===The Key===

-Part 5-

The George Street Residence for Wayward Boys
The George Street Mission for Wayward Boys

A brief recap to put the events of the last four parts of this story in order.

 First, one mid-winter frosty night I place two giant icicles in Chris’ bunk while he was on night watch duty; icicles he loudly encountered at 3 A.M. after his shift had ended. Chris vowed revenge.

A month had passed, and Chris still had not learned the identity of the mysterious iceman who perpetrated such a dastardly act of frostbite.

 One annual Friday in March the college opened it doors to perspective future students allowing them to experience a day of Bible college life. Two such visiting students, participating in this exercise of promotion and recruitment, were from a distance too far away that it required them to overnight at the school. Unknown to just about all of us in the George Street Residence,  these high school students were given Danny’s room for the night, while Danny moved into an empty room upstairs.

 Just after curfew that night, Danny came knocking on my door where a small group of my friends had gathered. He told us of the visitors in his room and offered us the opportunity to have some fun playing a practical joke on them. Even though Danny had given his key to the guests he surprised us all by offering the spare key to his room that no one knew existed. Worried that he would be the first suspect questioned should any prank on our guests be reported to the office, Danny stressed the point that he could in no way be involved in whatever was to transpire after he left the room and that he must be kept completely in the dark. To these request we agreed.

 Using the spare key we entered Danny’s locked room and several times interrupted the sleep of our unsuspecting visitors, pretending to be searching for the room’s owner room for various reasons.

 In terms of practical jokes it wasn’t all that spectacular. It’s not that we couldn’t come up with something more spectacular, it was we were afraid too. Given that the office had explicitly stated that all our visiting guests were to be treated with the utmost of respect during their stay and failure to comply with this order would be met with discipline most severe, my cohorts and I conclude that the best way to stay out of trouble, yet still make the most of this opportunity, was to convince someone else to do our dirty work for us.

 That required some prep work.

 I found Danny staying in Steve’s empty room on the second floor. Getting him to follow me I instructed him to place two small ice cubes in the bunk of the very same night watchman that I had placed the giant icicles in a month earlier. Danny returned to his room puzzled and curious as to why I needed him to put ice in Chris’ bed. Understanding the less he knew the less trouble he could be in if this scheme backfired and came to the attention of the administration, Danny did not press for details.

 Now, that we are all caught up with what had transpired, let’s press on to what will transpire.

 Everything was in place, the next phase of giving these visiting high school boys a most memorable experience of student life was set to begin.

 I climbed the stairs to the top floor of our three story building and knocked on the door of the one room on the entire campus to house an actual computer, possibly a Commodore 64. There I found my target, Chris, drawn to the mono-chromatic green electric glow of the cathode ray tube. Like moths to a candle, a group of students entranced by the device were trying to save the world from an alien invasion of some sort. Chris was in the midst of it all, shouting directions to the guy controlling the joystick, pointing out weaknesses in the aliens’ attack strategies, cheering loudly when some enemy star-craft was obliterated in an explosion of pixels.

 I indicated to Chris that I needed to speak with him on a matter, both private and somewhat important. He stepped out into the hallway with me, looking a little annoyed about being pulled away from active duty defending our planet. I got right to the point. “Did you ever find out who put ice in your bed?”

 “No,” Chris answered. A sudden look of interest replaced the mild look of annoyance that had just been there.

 I cautiously looked up and down the empty corridor before slowly turning to look Chris directly in his eyes. I carefully stated, “I know for a fact, Danny put ice in your bed.” There was silence in that deserted hallway as Chris processed my statement. Then, like a match flaming to life in the darkness, that big smile of his split Chris’ face. It was a smile of one visualizing his long desired revenge, a dish he would most defiantly serve cold. I slowly smiled with him letting him savor the information he had just acquired. Then, when I knew he was committed I decided it was time to help make his desire come true. Holding up the red-tagged key to room 101, I added, “and here is the key to Danny’s room.”

 As I nervously hurried to the safety of my own room I could still hear the chilling, diabolical laughter echoing in the stairwell above. Knowing that rightfully it me that Chris’ wrath should be poured out on, that laughter will haunts my dreams for a long time to come.


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