Dalton's Trailer Park - Part 4
A visit to the Dean…
Ahmed eventually caves in, of course. I listen to him bleating on and on all evening about how it’s illegal, how he might go to jail and how it might jeopardise his degree, but in the end we both know that if he wants to continue tapping this juicy black booty of mine on a regular basis, he’d better get hacking…
So, first thing this morning, before most other students are even up, we head off to the library to see what we can discover. Thank heaven for the sexual frustration of young Muslim men…
Students don’t seem to count for much at this university unless they’re paying over bundles of cash, so we first come across the name ‘Axel Lindstrom’ in the list of academic fees paid seven years ago. He’s listed as being in the Arts Faculty studying for a degree in Printing and Design.
“His subject choice sounds about right for a future tattoo artist, I guess,” I say, leaning over Ahmed’s shoulder to look at the screen.
Ahmed mutters a swear word in his mother tongue. “Keep your fucking eyes on the door!” he snarls. To maintain his total anonymity, we’re using one of the more secluded library terminals to do the hacking and, even though the place is still deserted, he’s totally paranoid about someone creeping up on us and catching him in the act.
“How many semesters did Lindstrom complete before he dropped out?” I ask.
“He’s listed as paying fees for three altogether,” Ahmed replies. “There are also records of him paying for on-campus accommodation too, but no sign of any further payments after the end of that academic year…”
“Fees and rent are always paid in advance, so he probably went sometime in the summer semester of his freshman year…” Just like Josh, I think. “Okay, now run a search on the name ‘Dalton’…”
I wait patiently, keeping watch on the only entrance to this part of the library while Ahmed taps furiously away on the keyboard. It’s a full ten minutes before he exclaims that he’s found something.
“Well?” I ask.
“An ‘Adam Dalton’ was a student who first came here fourteen years ago to study Biochemistry. He graduated with a first class honours degree and went on to complete a Master’s and a PHD in Psychology while also working here as a junior science lecturer…”
“What happened to him?”
Another boring few minutes of typing pass before Ahmed suddenly takes a deep breath. “Wow…”
“I’ve just managed to hack into the Dean’s disciplinary files. It says that a Doctor Adam Dalton was dismissed from the staff for ‘conducting experiments on undergraduates in contravention of established university health and safety regulations’…”
“Does it say what these ‘experiments’ were?”
“No, it doesn’t give any details, but the file entry is tagged ‘high security’ and the date is six years ago; around the same time that Lindstrom disappeared from the records…”
“Well done, Ahmed.”
“Right, bro, I’m going to stop now before this particular terminal is identified as the source of a security breach by the university’s defensive software, such as it is…”
“Okay; we’ve got a couple of good leads anyway,” I say. “I don’t know about you, but I could really do with a coffee and some breakfast. Let’s head back to the apartment…”
I wake up with a slight hangover. The bar was crazy busy last night and I kept getting drinks bought for me as tips by the other guys. Thinking of this makes me smile; they’re such a great crowd… I sit on the side of my bed and light up my first smoke of the day. Ahh… That feels better… My phone is on the night-stand and I’ve gotten a lot of messages since I last looked at it. I scroll through all of them but every one of the texts seems to be written in Japanese or something because I can’t read any of the fucking things. The weird letters don’t look anything like English… Maybe the messages are intended for someone else, I think, or perhaps there’s something wrong with my damned phone…
I shuffle down to the bathroom and, through sheer force of habit, walk into one of the shower cubicles. Then I remember and step straight out again. Showers are still fucking scary to me. These days, I feel so uncomfortable when I get into one that I’ve switched to just wiping my hands and face occasionally with a damp cloth. I know I stink, but I’ve gotten so used to it that I quite like the smell. No one at work seems to care, anyways…
I stare at my reflection in the mirror for a few seconds. I really like my new skinhead style and it feels good to look exactly the same as most of the other guys at Dalton’s Trailer Park. A light fuzz of blond stubble has already grown back, so I decide I’ll go to work a little early today and get Axel to shave me clean again…
