cormier took one look at Bill Travis and barfed on Principal Wiggins, who 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!

C,T,V: <<Cheering and laughing.>>
Yeah!
Chris: Oh man, that was the best, just the best!
Vern: Yeah.
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: Here.
<<Vern hands the radio to Chris.>>
<<Music: “Come Softly To Me” (The Fleetwoods) 1959>>
Writer: We talked into the night. The kind of talk that seemed important, until you discover girls.
Gordie: Alright, alright. Mickey’s a mouse. Donald’s a duck. Pluto’s a dog. What’s Goofy?
Vern: If I 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: Not one of us mentioned Ray Brower, but we were all thinking about him.
Vern: <<The boys bed down for the night. During the night howling is heard close by, waking them all. Vern is the first to speak.>>
Oh, my God!

Teddy: It’s that Brower kid! His ghost is out walking in the woods.
Vern: <<Vern is sitting up, cowering and praying aloud.>>
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 Vern on the shoulder, startling him.>>
Ah!
Teddy: Two for flinching!
<<Slugs Vern twice in 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.
Chris: <<Teddy gets up and starts walking away from the campfire.>>
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 chorus of howls, very close by. Teddy stops in his tracks, backs up and falls to the ground near 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 boys bed down once again, with Teddy on guard. Only crickets can be heard now—and 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: <<Teddy mimics playing ‘Taps’.>>
Tuu-tu-tuuuuuu, tuu-tu-tuuuuu…
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.
Chris: Teddy!
Gordie: <<Time passes uneventfully as the boys sleep. Vern takes his turn and spends it nervously pointing the pistol at noises in the woods. Next it’s Chris’ turn to stand guard. He hears Gordie groaning in his sleep.>>
Uhmmm. Uhmmmmm.
GFather: <<In Gordie’s dream he is standing with his family and other mourners at his brother’s burial site as the coffin is lowered into the grave. Gordie’s dad puts his hand on Gordie’s shoulder and says…>>
It should have been you, Gordon.

Gordie: Uhmmmmmm. Ahhh!
<<Gordie snaps awake.>>
Chris: Are you okay?
Gordie: Huh?
Chris: You were dreaming.
Gordie: <<Gordie makes no response, but he is awake now and pensive for a few moments before he speaks.>>
I didn’t cry at Denny’s funeral.
<<Pause. Chris is attentive, but does not speak.>>
I miss him, Chris. I really miss him.
Chris: I know.
<<Pause.>>
Go back to sleep.
<<Chris gets up and walks a few paces, taking a seat against 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?
Gordie: No.
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.
<<Chris begins sobbing.>>
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.
<<Chris is embarassed for crying.>>
I guess I’m just a pussy, huh?

Gordie: <<Whispering.>>
No way, man. No way.
Writer: <<Gordie is on watch last, and it is getting 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. A little while later a morning freight train rumbles by the boys’ camp.>>
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.

Vern: <<Music: “Hush-A-Bye” (The Mystics) 1959>>
<<The boys are up and walking on their way again now.>>
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: 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 Royal River and are at a point where the train-tracks curve away from the path of the river. The boys pause to consider whether to continue to follow the tracks to Harlow, or cut across country and follow the riverbank.>>

Chris: Gentlemen, the Royal.

Teddy: God, the tracks go way out of the way.
Chris: If we cut across this field right here we’ll be there in an hour.

