Sweat drips down my forehead and slopes down directly into my eyes, it causes a burning sensation that I've been ignoring for the past couple of hours. I'm digging a hole in my back yard, with each pile of dirt I shovel up, I can't help but think that I'm preparing a burial site. If only that were the case, I'd happily dig a six foot ditch for that bearded cockblocking idiot named Bob.
I take one last stab at the earth before turning around to see Mitchell walking towards me and my freshly dug hole.
"I got that load of wood you wanted, where should I dump it?"
I brush off the debris from my hands and motion Mitchell towards the pit.
"Right here will be fine Mitch, are you still coming tonight?"
"Next time you see me I'll have a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other."
Mitch points at his eyes with his index finger extended, "How much did those set you back?"
He's mentioning my sun glasses, the only cover up I have to fully conceal my past drunken endeavours. To forget Bob's handiwork.
"About three hundred dollars."
I see Mitchells gaze is now directed towards Old Spuddy, my cannon of a potato gun.
"You're shooting that off this early in the day?" He asks.
I let out a brief chuckle, "No, no. I'm saving my potatoes for tonight, want to show off my aiming skills. Impress and undress, Amy."
"You're still pining for her after what happened? All I have to say is good luck dude."
With that Mitchell runs towards the driveway and get's into his vehicle, he backs up and I help him unload the firewood. After we're finished Mitchell climbs into the drivers side of his pick up and sets the brake into neutral, he hunches down towards the passengers seat and grabs a container.
"I almost forgot, here's the cornstarch you asked for as well. You're baking for the party I'm assuming?"
"Oh I'll be baking tonight Mitch. You can count on that."
I thank him for his help and promise him a fun time tonight, "Just wait until you see what I have in store for everyone." As he drives off he exclaims, "I can't wait!"
The clanking of beer cases and laughter slowly fill up my house as the night grows darker. The bonfire is raging outside, embers are escalating into the atmosphere. My doors are constantly revolving, much like the old western saloons, patrons coming in and out to fill up thier empties. I feel the impact of a hand come down hard on my lower vertabrae. The bristly texture of a beard scrapes against my neck as he leans in.
"This is one hell of a party, Derek."
I recognize his voice immediately as I turn to face him, "I was wondering if you were ever going to turn up tonight, Bobby."
The smell of his beard is overpowering, a heavy musk rigurously applied by this free loading shit stain burns my nostrils. Spoltches of cheese riddled beer breath eminate from his grizzled mouth as he leans in closer to speak.
"It's Bob, and I wouldn't miss this for anything. Has Amy stopped by yet?"
With the mention of her name I wanted to sucker punch Bobby in the testicles, I wanted to rupture one of em little bastards. He'd be squirming on the ground, tears rolling down into that stupid beard of his. He would look up at me closing in on Amy, I'd begin macking with her in front of him and he'd cry some more.
I refrain from ball busting Bobby and instead I tell him that she hasn't shown up yet, to go ahead and grab a beer and that there's burgers in the kitchen to which he replies.
"What about smores? Amy loves smores."
It's hidden underneath his shit brown beard, but I can still see the outline of his grin. As he makes his way towards the dining table he remarks, "By the way, nice shades."
Clever little prick, I cannot wait until I get him outside. The door swings open and Mitchell comes barging in with his arms full, I nod in his direction.
"Bring them over to the fridge. She needs restocking."
Mitchell tears open the case and begins grabbing the bottled beverages, placing them next to each other in perfect unison like aligning chess pieces on a game board. They all chime with each subtle shift of movement, alerting anyone within hearing distance that there's still plenty to go around. Shortly after he's finished stocking he tells me that Amy's outside.
The firepit's alluring as it illuminates the surrounding area, like moths to light it attracts drunken miscreants. Such as Bobby, who I see conversing with Amy. Both of them sitting near the bonfire, each with a beer in hand. As I approach them, Bobby spots me and begins to rub his eyes and then puts on a surprised reaction for the party goers, the crowd immediately erupts with laughter. Clever little prick.
I wave at Amy, she returns the gesture with a smile and begins walking towards me.
"So are you having fun?" I ask her.
"It's been a blast so far, Bob is super funny tonight! He should be like a comedian or something."
And without notice, another slap comes down hard on my back. Bobby begins chuckling away before asking me, "Why in the hell are you wearing those out here? It's night, jackass!"
He's referring to my eyewear just before he slaps them off my head, they go flying into the air. The trajectory lands them directly into the fire. The drunken people, moths, they begin to laugh while others raise thier cell phones. Snapping up pictures to remember the moment, to remember the stupid look on my face as everyone peered in on my half assed attempt at eyebrows.
Bobby begins to laugh along with the crowd as he asks me,"What the fuck kind of eyebrows are those?"
I start to chuckle, smiling away like a fool, I tell him, "You better not pass out on me, cause I'll return the favor you son of a bitch." I doubt he heard what I said, as he begins prancing around while casually asking if anyone has a pocket mirror for me to use.
I wanted at that very moment to grab Old Spuddy and ruin the surprise for everyone. The only reason why I didn't act on impulse was Amy, she was sitting next to him. After the sneering and mocking fades down, Bobby begins to get too comfortable, as if he's in control of the universe. He makes a cheap joke and then asks Amy to fetch him a beer from the house. She obliges and as she gets up, he smacks her ass, she lets out a giggle and walks away.
I wait until she's out of view and inside the house. Only then do I reach for my loaded spud gun and whistle at Bobby. His eyes meet mine as the words come out of my mouth, "I'm returning the favor, asshole."
I'm sitting directly across from him, seperated by the bonfire. I aim the cylinder tube just above his head and turn the pressure release valve. The potato ejects out of the pipe and with it a plume of cornstarch erupts into the fire and explodes into Bobs dumb struck face. He falls back with the lawn chair grasping his backside, he lies there motionless, legs in air, eyebrows singed off, his beard is alight and smoking.
The camera phones are snapping up another drunken memory as I meet up with Amy, I take the unopened beer out of her hand. I tell her that he won't be needing it at the moment. I twist the cap and take a swig, as I'm walking towards the front steps someone from the crowd yells.
"Put out that god damn beard!"
I imagine Bobby waking up from his dazed stupor, realizing his eyebrows are gone. Embarrased in the same shades as I was, when I passed out on the couch with Amy a week prior. Sure he used a razor and left me unsinged, but well, payback's a bitch.
I'm almost finished with my well earned brew when Mitchell grabs me by the shoulder, he tells me that Bobby is dead. My bottle falls and shatters across the stone tile blocks. I hear the faint sirens in the background, increasing in tone and urgency as they close in on the scene. Moments later a paramedic vehicle rushes past me and Mitchell, towards the burning light, towards Bobby.
Behind them two police cruisers pull in, Amy comes rushing towards the officers, she's crying. She points at me screaming in hysterics resulting in my arrest, the cold touch of handcuffs grapple my wrists together as I'm escorted into the back of a cruiser. Perhaps it was the fact that I was inebriated, but I swear to god I aimed that potato just right, I never intended for it to bust his head open.
"I only wanted to singe his brows."
I would months later, tell the courts.