Tom waited with the bus as usual. The parking lot had cleared and was nearly empty now. He knew it was a matter of time until the girls' soccer team showed up and he would begin the drive back to Filler University.
Tom had driven for Filler for 30 of his 55 years of life. He'd driven home triumphant sports teams and heartbroken teams. He'd seen a lot in all his years including a lot of changes in the athletes. He understood that athletes could be rowdy after a game especially after the high of a big victory or the frustration of a devastating defeat. The boys still respected him. He could speak up and tell the boys to settle down so they wouldn't destroy the bus.
The girls had changed the most. They used to be these quiet mice whether they won or lost but now the girls were too much like the boys except when he spoke up to tell them to calm down, they would curse at him, flip him off, and continue with any destructive behavior they were doing.
It had become worse the last two years. That was when Brittany arrived as a freshman and Filler's girls' soccer team became elite. The girl was a star player. There was no question about that and she'd brought prestige to the school in that sports' realm. Brittany managed to get the soccer coach fired as a freshman and she became star AND coach. That wasn't the official story but he knew it and with the soccer team so good no one was going to complain. How it affected Tom the most was she was the ringleader of 11 of the brattiest, most stuck up, self-absorbed college girls he had ever met.
Tom saw the girls approach. He opened the bus door and braced for the onslaught of rudeness by these self-crowned princesses. They deserved to be taught a cruel lesson about life and about how you treat others.
Kayla was the first girl on board. She got to the top of the entry steps right next to Tom.
"Whooooo!" she screamed.
Tom plugged his ears. That answered his curiosity on whether they won not that he had much doubt what the end result would be.
Kayla clamored on down the aisle and the rest of the team entered.
"Hey, old man!" greeted Danielle.
"Hi," Tom replied.
Danielle didn't even hear or care. "Hey, Steph!"
"What?" Steph said from the back of the bus.
Brittany boarded last.
"We're ready! Take us home!" she shouted at Tom.
"Everyone needs to sit down first," Tom gently reminded. Rules were rules.
"Just fucking drive us home," she snarled.
Tom closed the door and lurched the bus into gear. Brittany stumbled forward.
"You asshole!" she shouted. "You did that on purpose."
"I told you to sit down," he said calmly with a smirk. Brittany would wish she could sit down soon.
"Shut the fuck up. You're just a fucking bus driver."
That was his plan.
"God. Some people," Brittany continued to grouse. "They think they own the world. Who the hell do you think you are?"
"Just the bus driver," he said staying calm.
"That's fucking right!"
She turned away from him and to her friends. She quickly forgot what an asshole the bus driver was. Life shouldn't be spent dealing with a lowlife idiot.
The bus quieted on the drive as girls fell asleep. This was the best part of any trip for Tom. He liked the silence beyond the sound of the bus motor which was a soothing hum. There was a peace about driving during the night with few vehicles on the road.
However this night Tom didn't feel at peace. There was a sense of thrill and danger. This was a long time coming. The arrangements were complete. It was go time.
He exited the freeway two hours before they would arrive back at campus. He drove along surface streets for only a mile before turning and heading into forested areas. No other vehicles were out here. That was good. He drove the road for about 10 minutes before the trees stopped and the land opened up into meadows. He slowed to make a sharp right turn onto a dirt road and continued.
"Where are we?" asked Steph. She looked out the window. It was so dark. There were no road lights. Strange. The bumpy road had woken her up.
"Detour," he said.
She closed her eyes. No problem. She didn't have to deal with it. They hired people like the bus driver to have to deal with detours. The less she had to handle problems, the better.
He didn't hear another peep from Steph or any of the other girls.
He'd hear a lot of squawking soon enough.
Tom traveled the dirt road for five minutes then slowed down as he reached an open gate. He drove under the big ranch sign that overhung the gate. There was a house ahead and a big barn plus other farm buildings.
He flashed his lights. A lantern turned on and waved. Tom headed the bus toward the light and slowed down more.
