This is the final chapter in the Derby series. For it to make sense, please read the previous three chapters. At the very least, read chapter 3. NOTE: Some of the content of this story may be disturbing to some readers.
When Brad and Karen got back from the emergency room, they were met at the front door of the fraternity house by Mountain.
“How's little Anna?” Mountain rumbled.
“She'll be OK. She's stable. The doctors said she was raped, but there was no semen, so apparently the bastard used a rubber. I guess we can thank him for that; at least she won't get pregnant. They tested her for STD's anyway, and so far that looks negative. They also found a very high blood alcohol level and traces of that damn date rape drug, Rohypnol in her system. But she's going to be OK, at least physically. What's happening here?” Brad said.
“The house is secure. The cops were all over the place, of course, but they didn't find anything except the sheets with her blood on them from the guest room. They asked a bunch of questions, but everyone either was ignorant or claimed to be. The worst trouble we'll get in is some underage drinking shit, but we've dealt with that before. We're cool,” Mountain said.
“I'm going to go find that asshole, Jerry, and find out what he knows,” Brad said. “I saw him talking to that kid Derby earlier in the evening, and when Derby came downstairs and left, I saw Jerry give him a thumbs-up. Where is that motherfucker?”
“We've already talked to him. Me, Drake, Joel, and a couple of the others,” Mountain said.
“We found his stash of Roofies and took them before the cops got here. Jerry's not a member of this frat anymore. He's not a student at this college anymore. He's also a very lucky guy, 'cuz the other brothers managed to keep me from killing him. But let me tell you, he's gonna be singing soprano for a long time,” Mountain said.
“You mean you just let him go?” Karen shrieked. “You didn't turn the little pervert over to the cops?”
Mountain looked at her with genuine sadness. “Honey, the cops wouldn't have done to him what we did to him. He probably would have gotten away with a fine and probation. Like I said, if I had had my way, we would have been turning him over straight to the Medical Examiner so they could have figured out which of my punches or kicks killed him, but the other brothers stopped me and kept me from going to prison. It's OK, honey. He's going to need a lot of oral surgery before he can eat solid food again, and a lot of plastic surgery before his face stops looking like a Halloween mask. It's going to be a long time before he walks right, and if I did what I tried to do, he'll never fuck again. And he knows, if he ever says anything, we'll find him, and it will be a whole lot worse.”
“What about that bastard Derby?” Brad asked.
“All anyone seems to know is that he's a freshman, and that he came here with Anna and with you, Karen,” Mountain said. “We have people out looking for him, but it's a big campus with a lot of kids. But when we find him, I swear on my life, it won't be pretty.”
“We have to find him,” Karen said.
“There are thousands of incoming freshmen,” Brad said. “Don't we know anything else about him?”
Karen said, “All I know is that he has some geek Trekkie for a roommate. If Derby said his name, I don't remember.”
“I actually know a few of those weirdos,” said Mountain.
“You do? How?” Brad asked.
“I do a mean Star Trek uniform insignia tattoo. You'd be surprised how many of those little twerps have cried their way through having me ink that on their chests.”
“Call everyone of them you can think of and spread the word. Maybe we can get to this bastard through his roommate,” Brad said.
“What if he does this again?” Karen asked. “How many of those pills did he get from Jerry?”
“I don't know,” Mountain admitted.
“Shit, we have to work fast or some other poor girl could get hurt. If he does that, I'll hunt him down and kill him myself!” Karen sobbed.
“Calm down, baby. You'll have to wait your turn in line. But you're right. We have to make a plan to catch him, and to do that, we need more info. I wonder if he's done this before,” Brad said.
“If he did, he didn't use Roofies,” Mountain said. “Jerry said he had to tell the kid what they were.”
“I would think if there were a violent rapist loose on campus, we would have heard about it,” Brad said, “so maybe this was his first time. We just have to make sure it was his last.”
“We should go to the police,” Karen said.
“With what?” Brad asked. “There's no physical evidence to connect Derby with Anna's rape. Sure, we can all say that we saw him with her. So what? Any dumb public defender can point out how circumstantial that evidence is. The cops and doctors already hinted that they had nothing. No semen, no fingerprints, no DNA, no evidence. Even if Anna says she thinks it was Derby who raped her, they can say she was drugged by someone else, and it's only because she herself got so drunk before she got drugged that she doesn't remember any other guy. Hair samples? Clothing fibers? So what? They were together. One of the guys even saw them kissing in the back yard. There's no case. But, we know what happened, and we're going to take care of it.”