I return to my bedroom to dress, but find that I’ve got no fresh clothes left to change into. For some reason, I keep forgetting to visit the campus laundry… Sighing, I root around in my dirty clothes basket and find a shirt and some pants that aren’t too badly stained. I guess they’ll have to do; it’s not like the bar has a dress code for staff in any case; we just wear what the fuck we like…
Darius and Ahmed are in the kitchen drinking coffee when I enter. As soon as I walk through the door they stop talking, so I guess they were probably chatting shit about me again, the stuck-up, superior bastards…
“There’s a letter just come for you,” Darius says, pointing at the white envelope on the table. “It looks like it’s from the university…”
I pick it up and frown. The name and address are all in the same weird characters as the text messages on my phone and totally unreadable. As I open the thing, I wonder why Darius thinks it’s for me… The letter itself has the university crest at the top right enough, but the actual words are typed in the same dumb gobbledygook letters… I laugh and throw it back down on the table. “Very funny, guys,” I say, “but it’s not April Fools today…”
Darius pulls the discarded letter towards him and studies it. “I don’t know why you’re laughing, Vince,” he says. “This is very serious. It’s a final warning from the Dean’s Office about late delivery of coursework assignments. It says that if you don’t complete all the outstanding components within the next three days, they’re not going to allow you to study here after the summer vacation…”
“Damn…” Ahmed says. “It means they’re gonna send you down…”
“Are you shitting me?” I say, looking at the letter again. “How can you read that? It’s not even proper writing!”
Darius shakes his head slowly from side to side. “What’s the matter with you, Vince? It’s written in plain English…”
Something about his wide-open brown eyes makes me think that Darius isn’t shitting me after all. I stare at the strange characters again, but I still can’t make any of them out. “It looks like total gibberish to me,” I say, sitting down heavily. “Honest, guys…”
Ahmed takes the letter from my trembling hand. “It’s perfectly clear, Vince,” he says softly. “Are you saying you can’t read it?”
“Not a fucking single word…” It’s then that I realise I’ve started to cry…
Leaving Ahmed to look after Vince, I head straight for the administration block to make an appointment to see the Dean. At first, his elderly secretary tries to fob me off with how busy Professor Rose is, but I insist that it’s incredibly urgent and, eventually, she says she will arrange for a brief interview at noon when his present important meeting is over.
This gives me about an hour. I return to the library and start searching through old yearbooks for a photograph of Doctor Adam Dalton. It takes a while, but eventually, I find a picture of him that was taken six years ago, just before he lost his job. It’s an official faculty portrait, so Dalton is shown holding a fancy scroll and wearing a smart suit under an academic gown with a black mortar board on his head. He’s a handsome blond guy who looks to be in his late twenties with intelligent and penetrating light blue eyes. I photocopy the picture and hurry back to the apartment.
Ahmed and Vincent are still sitting at the kitchen table where I left them. Vince has stopped crying now, but he’s obviously been chain-smoking, as the ashtray in front of him is full of stubbed-out Marlboro butts. Obviously, Ahmed took pity on our poor homie and temporarily waived his strict cigarette embargo…
“Do you know this guy?” I ask Vincent, showing him the photograph.
He stares at it for several seconds and then nods his head. “It’s my Boss, Mr Dalton…”
“You’re absolutely sure?”
Vincent nods again. “Yeah… He’s changed some since this was took, but yeah…”
“Has he ever done anything weird to you, Vince?”
“How do you mean?”
“I dunno, exactly,” I say, shrugging my shoulders. “Something unusual, I guess…”
Vincent thinks for a moment and then shakes his head. “I don’t reckon so… If he has, I don’t remember it…”
I sigh and glance at my watch. “Okay, Vince, I’ve got to go and see the Dean now. I’m going to ask him about this Dalton guy and try to find out exactly what’s happened to you. I will also request that he grants you some kind of a time extension for the outstanding work you owe until we can get you properly straightened out, alright?”
