The body was sprawled on the floor of the shed and we kicked it, just gently under the table as I sautéed the tongue in oil in a skillet I happened to have in the trunk of my car. There was an old hot plate in the shed. Luckily it still worked and I split the tongue down the middle and served a portion to Doug, he asked how long Andy would be out. “The drug will last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, it’s just a small animal tranquilizer,” I said. I had cut Andy’s tongue out first, then sliced a chunk out of each of his cheeks (the best part) and I tossed those onto the sizzling cast iron. Andy was face down, his shoulder length blondish gray hair was soaked with blood and the bald spot on the top of his head caught the reflection of the single swinging light bulb that hung above our heads. The dirty yellow glow illuminated the old shack and our jagged shadows were long and seemed to intertwine in fits of dark rage. The coach had kept an old army cot in here where he slept when his wife finally tossed him out on his ass when we were in our senior year, and, lucky for us, the hot plate.
I thought about pathetic old coach Hawkins, hunched over his hot plate in here at night back in ’88, frying up bologna. He was a fucking prick, long dead or it would have been him on the floor, cheek-less, instead of poor Andy. This was far from a premeditated act, Andy just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Doug was sawing at the tongue, shoveling forkfuls into his mouth, shivering from the cold, his knit cap covering his bald head. We were all bald. Well, most of us. Ten years ago we were the long hairs, hanging out behind the bleachers getting high before first period, sometimes me Doug and Andy. It’s funny the directions life takes you, the peculiar little roads you go down.
Andy started to stir. Tongueless, his cries were muffled but I grabbed and old dusty roll of duct tape off the shelf and wrapped it around his head a few times, covering his mouth, then tossed it to Doug, who had his knee firmly planted between Andy’s shoulder blades, holding him down. He taped his wrists together behind his back. I told him not to turn him over, to keep him face down. I didn’t want to see Andy’s face, I felt bad. I had nothing against the guy. We cooked up the cheeks and then made our way back to the party. I had to get a change of clothes out of my car since the episode in the shack had been a bit messy and we took a few minutes to wash up in the first floor bathroom before returning to the dance in the gymnasium. This was the best time I’d had in a coon’s age, my blood lust satiated for the moment, eighties music blasting from the old PA system in the gym, I felt nostalgic. And she was there, Angela Edison, I used to call her my angel. She was dancing with one of the guys who organized this thing, Donald Bradley. He was a pudgy old guy now, time had taken a toll. But Angela still looked the same to me, same as the night we danced awkwardly in this same gym, twenty years ago. She had on a blue dress that brought out her eyes, her dark hair flowed as she whirled around on the dance floor to the crappy music and I looked away for a second when she caught my eye.
I walked over to the bar and ordered a vodka on the rocks and downed it. I said, I made my way through the crowd and tapped Donald on the shoulder. “May I cut in?” I said politely. “What?” he yelled. I raised my voice. “May I cut in!” I shouted as I shoved him out of the way when she wasn’t looking. She smiled when she saw me but there was no point in chit-chat, the music was too loud. Up close she looked tired, crows feet at the corners of her eyes. Deep frown lines cracked her face. I knew she’d been divorced, stuck with a couple of kids. I took her hand and led her through the crowd and out through the big double doors. We walked through the parking lot toward the football field, laughing and joking just like old times. She was a sweet girl, same as always. There was a banging coming from the shed behind the athletic building and I remembered what I had done. What Doug and I had done. Angela noticed. “What the fuck was that?” she asked. I could see the concern on her face, more than concern, it was fear. “Ah, probably just some ol’ raccoon, looking for food in the old shed,” I said. I took her by the hand. “C’mon, let’s go check it out, it might be trapped in there. She came along reluctantly, muttering something about being afraid, or maybe I was dragging her, who knows. I flung open the door to the shed and there he was, old cheek-less Andy, wide eyed and bleeding. Angela let out a scream before I could cover her mouth and shove her inside. I quickly shut the door behind us.