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Going Down With The Ship

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Carson bent down to the coffee table and blew another line. His expression was completely devoid of any concern for the events unfolding around him, which was in stark contrast to the panicked shouts of the rest of the brothers. When he was elected president in November of the previous year, something of this magnitude would have sent chills down his spine and caused him to pace around the room, cursing the helplessness and dire nature of the situation. But it was May, and his historically rough term as president had drained every ounce of emotion he once had.

Sirens could be heard in the distance, echoing through the open windows and bouncing off the walls of the colonial-style mansion, which now resembled something more akin to a trap house. The growing volume and pitch of the sirens made the harsh reality all the more apparent: This was the very end. At this moment, an assortment of laminated folders, hard drives, and contraband of all types were being hastily tossed into the fireplace of the common room. Might as well throw the goddamn charter in there while we’re at it, Carson thought.

He had now moved across the room and was looking out into the horizon from one of the larger windows. He knew that this day was a long time coming, and had been planning the scenarios out in his head for the better part of the semester. But now that everything had finally come to a head, he couldn’t bring himself to do anything but stand and wait.

He looked down at his watch, a bold-faced Dior that he enjoyed wearing with his new blazer. Good God, it’s not even noon yet. The cocktail of illegal substances in Carson’s system probably could have taken down an adolescent elephant, and he had taken them all with nothing more than a granola bar to prevent an upset stomach. Quite a feat, considering that he had his first beer just under three years ago.

“Come on, man. We’re getting the fuck out of here!” He hadn’t even realized that Mason had entered the room. A towering, slender fellow who barely looked to be eighteen of his actual twenty-two years, Mason had burst through the door to try and talk some sense into Carson. “We have to get you out of here. You can’t get fucked for this! Skyler’s got a great lawyer, he-“

“Look at that.” Carson pointed to the sky. “That cloud looks like John Candy.” Mason shook his head in bewilderment, letting out a pained sigh. “Whatever, man. I fucking tried. You’re insane. Good luck.” He turned away and bolted through the door, grabbing one suitcase to throw into his pickup.

Carson didn’t put any blame on Mason. He had been a great treasurer, always up to date on payments and possessing unparalleled attention to detail. He had just gotten into a chemical engineering program and had a bright future ahead of him. He had no business remaining here. As the first of several SWAT vehicles and police cars rounded the corner and began to barrel down the road toward the house, several thoughts went through Carson’s mind:

-How ignorant. How ignorant, the stupid, stupid, fucking pride, the intolerable greed, the lack of regard for anyone’s well-being, the short-sightedness to oversee something so dangerous and unsustainable for so long. In less than a year, we went from your average, mid-tier chapter to an organized crime ring that would make for a Scorsese film. How the hell did we get here?

-Man, if it hasn’t been a hell of a ride, though. Most of these fucks in our chapter couldn’t talk to a girl around this time last year, let alone throw a decent party. Last weekend, we woke up to broken champagne bottles, a five-figure bill from the limousine company, and three voicemails from Juicy J’s manager, each more threatening than the last. What a time to be alive.

-This blow is fucking incredible.

Just then, there was a loud crashing noise and everything after that was all one blur of shouts, boots hitting the ground, and doors being kicked in. Carson was tackled to the ground.

Carson sat in his holding cell, a dim, gray room with no more space than was absolutely necessary. Six hours had gone by since the initial raid, and he was sure that law enforcement had more than enough time to discover what lay in every godforsaken corner of the chapter house. It must have been similar to what the archaeologists who discovered King Tut’s tomb experienced, albeit with more illegal substances.

A grin spread across Carson’s face when he thought of that, but then the big, swinging dick of reality smacked him square in the face. He was less than one year away from his Bachelor’s degree in broadcasting. ESPN will have to wait. His summer internship probably wasn’t happening. They weren’t going to pay me, anyway, he thought.

His brother, Caden, was about to graduate high school and surely would have joined the same fraternity as him. Would have been fun to haze the fuck out of him. His thoughts were then interrupted by a man whom he just noticed was standing outside of his cell. He was a larger man in his mid-fifties, with close-cropped black hair that had been turning gray for some time. He was dressed in an expensive suit, and had an intimidating presence about him.

“Hello, Carson. My name is Jeffery Romo, of no relation to Tony. I’m here to help you.” Romo opened his briefcase and pulled out a manila folder. “Might want to grab a seat. This is going to take some time.”

To Be Continued…

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WJ Cope

He's the real reason people say "No one likes you when you're 23."

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