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.
Sheree Shatsky writes short fiction believing much can be conveyed with a few wild words. She was selected as an AWP Writer to Writer mentee for flash fiction Spring 2018. Recent work has appeared in Defenestration, New Flash Fiction Review, Funny Pearls, Moon Park Review and Flash Flood. Read more at www.shereeshatsky.com. Sheree tweets @talktomememe.