Vern: I think we should stick to the tracks.
Teddy: I say we go across the field.
Chris: Gordie?
Gordie: Yeah.
Chris: Let’s go.
Teddy: Take no prisoners! Tfffffffffffft!
Vern: <<The others start toward the river, but Vern hangs back, still unconvinced.>>
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!
<<Voice fading in the distance now.>>
Vern: Hey, you guys—wait up for me!
Billy: <<Cut to Ace and Billy shooting pool.>>
<<Music: “Get A Job” (The Silhouettes) 1957>>
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: <<Cut to Charlie and Eyeball fishing.>>
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: 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.
Vern: <<Cut back to the boys, sloshing through ankle-deep mud>>
I hate this shortcut.
Teddy: <<Mocking Vern’s whining.>>
I hate this shortcut!
Vern: <<Vern fakes a punch to Teddy’s face and he flinches.>>
Ha-ha-ha! You flinched! Two for flinching!
<<Before Vern can slug Teddy, Teddy slugs Vern twice in the shoulder. Vern is stunned.>>
But—you flinched!
Teddy: I know. Two for flinching.
<<Teddy smiles smugly.>>
Vern: <<The boys approach an area of standing water in their path.>>
How are we supposed to get across this?
Teddy: We’ll use you as a raft.
Vern: Very funny.
Chris: <<Breaks a small branch off a nearby tree and uses it to test the depth of the swamp.>>
Hey, it’s not that deep. We can walk across.
Vern: <<The boys confidently step into the water. After two or three steps the bottom drops off and they all tumble into water that is chest deep. They quickly come to their feet but are soaked.>>
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 swamp.>>
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: <<Turning his attention to Chris>>
Oh! That’s it, Chambers! You just signed your own death warrant—you die, Chambers!
<<Teddy jumps Chris and they splash around for a few moments.>>
Teddy: <<Now Vern joins in.>>
Get him! Get Vern! Vern Tessio, you die!
Chris: <<Chris notices Gordie making his way to the far side of the swamp.>>
Hey! Where do you think you’re goin’ Lachance.
Teddy: Yeah, Lachance!
Gordie: <<In a somber tone.>>
Come on, you guys.
T,C: 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.>>
Sleeper hold! Sleeper hold! No one gets out of a sleeper hold!
Gordie: Stop it! I’m serious!
<<A few more moments of struggling, then…>>
Vern, there’s something on your neck!
Vern: Yeah, right. I’m not falling for that one, Lachance.
Chris: <<The boys stop fighting as they look at Vern’s neck.>>
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. The dialog here is not totally verbatim because everyone is shouting at once.>>
Chris: Hey Gordie, man, there’s some on your back!
Gordie: Get ’em off!
Chris: Are there any on mine, man?!
Gordie: <<Gordie feels something in his shorts. He looks down the front and sees a leech.>>
Oh, Chris.
<<Almost crying now.>>
Oh shit, Chris. Oh shit, man.
<<Gordie reaches down and extracts the leech, leaving his hand bloody. As he holds his bloody hand up to look at it, he faints.>>

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: <<Starting to come around now.>>
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.
Vern: Stop…
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: <<Vern is straddling Teddy and slugging him over and over.>>
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: <<Gordie is sick of the constant bickering. He reacts to the fight going on between Teddy and Vern.>>
Stop it.
<<No response, so he speaks louder now.>>
Stop it!
<<Still no response, so he shouts.>>
STOP IT!!
<<The others stop and look at Gordie, who has made a decision.>>
I’m not goin’ back.
Teddy: <<As they get up and dust off, Teddy speaks to Vern under his breath.>>
Idiot.
Vern: <<Vern retorts.>>
Shut up, retard.
Writer: 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.
Vince: <<Music: “Yakety Yak” (The Coasters) 1958>>
<<Cut to Ace and Vince driving separate cars, side-by-side down a two-lane highway, racing on their way to Harlow, oblivious to the danger to themselves and their passengers. Vince is determined to beat Ace this time. Vince shouts to Ace…>>
No way, Ace! Not this time, man! No way!

Eyeball: Go for it, Vince. Go for it!
Vince: <<Vince looks ahead and sees an oncoming truck in Ace’s lane. He figures he’s won as Ace will have to back off with no room to pass. He can’t believe his luck.>>
Oh my God, I got him! I got him! You are history, guy. Hi-sto-ry!
Charlie: <<Charlie is riding with Ace, and sees the oncoming danger.>>
Fall back, Ace!! Come on, don’t fuck around!! Jesus Christ Ace, fall back man!
Vince: <<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.>>
Shit man, shit!
Ace: <<Calmly, almost to himself.>>
I won.
Eyeball: You let him beat you, ya cock knocker! Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!
Chris: <<Cut back to the boys, nearing the Back Harlow Road.>>
Comin’ through the woods, I bet we saved over an hour.
<<Pause. They stop walking.>>
Gordie: Teddy?
Teddy: Yeah?
Gordie: Is this the Back Harlow Road?
Teddy: Yeah.

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.
Teddy: Alright.
<<The boys start walking along the tracks, looking into the brush. A few moments pass. Suddenly…>>
Vern: There he is! I see him! Look! Look over there! I see him! I see him!

Writer: <<A shoeless foot can be seen sticking out from under a bush near the riverbank.>>
None of us could breathe. Somewhere under those bushes was the rest of Ray Brower. The train had knocked Ray Brower out of his Keds, just like it had knocked the life out of his body.
Chris: Jesus.
Writer: The kid wasn’t sick. The kid wasn’t sleeping. The kid was dead.

