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Stand By Me





WRITER: I was twelve going on thirteen first time I saw a dead human being. It happened in the summer of nineteen-fifty-nine. A long time ago. But only if you measure in terms of years. I was living in a small town in Oregon called Castle Rock. There were only 1281 people, but to me it was the whole world.





WRITER: Teddy Duchamp was the craziest guy we hung around with. He didn't have much of a chance in life. His dad was given fits of a rage. One time he held Teddy's ear to a stove and almost burned it off.





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.





VERN: You guys wanna go see a dead body? Well I was under the porch, digging, you know...

WRITER: We all understood what Vern meant right away. At the beginning of the school year he had buried a quart-jar of pennies underneath his house. He drew a treasuremap, so he could find them again. A week later his mom cleaned out his room and threw away the map. Vern had been trying to find those pennies for nine months. Nine months, man. He didn't know whether to laugh or cry.





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

TEDDY: Yeah, we'd even be on TV!

CHRIS: Sure!

TEDDY: We'll be heroes!

CHRIS: Yeah!

VERN: I don't know. Billy will know how I found out.

GORDIE: He's not gonna care. Cos it's gonna be us guys who find him. Not Billy and Charlie Hogan in a boosted car. They probably pin a medal on you, Vern.

VERN: Yeah, you think so?

GORDIE: Sure!

VERN: What'll we tell our folks?

GORDIE: Exactly what you said. We all tell our folks we're tenting out on your back field. You tell your folks you're sleeping over Teddy's. Then we'll say we're going out to the drag-races the next day... until dinner tomorrow night.

CHRIS: That's a plan and a half.

VERN: But if we do find the kid's body over in South Harlow they'll know we didn't go to the drag-races! We'll get hided!

TEDDY: Nobody would care cos everybody is gonna be so jazzed about what we found it's not gonna make a difference!

CHRIS: Yeah! My dad would hide me anyway. But hell that's worth a hiding!





WRITER: I wanted to share my friends' enthusiasm but I couldn't. That summer at home I had become the invisible boy... 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.





CHRIS: Oh man, you should have seen your face! Yeah that was cool! That was really fine!

GORDIE: You knew it was loaded, you wet end! I'll be in trouble now that Tupper-babe saw me!

CHRIS: Shit, Gordie, she thought it was firecrackers!

GORDIE: I don't care. It was a mean trick, Chris.

CHRIS: Hey, Gordie. I didn't know it was loaded. Honest.

GORDIE: You swear?

CHRIS: Yeah, I swear.

GORDIE: On your mother's name?

CHRIS: Yeah.

GORDIE: Even if she goes to hell because you lied?

CHRIS: Yeah, I swear!

GORDIE: Pinky swear?

CHRIS: Pinky swear.





VERN: What do we need a pistol for anyway?

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

GORDIE: Or a garbage can.

VERN: I brought a comb.

CHRIS: What do we need a comb for?

VERN: Well, if we get on TV we wanna look good, don't we?

GORDIE: It's a lot of thinking, Vern.

VERN: Thanks.





VERN: Hey, I'm kind of hungry, who's got the food?

TEDDY: Oh shit! Did anybody bring anything?

CHRIS: Not me. Gordie?

TEDDY: Well, this is great. What are we supposed to do? Eat our feet?

CHRIS: D'you mean, you didn't bring anything either?

TEDDY: Oh shit, this wasn't my idea. It was Vern's idea. Why didn't you bring something?

VERN: What'm I supposed to do? Think of everything? I brought the comb!

TEDDY: Oh great, you brought a comb. What d'you need a comb for if you don't even have any hair?





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.





TEDDY: Have you guys been watching the Mickey Mouse Club lately?

GORDIE, CHRIS AND VERN: Yeah.

TEDDY: I think Annette's tits are getting bigger.

CHRIS: Think so?

TEDDY: Yeah, I think so.

GORDIE: Yeah. I think he's right. I've been noticing lately that the A and the E are beginning to bend around the sides.

VERN: Annette's tits are great!

GORDIE, CHRIS AND TEDDY: Yeah.





