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Wedgie Warlock: Chapter 2

Five years later.

Laughter. Reverberating around the room. Grins plastered onto faces, bodies ricocheting with joy. The faces are familiar, yet where they’ve been seen before is a mystery. Unfamiliarly familiar. Wherever he looks, he sees only shame and humiliation reflected back to him, as if he’s surrounded by this torment. Turning around, a tall figure stands behind, looming with a devilish grin.

Pain. Pain as he’s lifted up, his entire weight dependent on his underwear. It gives way, tearing at the seam as the symphony of laughter bolsters. The torn fabric digs deeper into his groin. Helplessness in this rollercoaster of pain.

Cody shudders awake, panting profusely. Sweat hugs his body as he struggles to breathe, fighting to get his mind back to safety. As his heart rate returns from the extremes, he takes in his surroundings: his bed, his closet, his dark room. He’s safe at home, but doesn’t feel it.

The moment he ushers out the anxiety from his nightmare, a wave of guilt hits him. It’s that same guilt that washes over him again and again, every time he’s reminded of wedgies. He remembers the painful wedgies Jono gave him – the ripping atomic and of course the seemingly inescapable hanging wedgie. And Anton, left hanging to his demise. How long did Anton dangle there on that fence? Did Jono and the twins show mercy and let him go, or did they leave him there for as long as he could hang? Surely he must have ripped down not shortly after Cody had—

Cody had left him.

He sits upright in his bed gently rocking for the next while, trying to ease down this guilt that keeps resurfacing. Eventually, he calms a little, moving off the edge of the bed and stripping to just his underwear. In the shadows of his room, he yanks and pulls, biting his lower lip as the fabric digs deeper and deeper into his ass. Leg holes up to his nipples is just how he likes it, lying back with one hand on his dick and one hand firmly jerked under his body, tugging and tugging.

Whenever he’s reminded of wedgies, the only thing he can do to relinquish the combination of arousal and guilt is to pleasure the fuck outta himself for a couple hours. Yanking his own boxerbriefs in the pitch black of his room has become somewhat of a constant, soothing the ache of the purgatory that plagues his mind. All wedgied out, he then shoves the thought back into a small locked trunk in his brain, not to be opened for a couple weeks, a month maybe if he’s lucky, until he can no longer keep the thought at bay. Then rinse and repeat, the wedgie shame cycle continues.

Light eventually seeps through underneath his window blinds, ripping him away from his hollow of regret and forcing him out of his room. Timmy’s already up and eating cereal in the living room. In their second year of university, the two decided to get a place together on the edge of the CBD, and have been roommates ever since. Through parties and late night study sessions to hook-ups and horror movie marathons, their apartment has seen it all.

“Morning,” Timmy says in-between spoonful’s of cereal. He barely looks up from the phone in his hand.

“Morning,” Cody sighs, pouring himself a glass of orange juice.

“You sleep ok?”

“Eh…” Cody begins, recalling the return of the nightmare that’s periodically tormented him these past few years. “I’ve slept better.”

“It took me ages to fall asleep last night,” Timmy says. “That goddamn Pisces full moon fuckin’ up people’s sleep. I mean, also the stress of my first exhibition coming up, but mostly the full moon.”

“You’ll come up with an idea soon,” Cody reassures, sitting down next to his friend.

“I know, I know… It’s just so much anxiety because it’s my first ever one and I still don’t have an overarching theme. All the garments I’ve started on are just loose strands of half-baked ideas that don’t even look good.”

“Well hopefully once the moon moves out of Pisces and stops squaring your natal Gemini moon you’ll be able to shift into gear,” Cody replies sleepily.

Timmy breaks out into a grin. “The student has become the master!”

“Over a decade of being your bestie and I don’t pick up some astrology? Come on now,” Cody giggles.

“Don’t play with him!” Timmy yells as he waves his finger around homosexually, a cackle erupting from his chest.

The two settle back down and Cody glances at the TV. A reporter is interviewing the partner of some guy who was assaulted overnight in a bar in the city.

“Oh yeah, terrible, terrible incident,” Timmy says. “It was right near our fave ice cream stand on Exhibition Street.”

“Not John’s Ice Cream Stand!”

“Yeah! Apparently it was a hit-and-run type of sitch.”

“Hope Old John’s ok. Can’t believe shit like this happens,” Cody murmurs.

“Yeah… but I mean what can ya do?” Timmy says. A respectable amount of time passes, before he changes the subject with: “Anyway Codes— You going to this?”