Chris: Let’s look for some long branches. We’ll build him a stretcher.
<<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: 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.
<<Gordie begins to weep.>>
Chris: He doesn’t know you.
Gordie: He hates me.
Chris: He doesn’t hate you.
Gordie: He hates me.
Chris: No! He just doesn’t know you.
Gordie: He hates me. My dad hates me. He hates me, I’m no good.
<<Now crying 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: <<Crys for a few more moments, then composes himself.>>
Guess I’d have to be really hard up, huh?
Chris: Yeah.
Ace: <<Walks up behind Gordie and Chris suddenly.>>
What the fuck do you know about this?
Eyeball: <<Eyeball arrives right behind Ace.>>
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: <<Teddy and Vern have now returned.>>
There’s four of us, Eyeball. You just make your move.
Ace: Oh, we will. Don’t you worry.
Charlie: <<Just then Billy, Charlie and the other Cobras arrive behind Ace and Eyeball. Billy sees Vern.>>
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, opens it, and advances on Chris menacingly.>>
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!
<<Now Teddy runs off too.>>
Eyeball: <<At this point even Eyeball is afraid of what Ace might do.>>
Ace, come on man.
Chris: You’re gonna have to kill me, Ace.
Ace: No problem.
<<Ace starts to rush Chris, putting the knife to his throat. A gunshot is heard, and everyone freezes.>>
KA-BLAM!!
Gordie: You’re not taking him!
<<Gordie is holding the pistol, 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 for a moment, sizing 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: <<Gordie cocks the pistol and aims 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: <<Ace pauses, then starts backing away.>>
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.
Chris: <<Ace and his gang leave, and the boys are alone with Ray Brower once more.>>
‘Suck my fat one?’—Who ever told you you had a fat one, Lachance?
Gordie: Biggest one in four counties.
Chris: Yeah.
<<Chris chuckles, as Vern and Teddy return from hiding.>>
Vern: Are we gonna take him?
Gordie: No.
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: 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.
<<Cut to the boys walking toward home, along the river at sunset.>>
We headed home—and although many thoughts raced through our minds, we barely spoke. We walked through the night and made it back to Castle Rock a little past five o’clock on Sunday morning, the day before Labor Day.

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

Vern: <<As the boys enter town, they pause in the street before going their own ways. No one quite knows what to say. Vern is the first to speak.>>
Well, see you in school.
Chris: Yeah.
Gordie: Yeah.
Teddy: See ya in Junior High.
Vern: <<As Vern walks away he finds a coin in the street and bends down to pick it up. He holds it up to show his friends as he walks away.>>
A penny!
Teddy: Well, guys—I better get home before my mom puts me on the Ten Most Wanted list.
<<Teddy starts to walk away, but stops and turns around.>>
Hey, Chris. No hard feelings, okay?

Chris: No way, man.
Teddy: <<Teddy begins walking away in another direction. As he walks he begins to sing.>>
“Have Gun, Will Travel” reads the card of a man. A knight without armor in a savage land. His fast gun for hire…
<<His voice fades as we see him walk away.>>
Writer: As time went on we saw less and less of Teddy and Vern, until eventually they became just two more faces in the halls. 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: <<The last two boys continued walking together, but now it was time for them to part also. They are standing on the hill next to their tree house, overlooking Castle Rock. Chris seems sad.>>
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 is talking about Chris’ fate, Chris’ image fades and disappears from the screen. The adventure is over, and life must go on, even without Chris Chambers.>>

Writer: Chris did get out. He enrolled in the college courses with me, and, although it was hard, he gutted it out like he always did. He went on to college and eventually became a lawyer. Last week he entered a fast food restaurant. Just ahead of him, two men got into an argument—one of them pulled a knife. Chris, who had always made the best peace, tried to break it up. He was stabbed in the throat. He died almost instantly.
<<The writer is shown typing, and the words are visible on his monitor as he types…>>
Although I hadn’t seen him in more than ten years, I know I’ll miss him forever.
WSon: <<The writer’s son enters the room with a friend. They are about eleven or twelve years old.>>
Dad, can we go now?

Writer: You ready?
WSon: Yeah. We’ve been ready for an hour.
Writer: <<Chuckles.>>
Okay. I’ll be right there.
Friend: He said that a half-hour ago!
WSon: Yeah. My dad’s weird. He gets like that when he’s writing.
Writer: <<Looks lovingly at the boys as they walk out of the door, and he smiles to himself. It is the proud smile of a man whose life has worked out just as it should have. As he ponders the wonders of life he begins to type once again…>>
I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?<<The writer shuts off his monitor and leaves to join the boys who are playing in the front yard. They all get into the car and drive off as credits roll.>>
<<Music: “Stand By Me” (Ben E. King) 1961>>
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