Joel, who had been listening quietly, spoke up. “The little fuck has a nasty temper. You saw the way he came at me.”
Brad said, “Well, you were out of line.”
“You made that clear last night,” Joel said dryly. “Shit, I was fucked up. I apologized. But with the way he blew up on me about Anna, are you sure they hadn't been seeing each other before?”
Karen said, “Anna told me she met him the for the first time the other day when she was moving in. He helped her with some of her stuff. Then he called her out of the blue last night and offered to walk her over to my house. I invited them both here. Oh, God, this is my fault!”
Brad hugged her. “Baby, don't say that. How could you have known he was like that? If he hadn't gotten to Anna, he probably would have gone for someone else. That certainly wouldn't have been your fault, would it? No, he's a predator.”
“That's just what I was thinking,” Joel said. “Did you ever see one of those nature shows when predators fight over their kill? That's what that douchebag was like. Some rogue killer animal fighting over his prey.”
“So, how do you catch a predator?” Mountain asked. “Bait a trap?”
“I bet I could get one of my sorority sisters to serve as bait,” Karen said.
“Pretty risky,” said Brad. “Besides, they're all sophomores and up. This kid's a freshman. I remember when I was a freshman. I would never have dreamed of chasing an upperclassman chick. They were out of my league.”
“Wait a minute,” said Joel, “one of your sorority sisters, Maribeth, teaches a martial arts and self defense class. I took it last year. That little blond is a foot shorter and probably eighty pounds lighter than me, and she routinely kicked my ass. Maybe she could do a rape-prevention crash course type of thing for the freshman girls.”
“Good idea,” Karen said, “but we need to do something even more proactive. I know, my house can host a welcome party for the new girls. We have money in the treasury. When I explain to them the issue, I'm sure it will be a rubber stamp to appropriate the funds. We can have a bikini car wash later to replenish the money.”
“I'll direct traffic,” Mountain said, pulling himself up to his full height. “I'm sure I can persuade a lot of people that their cars need to be washed.”
Drake, who had wandered in during the conversation, said, “I'll hit up my girl over at the Delta house. I bet if some of you girls get together, you can get all the sororities to chip in. That way, no one will think you're trying to get a jump on rush week, and you'll be able to reach more of the freshman girls. I'll go talk to the guys in the other frat houses. I'm sure some of them will help with the work. We can set up stands around campus, hand out invitations, that sort of thing. Make it into some kind of festival, but with a real serious purpose.”
“Yeah,” Mountain said, “if we attract enough people, maybe this asshole will show up, too. He can think it's an opportunity to stalk new prey, but there will be some safety in the sheer numbers. And if we spot him, I can have the fun of breaking him in half.”
Brad said, “I like everything about this except the breaking him in half part. We have to do something to him that won't get us in trouble, but that will make sure that he's finished as a rapist. All right. Do we all know what to do? Let's go!”
In a matter of a few hours of phone calls and text messages, making plans, creating and printing materials, and general running around, every fraternity and sorority house had become involved in preparation for an entire weekend of activities. The events were to start the following evening, Friday. Different sororities would be hosting events at their houses all day on Saturday, and the fraternity houses would play host to still more activities on Sunday. A steering committee consisting of the presidents of all the houses had been formed to coordinate and manage all the separate events, and these people had created groups within their own houses to run events, whether the event was run by a single house or by the joint effort of several houses.
There were to be student speakers on date safety, date rape, responsible and safe sex, sexual predators, and self-defense. There would be “dry” parties, cook-outs, mingle sessions, and games. Signs and banners were made and hung all over the campus, fliers were distributed, announcements were made on the campus radio stations, and mass e-mails were sent to all students, with special invitations being sent to all freshman girls.
There were two purposes to these events. The publicized reason was to raise awareness of the potential for sexual predator activity and generally inappropriate or threatening sexual behavior, stressing the importance of the individuals' responsibility for their own dating and sexual safety, while giving the freshmen a social event where they could meet. The other motive was discussed on a need-to-know basis with a select few people working in the background: finding and dealing with Derby.
