Written by Ralph E. Shaffer

Thursday, 31 August 2017

"This is a really dumb idea... and it was mine!" Lisa said, turning to Ilsa as they entered the fraternity house through an unlocked back door.

"I think it's cool, Lisa." Ilsa didn't hesitate, being especially careful to close the door quietly. "But if the place is deserted why are we being so quiet?"

"The boys are gone but the housemother is probably still here during spring recess if she catches us we could be expelled and they'd send you back to Iceland."

Ilsa and Lisa were roommates in the International Dorm at Pasadena's Huntington College, sharing a room on the seventh floor. The college paired a U. S. resident with one of the many foreign students studying at Huntington and these two, both freshman English majors, hit it off extremely well. Ilsa's almost impeccable command of English and her quick assimilation into American college social life made the pairing work well. Both were somewhat shy, which is why the escapade they engaged in this warm spring night was not what one would expect from these two.

"What if his room's locked?" Ilsa wondered in a barely audible whisper.

"Why would these guys lock their doors? If they had keys they probably lost them long ago," Lisa responded.

"Shhh!" Ilsa put a hand firmly on Lisa's shoulder to stop her while they both listened for whatever noise Ilsa thought she had heard. Nothing. They started up the stairway to the second and third floors, stepping gingerly on each riser to prevent squeaking in the nearly century old house.

"Did it occur to you that there might be some kid staying during the break?" Ilsa asked.

"What's there to do here when all the other kids are gone? These guys are at Balboa, Newport, the Colorado River, Fort Lauderdale, or one of those other Florida beaches. None of the guys are in the house."

At the second floor landing all was dark and quiet. The pencil-like flashlight Lisa carried was the only illumination in the building. Even the security lights had been turned off to save electricity during the break. The two stood silently for a moment, listening but hearing nothing except the tick of a grandfather clock, then they moved on up the stairs to the third floor.

They knew exactly where they were headed. From their seventh floor room in the dorm they had a clear view of the frat house across the street. More pointedly, they had an unobstructed view of a particular room on the third floor, the one occupied by their "Dreamboat" and his friend.

Dreamboat was an attractive sophomore, a quarter mile runner on the college track team. Tall, slender, his dark hair in a crew cut, they had first seen him on campus early in the term and then were elated to discover that he lived in the fraternity house across the street. The big surprise was the first night they saw him in the room. They were both looking out the window when a light went on in that third floor room and the boy came into view, the venetian blinds completely open. They recognized him immediately - short hair, letterman's jacket, blue denims and saddle shoes, the garb most of the frat crowd wore. It was just that he wore it in a more alluring way.

As they watched him that night, he walked to the window and closed the venetian blinds. Actually, he thought he had closed the blinds. From the street and from the lower six floors of I-Dorm he had closed them. But a defect in the blinds left them partially ajar so that only from their room on the seventh floor the boy was still visible. Watching him was a treat in itself. What happened next was dessert.

Rick - they had learned his name - took off his jacket and flung it across the back of a chair. The saddle shoes went under his bed, along with his socks. The white tee shirt he had been wearing under the jacket fell on the floor. By this time the girls were in near hysterical giggles. But when he slipped out of the blue denims and stood there in his tiger striped briefs they hugged each other and temporarily hid their blushing faces.

Now Ilsa and Lisa, standing at the top of the stairway, had almost reached their goal. Rick's room was at the end of the dark hall. They walked as quietly as possible down the hallway to his room. The door was closed. Lisa turned the knob.

"It's unlocked," she whispered. "Should we go in?" She realized the question was almost pointless because the only reason they were in the frat house was to be in his room.

Ilsa didn't even answer. She simply pushed the door open slowly and looked into the room. The blinds were closed so little light came in from the outside. They really couldn't see anything. Both stood there, quietly. Then Ilsa spoke, still in a whisper.

"Shine your light slowly around the room. Let's see how the kid lives."

The room was surprisingly neat. Books were carefully arranged on a shelf above the one desk. An open closet contained a variety of shirts, pants, sweaters and jackets, even a suit and sport coats. Huntington banners plastered the walls, along with photos of several girls. Along another wall were bunk beds, the top one neatly made. The bottom bunk was another matter. Lisa tried to suppress a gasp, but couldn't.

