High School Honey
by Bill Bowler
|Table of Contents|
|Chapter 20: The Big Party|
No one knew who was giving the party but everyone was going. Shirley didn’t know the name, but she knew the address. She said if you followed Main St. into Pasquanack, took the overpass over the Garden State Parkway and then the first left, you should see the cars parked and hear the party.
Floater picked up Flea around 11:00 pm in his black Galaxy with the red interior, top down. They followed Shirley’s directions and, sure enough, found a big crowd of kids congregated on the front lawn of a house in the middle of the block with a long line of cars parked on both sides of the street. Loud music blared from the windows. Floater cruised past the crowd, checking out the scene, then made a u-turn. Someone was pulling out of a good spot at the curb right in front of the house.
Nick stood on the lawn near the edge of the crowd and watched Floater park the car with Flea in the passenger seat. Flea had got the best of Nick twice, once when Flea broke Nick’s nose at the dance, and again at Honey’s when Flea pulled the knife on him. There wasn’t going to be a third time. Nick turned and slipped into the crowd.
Flea and Floater climbed out of the car and came across the lawn. They recognized a few familiar faces of Brookbank High students but most of the people were strangers. When the two boys entered the house, partygoers crowded near the front door cast inquisitive glances at the newcomers, checking to see if any cute girls were arriving.
“Where’s the party?” asked Floater as they walked in. That got a few yucks.
Floater walked up to a kid holding a tall drink. “This must be the place. Where’s the bar?”
The kid nodded towards a doorway. Flea and Floater walked through and into the kitchen. A dozen bottles of booze stood on the counter with an ice bucket and mixers. Flea opened the refrigerator. It was full of beer. He grabbed a brewsky while Floater moved into the dining room, where cold cuts and salads were spread out on the table, and made himself a hero sandwich.
The two friends wandered upstairs and down a hall to the opposite end of the house. They passed a line of people waiting to use the bathroom, and Flea opened a door at random. A couple was making out on top of a big pile of coats on a double bed.
Flea closed the door and Floater opened another one across the hall. This room was full of sweet, acrid smoke. Someone passed a joint to Floater. He took a deep drag and coughed violently.
Within minutes, Floater was back in the kitchen, mixing drinks and telling dirty jokes to a group of admiring girls who were laughing loudly. Flea cruised to the back patio to check out the keg of beer set up by the pool.
Outside on the front lawn, Nick emerged from the crowd, took a swig from a bottle of Jim Beam, and walked to the curb where Floater’s Galaxy was parked.
Nick leaned against the car for a moment, then took a switchblade from his pocket and slashed the red upholstery on the passenger seat. He proceeded to scratch long, deep lines through the paint along the side of the car and across the hood. Then he knelt down and slashed the right front tire. It deflated with a hiss.
By this time, Floater had lost his audience in the kitchen and wandered off in search of adventure. He opened a door and some poor guy was puking his guts out in the bathroom with most of it going in the toilet bowl. Floater pushed on through the living room, up the stairs, down the hall, and finally, reached the den.
When Flea found him later, Floater was sprawled in a leather chair, drunk, recording a string of obscenities on the homeowner’s reel-to-reel tape deck. Flea noticed a partygoer pocketing a calculator from the homeowner’s desk, and another leaving the room with a portable typewriter under his arm.
Floater stood up unsteadily from the chair. “Hey, Flea! Check it out, I can reach the ceiling!”
Floater laughed and jumped, and punched a hole through the low paneled ceiling.
Flea grabbed Floater by the arm. “You should take it easy.”
“Awww,” mumbled Floater, “I’m just having a little fun.”
The two boys descended the stairs, passed through the kitchen, where partygoers were stealing the liquor, and made their way towards the door to the back yard.
Flea caught sight of Honey through the bay window. She was on the back patio with Shirley talking to some boys, and their voices carried through the open window. As Flea watched, Nick came around the side of the house to the patio. Flea stopped by the window to watch and listen.
“I left my cigs in the car,” said Floater. “I’ll be back in a minute.”
Outside on the patio, Nick walked up to Honey. “Hello, sugar. You been looking for me?”
Nick took her by the arm. “C’mere, I wanna talk to you.”
Honey tried to yank her arm free. “Let go of me.”
“Shut up and listen for once.”
Honey struggled to free herself. “Just stay away from me! You’re hurting me, Nick!”
“Take your hands off her!” Shirley yelled.
“You stay out of this,” growled Nick, and pushed Shirley to the side. He started to drag Honey around the side of the house. “I just wanna talk to you in private.”
“Let go of me!!” Honey yelled and kicked him. He slapped her hard across the mouth.
It must have been around that time that one of the neighbors called the cops.
Out front, Floater had gone to his car and discovered the slashed seat, the scratched doors and hood, and the flat tire. His beautiful Galaxy! Heartsick, he opened the trunk, pulled out the spare tire, and jacked up the car.
Just as he got the flat off the rim, Floater heard a commotion and saw Nick dragging Honey from around the back of the house. Honey was struggling in his grasp and Shirley was chasing them. Flea came out the front door.
Floater, leaving the car jacked up, ran towards Nick swinging the tire iron. Nick let go of Honey, ducked, and punched Floater in the stomach. Floater went down.
Flea was coming across the front lawn, and Nick pulled out his switchblade. Flea circled towards Floater’s car, thinking to flank Nick. Nick lunged; Flea sidestepped; and Nick fell against the elevated jack.
Floater’s Galaxy came down on Nick’s leg with a sickening thud. Nick screamed and writhed in pain but could not extricate his leg from under the rim.
A squad car with the light flashing pulled up in front of the house, and Jack Baer and his partner got out.
When he saw the cops, Flea’s first impulse was to run. He could have made it, too. But he saw the blood streaming from Nick’s crushed leg and heard Nick screaming from the pain.
Flea grasped the bumper in his powerful hands. He took a deep breath, and with a groan that turned to a roar, with every vein on his biceps bulging, Flea managed to lift the Galaxy a few inches in the air, enough for Honey and Shirley to pull Nick quickly from underneath.
Flea dropped the car with a grunt as Office Baer put his hand on Flea’s shoulder.
Copyright © 2010 by Bill Bowler