Surprisingly few people on campus seemed to know what had happened the previous night to Anna, which, in a way, was good. The point was not to spook Derby, but rather to catch him and punish him. Most of the people who had heard rumors about Anna's situation knew nothing of the suspect. It became clear that the police had no idea of Derby's identity. The college administration seemed only dimly aware of the whole situation.
Mountain had contacted some of his Trekkie-type clients, hoping to attract all the young men who fit the stereotype that matched Derby's description of his roommate. Karen had organized a squad of decoys consisting of a few young-looking girls from her sorority, each of whom would be closely watched by at least two men hand-picked from a few of the fraternities. Every one of these “operatives” had been thoroughly briefed by Karen and Brad about Derby's description and known methods. A few of the guys from Brad's fraternity had organized themselves into a team which would be responsible for tracking down any leads on Derby, and for apprehending him.
The response from the student body was almost overwhelming. Fraternity row was so mobbed by students that the campus police had to be enlisted to help with traffic and crowd control. Donation stands were hastily set up, and it soon appeared that the costs incurred for the weekend's events would easily be met. It was decided in a conference call by the steering committee that excess funds would be used to pay Anna's medical expenses, including on-going rape counseling, and any leftover money would be given to the school to use for additional campus security patrols.
Some of the kids came for the free food and the mixer/party activities, but a surprising number seemed interested in learning about personal safety.
By 11 o'clock on Friday evening, the first real information about Derby came to light. After one of the seminars, a young girl stayed to talk to a few of the sorority sisters. She told them of a frightening encounter she had had with a tall, good-looking freshman boy named Derby. As soon as she mentioned his name, Karen and Brad were called in to talk to her.
It quickly became apparent that Derby's outburst when she had refused to kiss him had occurred about a half an hour before Derby picked up Anna at the student union. The informant, Josie, was unable to tell them anything they didn't already know, but she did confirm one thing. Derby's attack on Anna was not the only encounter he had had with a freshman girl. Karen and Brad let Josie think that her dealings with Derby were an isolated incident, and they reassured her that she had done nothing wrong. They also advised her to stay away from him,
A female escort was provided to take Josie back to her dorm, and frat brothers were recruited to watch over her surreptitiously until Derby was caught. Karen and Brad hoped that Josie would never find out how close she had come to having been Derby's sexual victim.
Early Saturday morning, Mountain barged into Brad's room. “Get up!” he roared.
“What the fuck, dude, did you ever hear of knocking?” Brad asked as Karen tried to cover herself.
“Sorry, Karen. Damn, you look good naked,” Mountain said. Barely stopping to breathe, he said, “We're having breakfast with Derby's roommate.”
“No shit! How did you accomplish that?” Brad cried.
“My little nerd-net paid off. It seems that a freshman by the name of Martin was seen in the campus infirmary early Thursday morning for a black eye. He said he walked into a door, but the nurse on duty didn't believe him. She's an X-men freak, and last night she heard about our search for freshman geeks in some chat room. She e-mailed Martin to meet her for a soda at the student union and finally got him to tell her the truth about his injury. We're meeting for breakfast in a half hour at the apartment of a grad student who volunteered to put the kid up for a few days until he can find a new dorm room. Martin's roommate is Derby. So get your asses out of bed!”
“Martin is Derby's roommate?” Karen asked, jumping out of bed and searching for her clothes.
“Didn't I just say that? Move!” Mountain yelled.
Martin was sitting at the kitchen table eating a bowl of Fruit Loops when Mountain, Brad, and Karen arrived. Introductions were made. Martin was obviously terrified by his experience, and the older kids did their best to put him at ease.
Martin told them, “I really hadn't gotten to know my roommate when I first got to campus, so on Wednesday morning, I tried to talk to him, and he just went off on me. I didn't know why he was so mad at me, but he threatened me. He scared me. Then he left. I didn't see him again until about 4am Thursday when he came into our room. It woke me up, and I tried to talk to him again, to apologize for getting off on the wrong foot. He seemed really worked up, and he started swearing at me and threatening me again.
