“No dad. I won’t do it,” Daniel Weir groaned.
His father, Rodney, owner of the largest luxury HOTEL CHAIN in the Shady City, removed the cigar that was clenched between his teeth and dropped it into the crystal ash tray that sat on his mahogany desk.
“You will do what I tell you,” Rodney warned. “It’s bad enough you want to waste your life taking pictures like some pansy. If you pledge KAPPA SO at least you will have something to fall back on. I was Kappa So and so was your Grandad.”
“It’s not a waste of time. Photography is art, dad,” insisted Daniel. This only made Rodney more determined.
“That’s always been your problem. You are too fucking artsy.”
There were rumours on the campus of FILTON UNIVERSITY of the brutal pledging rituals of Kappa So. It seemed only extreme dedication could ensure a brother would be protected for life – no matter what.
“You need this Danny Boy,” stated the father. “It’ll make a man out of you.”
Daniel shook his head. “I’ll not do it,” he insisted.
“You will or I won’t waste any more money funding your so-called course.” Rodney’s face had become almost as red as his hair. “Photography,” he scoffed.
Daniel pulled on a black beanie hat, covering his own red hair. He knew it would be useless to argue.
“If it means so much to you then I’ll pledge,” he relented. He wanted nothing more than to be a photographer. He was good at it and with some teaching he could be great. Without the funding he would have to leave the university and leave VINCENT.
He had tried to plead against Kappa So already.
“Have you heard what they do to the pledges?” he had said to both his mother and father.
Rodney had scoffed then too. “Don’t exaggerate, Danny Boy,” he said. “It’s just silly games. If you are so sensitive this world is going to eat you alive. Maybe you should fucking join the girls instead …”
And so it was that Daniel Weir – one of the rightful elite in COLDFORD – opted to pledge. He could still feel Vincent’s gentle good luck kiss on his lips as he stood outside the CHAPTER HOUSE. The large, intimidating building bore down on him like a great monster. The windows like eyes, scanning him for suitability for entry. Loud, thumping music played inside. Screams, cries and laughter from excitable young men were barely audible through it. Empty bottles of beer, used condoms and streamers littered the lawn.
Another nervous pledge stepped beside him. He was a polite youth with neatly combed brown hair and wearing a pin stripe shirt.
“You ready for this?” he asked.
Daniel shook his head. “Not really. My boyfriend thinks I’m mad but my dad insisted.”
The fellow pledge reached his hand out. “Lewis Salinger,” he introduced.
It was a name Daniel recognised. The Salinger family had ran Filton’s premier private school, PETTIWICK, for generations. It was the school Daniel had attended. Only the elite would do for Kappa So.
“Dan,” replied the photography student. “Errr, Daniel Weir.”
Lewis beamed. “Oh the hotel heir?” he reached for the door. “Shall we?”
Daniel took a deep breath.
Being on the inside of the Chapter House didn’t’ seem so bad at first. Everyone was too busy partying, drinking and filling their bodies with drugs to take notice of Daniel so he spent most of the night in the corner chatting to a girl named Alicia from the University. She was interested in photography too and they hit it off right away.
“I’ll have to show you some of my shots,” Daniel offered.
They had a bottle of beer each and appeared to be an oasis of calm amidst the chaos. Daniel even started to consider himself having a good time. That was until ten pm and Chapter Leader, BUDDY OWEN, turned up. He came charging through like a great bull, tackling one of the brothers roughly onto a beer stained sofa. He brushed back his blonde hair and tightened his broad shoulders that carried an athletic frame. The Kappa So members cheered at the sight of their man in charge.
Buddy had the strong chin that was prominent in the Owen family. The Owen’s founded Kappa So generations before. They brought it to COLDFORD from the Great States so there was always one of them in authority. Rumour told that Buddy was the worst.
“So who’s my new bitches!?” he cried over the crowd. The party quietened to listen to the wisdom of their ruler. Buddy’s eyes were wide with the effects of the powder he had only recently snorted. Current brothers pointed out Daniel, Lewis and a few others. “Stop looking at me like I’ve got tits. Front and centre bitches.”
Lewis and the others obeyed. Daniel’s heart was skipping beats as he followed. Lewis had been consuming as much alcohol as he could from the moment he arrived so he was a little unsteady on his feet.
Buddy observed them like he was a Sergeant Major. “Never before have I seen such a pathetic bunch of pussies. So you want to pledge Kappa So?”
“Yes, sir,” agreed Lewis and the others with some enthusiasm.
Having remained silent Buddy circled his attention on Daniel. “You look like a faggot,” he said.
Daniel raised his eyebrows. “Excuse me?”
