This story will not have pictures. I have made an attempt to be as descriptive as possible in hopes that it will hold your attention. I hope you will read and digest it all, because it's not actually that bad. If you would prefer pictures or overall brevity, I encourage you to read some of the other columns. I would also like to add that I strongly suspect that this will get me in trouble. Alas, the image of the persecuted writer is all too archetypal.
The year is 2006. In a poorly heated dorm room of one of rural New Hampshire’s own public universities, one unfortunate soul has succumbed to an existence of total depravity. At quarter to six each morning, without fail, Jeff Chase is roused violently from his slumber. While the rest of the campus sleeps, he is forced to toss and enjoy the salad of his cumbersome lover. When the deed has been done, his still bleary-eyed face is removed forcibly from the flesh of his captor and then pressed deep into a pillow and held fast, smothering him until he loses consciousness.
Slipping into a fuzzy brown bathrobe, Krin’s feet touch the cold floor. She removes the rawhide ties from her dresser, and secures her captive’s limbs to the bed to ensure that he will be waiting, helpless, upon her return. Jeff’s motionless body glistens with sweat. He lies twisted on the bed, breathing with raw, short intakes after the abuse he has just received. His hair, once lustrous and healthy, hangs at the sides of his face, combed from a greasy partition at the middle of the scalp. He is naked except for a cheap pair of jockey shorts. The room is small and dingy. Empty bottles of Mike’s Hard Lemonade litter the room, alongside granola bar wrappers, and a stick of deodorant that has been ground into the carpet and is now caked with crumbs and small pieces of dust. The window shades are drawn closed.
Jeff’s captivity in this room of an all girls’ floor of Blair Hall is the best-kept secret at Plymouth University. His turgid and cruel mistress rules his piteous existence, dictating his waking and sleeping hours, supplying his only source of nourishment, and cutting off all his contact with the outside world. Jeff entered the boudoir of this fiend as a guileless and kind if not somewhat misguided boy. However, following his agreement to live in Krin’s proverbial cellar of debauchery, his freedoms have been severely truncated. His contact with his family was quickly severed. From the start Krin was aware that the only way she could effectively mold his supple and yearning character was to become his only confidant in the world. The family is a bastion of trust on which all of us rely. In order to bring her would be captive to the point of supplication at her undoubtedly swollen feet she would have to assume the role of both mother and wife. Just as those who are indoctrinated into dark and dangerous cults are denied access to the outside world to prevent them from thinking for themselves, so would Jeff’s concept of reality have to be engineered to serve Krin and Krin alone.
Within a few months, his access to AOL Instant Messenger was denied. Soon after, he was forbidden to visit chat websites, community websites like www.fredrickville.com, or to use Wikipedia. His online time would be dedicated only to playing online games and praising Krin on his “MySpace” account. Phone calls off campus were prohibited, and furthermore, Jeff was required to wear a pager linking him directly with his succubus at all times. Because he lived in her room illegally, there was between the two of them only one door key. Jeff was required to be in the room at all times of the day except when Krin was free to keep a watch on him. He was expressly instructed never to leave campus and never to talk for more than eight minutes with another girl, or fifteen with another boy. He would attend class and take notes, but answer no questions, and then march directly back to his dungeon. He would not enter the dining halls nor use the public toilets without Krin’s permission. In case of emergencies, a plastic bag was kept in a small closet in the room, whereby it would be possible for him to answer the call of nature if he was absolutely overcome by necessity.
What Sword of Damocles did Krin hold over Jeff’s head that he would learn to accept such brutal treatment? The answer is actually quite obvious. Krin offered Jeff affection that he had never known, and he offered her the servitude she craved. Fearing of course that after a few months of dating Jeff would gain the confidence to look elsewhere, Krin decisively chose to entrap him in her cloisters, and thus ensure that she would have no short supply of the twisted and incessant worship or of the perverse sexual gratification that she required.
On a brisk morning in March, Robbie Fisher wheeled his dark blue Toyota into Plymouth’s student parking lot and trudged across the campus. The ground was still icy and frozen from the winter’s snow. In tow with him was an entourage comprising his most trusted companions: Brother Sam, heterosexual life partner Kallie Ploof, and kindred spirit Andy Mallet. They all wore fleece parkas and mittens. Robbie had on a pair of green ski goggles that made him look like he knew what he was doing. Approaching the unkempt entrance of Blair Hall, the group was met by a feeling of uneasiness.
