This is a new short story series.
Somethings are better off left alone.
“Rule of the game is whoever finds the treasure item wins. It can’t be a medical item, and it must come from one of the bodies,” the girl laughed.
The first semester at college is horrible, pledging a sorority makes it worse. Tina’s mother was a member of the group, so it’s a given that she would have to join. Her mother never let her forget that she was a legacy, and they would have to accept her into the sorority house. Tina’s mother didn’t realize that this wasn’t twenty-five years ago, and the rules of the game have changed. No longer were legacies allowed to breeze their way into the house. They now had to earn a spot just like everyone else.
Ten fresh faces stood in the foyer of the hundred-year-old home, shaking like this was the first day at elementary school. College was the first time they had been away from the arms of their parents. Most of them sheltered from the evils of the world. Tonight would be the first test as to whether they could handle being part of this group of girls. Chi Omega was notorious for having a secret society, and tonight, Tina would find out just how deep the blood flows.
With their mouths wide open, and a look of horror on their faces, the young pledges took the trek across the lawn to the one place no one wanted to go. The science building contained a place where they stored bodies used for science reasons after the person died. Usually, the host human received a payment ahead of time. Tonight, the sisters would lead the pledges through the halls like they have so many times before and force them to take from the dead to survive in the house.
“I can’t do this. I can’t,” one cried.
As they took the first step into the old brick building, Tina noticed a smell. Not the smell of death, but it smelled like a toxic level of bleach. As though the place filtered the scent through the air ducts. She knew that was impossible, but this smell was putrid. Her stomach ached ten steps in, but the need to vomit kept down in fear they would leave her if she went to the restroom. The Seniors watched with amusement on their faces as the terrified young pledges hugged the walls as they walked deeper into the building.
“Hurry your asses up. God damn babies,” Hannah Beth said. A senior and Sorority President, she went through this hell, and she had no compassion for anyone who complained. Hannah was part of what the girls on campus called the Bitch Squad. Her parents donated over a million dollars to the school since she enrolled, and the Dean allowed her and the others to get away with murder. Last semester proved that when one of the new pledges went missing. No one found the girl and rumor was that she fell into the pond on the outskirts of campus, but not even Hannah knew what happened. Her family ordered an investigation, but nothing ever came of her disappearance. The school wrote her off as a runaway.
“Hold on, I feel sick,” Tina complained.
Hannah stopped, looking at the young girl, “If you don’t hurry your fat ass up, you can join the pig sorority. I’m sure they would take you.”
One of the girls leaned over, whispering to Hannah, “Come on, don’t be so damn mean all the time. These girls come from money, and we need it to keep our charter going. Your dad said no more, remember?”
Exhaling, Hannah looked down the hall, “You have two minutes in the bathroom. Use it wisely.”
Tina ran for the door that said Women’s, not stopping until she hovered over the toilet, expelling her stomach contents into the bowl. It was the smell that got to her, not because they were a floor away from dead bodies. Well, that was her story, and she was sticking to it. Standing at the sink, washing her mouth out, Tina looked at herself in the mirror, her face as white as a ghost. Lights flickering, she ran from the room, not stopping until she met up with the group. Hannah lied. They didn’t wait. All of them stood at the foot of the stairs when she found them.
“You took too long dummy,” Hannah laughed.
“I’m sorry,” Tina said.
“Whatever,” Hannah added, pulling the door open to the stairwell. Before walking in, she gave the rules to the game again, this time in full detail.
“Pair off into groups of two. Stick together once you’re on the floor, and do not venture away from each other. If you lose your partner, you lose all together. There are nine bodies on the floor in different rooms. Inside of one of the corpses, we hid a knife. It’s not just any knife, but one that is meaningful to this chapter of Chi Omega. The first two that retrieve the knife and make it back to the sorority house wins. The last two girls, you take your asses back to the dorms and stay there. You won’t be allowed to repledge next year,” Hannah said.
Hannah pointed up the dark stairs, nodding for them to enter, the girls paired off into groups of two, holding each other’s hands with a death grip.
At the end of the group, Tina grabbed the hand of the last girl, slowly taking the steps. She felt like each one had a layer of glue trying to hold them back.
“I hate my mother, I hate my mother,” she whispered the closer they got to the top of the small staircase.
“We’re at the top, I’m opening the door,” one called from the top.
All Tina could hear was a squeak of the door and the girls’ footsteps ahead of her. She didn’t want to make it to the top, but as she took that last step, her body shook with a newfound fear. How the hell were they going to get the knife out of the body?