“Yeah…” He looks up at me and I see that fresh tears are starting to well up in his eyes. “Thanks, Darius… You’re a true friend…”
I look at Ahmed. “Please make sure he’s okay while I’m gone…”
Ahmed spreads his hands. “I’m sorry, but I can’t, bro; I’ve got a programming test in ten minutes. I’m running late as it is…”
“Damn! Okay… Look, Vince; I won’t be long, alright? Stay right here in the apartment until I get back…”
“Okay…” Vincent replies. He still looks badly shaken and, as I turn to leave, he’s already sticking another cigarette between his lips and lighting it…
Professor Earle Garvey Parks Rose is African-American like me and, according to the roll call of past Deans on the brass plaque outside his study, has been in post for eight years, so his tenure definitely overlaps with that of Doctor Dalton. He’s in his late fifties, and almost as tall as me, although much thicker set. Despite his grey hair, he looks much younger than his age. He’s slightly lighter-skinned than me, has a smooth, slightly plump face and dark brown eyes that can instantly switch from twinkling like those of a jovial old uncle to glaring at you like a male gorgon. He’s not the kind of guy you want to be disciplined by and most students in this place are pretty scared of him…
“Please sit down, Mr Gordon,” he says cheerfully as I’m shown into his study by the sour-faced old secretary. “Darius, isn’t it?” He chuckles. “You see? I never forget a name…”
“Thank you for seeing me at such short notice, Sir,” I say, sitting opposite him. The desk between us is made of polished rosewood and looks like an incredibly expensive antique. The gaunt faces of several past Deans, all elderly white men, stare down at us from their portraits as though they’re auditioning to appear on a new American banknote…
“I have another meeting very soon and can only spare you a little over ten minutes, so please get straight to the point, young man…”
Desperately marshalling my thoughts to be as concise as possible, I take a deep breath and begin. “At the start of this semester, Joshua Stephenson, my room-mate and best friend, began behaving very out of character; drinking too much, smoking cigarettes, neglecting his personal hygiene and doing absolutely no work. This culminated in him leaving the university three weeks later.”
The Dean nods his head. “I remember young Joshua. I thought the boy had some promise. It is always very sad when students decide that, after all, college is not for them…”
“Recently,” I continue, “Vincent Taylor, another student who shares my apartment here on campus, has begun behaving in exactly the same way as Josh did. He’s started smoking and drinking, doesn’t wash himself or his clothes and he’s failing academically. Just this morning, Sir, he received a letter from your office giving him a final warning for failing to complete work…”
As he listens to my words, the Dean’s dark eyes have lost their twinkle and are beginning to turn a tad beady… “Colleagues who teach Mr Taylor have informed me that he owes them many essays and that he has failed his last two examinations…”
“Indeed, Sir, and it will shock you to hear that Vince was totally unable to read that disciplinary letter you sent.”
The Dean’s eyebrows shoot up in surprise at this, but then his face relaxes and he chuckles. “You know as well as I do, Mr Gordon, that such a phenomenon is most unlikely. I am sure that your friend is still perfectly capable of reading. I expect he’s playing some kind of a practical joke on you…”
I take out the picture of Doctor Dalton and place it carefully between us on the rosewood desk. “By coincidence, these character changes I have described began happening to both my friends at around the same time that they met this man and began working for him…”
Professor Rose picks up the photograph and stares at it in silence for a few seconds.
“I believe you know Doctor Dalton, Sir…” I add, attempting to provoke a response. “According to past yearbooks, he was both a student and an employee of this university for some time…” I sorely wish that I could raise the suspicious circumstances under which Dalton was dismissed, but due to the illegal means Ahmed and I used to gain that piece of confidential information, I can’t…
A few more moments pass and then, finally, the Dean sighs and puts down the picture. “Yes, I do remember this individual,” he says quietly, “but I have not seen him for over six years.”