The group, you see, was on a mission to locate their former friend Jeff, missing for over a year. His whereabouts had been reported in the area by sources Wayne Rowe and Kristin Warburton, and shortly after it was decided that a handful of his former acquaintances should make an attempt to locate him, and upon doing so, to persuade him to throw off whatever charade he was currently playing and to return home as far south as Tilton. If Jeff could not be found on premises, or if extracting him proved difficult, the group’s secondary objective was to reconnoiter the campus in order that a second team might be sent to remove him by force. The reason for this directive lay in the suspicion that he was being held against his will, or that he had been brainwashed or otherwise coerced to abandon his former life.
The group split up to explore the floors. Intelligence suggested that Jeff was residing on either the second or third tier, so investigation began in these areas first. On the third floor, Robbie had a near miss with Pete Green, but managed to avoid engaging him in conversation by ducking into a messy washroom. Sam and Andy quickly located a room on the second floor reputedly occupied by one “Krin Josephine Montero.” The information Kristin had provided confirmed this location as the area in which Jeff would be found.
Bam! Bam! Bam! Staccato impacts on the thick wooden paneling woke Jeff from where he lay half drowsing on the unmade bed. He stumbled drearily to the door, expecting that his lover had returned early for a pick me up. (As it was only ten in the morning.) Half in shock, he found himself staring into the eyes of a girl he only vaguely recognized. Through that pair of eyes, Kallie looked in disbelief at an appalling site. When she had last seen Jeff, he was wearing American Eagle jeans and a suede jacket. Now he was clad in ill-fitting Dockers and a crusty green sweatshirt. His face was wan and pale; although he had evidently put on at least thirty pounds because he had given up the rigorous exercise program he had devised to impress an earlier romantic interest. His lips and cheeks stained with condiments of undistinguishable origin and his fingernails had been nervously chewed raw. There was no evidence that he had bathed for at least a week (probably because this privilege had been denied him.) His hair was parted in the middle and curled down at each side. All that was left of his goatee was a bristly scruff of brown and red hairs, which curled lewdly around his pimply chin. His eyes stared glassily forward. “Hi, guys,” he managed to choke out, before inhaling huskily. Sam and Andy’s jaws dropped.
Kallie started politely, “Jeff…we need to talk.”
Robbie was more direct. “Sit down and shut up you big fat fuck!” He paraphrased a familiar movie.
Jeff tried to back into the room, but Andy enjoined him:
“Jeff, you’re coming with us. This is no way to live.”
Jeff suspected that something like this would happen at some point, but he had not thoroughly decided how he would deal with the situation. In a fey, lilting voice, he managed,
“I can’t today. I’m busy.”
Robbie and Andy looked at each other is disbelief and then back at Jeff.
“You’re not busy! You don’t do anything! We’ve heard the stories.”
Jeff, knowing that Krin would cast him by the wayside if he dared disobey her, but not having a leg to stand on, cringed back into the darkness and safety of his dungeon, afraid to face the light. Sam, who had not yet said anything, took a step to follow him in, but was immediately overcome by a thick, musky smell: months of greasy food, lotions, and sweaty sex had coated the walls and floor with a sour odor. The boy reeled back while Robbie stepped to take his place.
“Jeff, you know us, you need only come with us for a few hours. We have a car waiting…”
Jeff cut him off, “I have to be here for the next few hours. I’m meeting people.”
The boldfaced inaccuracy of this statement offended Robbie, but he kept his mouth shut. Sweat had begun to form under his green ski goggles, which he was still wearing. The entire group was getting antsy.
“Jeff…” Andy began again.
At this moment Jeff decided it would be a good idea to remove his pants. Exposing a hairy pair of legs made Andy almost lose his lunch, but he stuck to the plan. Robbie continued,
“We know you have obligations to your girlfriend, but I’m sure she’s reasonable and wouldn’t mind if you spent time with your old friends for a few hours.”
“I can’t!” insisted Jeff. His mind was frantically searching for some justification, “I need to be here so that she can get back in! I have the key!”
“But we’ll be back before she gets back!” Robbie emphasized, already exasperated. He was already realizing that there was no hope. The idea that Krin would return at noon, expecting to be gratified once again before bringing Jeff a little lunch from the dining hall was a nauseating, but inescapable reality. Repugnantly, the four turned their backs on Jeff, leaving him in the squalor. Before they shut the door on him once again, Sam admonished,
“Jeff, you should have come with us. We have no choice now.”
