Stephen King’s The Shanking

[INTERIOR, BILLS TEAM HEADQUARTERS]

TERRY PEGULA: Thank you for coming in to interview for the caretaker position. As you know, we generally shut the stadium to the public every January when the playoffs begin, and we like to have someone here to keep an eye on things through those cold winter months. Well, colder winter months.

BLAIR WALSH: It’s my pleasure, Mr. Pegula. I’m really looking forward to this opportunity.

TERRY: Very glad to hear it. We don’t get many people applying for this position, let alone a player from the league. It can get a little…lonely…during the off-season.

BLAIR: Oh yes, Mr. Pegula- I’m actually looking forward to it. I really want to get away from it all, having no distractions and just concentrating on perfecting my kicking game.

TERRY: Well great then! Will you be bringing your family?

BLAIR: No, just my long-snapper and my placeholder.

TERRY: Fair enough. Here are the keys. The snowcat probably has fuel…somewhere. Later!

[INTERIOR, OWNER’S SUITE]

BLAIR: Well guys, here’s our place for the Winter! Isn’t it great?

PUNTER/HOLDER JEFF LOCKE: Yeah. Now, you’re not going to go crazy and kill us all, right?

LONG SNAPPER KEVIN MCDERMOTT: Redrum! Redrum!

BLAIR: Kill you? I would never kill you guys! You’re my buddies! I depend on you. Now, let’s get to practicing!

[EXTERIOR, PLAYING FIELD, 10 YARD LINE]

BLAIR: Again.

JEFF: Again? Jeez, Blair, we’ve been at this for hours. Over and over! We’re done. Right, Kevin?

KEVIN: ¡ɯnɹpəɹ ¡ɯnɹpəɹ

JEFF: See? Kevin’s tired too. And I think you’re getting a little obsessive. I mean, keeping a “kicking journal” about the conditions and results of every single attempt? No one cares about the barometric pressure and how long it had been since your last bowel movement.

BLAIR: Got to get it right. Got to be perfect. Do. It. Again.

JEFF: Ugh. Alright, Kevin, give me another one…

[EXTERIOR, NIGHT, FOG, RALPH WILSON STADIUM PARKING LOT. BLAIR WALKS ALONE]

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 6: Blair Walsh #3 of the Minnesota Vikings warms up prior to an NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks at TCF Bank Stadium December 6, 2015 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Tom Dahlin/Getty Images)

BLAIR: (muttering) Gotta get it right. Gotta be perfect. That’s your job, Blair. That’s your only job. Gotta do it better.

[BLAIR WANDERS THROUGH THE PARKING LOT. THROUGH THE FOG, GHOSTLY IMAGES OF REVELERS IN BLUE JERSEYS AND GODDAWFUL ZUBAZ BEGIN TO BE VISIBLE. BLAIR APPEARS BARELY AWARE OF THE FIGURES]

BLAIR: Gotta be perfect. Gotta find my center. What the hell…?

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BLAIR: Weird. Still, no distractions. Gotta focus.

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BLAIR: Gaaaaah! This shit is getting too strange…

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WELL DRESSED MAN: Don’t worry about them, Blair. They are just…distractions. And you and I both know we must avoid distractions.

BLAIR: Sure. Clear mind, clean kick. Who are you?

WDM: Oh, just someone who understands you. Understands the pressures you are under. [Accepts plate of buffalo wings] Thank you, darling.

GHOSTLY ANCHOR BAR WAITRESS: Any time, Mr. Norwood.

BLAIR: Thank god. I feel like no one else gets it. I mean, Jeff and Kevin are great, but…

WDM: But they do not have the responsibilities you do. They want to quit. They are…distractions. They need…correcting.

[MEANWHILE, IN THE DARKENED OWNER’S SUITE]

JEFF: I’m really worried about Blair. Let’s see what’s so special about this “kicking journal”…

[READS KICKING JOURNAL. IN NEAT, TIDY ROWS, IT JUST SAYS “ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES BLAIR SHANK IT LEFT. ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES BLAIR SHANK IT LEFT.”]

JEFF: Oh no…

KEVIN: Redrum?

JEFF: We have to get out of here!

[BANGING STARTS ON OWNER’S SUITE DOOR.  A CLEAT BREAKS THROUGH THE WOOD, REPLACED BY BLAIR’S FACE]

BLAIR: Heeeeere’s Ziggggy!

JEFF: Quick, Kevin, use your special power to psychically contact help!

KEVIN: REDR…what the fuck do you think I am, the Amazing Kreskin? Use the damned cell phone!

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[JEFF AND KEVIN RUN OUT ONTO THE SNOW-COVERED FIELD, PURSUED BY A DERANGED-LOOKING BLAIR]

JEFF: Don’t do this, Blair! Calm down!

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BLAIR: Give me the snap, Jeff. Give me the snap. Give me the snapsnapsnap.

[KEVIN SNAPS A BALL INTO BLAIR’S HEAD, KNOCKING HIM OUT.]

JEFF: Thank god. Let’s get out of here…

KEVIN: Can I have my rum now?

[OUTDOORS, NEXT MORNING]

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[INTERIOR, BILLS HEADQUARTERS]

TERRY: Real shame about Blaine.

FLUNKY: Blair, sir.

TERRY: Whatever. He was never quite the shame after that NFC Championship game miss. Damn shame.

FLUNKY: At least he wasn’t OUR kicker, sir.

TERRY: Damn right you are, Smith!

FLUNKY: Patrowski, sir.

TERRY: Whatever. Go get me a bourbon, will you?

[CAMERA PANS TO WALL OF PEGULA’S OFFICE, WHICH INCLUDES EVERY TEAM PORTRAIT SINCE 1960.]

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[CAMERA ZOOMS IN ON A SINGLE FACE]

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FIN

The Right Reverend Electric Mayhem

The Right Reverend Electric Mayhem

Feared conqueror; scholar; poet; revered holy man; professional raconteur; soldier of fortune; gentle yet thorough lover; bandit; blazing gypsy speedboat. I have been called most of these things.
The Right Reverend Electric Mayhem

Latest posts by The Right Reverend Electric Mayhem (see all)

The Right Reverend Electric Mayhem
The Right Reverend Electric Mayhem
Feared conqueror; scholar; poet; revered holy man; professional raconteur; soldier of fortune; gentle yet thorough lover; bandit; blazing gypsy speedboat. I have been called most of these things.

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Old School Zero
Member

I just printed off this story and fucked the shit out of it. It’s now totally pregnant. Well done, sir.

blaxabbath
Member

#UpForKevining is my favorite tag here. Who is the top #Kevin prospect in the 2017 draft? We need to follow that kid’s career closely.

::Checks Walter Football::

“WHO THE FUCK IS KEVIN MANZIEL??”

BrettFavresColonoscopy
Member

THIS STORY HERE I CALL IT ADAM VINATIERI BECAUSE IT NAILED IT RIGHT BETWEEN THE UPRIGHTS

entropy
Member

The story was scary enough, then you had to include the pic of Bills fans reproducing in the goddam parking lot….

Beerguyrob
Member

I guess for Bills fans the appropriate King book would be “Misery”.

entropy
Member

I was going to suggest that would be better for Browns fans, but “Misery” has a lot of snow, which you don’t really associate with Cleveland.

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