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M.A.N. (Louis Toliver Jr. - Swartz, LA)

The boy pledges anxiously struggled as their bodies were being placed somewhere. They couldn’t see. They couldn’t move. Their mouths covered by duct tape. They were used to the constant routine and torture by now. Thankfully, it was the last day, the last night.

“Alright brothers!” Brad spoke from the sound room in the balcony of the auditorium. “You can take the fags’ blindfolds off and their lipstick!” Every year, fraternity presidents took pride in their initiations for their new members. The initiations weren’t usually as intense as this year, but with each new president came their memories of humiliation. Some past presidents were a bit more compassionate than others, but Brad was from Texas. “Fags, I assume you can hear me?”

“Yes, oh-wonderful-handsome-god Brad,” the boys said in unison.

A spotlight flicked on revealing Vince, Sid, and Dave standing on stage. Vince in his boxers, Sid in his briefs, and Dave in a jockstrap that he was sure wasn’t his. They all had their hands tied behind their backs.

“Now, fags. It seems you have faired well and we are now at your finale, your last step into manhood.” The guys could hear the pleasure in Brad’s voice and Brad wanted to make sure they heard the pleasure as well. “This auditorium is filled with many, many people that are all silently watching you exposed on this stage. Vulnerability. Doesn’t it feel good?”

“My ass hurts, man,” Dave whispered through his teeth. “I think they drugged us.”

“Yeah, my forehead is stinging,” Sid kept moving the lines in his forehead.

“My back feels like it’s bleeding,” Vince spoke in more of a whisper.

“I know you fags aren’t talking when I’m talking?” Brad’s voice was serious and annoyed. “I’m sure you are all aching a bit in different places.” He laughed, almost maniacally. “Why don’t you check each other out?”

“Holy…!” Vince and Dave both saw Sid’s forehead.

“What!? What!?” Sid panicked. “What is it!?”

“Uh, there’s a penis…” Dave could hardly close his mouth to talk.

“No. No, no, no, no, no,” Sid trailed off crazily.

“It looks weird,” Vince squinted his eyes. “It’s looks like…”

“Michael’s Jackson’s penis,” Brad’s voice echoed through the auditorium. “It was actually designed from playing around with autopsy pictures.”

“No. No, no, no, no, no,” Sid was trying to find a happy place in his head.

Vince had a revelation, “Oh shit, what’s on my back!” Vince spun around, so Dave could see.

“Vince, your such the ladies man. So, I wanted to show my respect,” Brad chuckled.

“Dave?” Vince whispered with frailty.

“Well, there are three lady-like…” Dave said softly.

“What do you mean lady-like?!” Vince squealed.

“Hanson. Hanson is on your back. All three of them,” Brad proudly.

Vince threw up.

“You have to tell me what is on my ass man?” Dave pleaded to Vince.

Vince wiped the vomit from his mouth. He looked at Dave’s ass. “It’s….us?”

“What do you mean us?” Dave asked with denial.

“There is a picture of Sid’s face on your left ass cheek and a picture of me on your right ass cheek.” Vince coughed.

“That’s it?” Dave kind of felt relieved. “Whew, sorry Sid. You got it the worst.”

“No. Both of our tongues are sticking out towards your ass crack. Then, there is a rainbow arched above your back and a phrase above that which says Taste the Rainbow,” Sidney responded with satisfaction. “This is fucked, man!” Sid screamed. “I just wanted to make some friends in college and get some social benefits! Now, I have a dick on my face!”

“Fitting in comes with its price. You silly. Naïve. Fags. Such victims,” Brad laughed and the lights came on in the auditorium. There was not a soul in the place. There never was. Just him and the brothers.

The boys’ eyes lit up with relief.

“So, this was all just a test?” Sid sighed.

“Your final test.” Brad assured. “Welcome to Mu Alpha Nu. You are now a M.A.N.”

The boys all laughed. “So, the tattoos aren’t real,” Vince hesitantly asked.

Brad laughed the hardest they had ever heard him laugh before. It seemed for minutes and minutes. Definitely, maniacal this time. “Of course, the tattoos are real!”

Sid passed out.

Vince threw up again.

Dave kept trying to look over his back to see his tattoo, like a dog chasing his tail.

 “Alright, our new brothers, now find your way off this stage,” Brad turned the intercom and the auditorium lights off.


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