===The Key===

-Part 2-

The George Street Residence for Wayward Boys
The George Street Residence for Wayward Boys
It was a Friday like most others at the Bible College, save one noticeable difference; brand new faces.  Brand new, wide-eyed, young, curious, slightly-nervous looking faces were showing up in our lectures, the chapel, the library and the cafeteria. This was the one day of the year when the administration opened up its doors to various high school students considering this college as an option for their furthering education. It allowed them the chance to experience college life, by sitting in on some lectures, attending a chapel service and getting to sample the cafeteria cuisine – which, for Friday lunch was normally a choice between green stuff and gray stuff – encouraging them to consider if this school would be a good fit in their plans for higher education.

 The administration took these promotional and recruitment exercises very seriously. The student body was reminded to be on its best behaviour with the visitors. We represented the college and any cause for embarrassment would be dealt with in a serious manner, examples being made of.

Some of these visiting students, from hometowns quite a distance away, had traveled long to experience this day. While most were headed home by the evening meal, a few of those distant travelers would have to stay overnight before departing in the morning.

Normally, during weekends, many of the college students who had homes and families nearby would leave the residences for those familiar surroundings. This week-end, through an arrangement with the office, some of those  departing would allowed their empty rooms to be used as billets for those few marooned, high school visitors.

In the George Street Residence, Steve had a single room on the second floor, while Danny occupied a double room, alone, on the first. Danny’s roommate had mysteriously failed to show up at the beginning of the semester. The office needed two spare beds to house two last visitors, so it was worked out that since Steve was going away for the weekend, Danny would move into Steve’s empty room, freeing up Danny’s room for the high school boys to camp in that night.

It was just after midnight, things were relativity quiet in the dorm, a few friends had gathered in my room. We were chatting and shooting the breeze when there was a knock on my door. It was Danny. “Guys, you know those kids we been seeing around campus all day? Two of them are staying in my room tonight. I was thinking, you guys should do something to make them really feel welcomed. Let them fully experience student life!” He started to laugh. The type of laughter the evil villain in a cartoon would laugh, when he imagines his plan to destroy the hero, capture the beautiful girl and rule the world.

We all sort of laughed with him, then laughed it off, none of us really considered rising to his challenge. Sure, every year on this day for the past three years we talked about playing practical jokes on our visitors, but every year the fear of drawing the vengeful ire of the administration’s wrath  down on our heads quelled those fantasies.

Danny’s smile faded when he realized that we were just like everyone else in this regard, bluffs – fearful, cowardly bluffs – all talk and no action. He didn’t call us chicken outright, he didn’t have to. We could see it in his expression. He had figured if anyone was crazy enough to actually do what so many others only dreamed of, it would be us. That’s why he had come knocking on my door. He shrugged.

It looked like he was going to leave, but stopped. Then, as the serpent in the garden long ago, he reached into his pocket and withdrew a shiny red object. He looked at each of us and observed the gleam of realization slowly dawning in each of our eyes. Our brains, tired and dull after a week of assignments and lectures, were beginning to grasp the understanding of what he was holding out before us, the opportunity that was dangled just within our reach. It was evidenced by our gaze, transfixed unblinkingly on that object, that Danny knew he had us hooked and his deep evil laughter  fill the room.

We all started to laugh as well, maybe not so deep but every part as evil.

keytagThere, dangling from his offering hand, on a large red plastic tag, glinted the silver spare key to Danny’s room.


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