Queens are Wild

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

The boys get distracted by video games, but Margeaux senses Ventana is up to no good.

Chapter 4 (v.1) - Space Invaders

Submitted: May 20, 2012

Reads: 171

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Submitted: May 20, 2012



Date: March 15, 1984
Place: Kinsbury, Nevada
Margeaux parked her gold Chevy Malibu sedan in the largely desolate Kingsbury High School parking lot, situated to the left of the main building on a flat, semi-circular campus ringed by small trees and shrubs. The sun was climbing into a beautiful blue sky -- absolutely the wrong kind of day to be locked up in Saturday detention. Margeaux got out of her car and noticed some of her fellow soon-to-be inmates loitering in front of the two-tier brick building’s main entrance.
Danny Capobianco sped through the parking lot in his red Iroc-Z sports car blasting the new Van Halen hit “Jump.” He parked diagonally across two spaces next to Margeaux’s car. He often did that when the lot was full, too.
What a dick. At least he’s hot, Margeaux thought.
Danny, wearing a black T-shirt, blue jeans and neon-orange tennis shoes, slammed the car door and quickly caught up with Margeaux as she walked toward the school. The two had a history of flirting but nothing more. Perhaps the bonding experience of Saturday detention would set the stage for a senior prom date. He was a little too cocky and flashy for Margeaux’s taste, but she wasn’t wowed by any other potential prom candidates either. Prom was still two months away. She would leave her options open for now and see who emerged.
Though she didn’t have a boyfriend at the moment, Margeaux knew she was attractive enough to get one whenever she desired. All she had to do was convince herself that a particular boy was worthy of her attention and affection. That was the hard part. There was no point in getting into a serious relationship now anyway. Soon she would be heading to California for college -- assuming she could stay out of further trouble.
“The only positive thing about this detention is you got stuck with us, too, Margeaux,” Danny said, smiling and turning up the charm as he strolled alongside her. The other six boys congregated near the double doors, talking, spitting and laughing.
“Thanks for the compliment, but this sucks,” Margeaux replied with a wry grin.
“Yeah, especially on an awesome Saturday like this,” he said.
Then, at exactly 10 a.m., rugged jar head Mr. Ventana pushed open one of the double doors and ushered the gang of eight inside.
“Good morning,” he said, dressed in a tight, gray short-sleeve shirt, green camouflage pants and black high-top combat boots. “Come right in.”
Margeaux and the boys filed quietly behind Mr. Ventana and down the locker-lined hallway toward a first-floor classroom on the left.
“I’ll brief you in here,” Ventana said, studying each of their faces as he held the door open and waved them through with a burly left arm.
Brief us? What is this, police headquarters? The Pentagon? This guy is such a tool, Margeaux thought.
The gang of eight sat in a semi-circle of chairs set up near the front of the classroom as Mr. Ventana walked to the teacher’s desk and began sorting through stuff in a big navy blue duffel bag.
Margeaux sat next to Danny and felt the eyes of the other six boys sneaking looks at her -- smart ass Scott LaFrance with his thin build, short dark hair, beady black eyes, long nose and pointy chin; Gerry DiFusco, overweight and boisterous with a jolly face and close-cropped black hair; portly Jim Sherman, who had a light-haired buzz cut, brown eyes, round face and a trouble-making perma-grin on his fat lips; short, brown-haired Tom Sorrentino, who wore glasses and had a wiry, wrestler’s physique; tall and lean Sam Gray with his furtive blue eyes, playful smile and wild blond hair; and Jimmy Baker, the avid swimmer with short reddish-brown hair, freckles and a penchant for saying things like “Call me Bake” and “That’s the Baker way.”
When Mr. Ventana retrieved a bunch of items from the duffel bag and handed them out to the gang of eight, Jimmy Baker surprised everyone by immediately responding with enthusiasm.
“A swim cap -- awesome,” Baker said, hoisting the orange cap for all to see. His reaction made sense, of course, because he was a member of the varsity swim team. “Are we hitting the pool?”
Mr. Ventana just glared at him and he shut up quickly.
Margeaux and the other boys were more interested in what looked like a hand-held computer game.
“Turn it on like this,” Ventana told the group as he showed them where the power button was on the side of the little black gadget with the blue screen and small black-and-white keyboard.
As they all followed his instructions, their blue screens glowed brightly and the boys erupted in excitement.
“Now hit your G buttons twice,” Ventana instructed.
Margeaux and the boys followed orders.
“Space Invaders!” Jim Sherman shouted with delight about the popular 1980s video game. “How did you get it on something so small? I’m used to playing it at the arcade.”
“So cool!” Danny, Scott and the others agreed as they began playing with the gadget.
Margeaux, meanwhile, ignored the game and inspected the other two items Ventana had handed them. The biggest one was a weird orange zip-down vest made of heavy material that seemed to match the orange swim cap. The cap itself was bizarre, too. It felt bumpy, with small nodules covering every inch or so.
What the hell is this guy up to? Margeaux feared.
“See, Saturday detention isn’t so bad,” Danny declared as he started rapid-firing at virtual aliens.
Ventana allowed himself a small, eerie grin at that -- a facial gesture that literally sent shivers through Margeaux’s already-tense body.
“I’m out of here,” she heard herself say as she stood up in the semi-circle.
The seven boys seemed confused and annoyed at being distracted from their games.
“Sit down Miss Quigley,” Ventana said firmly but calmly.
“What is the purpose of all this? A video game? A swim cap? A strange vest?” she asked, feeling a little faint as she stood there awkwardly. “These boys may getting a kick out of this, but I’m not. Something is not right about this and I don’t want to be any part of it.”