“I told him that a girl named Christy had come looking for him Wednesday evening. I had told him about her stopping by once before, and he had told me never to talk to any girls that knew him, but when she came by the second time, I invited her in. She was really upset, because she had been calling him but he wasn't calling her back. He had left his phone in the room, and I knew she had called because her name showed on his caller ID. Anyway, she stayed for a while waiting for him, and then she left. She seemed really nice, and she was really pretty, and she made me promise to tell him that she wanted to talk to him. So, when he came in Thursday morning, I told him about her visit.
“That's when he went nuts on me. He started throwing my stuff around and ripping up my Star Wars posters. He even broke my light saber. He hit me and knocked me on the floor. He told me to get out and never come back, and then he punched me in the face and gave me a black eye. I got out of there as fast as I could and went to the infirmary. When I got out of there, I went to the dorm room of a Lord of the Rings expert I had met in a chat room my first night on campus. He went back to my room with me and helped me grab some clothes and my laptop. That's how the nurse from the infirmary got a hold of me. And now I'm here.”
“And you're staying here,” Brad said. “I'll have one of my frat brothers here in ten minutes. He'll bring some money to pay your host here for letting you stay for a couple of days, and he'll be sleeping in the living room until we have a talk with Derby. You see, we have an interest in his activities, too. He hurt someone we care about. But don't worry, Martin. You're perfectly safe. Derby won't bother you anymore. Hopefully, by the time classes start on Monday, you'll be able to move back into your room. Now, give me your room key.”
“Why?” Martin asked.
“If Derby's there,” Brad said, “we're going to talk to him and help him move out. If he's not, we're going to pack up some more of your clothes and get all your textbooks and stuff so you can start classes on Monday. We'll keep you posted on what's going on. You'll be OK.”
When Mountain and Brad let themselves into Martin's and Derby's room, Derby wasn't there. They knocked on a few doors, but none of the neighboring kids knew where Derby was. Rather than wait for him, the guys gathered the things they had promised to bring to Martin, and took them to the grad student's apartment.
“Martin,” Brad asked, “you said that you saw Christy's name on Derby's caller ID. Were there any other girls that called that you know about?”
“Christy called about five times,” Martin said, and some other girl called two or three. Her name was Melissa.”
“Any last names?” Mountain asked.
“OK, well, you've been extremely helpful. Now that our frat brother Adam is staying here, you'll be completely safe. We'll keep you up to date.”
As they drove back to the frat house, Mountain said, “OK, Brad, what have we learned? Derby's got a violent temper. We already knew that from the incident with Joel, from what Josie said, and from the way he abused Anna. We don't have last names on these two chicks that were calling Derby, but we know that this Christy wanted to see him. She must know him. Do you think she went through anything with him like those other two did?”
Brad said, “I was wondering if both Christy and Melissa are victims.”
Mountain thought for a minute. “I have an idea. Let's get a bunch of those name tags they use at conventions, you know, the ones that say, 'Hello, my name is fill-in-the-blank.' Since we have a big mixer planned for tonight, we could give them to everyone who shows up. If we're lucky, those girls will come. We can just have everyone on the lookout for girls with those names. If we're really lucky, some little fuck will have a name tag on that says 'Derby.'”
Brad smiled and drove faster. “I like the way you think, big guy.”
On Saturday evening, fraternity row was teeming with kids. The weather was perfect, and there were food, sodas, coffee, and non-alcoholic punch available at every house. There were seminars and discussion groups on the lawns and porches of some houses, and music blared from the windows of others. Everyone was buzzing about how much fun they were having, and a lot of kids were enthused about what they were learning.
Every fraternity brother and sorority sister was looking for name tags that had Christy, Melissa, or Derby on them. Most of them didn't know why they were supposed to find these people, but they all had cellphone numbers for someone to call in the event they were spotted. A number of Christys and Melissas were approached by people saying they were looking for their friend Derby.
Karen's phone rang. It was Drake. “Where are you?”
“In the backyard of my house, making burgers as fast as I can. Man, can these kids eat! What's up?”
“My girlfriend and two of her sorority sisters are on their way over with a freshman girl named Christy. She knows Derby. She hasn't said much, but she acted really pissed when my girlfriend said she was looking for him.”
“Oh God, that's great! I'm calling Brad and a couple of the others,” Karen said.
