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Gravity Duck

In retrospect, if we had known that he was packing a piece, we probably would have behaved better.

Story by James Bezerra - jamiebezerra@yahoo.com Photos by Muge Karamanci
Photo ©  Muge Karamanci

Photo © Muge Karamanci

THE ASSHOLE
If we had known how well-connected he was, we probably would have been nicer to that duck. But at the time, we just thought that he was a duck, so we said stuff like, Come ‘ere ducky ducky ducky, c’mere and you can have some of this bread… Ha! Fucker, no bread for you! We used to kinda be assholes like that.

THE DUCK
I had just landed. Due to logistical constraints I’d been placed inside of a duck for the trip. It was a regrettable inconvenience but an unavoidable one. I was to meet The Contact in the Park of Earth’s New York City. A band of natives in leather jackets offered me bread, I approached them to thank them but decline. Then one of them kicked me.

THE ASSHOLE
In retrospect, if we had known that he was packing a piece, we probably would have behaved better.

THE CONTACT
I had just been let in on The Gravity Situation a few days before. That’s what we called it, ‘The Gravity Situation’. I asked at the time why we didn’t give it a more obscure name, given that the situation actually was about gravity, but then my boss on the American delegation to the United Nations – his name was Feltzwater – said, “It’s not like we’re calling it ‘The Holy Shit, We’re About To Run Out Of Gravity Situation!’ That was a valid point.

Photo ©  Muge Karamanci

Photo © Muge Karamanci

The day of, they sent a bunch of us to comb Central Park because we’d gotten a communiqué – actually just a message from a normal-looking gmail account – saying that their emissary would be arriving in the afternoon. And that he would be a duck.

I had long since given up being surprised by things, so I was dutifully walking around The Ramble kicking stones and looking for any unusual ducks. That’s when I saw it happen; a teenager in a faux-greaser leather-and-pomade getup kicked this little duck with his boot. The duck went a foot in the air and landed with a gravely thud. The greaser kid and his buddies yucked it up, until the duck got his balance back, pivoted toward them, lifted one of his wings and then … well, I guess – to put it plainly – vaporized the kid. This white and blue beam shot out from under the duck’s wing and then that was it. The kid just ceased to be there anymore.

THE ASSHOLE
Yeah, so that fucking duck murdered Ralphie.

THE COP
We’d been having problems with the Greasers in the Park. They were kids from the West Side with too much of mommy and daddy’s money and big old chips on their shoulders. I always thought that they looked kinda queer and I used to holler at’em, “Hey fucking Ponyboy! Stop running or I’m gonna shoot you to death.” But they never stopped running. We worked so hard to clean up this city and then wouldn’t ya know it, the fuck’en white kids start causing problems.

Photo ©  Muge Karamanci

Photo © Muge Karamanci

Anyway, I was riding my horse, Coffee, along the edge of The Ramble when I heard them cackling and when I looked, I saw one of them fucken’ boot this duck right in the ass. Well I yanked out my sidearm and I was about to gallop up on their asses when the fucking duck whips around and just like that! ZAP! Fucking nukes the kid. So I spurred Coffee and charged toward the whole scene.

THE DUCK
A horse-mounted authority figure approached me at high speed at that point and, being in a fragile duck body and threatened by the large, hard hooves, I had no choice but to act preemptively.

THE CONTACT
At that point I was a little concerned about the ramifications of an interstellar gravity-dealer killing a teenager, but I’m not really given to running, so I started walking over toward them at a pretty good clip, when this horse cop comes charging down on the kids and the duck. I would have been frightened too, so I don’t blame the duck.

THE ASSHOLE
Then this cop shows up, he’s riding a horse and the duck fucking kills the horse too.

Photo ©  Muge Karamanci

Photo © Muge Karamanci

THE COP
I saw the duck turn toward me and Coffee and before I knew it there was a bright light and a wave of heat and then I landed hard, face-first in the dirt with my mouth open and my nose broke and I slid. My thighs were fucken’ burning up and I could hear my own skin sizzling. I was groanin’ into the ground and, at first, I didn’t realize that I’d lost hold of my sidearm.

THE ASSHOLE
The cop’s gun flew through the air when the horse got hit with the duck’s heater. The cop ate shit and the gun landed almost at my feet, so I bent down and grabbed it and I was picking it up and thinking of something to say, like, Eat lead Daffy! or Fuck you, you duck!, when this dude – a total square in a jerk-suit – comes walking up like he was out for a Sunday stroll and said, If you shoot that duck the entire world is going to die.

THE CONTACT
Technically it violated protocol to tell that kid anything about The Gravity Situation, but I figured that under the circumstances it might be worth the risk.

Photo ©  Muge Karamanci

Photo © Muge Karamanci

THE DUCK
Luckily The Contact arrived just then. He was in a human body and a well-tailored – if cheap – three piece suit. The suit was a soothing shade of brown not unlike my feathers and it made me trust him immediately.

THE COP
When I rolled myself onto my back, I could feel layers of skin sticking to the ground and peeling off my thighs. I mashed my teeth hard and thought of Coffee. Poor fucken’ Coffee. Most of my pants were melted off, but I still had my holdout piece – a pretty little .38 special – strapped to my ankle. I leaned down to it and it felt like fire, but I yanked it out and pointed it at the fuckin’ duck. “Put your fucken’ hands in the air!” I yelled at him.

THE DUCK
I had only been in the duck body a very brief amount of time, but was certain that I did not have what the humans refer to as ‘hands’, so I turned, ready to atomize the authority figure, when The Contact stepped past me to engage in conversation.

THE ASSHOLE
The square in the suit stepped right up in front of the cop’s gun and said, “Excuse me, but I work for the United Nations and I’m here to save your ass.” It was simply the coolest thing that I had ever seen up until that point in my life and I think of him now every time I put on a blazer.

Photo ©  Muge Karamanci

Photo © Muge Karamanci

THE CONTACT
I don’t ordinarily raise my voice, and almost never to the police, but sometimes these things have to be done. The fate of the world was at stake after all, so I felt it was warranted.

THE COP
“Who the fuck are you?” I yelled at the guy and – I’ll never forget – he said, “I’m just the guy who is here to make sure that this duck gets over to the UN and renews our gravity lease. So could you stop pointing that at me?” So I lowered my weapon. I mean, who can argue with that?

THE ASSHOLE
Then the square in the suit scooped up the duck under his arm and started walking off toward Fifth Avenue, I guess to catch a cab. So it was just me and the Cop and his legs were still kinda smoking and he smelled like burnt hair. He looked at me and I looked at him and then I offered him his gun back. He took it and said, thanks.

Photo ©  Muge Karamanci

Photo © Muge Karamanci

THE CONTACT
I carried the duck across the Park and we caught a cab at 76th and Fifth. The cabbie said that he wasn’t going to be getaway driver for a duck-heist, so I showed him my UN badge and told him that the duck was a gift for the Canadian ambassador. The cabbie seemed to find this reasonable and drove us up to the United Nations building at 46th and First. I delivered the duck directly onto the floor of the General Assembly, which was in emergency session.

THE DUCK
I explained to the human leaders that in the future, they should not wait so long to pay their gravity bill, as we nearly had to turn it off. They seemed appropriately embarrassed. We were able to work out a payment plan for their past due balance.

THE CONTACT
My boss Feltzwater let me take the rest of the day off, seeing as how I had basically saved the entire planet.

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