"One of these days, Big Daddy-- one of these days--" He gripped the bat with emphasis.
From the far wall a thumping came from the adjacent dorm. "Poore, you dickweed; SHUT UP!"
Stan let the bat fall to the floor. I know just how to get even, though. This semester, I'll take only two courses, and finish up with incompletes.
He didn't listen to the drone of the television as he went into his bathroom. He was due to meet with the dean at half past ten, so he stepped into his personal shower-- no common bathrooms for the scion of the Poore Munitions millions! About five minutes later he emerged and started pulling clothes out of his dresser. While he dressed he heard the TV news cycle around to the topic they'd been talking about in their intro. He glanced at the set and saw the anchorman Mahmoud Szekely addressing two older men. One was thin and wispy while the other was a beefy fellow who looked more like a football player than a professor. Both were framed by the outlines that denoted live feeds from other locations.
"Professor Gorch," said Mahmoud, "your colleague Doctor Nandoval asserts that this year-long quietitude on the part of the monsters is merely a plot to take us by surprise."
"Well, first and foremost, Mahmoud, I must point out an important fact: 'quietitude' is not a word. Second, it makes no sense to credit these creatures with anything resembling human intelligence. I've dissected enough of them that if they had intelligence, I'm sure I would have found it. No, Mahmoud, like all simple creatures the monsters have finally recognized that they cannot prey upon our species any longer, thanks to the many defeats they've suffered by the advancement of monster-killing munitions. Clearly they have decided to refrain from attacking us, and are confining their predations to their own dimension, wherever that may be."
"Doctor Nandoval, I understand you take the contrary position."
Stan glanced at the TV to see the football-professor lean forward. "Mahmoud, my esteemed colleague's viewpoint may be somewhat prejudiced by the fact that his research projects are funded by Poore Industries." Gorch tried to remonstrate but Nandoval talked over him. "While it's true that we have never captured a sentient monster, thousands of anecdotes, dating as much from modern histories as from archaic periods, stress that many of the monsters possess intelligence. Some of them are known for preying on human beings not as food but as sexual partners--"
"Rubbish, absolute rubbish," yelled Gorch, but again Nandoval shouted over him, "AND one common thread of these anecdotes, passed down by the monsters' sexual partners is that the monsters are not simply passing into our world at random. They have a master who has been sending them against us for eons. Clearly we need to make investigations of the world to which the monsters are native, rather than sitting back and heaping congratulations on the head of Cadmus Poore!"
"Professor Gorch," began the anchorman, but Stan had finished dressing, so he shut off the set and left.
A familiar voice hailed Stan on his way to the Admin Building.
"Hey, there, Killer! Yeah, you! Monster-Killer, Junior!"
With a sigh Stan turned to see the gangly fellow who caught up to him. "Otis, you call me that one more time--"
Otis held up his hands in mock fear as he fell into step beside Stan. "Surprised to see you up an' around after last night's blowout."
"Ah, I didn't drink all that much. I knew I had a damn appointment this morning, and besides, Meredith couldn't join me. From the hours she puts in you'd think the Herald was a real paper, not just a crummy campus rag."
"Seein' you up this early is kinda like seein' a vampire get up to salute the sun. What appointment?"
"Gotta go to Old Ratface's office."
"Oooh-oooh! Shame, shame--"
"Hell, it's just the same lecture as always. Old Ratface knows he has do soemthing to look like he's earning Big Daddy's endowments to his alma mater. So every semester I get summoned to the office. The dean-- whoever he is this year-- expresses profound regret at my dismal academic record. He enjoins me to be true to the standards of the renowned Horowitz University, and to do better this semester. I listen politely, leave, and go back to wasting as much of Cadmus' time and money as I can."
"Your daddy ain't gonna keep signin' the checks forever."
"Don't care if he does or not. Mom left me a trust that takes care of me if I never get another dollar from Big Daddy. He swore years ago, that his only son would graduate from his alma mater if it killed him." Stan smiled an evil smile. "I'm still waiting."
"You aint' gonna gonna inherit the family business with that attitude."
"Who cares? I don't want to run a damn complex of munitions-plants. I don't want to learn how to put together silver snare-units or semi-automatic stake-launchers. What's more, I never even saw a damn monster in all my life!"
"Never viewed a vampire," replied Stan, "never witnessed a werewolf, never gazed upon a goblin, never beheld a behemoth."
"So you are bound and determined to be the black sheep of the Poore family?"
"So I guess it won't be a happy reunion."
"With yore daddy."
Stan stopped dead in his tracks. "He's HERE?"
"Thought you knew. I saw him go into Admin, just a few minutes ago."
"Shit," swore Stan as he took off, leaving Otis behind. "Shitshitshitshitshit--"