tagNovels and NovellasThe Freshman Ch. 33

The Freshman Ch. 33


Chapter 33 - Cassie's ex-boyfriend

Throughout the trial Jason wondered about his father, while he was taking this, knowing that at least some of what was going on in the courtroom would be making it to the international news services. Undoubtedly his father would fly into a blind rage, but then, what would he do next?

The answer to that question was...nothing. A dead man does not react to bad news, at least not in any way that is perceptible to those of us still in the land of the living.


Mr. Schmidt may have been a greedy heartless sociopath capable of doing anything to further his ambitions. However, there was one flaw he definitely did not have, and that was the temptation to surrender to defeat or to despair. Despairing over his circumstances was not in Mr. Schmidt's character. When faced with adversity, he always managed to pull out of whatever situation confronted him at the time and push ahead with his ambitions.

The events of April 21st and 22nd were the largest setback in life that Mr. Schmidt ever suffered. He was horribly in debt because of all the money he had borrowed to invest in the coup project. He would have to start over, and start over very fast, if he did not want to have to declare bankruptcy and sell his house and other holdings.

His associates were ruined and faced ostracism from their beloved Mega-Town Associates. "Cutter" Stern, the closest person in his life he had to being a friend, now was chained up in a holding cell in Danube City and faced being shot. He wondered if "Cutter" could get out of his situation, but more importantly, hoped that the prisoner would have no reason to bring up his name in court. If "Cutter" kept his mouth shut, many of the secrets the two men had shared would be blasted away by a Danubian firing squad. Too bad for him, but maybe it was just as well.

Mr. Schmidt spent the last week of April and the first two weeks of May working on damage control and a recovery plan. The shareholder meeting that ended his associates' careers came and went without his name coming up. It seemed that he would escape being identified by his company as a participant in the disastrous coup project because he managed to hide most of his contacts with the other coup plotters. That piece of luck led him to suspect there was a very good chance he could find new clients and indeed start over. He would quickly rebuild his finances through both honest and dishonest means. The rest of the year would be crucial. As long as he could at least make interest payments on his debts for the next six months and replace his clients, he should be OK.

Of course that meant that the wimp's college expenses would have to be cut, along with the Chicago apartment and...wait a minute. Screw cutting the apartment. I'll cut the house instead and dump everyone. Really start over. No house, no family, no overhead. Get rid of everyone and everything and just start over. Why not? When they come after me...guess what? Sorry...no money...if you don't believe me, check my bank statements. You're on your own...

During the second week of May, Mr. Schmidt managed to set aside some cash for day-to-day living expenses as he prepared to sell the house and cut loose his family. While doing that, he continued to work for Mega-Town Associates, assisting the company's campaign to repair its public relations. He became the most likely candidate to actually head the new lobbying project, because he certainly seemed to have done his research about the recent disaster in Eastern Europe.

There was another secret project in which he was participating, and that was finding out who had provided the information to the Danubian government. In spite of being broke, he contributed money to a team of private investigators determined to find out who had given the information to the Danubians. He and the others were genuinely interested in finding out the truth, and if possible, retaliate. At the same time he wanted to be in on the project so he could keep his eye on the other conspirators and not get hit with any nasty surprises.

The first week of the investigation pursued a dead end, the Danubian Embassy in Washington. It was a logical place to start, and a hefty payment to a Danubian diplomat assured the investigators a list of everyone who had contact with the embassy during April. Several promising leads led nowhere, which prompted the investigators to look at the Mid-West Foundation and its contacts with the Dukov government. An economics professor called Ruth Burnside seemed to be cozy with Vladim Dukov, but there was no indication that she knew anything about the Mega-Town coup project.

Then they hit upon something. The Foundation had a graduate student called Cynthia Lee as one of its members. It turned out Lee was the sister of that singer from the banned group "Socrates' Mistresses", that she had traveled frequently to Upper Danubia, and currently was nowhere in sight. Further investigation revealed that early in April she had bought a ticket at the international airport in Milwaukee to go to...Danube City. She had gone for just a week, came back to finish the semester, and then took off again. Suddenly Cynthia Lee became the investigation's main target. It looked like they were closing in...

