I’d never had alcohol, let alone moonshine, and my two friends Todd, the Mayor’s son, and Mark, the Baptist preacher’s son, said they could get us some for our camping trip on the edge of the freshly plowed corn field next to the railroad tracks.
It tasted like rubbing alcohol smelled, the same clear liquid my mom had dabbed on scrapes and cuts my whole life. Mark said if we mixed it with lemon aid, it would go down easier. It didn’t take long before the three of us teens were so lit that we laughed at anything–our History teacher’s panty hose that fell to her knees during a lecture on the Suffragettes, the butcher at the market who rumor was that he’d chopped up a friend he’d had a falling out with and sold him as steak cutlets all wrapped in the frozen section, and Irma at the cleaners for getting people’s clothing all mixed up and giving a petite dress to hulking red headed Fran from the choir at church who had apparently told Irma, “What the hell is this? Some kind of negligee?” The image of Irma in a negligee caused us to fall backwards or sideways from our seated positions on the tarp bottom of the tent.
I don’t recall who had the idea to streak, but the song by Ray Stevens had caused quite a stir among us teens. We didn’t streak at the supermarket, near the gas station, or even at a basketball game like the song, but we shucked our shorts, t shirts, and briefs and headed down the sand road that ran by the railroad tracks steadily jogging and cursing when our feet hit a pebble.
The evening police patrol was surprised when his spotlight saw three white behinds, but when the blue light swirled, we darted off the sand road and hid in some Azaleas until he moved to the next block to check. The next morning, the three of us headed to our homes, told our parents we’d caught colds, and went to bed. After vomiting in the field and having pounding headaches, we had our fill of moonshine and swore it off forever, but we all enjoyed hearing about the streakers from our parents at supper the next evening; they feared they might get a glimpse of the heathens, possibly rapists.
Niles Reddick is author of the novel Drifting too far from the Shore, two collections Reading the Coffee Grounds and Road Kill Art and Other Oddities, and a novella Lead Me Home. His work has been featured in thirteen anthologies, twenty-one countries, and in over three hundred publications including The Saturday Evening Post, PIF, New Reader Magazine, Forth Magazine, The Boston Literary Magazine, Flash Fiction Magazine, and With Painted Words.