Buddy erupted into peals of laughter. He gave a bad imitation. “Excuse me?” He turned to his brothers. “Listen to this one.” The brothers laughed and cheered. “Listen up ginger pubes, you tell me if you are a queer or not.”
Daniel wished he had never came. When he hesitated Lewis spoke for him.
“He is,” he confirmed. “He has a boyfriend and everything.”
Buddy’s nose wrinkled. “That’s fucking gross.”
The other boys laughed, encouraging their leader. From the corner of his eye Daniel could see Alicia being led upstairs by one of the brothers.
“We don’t like faggots in Kappa So,” Buddy stated. “Is that what you are?”
Daniel considered his options. He considered lying to the Kappa So leader but to what end? To be accepted by a group that would otherwise outwardly reject him because of who he was? The thought of denying Vincent was the deciding factor.
“I’m gay if that’s what you mean,” he said. He could feel his body start to tremble.
Buddy swayed a little with the effects of the powder. His grin stretched.
“There’s only one use for fags in Kappa So and that’s when all the pussies in the place have been pounded and the boys are still aching for a hole.” The brothers cheered. Relishing their adoration Buddy continued. “If you pledge your ass belongs to us. Are you a giver or a taker?” The brothers responded with more cheers and laughter. “What do you say boys? Will we keep this one for those nights when you just need a hole and any hole will do?”
Some were sneering at Daniel now. Lewis laughed though. Buddy circled on him like a vulture on a carcass.
“This one is pissing me off,” he said. He reached his hand out and without saying anything one of the bothers handed him an empty beer bottle. Buddy smashed the bottle over Lewis’ head. The private school heir fell to the floor crying out in pain. Blood poured from the wound the glass shards had torn in his freckled forehead.
“This little bitch can’t handle her beer!” Buddy cried. He kicked him over. Lewis was still clutching his head. Buddy called to one of the brothers sat on the tatty sofa with his arm around a girl who’s vest top had been pulled so low her lacy, purple bra was showing. She was high on something, Daniel deduced. Her eyes were rolling and her head kept slumping.
“You’re a doctor, ain’t ya?” Buddy challenged the brother. “Stitch him up.”
Like Buddy, the student doctor was ploughed with powder but with the help of some of the others they managed to pull Lewis towards the kitchens.
“I’m not staying,” Daniel stupidly announced. He turned to make his way to the door but Buddy called after him.
“Not so fast, sissy boy,” he said.
Daniel was pulled back by a firm grip on the collar of the emerald shirt he wore and the waist band of his trousers.
It was around midnight when the buzzer of Daniel’s student apartment sounded. Vincent had been reading a thriller novel whilst he waited. As the noise of Daniel’s return filtered through the words the sluggishness he had been feeling fell away.
‘He said he was only staying until ten,’ he thought to himself. ‘He must have had a better time with his new brothers than he expected.’
The buzzer rang again impatiently. Daniel should have let himself in. Vincent dropped the book on the night stand and followed the noise to the main entrance. When he opened the heavy security door Daniel fell into his arms. He had come home without his jacket and the seat of his jeans were soaked through with blood.
“They’re fucking animals!” Daniel cried. The curse word so unlike him.
His arm trembled with weakness as Vincent wrapped it around his neck to help him upstairs. When they got to Daniel’s apartment he stumbled towards the bed. He winced in pain as he sat down. Stepping into the light Vincent could see his face was bruised a little but the pain was obviously more concentrated on his body. Daniel started to pull off his shirt, ripping it instead of handling the buttons. It was too painful so Vincent helped him. He gasped when he saw his torso. It was beaten badly, probably a few broken ribs too. The words KAPPA SO 4 LIFE had been written across his chest in permanent marker.
“Lie back,” Vincent instructed. “I’m going to clean you up.”
He gently pushed Daniel back but he cried out in pain. His full lips tightened. He refused to sob but a tear was forming in his eyes.
“You need to go to the police,” Vincent said, conscious of the blood staining the clean grey sheets on the bed. “You need to go to a hospital.”
“No,” Daniel insisted quite stubbornly. He gripped Vincent’s arm and tried to pull himself back onto his feet. “I just need to shower. I just need to wash them off of me.”
“Make sure you finish,” Buddy had instructed the pledges.
There had been ten of them. They were tentative at first but as the highs kicked in and the crowd mentality took over it became worse. Daniel tried to escape. That was when they used the shards of from the broken bottle.
We did warn you the pledging for Kappa So was brutal. The story is not over yet.
Daniel should never have gone to the Chapter House. His ordeal is spilling over. The Weir Hotel chain reaches far and wide. Now everyone will know what happened.
The boys of Kappa So have a bone to pick with the Knock Knock Boss Lady in volume 2. In the meantime Volume 1 is free to read on Vivika Widow Online or download for Kindle by clicking HERE.