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 there was more and that we all knew it. Everything was there. And around us. We knew exactly who we were and exactly where we were going. It was grand.





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





MILO: Hey! Hey you kid! What're you doing there?! Come over here! You, you! Come back here! Come back here goddammit! I'll sic my dog on you!

CHRIS, TEDDY AND VERN: 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: That's Chopper?

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





WRITER: I wondered how Teddy could care so much for his dad who practically killed him. And I couldn't give a shit about my own dad who hadn't laid a hand on me since I was three and that was eating bleach from under the sink.





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

CHRIS: It's okay, it's okay, man.

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

CHRIS: You saying you wanna go back?

GORDIE: No. Going to see a dead kid, maybe it shouldn't be a party.

VERN: Yeah, like if he's really bad like all cut up with blood and shit all over him; I might have nightmares!

CHRIS: Come on, Vern.

VERN: You know like all guts and eyeballs... jumping ground?

CHRIS: Shut up, Vern.





VINCE: I tell you how they're gonna find him: Ten years from now some hunter's going to the woods taking a leak and wind up pissin' on his bones.

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 --

JACK: Hey what's the big deal? Who cares?

ACE: Will you two just shut the fuck up. If either one of you assholes had two thousand dollars I'd kill you both.





CHRIS: Hey, I got some Winstons. Hawked them from my old man's dresser. One apiece for after supper.

GORDIE: Yeah, that's cool.

CHRIS: Yeah that's when a cigarette tastes best: after supper.





GORDIE: Great. D'you think I'm weird?

CHRIS: Definitely.

GORDIE: No man, seriously. Am I weird?

CHRIS: Yeah. But so what; everybody is weird.





CHRIS: You ready for school?

GORDIE: Yeah.

CHRIS: Junior High. You know what that means. By next June we'll all be split up.

GORDIE: What're you talking about, why would that happen?

CHRIS: It's not gonna be like grammar-school, that's why. You're taking your college courses and me Teddy and Vern will all be in the shop courses with all the rest of the retards making ashtrays and birdhouses. You gonna meet a lot of new guys. Smart guys.

GORDIE: Meet a lot of pussies is what you mean.

CHRIS: No man. Don't say that, don't even think that.

GORDIE: Not going to meet a lot of pussies, forget it!

CHRIS: Well then you're an asshole!

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

CHRIS: It's asshole if your friends drag you down! You hang with us, you'll be just another wise guys with shit for brains.





VERN: You think Mighty Mouse could beat up Superman?

TEDDY: What? Are you cracked?

VERN: Why not? I saw the other day he was carrying five elephants in one hand!

TEDDY: You don't know nothing. Mighty Mouse is a cartoon. Superman is a real guy. No way a cartoon could beat up a real guy.

VERN: Yeah. Maybe you're right. Would be a good fight though.





CHRIS: You could be a real writer someday, Gordie.

GORDIE: Fuck writing! I don't wanna be a writer! It's stupid! It's a stupid wasted time!

CHRIS: That's your dad talking.

GORDIE: Bullshit.

CHRIS: Bulltrue. I know how your dad feels about you, he doesn't give a shit about you. Denny was the one he cared about, and don't try to tell me different! You're just a kid, Gordie.

GORDIE: Oh gee, thanks, dad!

CHRIS: Wish the hell I was your dad. You wouldn't be going around talking about taking these stupid shop courses if I was. It's like God gave you something, man. All those stories that you can make up. An' he said: This is what we got for you, kid, try not to lose it. But kids lose everything unless there's someone there to look after them. And if your parents are too fucked up to do it then maybe I should.





VERN: Come on you guys, let's get moving!

TEDDY: Yeah. By time we get there the kid won't even be dead anymore!





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

CHRIS: We could go down to the route-136-bridge.

TEDDY: What, are you crazy? That's five miles down the river. You walk five miles down the river you gotta walk five miles back. That could take till dark. If we'll go across here we'll get to the same place in ten minutes.

VERN: Yeah. But if a train comes there's nowheres to go.

TEDDY: Well, there isn't? You just jump.

CHRIS: Teddy that's a hundred feet.

VERN: Yeah, Teddy.

