#28 “Social” Security

by KJ Hannah Greenberg

Dean Avery watched Thomas McNeal regard Jim Jackery’s cold, prone body.

Thomas: “Why d’ya kill ‘em?”

Dean: “Too competitive.”

Thomas: (silence)

Dean: “You students pay tens of thousands. Without superior educational achievement, there’d be no superior career achievement. Without superior career achievement we’d have less alumni-sourced funding. Parity matters. Success, yes. Stars, no. Everyone needs to get top grades.”

Thomas: “Shouldn’ta killed ‘em.”

Dean: “Professor Murphy says you did better than Jackery on the quantum physics final.”

Thomas: “Exaggerated.”

Dean: “Which direction?”

Thomas: “Student senate taped you, hacked you, photographed your home life. Nice Jacuzzi. The alumni body’s been sent email.”

Dean: “Let’s talk in my office.”

Thomas: “Uh-uh. Look at Jerry. You don’t want donations. You want the code.”

Dean: “For particle acceleration? Mr. McNeal, my office.”

Thomas: “Here. Talk here. Why’s Jerry’s body still here? Where are the campus police? The local sheriff? An ambulance? An autopsy? What’s your alibi?”

Dean: “Don’t fluster yourself. I can give you ten entire minutes before I meet with the trustees.”

Thomas: “Bring it.”

Dean: “Mr. McNeal, try gratitude.”

Thomas: “Kidding me?”

Dean: (reaches for cell ph): “I’ll call Dean Richter, your advisor. We can talk together.”

Thomas: “About the accelerator?”

Dean: “Nope, your overdue dorm fee.”

Thomas: (draws a gun and then backs away) “Don’t think so.”

Dean: (taps autodial) “Security, Dean Avery here . . . middling height . . . male . . . twentyish . . . red cap . . . armed . . . dangerous. No, I’ll be okay . . . just a physics major having a very bad day.”


Sam Knight said...

That is a reality I a glad I did not go to school in. So many things going on here! What a rich background world you have opened up.

Jade said...

So much tension! There's much more to tell here.

Gita Smith said...

Oh, and God forbid you flunk one of them. Their parents are even worse -- threatening to cut off their donations to the school, badgering everyone from the professor on up to the Provost. I know whereof I speak.
This is GOOD flash.