Timmy passes his phone to Cody, which is open on an email about a high school reunion.

“Ehhhh I was thinking of skipping it.” Cody peeks up from the phone to see the look of outrage on Timmy’s face.

“Oh my god you cannot be serious right now,” Timmy says, theatrically throwing his phone onto the couch.

“What?” Cody asks.

“It’s school reunion! You go, you drink, you dance, you have a good time, come on it’ll be a great fuckin’ time.”

“At no point was our high school experience a ‘great fuckin’ time’, so what makes you think the reunion will be any better?” Cody replies with only half-serious defiance.

“Don’t you wanna see what’s happened to everyone in the past five years?”

“Probably just gone to uni like us, but probably something more interesting than degrees in music and fashion design. Besides— which people? Neither you nor I really had any friends besides each other.”

“Sure I did, there was Martha from history class—”

“You hated Martha.”

“She’s a bitch, but like, in a fun way. Plus there’ll be alcohol and dancing and partying and alcohol—”

“And you already know my stance on all of those things.”

With a dissatisfied huff, Timmy goes back to chewing his soggy cereal in silence, to which Cody rolls his eyes. It’s not that he’s a boring person, he just prefers a nice brunch chat over being the only sober person standing in a room full of drunk strangers for four hours. This isn’t the first time the two have disagreed on this topic, in fact the two had a small falling out in their first few months of living together because Timmy just wanted to party all the time while Cody wanted to focus on his studies. They eventually patched things up, but to this day the phrase “go back to party city where you belong” (which Cody had shouted at Timmy) recalls all the tension the two had.

Cody returns his gaze back to the TV, which is now showing a news story about an arrest of a local scientist. He doesn’t think much of it until the reporter mentions ‘Gagarium’, and his attention perks up.

“The court has found Dr Germanotti Gagarotti guilty of endangering the public by withholding vital information that documents the potential dangers of Gagarium, the synthetic element she created. The court’s ruling follows the announcement by tennis player Rod Tackman about the damage done to his body after long periods of wear, including one incident where paramedics had to use dry ice to laser the material off him, unveiling toxic burns all over his skin. Since then, multiple athletes have come forward about their own experiences with the material, and several elite sporting brands are now removing all Gagarium products from their product lines,” the reporter states.

The news moves on to tackle a story about environment endangerment, but the mention of Gagarium has transported Cody back to that day, five years ago, when him and Anton received those wedgies from hell. Timmy wasn’t the only friend Cody had made in high school, there was Anton. Although, since the whole incident where Cody abandoned him and ran, he’s not too sure where they stand friendship-wise. He was going to apologise but Anton never showed up to graduation the following week, and the rumour was that he dropped out before he could properly graduate. There’s that guilt again.

“We should go to the reunion.”

“Huh?” Timmy says, stopping his pout-fest and looking up from his phone.

“I mean it. We should go to the reunion. And you can dance and drink and party, and I’ll take care of some unfin… I’ll take care of myself and we’ll have a fun time,” Cody says through a forced smile.

“AW thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!”

Timmy cocoons Cody in a fury of hugs and glee, and before he knows it they’ve gone shopping for fancy dress clothes. Suit after shirt after jacket after suit are flung at Cody as Timmy works his way through what feels like the entirety of the men’s section, determined to find him the perfect outfit. No matter how many “it’s good” and “this one’s fine” Cody gives him, Timmy isn’t satisfied.

“If it were really good, you would be speechless, holding back tears at how simply magnificent it is!”

“You do know this is our wanky high school reunion, not dinner with the fucking pope!”

The two eventually settle on a formal-ish shirt and khaki combo that’s just casual enough for Cody to not accidentally slip into a rich white guy country club accent, and they’re ready to go. Timmy of course had his outfit picked the second that email was sent out: a devilish mauve pantsuit with a purple earring and head piece to match – all designed and made by himself of course. Soon there’s nothing left to do but brave the reunion.

Being back at high school for the first time in five years is freaky to say the least. It’s not like the TV shows where the graduated main characters return to the school every few weeks. The moment Cody got his high school graduation certificate, he was out of there. Upon returning, he’s reminded of just how spectacularly mediocre their high school was, elucidated most clearly by the gymnasium that’s been dressed up like some fancy bar, even though there’s still basketball court markings on the floors. Blurgh

Within seconds of walking in, Cody spots Darren. The two haven’t seen each other since graduation night, although he does stalk his Instagram every now and then. Darren’s just recently been appointed the centre half-forward for the Geelong Cats, an actual legit professional AFL team. Five years and all Cody has to show for it is a useless music degree and part-time swim coaching. But he doesn’t have time to hide as Darren spots them and begins walking over, prompting several panicked looks in Timmy’s direction.

