Quack Up

by | Oct 15, 2019 | Fiction, Issue Eleven

    I watch Drake whip it to the rock band Devo. Twenty years out of high school, he still looks the same, a duck of a man, wide and squat with a bill of a face. The truth is, I can’t remember him looking like anything other than a duck, except for the time  he took to wearing strands upon strands of puka shell chokers tight around his neck, changing up his ducky look for long-necked goose elegance.  Kids whisper-slammed Drake like a bad urban myth—he smelled like pond scum, his feet were webbed and the only reason his hands looked human was because after all, he was only a half-ass half-duck.  I can never quite remember, but I think gym class was the first time I noticed Drake’s duckiness, when he didn’t change out of his street shoes into sneakers, but at some point, I began to believe the duck callers, to believe Drake was indeed a duck.  Besides, any guy who plays basketball wearing slick loafers has something to hide.

    Drake slips outside and I follow, closing the door on the class reunion partiers. He waddles to the fish pond out front of the hotel and dunks his entire head into the shallows. Up he pops, a Kohaku koi wriggling in his duck face. He sees me and smiles, the awkward I’m busted with a flipping fish in me beak kind of smile.  With a single toss, he whips back the koi, whips it good, swallowing it gullet whole in one fell swoop.

Read more Fiction | Issue Eleven

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