It took some persuasion, but eventually Karen got Christy to tell her whole sordid tale. She told a story similar to the ones Josie and Anna had told. She had met Derby when he helped her move into her dorm. She had immediately liked him, and was pleasantly surprised when he called her that night. She told Karen about Derby's charming ways, the ice cream shop, and Derby's tearful account of his break-up with his girlfriend, Megan. Embarrassed, she finally confessed that she had slept with Derby her first night on campus.
“When I woke up the next morning and he wasn't there, I was upset at first,” Christy said. “Then I decided he had left to save me the embarrassment of my new roommate's family finding us in bed together. I called him, but he didn't answer. I didn't think much of it, but when I kept calling him and kept getting his voicemail, I started getting concerned about him. He had mentioned where his dorm was, so I went over to check on him. His roommate didn't know where he was. I kept calling him, and then I went over to his room again.
“That time, I sat with his roommate, Martin, for about an hour. Martin had a completely different opinion of Derby than I had had. He said Derby was mean to him, almost violent. He also told me Derby had threatened him if Marin ever talked to any girls who knew Derby. That's when I started to think I had gotten used. And that's when I got angry.”
Christy started to cry. “I'm not some slut, regardless of what you may think. I don't just sleep with guys the day I meet them. But he was so handsome, and so nice. He just made me feel like I could fall in love him, and then he just fucked me and left. I'm so stupid! I'm so ashamed!”
Karen put her arms around Christy and let her cry. After a few minutes, she said, “Christy, you're not stupid, and you're not a slut. You're a victim. Don't be ashamed of that. There was no way you could know what he was like. I met Derby myself, and I really liked him. But he hurt a friend of mine. You're not his only victim. At least one other girl almost fell for his lines, and he scared her badly when she wouldn't go to bed with him. There's no shame in being an innocent victim of a bastard like him. But tell me, honey, do you have any idea where he is now?”
“No,” Christy sobbed. “And I don't want to know. At first, I just wanted him to like me. Then, when I started to suspect he had used me, I wanted to scratch his eyes out. Now, I'm scared of him.”
Karen said, “It's OK, honey, you're safe. One of my sorority sisters and a couple of my boyfriend's frat brothers are going to take you back to your room and help you pack up some things so you can stay in a guest room in our house. Someone will be with you around the clock until we find him. And we will find him. He's not going to hurt you or any other girl any more.”
Karen's phone rang again. It was Joel. “How fast can you get over to the Sigma house? A couple of the sisters are talking to a girl named Melissa. She burst into tears when they asked her if she knew Derby.”
“We're on our way.”
As soon as Brad and Karen saw Melissa, Brad pulled Karen aside. “Baby, please take this the right way. This is the fourth girl we've seen that Derby did something with, and each one has been hotter than the others. How does this kid get all these beautiful girls? Hell, I'd have given my right arm to go out with any of them before I met you. Did you think Derby was really that good-looking?”
Karen immediately replied, “Derby is beyond good-looking. He's hot. He's a hell of lot cuter than any boyfriend I ever had. Except for you, of course.”
Karen continued, “What I'm trying to say is, he's a major hunk, and he's also very, very smooth. He fooled me. I liked him immediately, and I thought Anna was very lucky to have such a great guy interested in her. When I saw them together at the party, I almost envied her, because I sure as hell didn't hook up with a guy that cute the first week of my freshman year. And when he went after Joel for grabbing Anna's ass, I was impressed. I thought that was a sign of chivalry. Even when she started to look a little drunk, he was acting like a complete gentleman. I'm going to try to talk to Melissa now, so make yourself scarce.”
It took a lot of coaxing and sympathy, but Karen and a few other girls finally got Melissa to tell her whole story. It was basically the same as Christy's, with the added hurt that she had given Derby her virginity. Karen made the same arrangements for her as she had for Christy, and then reported back to Brad.
“OK, I thought I was pissed before, but now I'm really furious,” Karen said to Brad. “That poor girl was a virgin before she met Derby.”
“Are you telling me he raped her too?” Brad asked, his temper flaring.