Then, Mr. Schmidt remembered Jason mentioning something about knowing someone called Cynthia, a graduate student. The wheels of suspicion ran in the man's mind as he suddenly realized he had not heard from the wimp since the semester ended. So, just where was he? A call to Jason's dorm director verified that yes; he had gone traveling with his girlfriend Cecilia Sanchez, to Europe, if the man recalled correctly.

That was as far as Mr. Schmidt got.


The day "Cutter" was scheduled to go on trial, Jason's father returned home to his oversized house to clean out his home office. The place was eerily quiet. Something didn't feel right, but he decided to shred some papers and then take out several boxes of folders from his desk. Later he'd have to dismantle his computer and load it into his car as well.

As he re-entered the house, that eerie feeling returned. Weird. He decided to go upstairs to see if anything was wrong. As he climbed the stairs he noticed the sound of a hairdryer coming from the Master bedroom. That figures. It's nearly noon and that lazy bitch probably just got out of bed. Blow-drying her hair for her tennis undoubtedly. Well, you dumb cunt, you won't be playing tennis on my dime much more.

What was odd was that the hairdryer sound was steady, not the normal whoosh-whoosh-whoosh of his wife moving it about her head. She must have left it on and gone out. Of course. Fucking useless bitch can't even flip a switch anymore.

As Mr. Schmidt went towards the bathroom he noticed blood seeping into the carpet next to the door. What the hell? He moved closer and saw his wife's foot lying in a pool of blood on the floor. As he moved towards the door the rest of her body came into view. Her head was a shapeless mass of hair and blood. There was a red splatter pattern on the far wall indicating that she had been killed by a single shot to the head. The hair dryer, hanging by its cord over the floor, gently swung back and forth. Instinctually Mr. Schmidt turned off the device, but realized that was a stupid thing for him to do. He should have left the crime scene intact.

Mr. Schmidt realized right away that his own life was in danger. He knew that it was not his wife they were after, but him. He needed to get out of the house and call the police. Yes, the cops would suspect him of killing his wife, but he had no choice. Unfortunately he did not have a gun with him, but there was one in his home office.

He rushed out into the hallway...

"Hey, faggot!"

As he turned around, all he saw was a flash. He felt a tremendous crushing blow to his chest. He was flung against the nearest wall, bounced off and tumbled to the floor. He felt another shattering blow to his right leg, a shot that splintered the bone and sent blood splattering out the other side.

"So, faggot, you gonna beat me up? Huh? Still think you can do it? Come-on, ass-man, try it. Beat the fuck out of me!"

Breathing suddenly became very difficult for the ex-linebacker. He began feeling cold. With difficulty he turned his head in the direction of his assailant. Standing over him was Cassie's pothead ex-boyfriend. It was obvious he was high on something. He had that weird, wild look in his eyes. He pointed his gun right at Mr. Schmidt's head.

"Yeah, we fucked up those pretty boys real good. Fucked 'em up. They weren't so pretty when we got done with them. So how about it, ass-man. You gonna fuck me up?"

"Uh...you're still...uh...uh...a fuckin' faggot...shot me...no guts...couldn't take me...uh...man to man...uh...uh...faggot...that's all you are...faggot."

Mr. Schmidt saw one final flash, the one that blew his head apart. It was the last thing in his life he would ever see.


The bloody drama in the Schmidt house was far from over. The young man fired a couple more shots into Mr. Schmidt's body, just to get the satisfaction of watching the blood splatter out of the wounds. He popped another ecstasy tablet and reloaded his gun. He wasn't finished using it.

Fucking bitch Cassie...I'm takin' her out too. But I wanna see her fuckin' face when she sees what I did to her fuckin' dad. Fuckin' bitch...she's goin' down. Just like her fuckin' old man...fuckin' bitch...I'm drilling her fuckin' head...

Unfortunately, the next person showing up at the house was not Cassie, but the Schmidt's maid Rita. Unaware of what had happened upstairs, the young Salvadoran rushed into the kitchen, worried that she had missed her bus and was running nearly 40 minutes late. It was not the first time she had been late to work, and Mrs. Schmidt had warned her that if she ever was late again, she would be fired and a formal complaint filed to her maid service. Rita was very stressed, hoping to enter the kitchen and quietly start cleaning before Mrs. Schmidt noticed anything was amiss. She noticed something strange, the home office door was open and piles of files were stacked on the floor. That worried her, because Mr. Schmidt absolutely never left that door open. Her mind immediately jumped to that morning she let her boss's son into the office, making her even more concerned that her job might be in jeopardy.

