Ever heard of them? I didn't think so... if you were so or unlucky to hear of this malicious group; you were likely a college student familiar with other prostitution rings like Pizza Gate. Since then, me, and every other conspiracist stopped having pizza delivered to our parties. This, however, is no conspiracy bleeding falsehood and apprehension. Instead, it is very real and a threat to every male and female on campus. Females especially. They target such individuals when they come home drunk from parties, stumbling into their rooms. Or even at the parties themselves. So I warn you, NEVER go out alone. Never wear that slutty costume you were thinking of breaking out for the holidays. Never...
" Hey buddy, how's that blog of yours coming along? "
" Good, until you interrupted me. "
" Wow, there goes your one reader. "
I roll my eyes as I turn around in my spinning chair, resting my arm on the back of it.
" Weren't you gonna be at that Halloween party tonight? "
My roommate, John, plops down on his side of the room on his bed that rattles underneath him.
" I was until the campus shut it down in worries of, " The fraternal Omen " or whatever.
He tosses a rubber football on his nightstand into the air, catching it and throwing it up once more. I stand up and bury my hands in my pockets, tossing back my long brown hair.
" Hey man, they're no joke. Just last week, Stacey went missing when she went to that frat party. "
He tosses up the football and I catch it before it falls into his hands.
" Her fault for going to a frat party. You know how she is. "
I catch the ball after tossing it to myself and set it on the nightstand.
" No, man, please enlighten me. "
I lean against the nightstand and cross my arms.
" You know... she was kind of. He sits up and bends over, whispering.
"Kind of slutty. I mean, she's probably having her brains f-ed out as we speak. "
" Or her brains are lying on the floor somewhere. "
He stands aside from the bed in front of me, raising his arms.
" Woah man... not cool. Besides, didn't have a crush on her or whatever. He makes his way over to our mini-fridge. "
I put my hands in my pockets as I awkwardly rock back and forth.
" Well, it turns out if you're not a frat stud, she won't give you the time of day. "
John opens the fridge, littered with bottles of beer, and retrieves one. Twisting off the top and letting it fall aside him. It bubbles up, and he quickly takes a sip, sucking in all the bubbles as they spill over.
" He dots his head off to the side with a knowing look then removes his lips from the bottle's lip.
"Guess you're right. Think I have a chance? "
I pick the football from the nightstand and throw it at him. His beer bottle falls to the floor, shattering into a thousand pieces. Just then, we hear banging on the door.
"Hey! You better not have contraband alcohol in there. "
" Damn, it's the RA. "
" Hide the beer."
John grabs the six-pack out of the fridge and hides it under his blanket while I sweep the shards under the rug.
" Open up right now, or you both are out of here!"
John jumps over me like a hurdle and opens the door a crack. I quickly rise to my feet and throw the broom to my side. Just outside, three men stand in robes.
" What the hell? "
" So, do you have contraband alcohol? "
" Why? You're not the RA. "
" Because... if you want to become a brother, we're gonna need some beer! "
He throws off his hood, and his minions follow suit. Revealing the leaders of the campus's frat that was suspected of being the cult until every member had a private interview. John had been trying to join for the past three years and here they are. Standing at our door.
John walks back in with them and throws off his blanket. Exposing a half-naked college student, hog-tied with a cloth tied around her mouth. She is crying eyeliner, and she shrills out. Causing Johnny to fall on his ass in fear.
" Ah! "
"What's wrong man?"
The frat leader asks in a Californian surfer tone.
Johnny sits up and looks at the bed. However, all that lays there now is his beer.
" Pssh, already a Junior and he's scared of drinking. "
The group breaks out in laughter. The leader raises his hand, and a silence falls upon the room.
" Maybe we were wrong. Maybe you're not ready. "
" Oh yeah, well, those are some pretty messed up costumes you got there. "
A tick forms on the end of his lips.
" Precisely. "
John slowly rises to his feet.
" You know, they already think you guys did it. "
The leader hides his hands in his long, draping sleeves.
" Did what? The only thing we're guilt of is showing Stacey a good time before her.. accident. "
"You mother... "
I approach him with a fist raised and face clenched, but John holds me back.
"Woah, Johnny boy. Might want to get this one on a leash. "
I tear away my arm and push back my hair over my ear.