“No. In a way, it's worse. He sweet-talked her into sleeping with him. He seduced her and took from her the one thing a girl can never get back when it's gone. I don't know. Getting raped would be horrible, and losing your virginity to a rapist would be almost unthinkable. But realizing that you gave your virginity willingly to a piece of shit like Derby would make a girl feel so stupid and dirty that, well, I don't know,.... I don't know how a girl could survive that.” Karen looked like she wanted to smash something. “We have to find this asshole, Brad, we just have to!”
Like every one else, Derby heard about the parties and activities on fraternity row. He was a little concerned when he learned what the topics of some discussions were going to be, and he debated with himself about staying clear of the whole scene. But with Martin gone, he had nothing to do, no one to pick on. He was glad Martin was out of his hair. I appeared that Martin had taken a lot of his stuff with him, and Derby hoped that Martin would move out of the room permanently. Then, he, Derby, could fix the place up the way he wanted it, and he would have a place to bring chicks to to fuck them.
Bored, Derby went for a walk. It had been two days since he had last gotten his rocks off, and he was getting horny. He wanted to find some new chick, but the main campus was amazingly empty. It appeared that everyone had gone over to fraternity row. Derby knew it could be dangerous over there for him, if anyone had made a connection between him and Anna's rape, assuming Anna had even admitted to anyone what had happened to her. Derby hoped she was just too ashamed to come out and tell anyone that she had gotten so drunk she had let a guy fuck her and bust her cherry.
He finally decided that he should be OK if he just stayed clear of the frat house where he had gone with Anna and Karen. He knew that there would be a lot of fresh young girls at these mixers he had heard about, and he decided he should even attend some of the seminars to find out what pointers the chicks were picking up about guys like him. Maybe, he might even find out more about drugs he could use on any uncooperative piece of ass he took a liking to. It was time to go hunting again.
When Derby got to fraternity row, he was almost overwhelmed by the amount of sweet young pussy walking around. Hell, yeah, he might get lucky tonight. All he had to do was find one of those shy, insecure types, a weak specimen, and cut her away from the herd. He might even learn some pick-up lines that he could use to his advantage.
Almost the instant he got there, a beautiful girl approached him. “Welcome to the first annual Freshman Mixer hosted by the Greek council, cute boy,” she said. I'm a Delta. My name's Jenny. What's yours?”
“Mike,” Derby answered, suddenly deciding that anonymity could work to his advantage. “I'm a freshman.”
“Well, Mike, it's nice to see that the college has stepped up its recruiting of hot guys. Here's a map of the street showing where all the house parties are, and the location of all the seminars and discussion groups. And make sure you wear this. I bet a lot of girls are going to want to know your name.” She stuck a name tag on his chest and walked away, her ass swaying beautifully under her shorts.
As soon as Jenny knew she was out of sight, she got on her phone. “I just put a name tag on a freshman who looks a lot like the kid you guys said you're looking for, but he said his name is Mike. He's wearing a navy t-shirt and khaki shorts. He's heading west, and he's just about to pass the Delta house.”
The voice on the other end of the phone said, “I see him. He fits the description. I'll keep him in visual contact and call the committee.”
Derby continued walking. He was thoroughly enjoying the sights, checking out all the pretty, vulnerable young girls. Finally, he spotted a girl standing alone in the yard of one of the houses. She was slender, average height, with short brown hair, decent-sized breasts, trim waist and hips, and a pixie-cute face. The most important feature of all, though was her eyes. She looked just a little like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming car. Perfect.
Derby dropped his map in a trashcan when he knew she wasn't looking his way, and then approached her. “Hi, um, Sherry,” he said, reading the name tag just above her left breast. “I lost my map. Do you have one?”
She looked at him and smiled shyly. “Sure, Mike. What are you looking for?”
“I don't really know. Something interesting to do.”
Sherry said, “I'm terrible with maps. I was looking for the martial arts demonstration, but I can't figure out how to get there.”
“That sounds cool. Let me look. Oh, right here,” Derby said, pointing to a spot of the map.
“OK, but how do I get there?”
“Walk with me,” Derby said, “I'll show you.”
They started walking down the sidewalk, and then Derby took her hand and led her into the dark side yard between two houses. “This is a shortcut,” he said.
“I'm going to lose visual on our decoy Sherry and the suspect,” a girl across the street said into her cell phone.