“He seems to have suddenly changed careers in rather an odd way, Sir. After working here for some time as a highly qualified and respected university lecturer, Doctor Dalton now runs a number of blue-collar businesses in a very poor and run-down part of this city…”
The Dean’s brown eyes have turned from beads to hard stones. He looks very angry. For the first time since this interview began, I begin to think that he’s starting to believe me. He flips a switch on his desk and leans forward slightly. “Miss Havers? Could you cancel my lunchtime meeting and bring me the Dalton file, please? Yes, Adam Dalton… Immediately, if you will… Thank you…” He sits back in his chair again and smiles. The twinkle has returned… “Can I possibly offer you a drink, Darius?”
“No, I’m fine, thank you, Sir.”
“As a result of what you’ve just told me, I need to look at a highly confidential file and make a couple of private telephone calls. Please go and sit in my outer office for a few moments. I promise that I won’t keep you waiting for too long…”
The door opens and Miss ‘lemon-sucking’ Havers comes in and places a bulky folder in front of the Dean which looks as if it’s stuffed with papers. “Thank you, Miss Havers. Please be so good as to take Mr Gordon through to reception and offer him some light refreshment…”
I sit in my bedroom staring at the little book-rack on top of my desk. Although I’ve read all twelve of these books in the past, some more than once, they now seem to be printed in the same weird lettering that I simply can’t decipher. This isn’t a sick joke being played on me by the guys. Text messages, letters, books; I can’t read any of them anymore… What’s happened to me? I think about Mom and Dad and about how proud they were when I graduated from High School and earned my place here at university. Now I’m so dumb I can’t even read and, according to Darius and Ahmed, I’m gonna get thrown out of here real soon… A feel a hot tear run down my right cheek. I feel so fucking miserable… What am I gonna do?
My phone vibrates. Thank God - it’s not a text this time – it’s an actual call that I can understand! I pick it up…
It’s my Boss… He says something I don’t quite catch and my mind goes peacefully blank for a while. I feel very relaxed…
“Yeah, Boss,” I say, when he’s finished speaking, but he’s already hung up. I grab my smokes, lighter and phone and head straight out of the apartment. As I walk quickly down the gravel path towards the campus gates, I can’t help smiling. I feel okay now. More than okay, in fact… Reading ain’t important. Only fucking geeks like reading and a geek I certainly ain’t. What does it matter if I’m dumb? Being dumb is good…
I see the familiar truck parked in the main road outside and hurry towards it. The Boss waves at me through the window and opens the passenger door. I get in, fasten my seat belt and he turns the ignition key. We’re off…
“Good boy…” Boss repeats softly as we head downtown. He’s squeezing my thigh with his strong right hand. It feels real nice… “Remember… You love being dumb. It makes you happy…”
“Yeah, Boss,” I agree. “I love being dumb. It makes me happy…” For some reason, I suddenly can’t help grinning…
Boss nods his head. “Being dumb is so great… Being dumb turns you on…”
“Being dumb is so great… Being dumb turns me on…” In my tight jeans, my dick is already straining against the thin denim fabric. It’s never felt harder in my fucking life… I relax back in my seat and let out a soft sigh of pleasure as I feel my Boss gently running his hand along the outline of my iron-hard cock…
I sit for what feels like fucking hours waiting outside the Dean’s study. His secretary looks real pissed that I’m cluttering up her workspace and sniffs every time she so much as glances in my direction. Eventually, after a good thirty minutes of frustrated boredom, Professor Rose opens his door and invites me back inside.
“Firstly, I want to thank you for coming to see me today, young man,” the Dean says, once we’ve sat down. “While I do not think that Dalton poses a significant threat to our students, I am concerned that a couple of them have been tempted to obtain work in such a dangerous part of the city. I have contacted a good friend of mine – a senior officer in the police department – and asked him to pay a visit to Doctor Dalton and look into the legality of his various operations.”