“No choice for what?”
“We’re going to ask some other people to come get you, and you’ll have to do what they say.”
Jeff dismissed this, turning back to the sickly blue glow of Krin’s computer monitor, where he had called up a website about Japanese Manga. He didn’t even watch as the group shut him in the room and walked back down the hall.
A week later, Krin walking across the central quad on her way back from class. In her hand was a plastic bag containing a sandwich, some lubricants, and some pantyhose, all of which she had picked up at the local Hess Express. It was late afternoon. She was expecting to return to Jeff, pop in a DVD, and slurp a plastic bottle of Welch’s grape juice while he gave her a back massage. Then they would hop under the dirty covers and rut like stoats until six in the evening, at which point she expected to become bored with her human toy, and leave to go drink with friends. Giggling viciously to herself at the idea, she then imagined herself tottering home after indulging a bottle or two of Zhenka and forcing Jeff to shove her off a few more times before she collapsed on his naked chest, her hair matted and her breath stinking of gin. Her thin, maroon lips pinched together gleefully in anticipation of her planned defilement of her captive.
The daydream was split by something quite unexpected. The rhythmic roar of a very powerful engine shook the sky overhead. Looking up she saw a large black helicopter closer to the ground than is ever seen in day-to-day life. It was clearly of a military design, but on its small winglets were mounted large speakers. The vehicle was so close to the ground that Krin could see the pilot inside maneuvering above the central dorm quad. He was wearing a pair of sunglasses and a headset with a mouthpiece. Other students had taken notice also and were looking up in amazement. Without warning, the speakers on the wings of the helicopter crackled up and began blasting the first few bars of the Axel Foley Theme. Then a voice came over them, distorted as through a public PA system.
“Clear the area, we are landing,”
it commanded, before the speakers switched back to music. This time it was Bark at the Moon by Ozzy Osborne.
Students scattered from the scene. The helicopter touched close to earth. Krin had no inclination of the intent of those aboard it. It so happened that the pilot was one Jarred Demontigny, a decorated combat veteran. He dropped the craft within a few inches of the mowed grass of the quad so that his compatriots could exit. Franklin T. Rea, Logan Phillips, and Wayne Rowe, dressed in black athletic gear leapt from the door on the side while Jarred continued to blare music from the speakers.
The commandos were equipped with backpacks containing lock breaking materials, restraining devices, and smoke bombs. Before anyone knew what was going on, they made a run for the dormitory directly across from where the helicopter had landed. They barged through the door of Blair Hall and raced up the steps in single file, feet pounding on the wooden steps. Wayne reached the top first and instantly pointed out the room where Jeff could be found. Logan and Franklin removed steel rods from their packs and smashed the hinges on the door until it fell in. Jeff, who was jamming out to pirated mp3s of Bon Jovi, was caught totally off guard.
With Wayne on the lookout, Logan and Franklin seized the disoriented prisoner and dragged him toward the door. Once in the hall, they pinned him down and tried to bind his hands with gauze, but by now he was beginning to put up a fight. Wayne stepped on the back of the Jeff’s neck as Logan tried to restrain him, but to no avail; Jeff was rolling around like a greased pig and it proved impossible to bind him effectively. Franklin found a solution. Producing a syringe of muscle relaxant from his pack, he shot Jeff up in a vein under the armpit. Within seconds, the thrashing quarry went limp, and the three took him by arms and feet and began dragging him towards the staircase.
Outside however, Jarred had another problem. He saw, from the corner of his eye, an all too familiar face, or rather nose, charging his position. Alex Rinkytink Martin, wearing a Vietcong style, large brimmed rice-picking hat and carrying a fistful of cheap fireworks was charging the helicopter. Jarred radioed his drop team.
“We’ve got goddamned sappers on the ground! I need to relocate!” He shouted. The helicopter took off seconds before Alex, muttering in a nasal brogue and shaking his fists wildly, arrived on the grassy spot where the chopper had sat idling moments before. He shook his fists upward toward the sky, and then began to assemble what appeared to be a primitive anti aircraft launcher made out of vacuum cleaner tubes. Jarred needed to take evasive action. He radioed back to the squad:
“Enemy ground to air defense is moving into position. Will reconnect with you along the south side of the building…”
As he heeled the powerful craft around, he tapped a switch on the control panel to switch the music to an 80’s classic: The Final Countdown.