“Move, move, move!” a male voice barked into his phone, and several men began to jog toward the backs of the couple. Another man appeared from behind one of the houses.
“Hello, Derby,” Joel said.
“My name's Mike,” Derby sputtered.
“Yeah, well my name's Joel, if you remember. I don't really care what you are calling yourself today. All I really care about is that I owe you an ass-whupping.”
Suddenly, Derby felt himself being thrown against the wall of the house. A huge body crushed up against him, pinning him in place, and a voice like an angry bear rumbled, “Remember me, Derby? The name's Mountain. I'll make sure you get to see me in good light so you can remember me for the rest of your life. You're gonna be one sorry little motherfucker.”
The last thing Derby was aware of for awhile was Mountain's fist hitting him in the jaw.
* * * * * * * * * *
Jodi and Becca were roommates. They had been best friends in high school, and had always shared common interests. Both girls considered themselves very lucky that they had been accepted to the same college, since it meant that they would not have to face their first time away from their homes surrounded by nothing but complete strangers. The girls immediately requested that they be allowed to room together, and the powers-that-be had granted their wish. They had been thrilled when they learned that they were in the same Biology 101 class. That meant that the first class they would take in their college careers would be together.
The girls got up early on Monday morning, planning on having a quick breakfast in the dining hall before going to their first-ever college class. As they walked, they were discussing what everyone on their dorm floor had been talking about – the weekend's activities on fraternity row. They agreed that they had learned a lot about dating and relationships that they had never dreamed of in high school. Each of the girls had met a number of interesting new people, both girls and guys, at the parties, and both had begun some new friendships.
As they walked, they saw that the signs that had been plastered all over campus had been replaced overnight with a picture of a very handsome young man. He looked to be a little over six feet tall, probably about 200 lbs, lean, yet powerful-looking. He had medium-brown hair with some reddish blond highlights. He appeared to be sleeping.
As they walked, each picture they passed had something added to it. The next one they saw showed the same young man, with his ice-blue eyes open. Their coloring was made even more interesting by the contrast they made to his lightly tanned skin. It was hard to read his facial expression, but both girls agreed that the guy was attractive.
“What's written on the next sign?” Jodi asked.
When they had walked a few feet closer they could see that it said, “Come to the show.”
“Come to the show? What show? Is that guy some singer or something?” Becca asked.
“I don't know, but he's pretty cute,” Jodi said.
“Yeah, he sure is,” Becca agreed. “Look, the next sign has a red arrow pointing straight ahead.”
The girls passed a few more pictures like that one, and then Jodi said, “Look, there's a red arrow painted on the sidewalk”
“What's this all about?” Becca wondered aloud as they got to a sign that had a red arrow pointing to the left. The arrow painted on the sidewalk also indicated a left turn.
Becca said, “I'm curious now. Let's follow the arrows and see what's going on.”
As the girls walked, they noticed other people looking at the signs and following the arrows.
Jodi stopped suddenly and looked at the new picture in front of her. “What are those?” she said, pointing to something on top of the guy's head.
Becca said, “Wow, it looks like someone photo-edited a pair of devil's horns onto his head. Bizarre!”
The next signs they passed had some changes. First, the young man's mouth was re-drawn so that the lips were curled up into an ugly smile. Then, the icy-blue eyes were replaced with fiendish red ones. The face was changed into a handsome but evil-looking face of the devil. Each sign still said, “Come to the show.”
Then the arrows on the sidewalk and the sign pointed to the right across the grass. Red arrows had been spray-painted on the lawn leading to the rear of an old building.
“Look at all the people,” Jodi said. “They're all heading toward that old courtyard with the fountain.”
* * * * * * * * * *
Derby didn't really remember much from the evening before, although he had a vague recollection of a confrontation with the fraternity brothers Joel and Mountain, and a couple of other guys. Now he was struggling to wake up. He was cold, and he realized that he was in pain everywhere. He became aware of the sound of running water.
Before he opened his eyes, he tried to move. “Oh, shit! What the fuck? Why do I hurt so much? And why can't I move?” Derby opened his eyes. At first, all he could see was early morning sky and some tree branches overhead. Then he turned his head to the side, and saw the fountain in the courtyard where he had begun his seductions.
