Pete stormed out of the house, slamming the door behind him. He started his truck, grinding gears as he distanced himself from his parent’s farm. “Damned cows,” he muttered, opening up his flask. After a shot that made him grimace, he turned down a road barely visible to someone who didn’t know it was there. After taking another pull of whiskey, he felt the tension start to leave him. The truck slowed as he neared a creek. He stopped the truck and poured some more whiskey into his flask. After changing into a pair of shorts, he trotted down a well worn path. Hearing splashing and shouts ahead, he quickened his pace.
Suddenly a stick appeared in his path. Going too fast to stop, he tried to jump over it, but it moved with him, knocking him over. With the wind knocked out of him, he watched as Thomas Walton, an All-State quarterback from his high school, strolled over and took a swig from his flask. Wiping his lips, he smiled,“Good stuff you got here Pete, ‘preciate it.” Pete saw everyone else, his buddies Tom and Rock and some of the football team, move out of the way as Thomas sauntered by and jumped off the bank. “Water feels good Pete, come on in,” he said. Pete gingerly stood up, trying to see if he was knocked up anywhere. “What the hell is he doin’ here?” he asked Tom and Rock, who had sidled over to him. “Just showed up with those other shitheads,” Rock said. “Lemme get a pull of that.” Handing him the flask, Tom motioned for them to follow him.
Back at the truck, the trio sat on the shade side and passed the flask around till it was empty. “How’d they find out about this swimmin’ hole?” Pete asked. “Followed us,” Rock grimaced, “ Fore you got here, Thomas was braggin’ bout how he was gonna bring Julie out here Friday night after the prom.” Pete’s face tightened, “he asked her yet?” “Nah, but everyone knows they’re gonna go together,” Rock said. “The hell with prom, ain’t none of us got a date anyway,” said Tom, “You ask your folks about fishin’ Saturday?” “Yeah, they said I gotta help move the damn cows to the south pasture..it’ll take all day,” Pete said.
“Well, if this ain’t gonna be a dud of a weekend,” muttered Rock, “mebbe we can get us some dates for the prom…ya’ll got any ideas?” “Rock,” said Tom, “you know there’s not a girl in school that’ll go with us after we threw that dead skunk in the girl’s locker room.” “That was funny as hell though,” Rock said. “Ya’ll shut up for a second,” Pete interjected, “I’ve got an idea. How’d ya’ll like to go fishing Saturday with Julie and her two tagalongs…after we take ‘em to prom?” “Becky and Amber?” Rock asked, nearly drooling at the mouth, “hell yeah..” “Yeah, and how about you get Thomas to eat cow crap while yer at it,” Tom said disgustedly. “Almost…he’s gonna be helpin’ Pop drive those cows to the south pasture while we’re helpin’ those broads rub on sunscreen,” said Pete. “Whoa…yer serious aren’t ya?” asked an astonished Rock, “How you gonna do that?” Hearing Thomas and company traipsing back to them, Pete whispered, “You’ll see.”
“Water too cold for you women?” Thomas laughed as he approached them. “It was kinda polluted today,” Rock quipped, moving closer to Pete. Thomas bristled, then relaxed as Pete said, “Hey Thomas, I’ve got a proposition for ya.” Curious, Thomas edged closer, “What?” “If Julie goes with me to the prom, you gotta help my pops move cows Saturday.” After a stunned silence, Thomas and his cronies cracked up. “Right on,” Thomas said, “and what about if she goes with me?” “I’ll streak around the gym three times at prom,” Pete said, serious. Now roaring with laughter, Thomas and his buddies nearly fell over. “That whiskey has gone to yer head kid,” said one of them. Thomas shook his head, grinning, and shook Pete’s hand. “Deal,” he said. As Thomas and his followers walked away, Rock and Tom turned to Pete, unable to speak.