Late Friday Night by Keith Kitchen

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SUMMARY: Bill and Pete were doing what they enjoyed best as the weekend began: Partying. Yet, fate had a surprise in store for them as a pair of unexpected visitors arrived with a strange request of the two friends.

Bill Mattering's house sat along a side road about ten miles North of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, off a side road that made the house appear far more inaccessible than it really was. It was about half a mile from the main road, which in itself was an offshoot of Old Route 220, a major thruway during the 1950's and ‘60's, but relegated to more minor use after the Interstates were put in. It was an old, renovated farm house with a fresh coat of white paint that was more slapped on than done properly. The house faced East with the side road running North/South about twenty feet from the front porch. The grass was long, but not overly so, in need of being cut, but not quite ready to go to seed quite yet. The sun had gone down an hour or so earlier and Bill was sitting on the porch swing with his friend, Pete Whitley. They had both just cracked open a beer and Bill was rolling a joint on a small, plastic tray. There was no work the next day for either of them as the next day was Saturday. It was Friday night.

Bill was fairly tall, nearly six—two, wore his brown hair cropped short, sported a mustache and a smile. A radio salesman, his gray-green eyes always seemed to be smiling as well, especially when talking. Pete was shorter, closer to five-eleven, with long, blonde hair, blue eyes, a clean shaven face and almost always wore a serious look on his face. A law-school dropout currently working as a DJ for the same local radio station that Bill was selling air-time for, Pete was the type of person who seemingly could not shut up once he started talking, although he really didn't talk all that much. People only thought he talked a lot simply because he didn't say very much.

Bill finished rolling the joint and passed it to Pete, who lit it, took a deep toke and pass it back to Bill. Bill took the joint and inhaled deeply. "This one's for Bill and Hillary," Pete said, a chuckle in his voice. Bill tried unsuccessfully to hold his hit but couldn't and started coughing loudly, a cloud of smoke bellowing out of his mouth. Pete took the joint, took as much as he could but couldn't hold it and started coughing before Bill had stopped.

"Man," Pete breathed when he finally stopped coughing. "That is good stuff."

"Works for me," Bill agreed. "It should be good, anyway, after what I paid for it. It's getting harder and harder to get good pot, you know."

"Don't I know it. Then again, no sense in buying lousy dope."

"Hell, it's getting harder and harder just to find it around here. Nobody wants to sell it to you unless they know you. On the TV they tell you its such a problem, but you can barely find it around here and when you do, you pay out the ass. When I first started smoking pot, you could get a full five-finger ounce for twenty dollars. Now, you pay nearly a hundred goddamned dollars and barely get a solid eighth of an ounce. It's a damned crime, if you ask me."

"That's the problem, you know, Bill," Pete observed. "It is a crime."

"Oh, yeah, it is illegal, isn't it?" Bill and Pete both started laughing.

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