TEDDY: Okay. You guys can go round if you want. I'm crossing here. And while you guys are dragging your candy-asses half way across the state and back I'll be waiting for you on the other side, relaxing with my thoughts.

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

TEDDY: You wish.





VERN: I lost the comb.

GORDIE: Forget it, Vern.





GORDIE: TRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIN!





CHRIS: Vern, you better turn yours over.

VERN: 't is the way I'd like to do it.

CHRIS: Fine.

VERN: Oh man! You got any more, Gordie?

GORDIE: Sorry, Vern.

VERN: It's not funny, what am I supposed to eat?

TEDDY: Why don't you eat your dick? It would be a small meal.





GORDIE: Well this kid is our age but he's fat, real fat. He weighs close to one-eighty. But you know it's not his fault it's his glands.

VERN: Oh yeah, my cousin's like that, sincerely. She weighs over three hundred pounds. Supposed to be Thyroid Gland or something. Well I don't know about any Thyroid Glands, but what a blimp. No shit she looks like a Thanksgiving turkey. And you know this one time --

CHRIS: Shut up, Vern.





GORDIE: By the time he was eating his sixth pie, Lardass began to imagine that he wasn't eating pies, he pretended he was eating cowflops and rat guts in blueberry-sauce.

Slowly a sound started to build in Lardass' stomach. A strange and scary sound like a log-truck coming at you at a hundred miles an hour. Suddenly, Lardass opened his mouth. And before Bill Travis knew it he was covered with five pies worth of used blueberries. The women in the audience screamed. Bossman Bob Cormier take one look at Bill Travis and barfed on Principal Wiggins. Principal Wiggins barfed on the lumberjack that was sitting next to him. Mayor Grundy barfed on his wife's tits. But when the smell hit the crowd, that's when Lardass' plan really started to work. Girlfriends barfed on boyfriends. Kids barfed on their parents. A fat lady barfed in her purse. The Donelley twins barfed on each other. And the women's auxiliary barfed all over the benevolent order of antelopes. And Lardass just sat back and enjoyed what he created. A complete and total barforama.





CHRIS, TEDDY AND VERN: Yeah!

CHRIS: Now that was the best, just the best.

VERN: Yeah.

TEDDY: What happened?

GORDIE: What do you mean?

TEDDY: I mean, what happened?

GORDIE: What do you mean what happened, that's the end.

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

GORDIE: I don't know. Maybe he went home and celebrated with a couple of cheeseburgers.

TEDDY: Jeeze. That sucks. Why don't you make it so that Lardass goes home, an' he shoots his father. An' he runs away. An' - an' he joins the Texas-Rangers. How about that?

GORDIE: I - I don't know.

TEDDY: Something good like that.





VERN: I like the ending. The barfing was really good. But there is one thing I didn't understand. Did Lardass have to pay to get into the contest?

GORDIE: No, Vern, they just let him in.

VERN: Oh! Oh great. Great story.





WRITER: We talked into the night. The kind of talk that seemed important until you discover girls.





GORDIE: Alright, alright. Mickey's a mouse. Donald's a duck. Pluto's a dog. What's Goofy?

VERN: If I can only have one food for the rest of my life? That's easy. Pez. Cherryflavoured Pez. No question about it.

TEDDY: Goofy's a dog, he's definitely a dog.

GORDIE: I knew the sixty-four thousand dollars question was fixed. There's no way anybody can know that much about opera.

CHRIS: He can't be a dog. Wears a hat and drives a car.

GORDIE: Wagon Train's a really cool show. But did you ever notice that they never get anywhere? They just keep wagon training.

VERN: God, that's weird. What the hell is Goofy?





WRITER: The freight woke up the other guys and it was on the tip of my tongue to tell them about the deer. But I didn't. That was the one thing I kept to myself. I've never spoken or written about it until just now.





VERN: Jeeze, Gordie. Why couldn't you get some breakfast stuff like twinkies and root beer?

GORDIE: Sorry, Vern. I guess some more experienced shopper could have gotten more for your seven cents.





