It was another fucking dull night, nothing happening, so we decided to hurl eggs at things, this being our sort of default activity in the absence of parties or shows or anything else better to do, this and prank phone calls. Things were patched up with Scott, which is to say no one acknowledged his attempt to seduce Eddie’s sister while hanging from a tree branch just outside her second-story bedroom window, although I did wink at him and lick my lips a few times, eliciting a few flinches, but nothing bubbled over into outright mockery.

Scott plays the most critical role in these missions, apart from the eggs themselves, as his house faces one of Menasha’s main thoroughfares, and his driveway forms a nice sector of fire through which to engage passing cars with high-velocity eggs. Spotters are deployed in neighboring driveways; they raise and drop their hands as fire commands, and the gunners hurl eggs straight down the pocket and into traffic, usually scoring direct hits against car doors.

It’s late, or rather very early; bar time, and though traffic will be sparse, the prospect of a forced DUI collision is high. We eagerly take our positions.

A small white truck approaches. I wait for Eddie to signal, then launch the egg right down the pipe.


Holy fuck, totally solid strike, sounding like someone had fired a shotgun slug into a tin plate.

The truck locks up its brakes, skitters and swerves and yaws, momentarily causing me to worry that this guy might not make it out of here in one piece, perhaps colliding with a house and getting toasted in a massive fireball. He skids into a telephone pole with a hefty crump. He’s, bizarrely, out the door of the truck and beelining toward us so quickly I didn’t even notice.

“Dude, fuckin’ go; go!” someone screams frantically, and we tear down Scott’s driveway toward the backyard. There are not many egress options from this point, something I’d never planned for since we’d never been counterattacked before tonight. I’m last in line and the guy’s right on my heels. I can hear him gurgling and snorting and huffing.

As our retreat winds through the backyards, we enter the property of the church. There’s some sort of massive puddle covering the dead lawn, pooled around the playground toys and obstacles. Everyone else breaks to the west. I decide to try and tear right through it, hoping it’ll slow or stop the guy in the truck.

I immediately slip and fall, then skid about 20 feet; it’s a gigantic mud slick, probably a months-long watering effort to restore verdant life to this dead landscape. My friends stop at the opposite edge, at the building’s service entrance, next to some trash cans, and start encouraging me, laughing as I struggle to free myself from the gloop.

come on dude fuckin’ hurry he’s almost here

My pursuer reaches the slick and fares the same way I do, falling and sliding into it quite a ways, and as he tries to right himself, he starts swiping at me, trying to grab at me, merely feet away, closing in as I try to crawl.

“Dude, fuckin’ hurry,” Scott says. “He’s almost got you.”

They laugh some more as I look back to see the driver just inches from my foot. I hear this gong sound behind me and roll back over to see the guy’s no longer conscious after a trash can lid thrown like a Frisbee by Scott goes bouncing off his head. He rolls onto his back in the mud.

“Holy fuckin’ shit, dude,” Eddie says.

“That dude is dead,” says Jeff.

The guy is utterly still for a moment, then suddenly starts breathing in gasping snorts and snores at ten-second intervals and shaking like he’s having a seizure. The guys start laughing again.

“Dude, are you fuckin’ okay?” I ask the guy, and he just continues to snore in gasps.

“Get his wallet,” Scott says.

“You get his fuckin’ wallet,” I reply.

“You’re already covered in fuckin’ shit man,” he says. “Just reach over and get it.”

A screen door swings open somewhere and an outdoor light comes on. My friends slip off through the night, skittering away hunched over as I’m finally pulling myself free of the slick.

I look back at the man, hearing the building commotion of neighbors in bathrobes and nightgowns examining the truck or wandering through the backyards looking for the source of the gong, and I start to slink off to the north, entirely covered in mud.

“Keep it necro,” I whisper to the man as I depart.