“What about Vincent?” I ask.
The Dean smiles broadly, displaying his perfect white veneers. “I have referred your friend to the campus clinic and arranged for him to see not only one of our resident doctors, but also a psychologist. I am sure that they will soon be able to help him get through his present academic difficulties…”
“And the disciplinary letter you sent?”
“I assure you that young Mr Taylor will be given every support that it is possible for us to give in order to get him ‘back on track’ in terms of his studies, Darius.”
“Thank you, Sir.” I rise and the Dean shakes my hand.
“Once again, thank you for bringing this matter to my attention, Darius…”
I rush back to the apartment to give Vince the good news, but the whole place is deserted and he’s nowhere to be seen. I hope to God that he hasn’t been stupid enough to go back to that trailer park…
At that point, my phone vibrates. To my surprise, it’s a text from Josh. There’s no message, just an attached video stream. Intrigued, I download it and press ‘play’…
A young white man is kneeling outside someplace on what looks like a pile of garbage. He’s heavily tattooed all over his arms, neck and torso and completely naked except for a thick leather collar fastened around his neck. It’s studded with metal rivets and looks like something you’d put on a guard dog. The guy has a shaved head and it’s a moment or two before I realise that this is actually Josh himself. Yes; it’s definitely him… I can see the ganga-leaf tattoo high up on his neck…
Oh shit… What’s Josh doing now, for fuck’s sakes?
Someone must be standing, just out of shot, next to Josh, because, suddenly, a strong jet of yellow urine hits my homie right in the face. Instead of recoiling in disgust, Josh tilts his head back and opens his jaw as wide as he can, as though he’s desperate to swallow as much of the filthy liquid as he can. Sickened and revolted, I watch as the unseen guy doing the pissing aims the stream right into Josh’s mouth, treating him like some kind of human urinal. I can even hear a gurgling noise as the stuff hits the back of his throat…
Eventually, the pissing stops, but then the source of the urine comes into view from the side. It’s an erect white dick, uncircumcised and heavily veined. Josh turns his head, takes the cock between his lips and starts sucking on it like it was some kind of life-giving lollipop. He bobs his head up and down the thick shaft like a two-dollar whore, even smiling up at the camera from times to time. Mercifully, at this point, the clip abruptly ends.
I’m gay and no stranger to porn. I have a freaky side and, under ‘normal’ circumstances, a clip like that would probably turn me on. However, to see my best friend Josh, who I have always thought of as being completely straight, on the receiving end of water-sports and oral sex from another guy, sets my brain reeling. While I’ve occasionally fantasised about messing around with Josh and sometimes regretted that I never flirted with him when we were close, I never seriously entertained the idea that he could be gay…
Before I can truly get my head around this development, my phone vibrates again. It’s a call this time, from Josh’s father of all people. I didn’t even know he had my number…
It’s a very upsetting conversation. Apparently, the livestream I just watched was sent to Mr and Mrs Stephenson too, as well as to at least some of Josh’s other relatives. They think he must have sent it to all his contacts. They haven’t heard anything from their son for over two weeks and he hasn’t been replying to their messages or calls. First he drops out of uni and tells them he’s got some dead-end job instead, then there’s a long silence, then this ‘obscene’ video arrives… Mr Stephenson is almost in tears by the time he’s finished regaling me with this tale of woe and, apparently, Josh’s mother is so prostrated with grief they’ve had to call the emergency doctor…
I listen to Josh’s Dad for nearly ten minutes, only contributing the occasional sympathetic word or two in response. Eventually, he runs out of steam and asks me a direct question: As Josh’s best friend and someone he and his wife both love and trust, can I please go and see their son and try to talk some sense into him? Persuade him to come home? If only for a visit?
Of course, I say yes. I put down the phone and let out a deep sigh. It looks like my dealings with Dalton’s Trailer Park are far from over…