Derby was disoriented and sluggish. Was he dreaming? Do you feel pain in a dream? As he tried to clear his head, he began to understand the source of some of his pain. He was tied to one of the stone benches in the courtyard, his arms pulled out to his sides and bent under the bench at an awkward angle and bound together, and his legs pulled apart and tied at the ankles to some point beneath the bench. Another rope was tied tightly across his abdomen, effectively holding him prisoner. All his joints were screaming in protest at the position, and there was other pain as well.
Some vague impressions from last night began to surface in Derby's fuzzy memory. He remembered being in a room with Mountain, Joel, Drake, Brad, and Brad's girlfriend Karen. He was tied up and lying on some kind of table with harsh lights all around it. He remembered Karen screaming at him and spitting in his face. His jaws had been forced open by some kind of hard rod or stick crammed between his teeth.
Mountain had leaned down and said, “Get a good look at me, pretty boy. I am now your worst fuckin' nightmare. My friends and I all know what you've done. You've had your fun, but the fun's over now. At least for you. But you're actually a very lucky guy. My friends are actually your friends, too. They've made me realize that me literally tearing you apart with my bare hands could be fun, but it might get me in trouble. They also thought that disposing of your body could be a problem, so we've come up with a better idea.”
Mountain held up a pill bottle and showed it to Derby. “See these? They're Roofies, the same thing you got from Jerry and gave to little Anna before you raped her, you little shit. You probably only gave her one, but you're a big, strong, handsome, desirable, sexy young guy, so you're gonna take two. I'd give you the whole bottle, but that would kill you. Then we'd still have a body to deal with, and I wouldn't have had any fun with you. So I'm just going to drop two in your mouth and then start pouring water in. Sooner or later, you'll either swallow or choke to death.”
Derby couldn't really remember anything else. And now, he was naked, tied to this bench. There was a piece of cloth covering his groin. He attempted to sit up. It was impossible, but he learned something more about his situation. Able to raise his head and shoulders slightly, he could see that there were black marks on his chest and abdomen. Then, he heard voices.
“Oh my God, there's a naked guy on that bench!”
“What the hell? Is he tied up?”
“That's the guy in the picture on all those signs.”
A girl's voice said, “What kind of a sick show is this? This kid puts his picture up all over campus on signs that say 'Come to the show,' and he has himself tied up naked on a bench?”
“Is that the same guy in the pictures?” another girl asked. “His hair wasn't pink in the pictures.”
By this time, a crowd was gathering, and Derby could see many faces looking at him. Some were laughing, some were crying, but most just looked astonished. He tried to call to them for help, but the gag in his mouth made speech impossible.
Becca and Jodi pushed their way through the people. They wanted to see what the show was all about.
When they got close enough, they could see that it was the guy from the posters, without the devil features.
“What's that written on his forehead?” Becca asked.
“It looks like someone took a marker and wrote 'rapist' on his face!” Jodi exclaimed.
“Are those tattoos on his chest and stomach?”
“Yeah, and they look really fresh,” Jodi said. “Holy shit, the one says 'sexual predator!'”
Becca said, “Does the one on his belly say 'woman hater?'”
“Are those arrows that point down toward his, you know, his thing, that's covered with that piece of cloth?” Jodi asked.
“They look like it. And look, there's a string coming from between his legs and going over the edge of the bench. What the hell?” Becca said.
Derby was still struggling to move. The pain in many parts of his body was getting more intense now. His squirming caused the piece of cloth over his groin to shift and fall off.
A couple of guys standing near Becca and Jodi made some very ill-sounding noises. “Dude, look!” one of them said to his friend. “He's got a Prince Albert ring. It's all bloody, and there's a string tied to it. Fuck, that has to hurt! Look, it's stretching his cock out straight! That makes me hurt just to look at it! Oh God, if he moves, it looks like the damn ring's gonna rip right through the head of his dick!”
The girls just stared for a moment in shocked silence. Then Becca said, “There's lettering on his thing. He's got a tattoo on his penis! Ewww! What does it say?”
Jodi felt half sick, but she couldn't stop herself from leaning a little closer so she could read the black ink on the shaft of Derby's penis. “HIV+.” Then she saw something in the blood on the bench. There was a broken toy light saber sticking out of his ass.