Tom approached the barn and slowly drove inside. The barn doors closed behind him. There was soft lighting inside the barn. He brought the bus to a full stop and shut off the bus engine. It was almost time to wake the chicks.
Tom slid open the driver's window and a friend approached.
"All ready?" Tom said quietly.
"Yes," the man said.
Tom opened the bus door to what felt like a too loud hiss. He stood up and took a deep breath. Now the excitement would begin.
He turned on the interior bus lights. The girls stirred blinking in the brightness. Eyes locked on to him.
"Hurry!" he shouted in his best panic voice. "Get off the bus!"
"What going on?" Steph said.
"Now! Before it's too late!" Girls started to grab their bags. "Leave your stuff! Get off now!"
At last girls started to get off the bus.
"Where are we?" asked Kayla.
"Do what I say for once!" Tom implored. He pointed at the door "Danger!"
Kayla looked at him then bolted for the door. She ran right into danger. Twenty men waited in the semi-darkness for the girls to get off the bus. A man grabbed Kayla's arm and spun her so her back was against his chest. He wrapped her in a bear hug.
"Hey!" she shouted before a hand clamped over her mouth. She was dragged away.
On the bus Tom kept urging the final four soccer girls to evacuate which included Brittany.
"What going on? Where are we?" she demanded.
"Get off the bus!"
"Tell me what's going on?"
"It's going to explode."
"Get off the bus!" he snarled. How could she be so obstinate?
She was the last girl on the bus now.
He grabbed her arm. She tried to break free but the old man was unexpectedly strong.
He yanked pulling her forward. The stupid bitch! Why couldn't she just do what she was told?
"Let go!" she demanded.
Tom took the two steps down trying to drag her with him. Brittany was at the top of the steps.
"Come on!" he said getting angry.
"Stop!" She latched her free hand onto the steering wheel so he couldn't pull her out. Something was wrong. She just knew it.
Tom pulled her leg out from under her. She fell hard on her butt and released her grip on the steering wheel. She tried to scramble to her feet but he pulled on her arm again and she stumbled forward. Tom caught her in his arms. She tried to free an arm but he wrapped her in a tight hug.
He looked into her eyes and said, "It's my turn."
"For what?" she said. Her stuck up attitude remained.
"Payback for the way you've treated me."
"What do you mean..."
"I said shut up!" he yelled into her face as he gave a hard pinch to her butt.
"Ow!" she screeched.
Finally! Tom finally got this girl to shut up.
"Come on," he said.
He walked her backwards never loosening his tight hold. She tripped often. What was happening? Where were her friends? Who were these other men?
Tom stopped and waited for a man to put a bag over the girls' head. The string was tightened on the bag. Tom loosened his grip and spun her around. He grabbed her wrists pulling them behind her back. He walked her forward.
Brittany could hear the nearby screams and complaints of her teammates. The bus driver stopped walking her forward. His big hand pushed her upper back forcing her to bend forward. She heard Kayla on her left.
"Leave me the fuck alone!" angrily shouted Danielle on Brittany's right.
Hands guided her head forward and downward. Something surrounded her neck. She heard a loud click and the hands released her head. She could tell her neck was locked in place with her head on one side of it and her body on the other side.
Tom double-checked Brittany's headlock. She was held tight. The girls were lined up in a row with their heads in adjustable headlocks for cattle that had been modified to hold human heads and particularly 11 snobby, stuck-up soccer girls' heads.
"Get her hands," Tom said to a man. He was careful not to use any names of the other men. They could say "Tom" since the girls already knew his name.
A man fastened Brittany's hands to the metal headlock.
The room quieted down. Brittany listened closely but except for some crying, it sounded like Melissa, she didn't hear much.
She was bent forward sloping down with her head locked into something and her hands strapped down. Her feet were free but it didn't feel like she could adjust her body. She had to stand in this position. She was still in the dark with the bag over her head.
Tom went around to the other side of the cattle headlocks. Full lighting was activated in the barn. He admired the sight of 11 heads sticking through the locks.
.... There is more of this story ...