"Ilsa, there's a body in the lower bunk."

"Is it Rick?"

"I can't tell. His roommate also has a dark crew cut, and this kid's face is turned toward the wall."

Lisa slowly moved the light up and down the bed. The boy lay face down, was shirtless, and a sheet covered his lower back and legs. His left arm dangled off the bed, the hand a few inches above the floor. He didn't move.

"Maybe he's dead." Lisa didn't really think so, but the body hadn't moved since they spotted it.

"Don't be so dramatic," replied Ilsa. He's just asleep. Look what's on the floor below his hand, a bottle of sleeping pills. He's not dead, just dead tired and took pills to help him sleep. While I'd like to look at him, let's get what we came for and go before he wakes up."

"But what if he's really dead. Maybe he took too many sleeping pills and died, or he's in a coma. When somebody finds him the cops will come and take fingerprints and they'll find out we've been here and when they call us in we tell them we thought he was asleep. They won't believe that."

"Anyone would think you really want him to be a dead body. He isn't, but if we don't hurry up and get out of here he's going to wake up and then we will really be in trouble."

Ilsa took the flashlight from Lisa's hand and shined it on a dresser.

"We don't know which one's his."

"Won't be hard to tell," said Lisa. "I doubt the other kid wears tiger striped underwear."

Ilsa opened a drawer. "All white boxers."

She moved to a different dresser. The first drawer contained socks, sweaters and other stuff. She opened a lower drawer.

"Bingo!" Lisa giggled, belatedly putting her hand over her mouth to silence herself. In the open drawer were designer briefs, including the tiger stripes.

Without further conversation, the two girls thumbed through the neatly folded briefs, each girl choosing a trophy to take back to their dorm. Lisa was somewhat reluctant to touch Rick's underwear, but the girl from Iceland was nonplussed, touching the clothes without a thought. For whatever reason, neither took the tiger striped briefs but chose something else. They stuffed their trophies in the back pockets of their jeans.

"Are we ready to go?" Lisa asked.

"Don't' you want to pull down the sheet... just a little?" Ilsa's question implied that she wanted to do that.

"We couldn't do that. What if he turns over? He may not be as out of it as we think."

Ilsa smiled. "Yes, what if he turns over?" It was apparent that Ilsa hoped Rick would turn over.

Ilsa started to slowly pull the sheet down. At that point Rick turned over, grabbed the flashlight with one hand and the hand Ilsa had on the sheet with the other. Lisa screamed.

"The zombie's got you both," Rick shouted. Lisa screams were interrupted only by her sobs. Even Ilsa felt a little frightened.

"O. K., girls, the jig is up," Rick said in a poor imitation of Sherlock Holmes. He released Lisa's hand and turned on a light as he moved to a sitting position on the edge of the bunk. He was wearing Bermuda shorts.

"Look, it's all right. Nothing's going to happen. Sit down here on the bunk." The girls complied, partly because he pulled each of them down on either side of himself.

"Now, what's this all about." He smiled, trying to calm Lisa, who was still frightened. Ilsa seemed more composed. "You don't have to explain. I know what it's about. I was awake from the moment you entered the room but I could hardly keep from laughing. Then when she," nodding toward Lisa, "began to suggest I was a dead body I decided to have a little fun with you two."

Lisa sniffed a few times, caught her breath, and started to apologize.

"Hey, no apology needed. It was a lot of fun. Now, if you want some of my underwear, take it. I just hope you took something presentable." He paused a moment. "I think I've seen you two before. You live in I-Dorm, don't you?"

Ilsa nodded yes, then explained about their room on the seventh floor and the strip show they had watched starring Rick. He smiled.

"I'll have someone fix that venetian blind. I didn't know there were peeping girls across the way."

"No, don't fix the blinds," Ilsa begged. "We haven't seen your roommate strip yet."

Rick thought for a moment. "You know, you kids are a lot of fun. What if both of you go on a date with us when my roommate returns from spring break? Or frat isn't as snobby as the others. We don't just date sorority girls. What do you say?"

Ilsa and Lisa were soon on their way back to the seventh floor. They had taken a bigger trophy than the ones squished into their back pockets.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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