This story is by Dominick Bianco and was part of our 2018 Spring Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
“In God I Trust”
I promise God over forty years ago that I would never step into the ring again and entomb my dark-side forever. I honored my promise and never hurt another man again. Not until that night when circumstances took control.
Friends call me, Vic. I’ve never been a nightclub rat, but my roommate, Ben, convinced me to have just one beer. Hine sight being twenty-twenty, looking back, I think I should have said, hell no!
To be positive, I love drinking beer. The faster I gulped it down, the quicker it recycled. Shortly after my first large mug, it was time for a kidney drain. The joint was pitch black, making it difficult to find the bathroom. Once I found the place, entering it became much more complicated; stopped by Mr. Muscle.
“Occupied,” he said, giving me a cocky grin.
Just before retreating, I heard a blood-curdling scream for help. Reasoning with no neck was out of the question. Suddenly from out of nowhere, an uncontrollable flow of adrenaline filled my veins. Five knuckles clinched, a swift swing, I cold cocked the bum hard in his throat. Dazed, he grabbed his neck and he began gasping for air. Quick left, then right; the big boy spun. “You were saying,” I said, as the big guy fell.
I ran through the door and found another bum. I grabbed his throat and squeezed just long enough to avoid his demise, I flung that cockroach hard into the mirror; giving the poor soul seven bad years.
Another skinny runt came running from the back-urinal area, I grabbed his belt and whipped him around, cracking his head hard on the floor.
I flung the stall door open. I found two young men on their knees holding down one helpless girl. Several kidney pops, and plenty of rib tenderizing blows I grabbed their hair and dragged them shouting profanity’s. One by one, half naked, like garbage I heaved them out.
“Why’d she run?” I said, relieving myself.
Still animalistic I plowed my way back to the table, where I found Ben, with his new part time soul mate. I flopped back trembling inside. Time seamed to stand still. Suddenly a tap on the arm, reality was back.
“Sorry for running away,” the girl I rescued said.
“Why’d you run?
“You were uncontrollable.”
“I don’t remember, … been dancing here long?”
“No, I’m a student at the university.”
“Vic, is my name. … I’d love to buy you breakfast?”
“Milly’s, my name. … Breakfast sounds good, I get off in an hour,” she said.
Guilt filled me. I couldn’t sleep. Remorseful feeling that I broke my word and went primal, becoming what I most despised. I needed to decompress and fall asleep. Just as my eyes closed, the front door opened and Ben ran in.
“Glad your home,” he said.
“Home so early,” I said.
“She was some porn goddess.”
“Disappointing for her?”
“Funny! … No! … There was a fight last night, you know?”
“No kidding,” I said.
“The owner’s son got smashed up by a madman. Um, … some maniac pushed his way through several tough guys and broke the kids ribs and ripped out some hair.”
“Hard to believe. … Anyway, we have been asked to protect some sorority girls,” I said.
“The waitress I took to breakfast, is a fulltime student at the university.”
“They have no money,” Ben said, as he withdrew to his room.
My mind was settled; I opened a folded note. Written in red lipstick was Milly’s phone number, I opened the cell phone and made the call.
“Get any rest?”
“No,” she said.
“I’d like to continue our discussion from last night.”
“I told my sorority sisters your idea, they loved it.”
“Great! … Okay if I come see you?”
“I’d like that,” Milly said, as the phone went dead.
I found the University’s coffee shop and sat reading through the campus advertisements.
“Vic,” Milly called out, looking youthful and stunning.
“Introduce me to my future employers,” I said.
“Of course, Jane, rooms with me, Mary, is sorority president, and Olivia, the brainy nerd of the group.”
“Milly told us quite a tale,” Olivia said.
“Hard for me to remember,” I shot out.
“Sorry, I’m not making light of it,” Olivia returned.
“It’s all good. … I started reading some of the job postings around campus,” I said.
“They love the university’s pretty young women. … One ad was looking for girls for filming. It didn’t directly say that, but it most definitely implied it,” Olivia said.
“Milly, informed us that you’re not much into technology,” Mary said.
“Hard to teach an old dog new tricks.”
“That’s covered. What we need are street smarts and muscle,” Mary said.
“I have both,” I said, giving the group my best smile.
Mary continued, “I remember about a year ago, when the police came asking questions. Jane, you were one they talked with, right?”
“I had nothing to tell them. Anyway, it was all very hush-hush,” Jane shyly said.
“Doesn’t sound all that sinister,” I said, making light of it.
“There’s a head stone that says differently,” Mary shot back.
“Who’s buried there?” I asked.
“Cindy Graciano. The sorority’s founder. It’s her trust fund that pays for our school needs. We all live in her house, fund raise on her land. As long as girls live in the house and attend the university we can live for free,” Mary said.
“The house and land were earmarked for the Liberal Arts Building. However, someone had different plans. They found Cindy raped and brutally murdered. Is that sinister enough, Mr. Vic?” Olivia asked.
“Back in 2000, the University hosted a fund raiser, trying to raise funds to build an addition on the Liberal Arts building. Cindy was a professor who agreed to be auctioned off. She would accompany the high bidder for a night on the town. She caused a big scuffle, as two unnamed bidders started a bidding war; bidding each-other back and forth. The Dean wanted to stop the bidding at a million dollars, but the two men kept bidding, higher and higher. The next day a certified check for two million came in care of Cindy Graciano. Three weeks later, she was slain,” Mary said.
“Milly told us that you requested information?” Olivia asked, pulling out of her bag numerous files.
“Yes, … true,” I said.
“As requested, these women disappeared without a trace before graduating. All six were pretty, all worked part-time for extra money and each paid by, The Beauty Works, LLC,” Olivia read out.
“No way! …We count on them for most of our fundraisers,” Mary said.
“Something stinks,” I said.
The next day, after a few hours of sleep. I sat Ben down and showed him the information, and what they had told me; he was all in. Especially, knowing that the sorority girls had the brains, tech-no skills, and they would pay us for time and muscle.
“Ben you ready?” I asked, holding the front door open.
“Hey old timers,” a man said, coming slowly up the front steps.
“We’re just leaving,” Ben said.
“Not yet you’re not,” demanded the man.
“You really don’t want to do this,” I said.
“I have a message from the Boss,” the man said, holding a pointy object in his pocket.
“He’s just a messenger boy,” I said, smiling at Ben.
“They said you’re a funny guy.”
“I have no time for crap. …Out with it, we’re all ears,” Ben said.
“Stay away from his sorority girls,” the man said, as he slid his hand out of his pocket and walked into a large black sedan, pointing back his finger to shoot.
I became fearful for the girls. So, I decided to make a call. As luck would have it, only Olivia answered. “Has anyone come around asking questions?” I asked, anxiety filled my heart.
“Three men looking for Milly,” she said.
“Please get the girls and come to my house. Milly has my address”
Just then, pulling curb side back window lowered, an old man poked out his head.
“Vic, is it?”
“Thank you for helping my girls,” he said.
“Vic, … they belong to everybody,” Ben said.
“Years ago, my adopted brother, joined a kind of family not so forthright. In fact, they have done many grievous acts for money. For years he’s tried exploiting the girls from my daughter’s sorority; photographing them, selling them Internationally to the highest bidder, impregnating them, and selling their babies,” the man said, his eyes watering up.
“I heard you’re a skillful fighter. I will pay you very well, but if anything should happen to my girls you will pay with your life,” the man said, as the car drove away.
One man wants me out. … Another wants me in. … They both would kill me!
‘God released me from my promise to protect his angels.’