Now, Franklin, Logan, and Wayne had the task of dragging Jeff back up the flight of stairs so that they could get onto the balcony on the southern side of Blair Hall. Because they had wasted time moving the tranquilized prisoner down and then back up, they had the misfortune of running afoul of a much bigger problem. Krin had made her way into the building to see her prize hog stolen from her outright. In a fury driven by the one primal urge, she began a frantic dash up the staircase. The three commandos were each capable of outrunning her on their own, but this was impossible while trying to budge the sedated Jeff. Thinking quickly, Logan threw a smoke bomb at the top of the stairs to try to hold the attacker, who was hurtling at them with all the wrath of a wounded bear. Franklin and Wayne had gotten halfway down the hall with Jeff when Krin reached the second floor landing.
Fortunately, Krin’s former roommate Kristin jumped out of an adjacent corridor to save the rescue operation. Brandishing a pool cue from the downstairs lounge, she tried to hold Krin off. Krin grabbed the cue and snapped it in half like a matchstick, twirling the splintered pieces in her more than dexterous hands. Kristen backed away, emptying her backpack on the hall floor. She had filled it with the entire rack of pool balls. Another smoke bomb, this time from Wayne, once more blinded the attacker. Slipping on the resin balls rolling about on the floor, Krin stumbled, crawled forward, and managed to right herself just as the three commandos and Kristin had moved Jeff out onto the balcony, over which the helicopter hovered, its engine pulsing. Jarred let down a ladder and some cargo ropes which were secured around Jeff. Krin reached the balcony just as Wayne and Franklin lifted Kristin into the helicopter and Jarred began to take the craft skyward. As it roared away, Logan ripped off his Adidas jacket to reveal a homemade t-shirt that read “No Fat Chicks” in bold letters.
Krin, robbed and hurt, howled with the force of a hurricane and the voice of a thousand tortured demons. She raised her hands skyward and rent the hair from her head. Her eyes spinning, she cast herself from the balcony, and landed, still alive, on the walkway below, where bewildered students rushed to her aid. In the misty clouds above, the helicopter, under Jarred’s expert control, screamed southbound, pounding out the beats of Gin and Juice from its stereo.
On board the helicopter, Logan and Franklin were swiftly making an effort to deprogram Jeff. He had come to a bit as the muscle relaxant wore off, but not before befouling himself. Logan stood behind him holding the purpled eyelids open while Franklin looked into the glazed eyes and, as charismatically as possible, began to repeat over and over, “You want to be free. You do not want to be with Krin. You are glad you are free.” Jeff, still looking a terrible sight, just as he’d been found by the investigation team a week earlier, gurgled unintelligibly. Chattering filled his ears and cold, fresh air filled his lungs. He quickly lost consciousness again.
Jeff awoke in the warm comfort of a bathtub. The water was clear, and soft pink rose petals floated on its surface. He looked about, as his senses returned to him. The room was completely white. Two bright lights, covered with shiny metallic lampshades, hung on the wall. Stepping out of the tub, he noticed on the wall a perfectly white bathrobe, which he donned to cover his nakedness. His hair had been cut and his nails manicured. Lifting the shiny handle on the sliding door, he stepped out into another completely white room. Against a wall was a white table containing a vase full of white lilies. In a ceiling high cage against the other wall were a pair of completely white rabbits. Their habitat was filled with all sorts of space age exercise devices and food dispensers. A calm, unmistakably British voice broke the silence. Turning slowly, Jeff saw a young woman with dark eyes, black eye shadow, and dark hair a trippy, sixties style bob. She was clad in a short white and black checkered dress and tall white leather boots.
“Hello, Jeff.” she repeated.
“Where am I?” asked Jeff, utterly confused.
“You are in Monsieur Freakburrito’s personal mansion and laboratory. You were brought here after you were rescued, and you are now his guest. He asked me to bring you anything you might need.” Her voice was even toned and smooth.
Jeff said nothing. His memory was coming back to him, and the sterile, cold, but intriguing atmosphere in whatever this place was seemed to heighten his perception, a feeling he had not experienced for quite some time. He remembered a certain Freakburrito. After a pause, he inquired,
“Is he here now?”