“Cody Thompson, is that really you? How’s it been man, how have the last five years treated you?” Darren says as he arrives.

“Darren, wow, it’s been so long,” Cody says, pushing through the rush of anxiety that just hit him. “Yeah went to uni and studied a bit— did some studyin’, y’know, just learnt some stuff and then graduated and I got my certificate because that’s what happens when you,, when you finish the course you signed up for— what? Hu—h?”

Timmy nudges Cody and Darren’s head tilts slightly, as if to gesture ‘huh?’

“Ah—You remember Timmy right?” Cody redirects.

“Yeah sure I do,” Darren says as he and Timmy exchange an awkward handshake. “So you two are still dating, huh?”

“W—what?” Cody stammers.

Timmy’s famous laugh sounds, this one so forceful he almost falls to his knees. “Me and Codes? SKSKSK you’re joking right!”

“I’m not that bad!” Cody says, mouth agape from embarrassment.

“Oh I—I always through you two were an item, even back in high school,” Darren says.

“I mean we tried making out once on Year 9 camp but this Thai boy doesn’t do white dudes with brows thicker than his armpits.”

“Timmy—”

“Woah, well sorry for the confusion,” Darren chuckles.

“You play for the Cats now don’t you?” Timmy asks, not even giving Cody a second to recover.

“I do indeed. Got a big game tomorrow night, but should be great fun,” Darren smiles.

“Is that the Cats versus the Tigers?” Timmy asks. “I tried getting tickets for that with my youngest cousin Jeremy for his birthday but the tickets sold out.”

“Yeah Cats V the Tigers, bring out the claws!” Darren laughs. Cody silently admires the way his cheeks rose up when he laughs. How he’s missed Darren, the feeling of limitless possibility in boyish youth he feels when he’s with him. The dream feels ancient yet modern, as if a familiarity landing on his heart, coming back home. This feeling lasts the entirety of maybe four seconds until a few of Darren’s old footie team friends walk in.

“Oh my god, Jed and Lachie made it,” Darren exclaims. The way his face lights up shatters Cody’s rose-tinted fantasy lens. “Was great seeing you two, hopefully I’ll see y’all out there on the dance floor.”

Darren’s exit deflates every inch of Cody’s face. Even five years later, he’s just as much of an idiot as he was in high school.

“We really need to workshop conversation 101,” Timmy says.

“I didn’t expect all those feelings to come back, and I certainly didn’t expect you to insult my eyebrows in front of my biggest high school crush,” Cody replies.

“I get it, he’s like a white Jesus, but you better keep it in your pants,” Timmy exclaims.

Apparently Cody never really got over his crush on Darren. He thought that maybe since the whole hanging wedgie eyes-lock-Darren-walk-away catastrophe that his unrequited feelings were fully dead, but, as Timmy points out, they’re fully resurrected bitch! What’s more, Darren’s eagerness to ditch them for his actual friends plays over and over in Cody mind. Of course he just goes back to his Level 5 and above friends. Not that La Chique has much jurisdiction post-high school, but it’s like being back in these four walls has made everyone subconsciously revert to the levels they were five years ago, and along with it the heartbreak that took Cody many ice-cream-and-vent sessions with Timmy to get over.

Cody makes it through the first hour. There’s some nibbling on finger food, some dancing, some eyeing Darren from across the room and some obnoxious small talk with guys who clearly have not changed since graduating five years ago. It’s not a terrible way to spend his night, but it certainly isn’t fun being reminded that he doesn’t fit in with this crowd. How Timmy can share his distaste for their school cohort yet also dance his drunk ass off is beyond him. Anton’s also nowhere to be found, which, while unfortunate, was to be somewhat expected. Him of all people knows what it’s like to be at the bottom of the social ladder at this school. It’s a shame though, as Cody really was looking forward to seeing him again and making amends, but that’s probably not in the cards for their friendship.

He’s in the middle of the most boring conversation he’s ever had with one of his old classmates who’s single best achievement in the past five years is coming 32nd in the national Rubik’s Cube competition two years ago (Blurgh2) when he whispers to Timmy that he’s going to the bathroom. Timmy whispers back that he’s gonna go say hi to Martha, and the two agree to reconvene in a bit. Just as Cody makes his way through the crowd to leave, he bumps right into Darren, making him spill his drink on his shirt a little.