"You know, you two aren't very scary this year. Why is that? "
" At least we're not dressed up as some pervs. "
They all laugh again.
" True, true, but at least we're not dressed up like a couple of losers. Hiding away in their dorm wearing jeans and what is that... flannel? Oooh, I'm scared of Mr. lumberjack. Don't chop down my tree I planted... in Stacey.
" You know what? The room's all yours for your sex rituals or whatever the hell else. "
"Owe, come on. Don't be such a sourpuss. "
"No, I'm leaving. John, if you stay."
I stand in the doorframe.
" Don't bother coming back. "
I slam the door shut and hear their muted whisperings and laughter from behind the door. I start down the hall, looking back only once to...
" Hey Ben, scary costume. "
I turn to see Natalie and her friends standing in front of me in fairy costumes. I rub my head as I say.
" What the lumberjack looks out of style. "
She rolls her mascara covered eyes and smiles her beautiful smile that chilled my heart as dimples formed on her cheeks.
"Yeah, maybe five years ago. "
I rub the back of my head again.
" You see those frat guys? They had the nerve to dress up like that cult. "
" What? The Brotherhood and Sisterhood of... "
"... The fraternal Omen, yes. "
She bites her gloss-covered lip.
" I don't know. I think they look kinda hot in those robes. "
I walk past her.
" I think I should be going. "
I shove my hands back into my pockets and lower my head.
" Ben, wait. "
I turn, wincing as I do so.
" Me and my friends were going to this small party if you wanna join us. We could always use a lumberjack on our side. "
I backpedal as she leans forward, calling out.
" Well, don't get caught by the cult before I can see you again. "
My voice cracks as I reply.
" Sure thing. "
I turn around and shake my head.
Once I am outside the campus, the cool breeze hits me.
" Lumberjack look? That was so stupid. What an idiot. "
I sigh as varying groups of students in costume pass by me. A cloud of smoke emerges from my mouth. I move on, illuminated for seconds at a time by the dim campus lights overhead.
The breeze only grows stronger and forces me to rub the sides of my arms again. I come to a sudden stop when I see something strange in front of me. I look down to see some symbol spray painted onto the sidewalk. By now, the groups have left. On their way to Natalie's party, I hoped to attend.
My eyes focus on the symbol. I rub them just to be sure what I am seeing is real. The symbol remains, as does what I see next. My eyes rise from the symbol to an alleyway between two campus buildings. Standing amongst the haze and rolling leaves is a hooded figure. I cross my arms and yell out in a voice crack.
"Hilarious John. I'm not scared. "
I stare at the figure for a while and cock my head as it stands sentinle. The silence only grows more dreadful by the second.
I jolt at the sound of my phone notification. I take out my phone to see I have a message from my mother that I promptly open.
Hey sweatie, we won't be able to make it for Thanksgiving this year. Hope you are having a great time on campus! Stay safe.
My eyes raise up from the phone to where the man was standing. He has vanished with the wind. I look all around me and turn around to see no one around me. I look back at my phone to see a new notification pop up. Instead, this time it is a social media direct message from Natalie. I look around me, take a deep breath, and open it. It is an image attachment my finger presses down on.
I drop my phone after seeing a photo of Natalie hogtied on John's bed in her underwear. Just as I turn around to sprint back to my dorm room, a bag falls over my head. I resist but am outnumbered. By the sounds of it, they bring me to a car and place me in the trunk.
I wake up after some time in the back. I hear the muffled roar of a junker being pushed past its limits just behind me. This cacophony is not alone as I am. Instead, it is combined with the sound of tires fighting what I can only believe to be rugged back roads with gargled metal music that sounds more like the shrill of a boisterous demon. Hidden beneath all this disarray is the sparse laughter of men stranger than the roads we speed down.
The chaotic atmosphere reminds me of my family’s drunken gatherings consisting of howling matches and blaring music that I would often hide myself away from. Admittedly, I would sometimes crawl into the upstairs hall to look through chipped wooden railings that felt more like prison bars than the older I got. However, shortly after seeing a growing shadow on the opposing wall accompanied by the clamor of my intoxicated family, I would retreat to my room.
In this case, however, my cramped space smells reminiscent of a gym locker from which I fear there is no escape....
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