On any other day Rita's instincts would have warned her that something in that house was very wrong and that she needed to get out, but on that day the eerie silence only made her more focused on getting set up in the kitchen without anyone noticing she was running so late. She began quietly at first, arranging items to make it look like she had been working for a while, and then deliberately started making enough noise to let Mrs. Schmidt know that she was cleaning. What she could not have known, without going upstairs, was that her bosses no longer were alive to hear her.

The clatter of pans in the kitchen and the sound of the dishwasher alerted the teenager that he no longer was alone in the house. He staggered down the stairs, reeling from his latest dose of ecstasy, which was just starting to take effect. The loud hum of the dishwasher and Rita's preoccupation with the pans masked the sound of the killer's steps and condemned the young woman to the same fate as her employers...

The teenager rushed into the kitchen and wildly fired into the figure standing at the sink. As several bullets tore into her back, Rita's body bounced off the counter and collapsed on the ground. The young woman lay motionless as blood poured out of her chest onto the kitchen floor.

The killer gloated over what he had just accomplished as he incoherently stared at the body. Then slowly it dawned on him that the person lying at his feet was not Cassie. What he felt was not regret or horror at the thought of killing someone completely innocent, but instead intense anger at his latest victim. He landed several kicks at the corpse and fired a shot into her head, just to be sure...

Fucking stupid maid.

So he wasn't finished after-all. Still had some shooting to take care of...

He went back upstairs, emptied his pistol into Mr. Schmidt's already mangled body, and reloaded.

Fuckin' bitch...now I'm gonna get her...really get her...shoot her in the fuckin' stomach...yeah...that's what I'll do...shoot her in the fuckin' stomach...fuckin' bitch...just wait 'till she gets here...shoot her in the fuckin' face...

A few minutes later Cassie did show up, with her latest boyfriend. She found it strange that both her parents' cars were at the house at that time in the day, but maybe they weren't around...or her dad was in that stupid office of his, doing God knows what. As she passed the office she noticed two strange things. First the door was open. Second, all of the files were lying on stacks on the floor, as though they were about to be taken out.

"Dad? Mom? Anyone home?"

She turned to her boyfriend.

"This is weird. Something's going on..."

"You stay here. I'll go upstairs and check it out."

With that he slowly walked up the stairs.

"Mr. Schmidt? Are you up here? Anyone...FUCK!"

Three quick shots rang out, shattering the teenager's head and chest. His body came tumbling back down the stairs. Cassie got a glimpse of his face, partially blown away by high caliber bullet. She started screaming. Then she saw the murderer, his gun pointed right at her...

He hesitated, as incoherent drug-addled thoughts caused his brain to stall for a second. That second saved Cassie's life. She ran like hell towards the kitchen, only to be confronted with the horror of Rita's body lying in a pool of blood. The girl screamed, but a crash in the hallway made her start running again. She tore open the sliding glass door and ran into the back yard.

The assailant chased her down the stairs, but tripped over his latest victim's body and tumbled to the hallway floor. He dropped the gun and it slid to the other end of the entryway. He struggled up to retrieve it, but the sudden exertion, mixed with the chemicals swirling around his brain, completely disoriented him.

Cassie...Oh yeah...she wasn't dead yet. He staggered to the kitchen, just in time to see her figure disappear through a gate in the back fence.

Cassie ran around to the front side of the neighbor's house and into the open garage. Her neighbor was painting a birdhouse with his grandson.


"Cassie! What..."


"Get inside! Both of you!"

As Cassie and the child ran into the house, her neighbor hit the remote to close the door. Down...down...down...yes! Just in time. Suddenly there was furious banging on the outside.


The older man ran inside and grabbed a shotgun off his living room mantle. He screamed at his wife to get Cassie and the grandkids upstairs while he struggled to load it with shotgun shells. He cocked the weapon and waited.

So...how's he gonna get in?

The shattering of glass at the front door answered his question. Sure enough, a glass pane was broken and a hand was reaching through to unlock the door. The experienced duck hunter pointed his weapon and waited...

The door flung open and the older man pulled the trigger. Clear shot to the chest...good. A nice clean kill. That'll fix that little punk.

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