The buses idled along the curb as they wrapped the length of the roundabout as students loaded their bags into the large compartments under each bus. A few small groups were gathered outside of the buses, laughing and joking with their friends who were riding separate buses. Derek had already loaded up his gear onto bus number four, but he was stalling boarding until the very last moment.
While the field trip involved the entire junior and senior classes, the popular kids always rode bus number four and wrote all of the rules of the bus. The stories that survived each class were legendary: Kim and Tammy making out for 30 minutes, smoking electronic cigarettes without the chaperons knowing, and the ecstasy party. Those were only the good stories though, the ones that made every junior want to get onto the bus. The trouble was, you could only be invited onto that bus, and when you arrived, you had to succumb to the initiation.
“Load up everyone, it’s time to go,” called out Mr. Parker who was the headmaster for the school. “That means you too Mr. Matthewson.” He looked directly towards Derek with his usual authoritative stare. Derek obliged and headed towards the fourth bus, stepping inside quickly and grabbing the seat farthest toward the front. The doors closed and within a few minutes, the buses headed out of the parking lot and set out on the highway.
The lights stayed on in the cabin of the bus until they reached cruising speeds, and the student banter was typical. Derek thought he had slipped by without noticing, but as soon as the lights went off, he felt a tap as a folded piece of notebook paper pinched between two fingers rested on his shoulder. He grabbed it quickly, receiving a shove from the idle hand before it withdrew. He opened the note and read it quickly.
Derek rose from his seat and walked towards the very back of the bus, where the guys lined the isle seats and the women sat against the windows. There was a determined look on all of the boy’s faces as they started pulling the calf-high socks out from their hiding places and swinging them around in a circle. Their leader spoke with a loud whisper, “You better not make a sound or you’re off.” He took the first swing as Derek winced and gritted his teeth so he wouldn’t make a sound, raising his arms to protect his face only to be hit in the side with the bulbous end of the socks flying from all sides. He let out a soft groan as one landed below the belt, which luckily went unnoticed by the boys.
The girls waited their turn patiently, some averting their eyes from the violence. Samantha spoke up and suggested it was their turn, and the beating ceased. The girls instructed Derek to strip down to his underwear and imitate many embarrassing sexual acts for their amusement. Derek played along, thinking only about the good times he would have once he was accepted. Naked, with only his hand cupped around his private parts, the girls finally announced they were satisfied.
This was it; he’d made it. His body ached all over and he felt ashamed over the acts he had just performed, but as he dressed himself again, Jade slid over to the window seat and made room for him to sit down. This would be a trip to remember, and the best part was when he got to do this next year on some other wannabe; He would make it worse.
This is part of a 30 day series of 2-3 minute short stories written for the 30 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, 2011. You can view all the stories in the Short Story A Day category.