- The George Street Mission for Wayward Boys
Frustration; having the opportunity to do a prank no one else dared but unable to do it the way it should be done due to the risk of severe punishment if caught. Being caught could lead to big trouble, the type of big trouble we did not wish, nor could afford to get into. What we needed was someone to do our dirty work for us; a fall guy. I had to find this person, but not just find him, I also had to convince this person to do the dirty work we needed done, willingly, all within the next ten minutes. This was the easy part of my mission. The hard part? Making all this happen without implicating ourselves should things go terribly wrong.
Hey, what’s life without a challenge?
We need to travel back in time, to visit a previously unrelated event that will play a major part of the story you are in the midst of reading. It occurred a month earlier, in late January or early February. Peterborough was frozen in the solid grip of winter, the small city blanketed with snow. The cold was bitter, yet, the pale, afternoon sun burned with just enough power that when its rays struck our dormitory’s rooftop shingles at just the right angle, a layer of snow on top of the century-old building would thaw. This melt water would drip down off the eaves of the three story building only to freeze again in the shade. This daily process, as winter trudge on toward spring, resulted in several very large icicles forming on the front of the building.
One winter night, returning to the dorm I notice some of these stalactites of ice had now grown to lengths reaching eight feet and beyond. That frosty winter night as the icicles glistened, reflecting the light of distant street lamps and headlights, I thought. I certainly wouldn’t want to find one of those things in my bed. The thought that followed was. But, it sure would be funny if someone else found one of those icicles in their bed. There were several people that came to mind in whose bed I would have loved to hide huge chucks of ice in. People to whom I owed vengeance for wrongs, threats and grudges of the past. (You know who you are.) Unfortunately, that moment, none of those prime targets lived in the same dorm as I .
I made my way through the main entrance when a target of opportunity greeted me at the door, Chris, that evening’s night watch. Chris, a tall guy, blocky, with always a smile on his face, was doing the early night watch shift and greeted me at the door. “You’re cutting it close, Brad. I almost had to report you for being late.” I double checked my watch. There were just seconds to spare before curfew but I was inside the building, safe and on time.
Chris was not on my revenge list. He had never targeted me with a practical joke. He was not someone who annoyed me. But, his room was just down the hall from mine, around the corner, and because he was on night watch duty for the next four hours meant that he would be out of that room for the first half of the night. Chris was never my target of vengeance, but as the fates would have it, he would become my target of opportunity.
Who was I not to answer opportunity’s knock?
Half an hour later, when Chris had finish the first of his rounds and settled in at the front entrance for his shift of night watching, I made my way, unseen, out the side-entrance. Using a broom I managed to knock several of those gigantic icicles loose (And some people think I have no idea how to use a broom). I was careful not to impale myself with them as they plunged downward, because that would be both completely embarrassing and utterly stupid. I collected two lengths of the deep-winter ice and made my way to Chris’s room. Conveniently, his roommate was nowhere to be seen. It was as if Chris’ roommate knew what I had planned, and not wanting to have to tell on me or admitting to knowledge of what I had done should he ever be interrogated, vanished into temporary hiding, while at the same time leaving his door unlocked. Though, most likely he was just using the bathroom.
Wasting no time, I pulled back the covers and deposited both frost covered icicles in the bed, and ran away laughing to myself out loud. Three hours later in the dead of that February night, even though I was several rooms away snoring in a deep slumber, the screams of utter shock as bare flesh came in contact with frigid ice, brought me abruptly back to the land of the waking. Soon the sound of annoyed mumbles and mutters followed by the clang and clatter of giant chucks of ice being slammed into the sink in the nearby lounge echoed in the wee hours.
As I returned to my dreams with a satisfied smile on my face, the last words I heard before drifting off into the embrace of my warm dry ice-free bed was Chris, announcing loudly to no one in particular, in a determined threatening voice, warning, “I am going to make whoever did this pay!”
A month later Chris still had no idea who put those two, five-foot lengths of ice in his bed.
Maybe this would be a good night for Chris have his revenge.
===To Be Continued===