Lifting one hand, the girl produced a remote control, and, blinking her heavily made up eyes, pressed a button with her thumb. A dais against the far wall whirled around revealing an elevated swiveling chair and four ultra modern computer monitors in see through casings. Then, with the hiss of a hydraulic mechanism, a well-concealed door slid open on the back wall and Brian LaPierre, as the groovy eccentric “Monsieur Freakburrito” strode into the room and took a seat on the swiveling chair. He was wearing a spandex bodysuit of sparkling silver, clean white tennis shoes, and a pair of ear-to-ear reflective sunglasses. Upon descending into his stool, some cooling devices puffed out a silvery fog. Some mood lights tinted the room a cool violet, and somewhere, out of a surround sound system hidden behind the walls, Jefferson Starship began to play Go Ask Alice. In an accent just as British as that of the attendant, Brian addressed Jeff.
“Hello, Chase. I didn’t fancy I’d see you up this early.”
What transpired from here we do not know. What we do know is that Jeff convalesced in Freakburrito’s care, and was released within a few weeks. He stepped out into the sunlight once again looking vibrant and healthy. In a pair of carpenter’s pants and a collared shirt, with only a $500 in his pockets, he put a knapsack over his shoulder and boarded a train headed for our own American West to seek his fortune as a free man. He contacted his family to make amends shortly before he left, and he promised to write back to all those who had helped him once he had made something of himself. Since his rescue from the bowels of despair, rumor has it that Jeff has been sighted all the way from the Puget Sound to the Grand Canyon, and that he has been companion to many other young travelers. Never again will he let himself be taken captive for any woman’s sake. May his story be an inspiration to us all. Amen and amen.
This story is a fiction. Its characters are fictional. The resemblance of any names, locations, or events to anything in real life is unintentional and purely coincidental.
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flushmaster2000 @ 12/30/05
"By far the best column in months."
The Mexican @ 12/30/05
"The snapple triology is dwarfed in comparison to The Quickening!! BRAVO"
ThatSam @ 12/30/05
FreakBurrito @ 12/31/05
"Damn it Franklin LaPierre.
Other then that, It's brillant."
Riev_Mordred @ 12/31/05
"I'm not TOTALLY against performing the acts herefore mentioned."
chronic_groupie @ 12/31/05
"absolutly amazing. "
flushmaster2000 @ 12/31/05
"Now Gou, when you say performing do you mean on the stage or actually doing this stuff?"
Riev_Mordred @ 12/31/05
"Either or, but I'm not an actor anymore."
Spoonman @ 12/31/05
"I can remove your last name if you'd like, FreakyB. Also, I am already in the process of making a CD of the songs played by the helicopter."
flushmaster2000 @ 12/31/05
"YES! A SOUNDTRACK!!!"
Fly_girl @ 12/31/05
"that was abasloutely wicked
Lambic @ 12/31/05
"The sadness grows within my heart as I see the worlds come forth"
gregor @ 12/31/05
"what does that even mean?"
gregor @ 12/31/05
"that sounds like strong sad actually"
FreakBurrito @ 01/01/06
"No, just FIX IT."
The Mexican @ 01/01/06
"brian i must say tho you have the most bad assest charecter"
shoelacelove @ 01/01/06
Snephrew @ 01/02/06
"Pete Pete Pete
Pete Pete, Pete Pete Pete
and another ones bites- another ones bites the Pete"
SpIkE @ 01/11/06
"Took me a while to finally get around to reading this, but I must say, this is one of the most compelling stories to be told in recent times. The Quickening is truly a masterpiece! Well done Mr. Rea!"
SpIkE @ 01/11/06
"btw, the soundtrack would be AMAZING!"
Kallie @ 01/21/06
"It needs to be a movie. Right now."
Batman @ 04/23/07
"I'm writing an adaptation now."
FreakBurrito @ 04/27/07
||JC_OOD @ 02/04/11
"The sequel will be one of epic proportions... I would like to say "Thank you" to all of you.... It is decided that this went nearly six years without me knowing of it, but I am glad to see that you all cared. My one regret is that I allowed this to be. I am truly free now, freed by my own hand. It was a sad day when I chose to leave all that I had ever known behind, and embraced a life of quite servitude. Today, as in 2 months 3 weeks and a handful of days ago, I rejoined the ranks of those I would consider to be my most respected and admired friends.
I would very much like to get my hands on that sound track!"
||JC_OOD @ 02/05/11
"Perhaps one day I will tell you of the 2 years of planning that went into my escape."
||JC_OOD @ 02/07/11
"I could possibly write something new each week... it may not be as poignant as Franklin's posts... but it could be about "seeing the signs of a bad relationship" or how to be more like "Old Gregg" "
||Spoonman @ 02/08/11
"JCOOD needs a column!"
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