II. Geothermal Ostrich Farm
I sat in class with my phone in my lap, paging through the online newspapers in our city and the towns surrounding it. There had to be something about someone missing or a dead body somewhere or anything that might validate what I’d seen. I hadn’t been drinking. I was just playing the game. If I hadn’t really seen what I’d seen, what had I seen?
After class I went to the student union and grabbed lunch. I sent a text to Ken for the list of guys in the race and asked if everyone had gotten back alright. I was already in my next class before he got back to me.
>> You mean other than you?
>> Everyone showed up but one guy
I sat up and waited for a second message, but after a few minutes when none came, I got anxious and wrote back, “Really? First time in what two years?”
>> Something like that. Know Gus Burnham right?
I held my breath as I typed, “Never heard of him.” A second later, as if an afterthought, I added, “Who was he?”
>> New pledge in your frat. John said you knew him
John hadn’t introduced me to anyone named Gus Burnham, at least not by name. Was he the kid with him when I got back the night before? I hadn’t noticed he’d been in the lineup.
>> Who saw him last?
>> Don’t know. Been asking the other racers, but nobody knew him
Nobody knew him. This wasn’t a joke, was it?
I shut my eyes and tried to think back to the night before, when I’d gotten back. I hadn’t really been paying attention to John or his guest. Who the fuck was Gus?
I looked up and noticed the other students were packing up. Class was almost out. I stuffed my phone in my pocket and grabbed my backpack. As I waited for the crowd to file out, I started thinking of where I could find out more about this Gus Burnham guy, but the only lead I had was John, my house brother, who didn’t know I was super.
NEXT PART: Altostratus