WRITER: With our stomachs rumbling we pressed on toward the Royal River. The reality of Ray Brower was growing and kept us moving despite the heat. For me, the idea of seeing that kid's dead body was starting to become an obsession.





WRITER: Billy and Charlie had managed to keep their enormous secret for about thirty-six hours, a personal record for both of them. By noon Ace and Eyeball had told their secret to everybody in the gang. I guess for those guys, protecting their mother's good name wasn't a top priority.





ACE: You guys are actin' like my grandmother having a conniption fit. I don't see your problem! We go up with a whole lot of fishing gear and if a cop asks what we're doing there we'll just have to take a couple of steelhead out of the river and look what we found!

VINCE: Yeah, come on, man we're gonna be famous! We're gonna be on every radio/TV show in the country!

BILLY: I still don't think we should go.

ACE: Okay. Okay. You stated your position clearly. Now I'm gonna state mine. Get in the fucking car! Now! Let's go.





VERN: How are we supposed to get across this?

TEDDY: We use you as a raft.

VERN: Very funny.

CHRIS: Hey, it's not that deep, we can walk across.

VERN: I told you we should've stuck to the tracks.

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

VERN: I suppose this is fun for you.

TEDDY: No, but this is!

CHRIS: Come on Teddy, act your age!

TEDDY: This is my age! I'm in the prime of my youth and I'll only be young once!

CHRIS: Yeah, but you're gonna be stupid for the rest of your life.

TEDDY: Oh-oh, Chambers you just signed your own death-warrant! You die, Chambers!





CHRIS: Gordie, man, are you okay? Can you hear me? Gordie, are you there?

VERN: Maybe he's dead.

TEDDY: He's not dead, he's still breathing, you idiot.

VERN: Well I don't know.

CHRIS: Hey, hey. Just cool you guys, he just fainted. Gordie.

VERN: God, I never met anybody who fainted before.

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





WRITER: None of us could breathe. Somewhere under those bushes was the rest of Ray Brower. The train had knocked Ray Brower out of his Keds just like it had knocked the life out of his body. The kid wasn't sick. The kid wasn't sleeping. The kid was dead.





GORDIE: You're not taking him. An' nobody is taking him.

ACE: Come on kid, just give me the gun before you take your foot off. You ain't got the sack to shoot a woodchuck.

GORDIE: Move Ace. I'll kill you I swear to God.

ACE: Come on, LaChance, gimme the gun. You must have at least some of your brother's good sense.

GORDIE: Suck my fat one you cheap dime-store hood.

ACE: Are you going to shoot us all?

GORDIE: No Ace, just you.





CHRIS: Suck my fat one? Who ever told you had a fat one, LaChance?

GORDIE: Biggest one in four counties.

CHRIS: Yeah.

VERN: We're gonna take him.

GORDIE: No.

TEDDY: But we came all this way. We're supposed to be heroes.

GORDIE: Not this way, Teddy.





WRITER: Ray Brower's body was found. But neither our gang nor their gang got the credit. In the end we decided that an anonymous phone call was the best thing to do. We headed home. And although many thoughts raced through our minds we barely spoke. We walked through the night and made it back to Castle Rock a little past five o'clock on Sunday morning, the day before Labor Day. We'd only been gone two days. But somehow the town seemed different. Smaller.





WRITER: As time went on we saw less and less of Teddy and Vern until eventually they became just two more faces in the halls. That happens sometimes. Friends come in and out of your life like busboys in a restaurant. I heard that Vern got married out of High School, had four kids and is now the forklift operator at the Arsenal Lumberyard. Teddy tried several times to get into the Army but his eyes and his ear kept him out. The last I heard, he'd spent some time in jail. He was now doing odd jobs around Castle Rock.





WRITER: Chris did get out. He enrolled in the College courses with me. And although it was hard he gutted it out like he always did. He went on to College and eventually became a lawyer. Last week he entered a fast food restaurant. Just ahead of him, two men got into an argument. One of them pulled a knife. Chris who would always make the best peace tried to break it up. He was stabbed in the throat. He died almost instantly.





Gordon: “Although I haven't seen him in more than ten years I know I'll miss him forever. I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anybody?”









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