“Whoa, chill out,” Danny told her, putting his hand on her arm. She bristled and pulled her arm away.
“What is going on here?” Margeaux repeated. “We deserve to know the truth.”
Ventana folded his huge arms across his massive chest and finally began to provide an explanation.
“First, sit down, Miss Quigley,” he said, his black eyes boring into her until she complied. “Second, boys stop playing your games for a minute and I will tell you all what will happen from here.”
The boys stopped playing after a few moments and looked up the large man.
“Now you will all take your games and equipment I gave you and go into eight separate classrooms to the left of this one down the hall. Each room has a letter taped to the door. Enter the classroom with the letter that corresponds to the small white letter on the back of your game.”
Sure enough, there was a small white “C” on the back of Margeaux’s game.
“Once inside your designated classroom, I will give you further instructions,” Ventana told the group, which listened closely to every word.
“Is it going to be a Space Invaders contest -- like highest score gets to leave detention first?” LaFrance asked with hopeful eyes.
“Yes, something like that -- only you might learn something along the way,” Ventana said with shifty eyes.
He’s lying to our faces. He’s telling us 2 percent of what the fuck is happening here. This is some kind of scientific experiment, shock therapy or something. I just know it, Margeaux thought.
Margeaux recalled a scene from the Stanley Kubrick movie “A Clockwork Orange” she had seen without her mother’s permission a couple of years ago. Amber Hull’s older brother had rented it and they watched it during a sleepover. Margeaux remembered how they had strapped the lead character to a chair, pried his eyelids open and forced him to watch a bunch of films. They altered him so he felt sick any time he wanted to have sex or hurt people, and then he went crazy.
“Take your things and go!” Ventana ordered, snapping Margeaux out of her daze and flipping on her panic switch.
No explanation? Nothing?!!
“But,” was all she managed to mumble.
“Now!” Ventana shouted over her and pointed toward the door.
Margeaux trembled, but she fought back the tears. She didn’t want to give this meathead the satisfaction of seeing her cry. She could be tough. She could kick some ass. She stood up, aggressively grabbed her video game, swim cap and vest, and followed the seven boys out the door.
Ventana watched them enter the rooms marked A through H and then followed them down the hall.
When Margeaux entered the “C” classroom and heard the door being locked quickly behind her, she immediately dropped her equipment, wheeled around and lost it.
“Fuck you, asshole!” she shouted, banging her fists on the door. “I’m gonna call the police on your ass if I ever get out of here!”
Ventana, as if he knew how she was going to react, stood there gazing at her through the door’s thick glass window for a moment with a creepy “gotcha” expression on his face.
Margeaux froze, realizing all eight of them were now completely at the mercy of this mysterious and possibly dangerous control freak. She shrank back from the door and closed her eyes to break his stare. When she reopened her eyes, Ventana was gone. She could hear his black boots walking down the hall to lock Rooms D through H. She wanted to scream to classmates, but nothing came out.
Margeaux glanced around at the classroom and freaked out even more. All of the chairs and the teacher’s desk had been removed. She eyed the windows and rushed to try to open one of them, but when her fingers grabbed the latch, she recoiled in agony from the stinging shock and fell to the floor. Now tears were filling her eyes.
What the fuck? He put an electric fence around us?
“Get up off the floor, Miss Quigley,” she heard Ventana command, but his voice was coming from the video game she had dropped on the floor back across the room. She scrambled over to it, picked it up and saw Ventana’s jar head face staring back at her on the 3-by-5-inch monitor. She had never seen anything like it obviously -- it was 1984, not an episode of “Star Trek.” Then she looked at the little buttons below Ventana’s image -- they said A through H and K. She pushed A. In a flash, Jimmy Baker was staring back at her.
“Hello Margeaux, it’s Bake,” he said with a big grin and the orange swim cap already covering his round head.
“Take that thing off. You’re a fool. Wake up!” she yelled at his image before cutting off his attempt at a reply and punching the B button. She saw Danny Capobianco’s handsome face and long eyelashes. For a second, she felt a pang of relief until he said, “Hey, you’re interrupting my Space Invaders. I’m blasting …,” he said, before Margeaux cut him off with a shrill diatribe.
“He’s got us penned up like sheep surrounded by an electric force field and you’re at the fucking arcade! Get us out of here you useless douche bag!” she screamed at him.
“Relax Margeaux, you’re so paranoid. Don’t you know paranoia is the first sign of an alcoholic?” Danny’s image wisecracked at her. “These picture phones are so cool. I …”
“Fuck you, too!” Margeaux shouted before pushing the C button and erasing his image. Her own screen lit up in blue and Space Invaders was ready to start. She flipped off the screen with her middle finger. Then she pushed buttons D through H so fast that she saw the faces of the other five idiots flash before her eyes, but she couldn’t remember what order they were in and, frankly, didn’t care. While fighting through sobs, she punched the K button, and once again was greeted by the smug face of her captor, Mr. Ventana.
“Hello again, Miss Quigley,” he said with a satisfied grin. “Shall we get started?”
“I demand … demand an explanation!” she shouted at him.
“Put on your swim cap and vest and you’ll get one,” he said flatly. “This helpful video program will improve your leadership skills, patience and respect for authority.”
“My ass it will,” she seethed. “This isn’t authority. This is kidnapping!”

© Copyright 2019 Jack Chaucer. All rights reserved.


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