“Oh my god Darren I’m so sorry, I’m such an idiot,” Cody says, grabbing way too many tissues from a nearby table to help Darren dab himself clean.

“No worries at all— and one tissue is enough,” Darren chuckles lightly. Cody could almost swoon right here and now if he hadn’t just ruined Darren Hart’s fucking outfit.

“I’ll pay to have your shirt dry cleaned, I’ll do it Darren, I know that—”

“Cody dude,” Darren interrupts, clasping both of Cody’s hands in his, stopping his spiral in its tracks. “Seriously, it’s no big deal.”

Darren shouldn’t be holding his hands for this long. Like, it’s probably only been three-ish seconds in real time, but in Cody fantasy dreamland, Darren’s been holding his hands and gazing with his dreamy hazel eyes for basically an eternity. They’re legally married now, right? Like,,, only husbands are allowed to do this so, by law, Cody and Darren are offish married,, right???

“Hey, maybe you can make it up to me and we can grab a cof—” Darren starts.

“Have you seen Anton?” Cody blurts out.

“Huh?”

FUCK!!!!!!!

“I, uh… no I haven’t actually. I remember seeing his name on the guest list at the arrival though if that helps,” Darren says, smiling weakly.

SHIT FUCK SHIT CRAP FUCKING SHIT FUCK!!!!!!!!!

“Ok, no cool was just wondering,” Cody says.

A beat of awkward silence passes, followed by another and another. Darren was DEFINITELY just about to ask Cody to hang out outside of this formal group hang but he ruined it! With his mind scrambling to compose itself like that one Spongebob meme, he takes a deep breath.

“Actually what were you saying? I totally cut you off there,” Cody asks.

Just as Darren goes to reply, one of his old footie teammates grabs hold of a microphone and drunkenly calls Darren up on stage, getting the crowd to chant for a speech from their old football team captain. Distracted by the commotion, Darren now turns back to Cody.

“Looks like that’s my cue,” Darren says, shrugging. “I’ll catch you around Codes.”

With that, Darren jogs off to the other end of the gymnasium, each step sinking Cody’s heart lower and lower. He officially ruined the moment teenage him dreamt of every single night. But truth be told, how else would this have turned out? As Darren’s voice begins booming throughout the room about the championship he won for his team 5 years ago, Cody sulks his way out of the gym.

Entering the bathroom, Cody opts for the end stall and locks the door behind him, standing above the toilet. He doesn’t actually have to pee, just needs to escape his emotions and the social exhaustion of tonight with some Hearthstone on his phone. A couple minutes of pure bliss in his introvert bubble are popped however when the bathroom door suddenly opens and three familiar voices fill in: it’s Jono and the twins. Cody instantly recoils, dropping his phone in the toilet with a loud plop.

Shit.

Stifling a scream, he shrinks to the corner of the stall, hiding his feet behind the toilet in an attempt to conceal himself. After a few seconds of bated breath, the three bullies seem to take barely any notice of him (apart from a quick “stinker in aisle 4” comment from one of the twins), continuing on with a conversation started before they entered the bathroom. Cody eyes his phone bobbing in the toilet bowl as his ears listen the hardest they’ve ever listened.

“You guys see Mrs Thornton? She’s just as fuckable as when she was teaching Year 9 geography,” Jono says.

“Yoooo dude if she wasn’t married with kids, I’d be all over her!” says douche 1.

“Like that’s stopped you before,” says douche 2.

Laughter echoes throughout as, from the sounds of it, Jono begins lightly roughhousing the twins. Once again, Cody’s reminded of just how homoerotic the majority of heterosexual male jocks tend to be.

OK. Focus Cody, focus. We just need to silently wait it out if we want to leave this dumb reunion with our underwear intact. We are 23 years old – we will not be made to be a fool at our old high school by these manchildren whose glory days were wedgieing nerds in high school. We just have to be patient and wait it out and—

The bullies are silent. Did Cody miss them walking out of the bathroom or something? Oh God, have they realised that there’s a locked stall door with no feet showing on the ground??!! Fuck, Cody! You are such an idiot sometimes! With his heart beating as fast as it’s ever beat, Cody slowly stoops down and peers under the stall door, but no shoes are in sight. Maybe they did actually leave?

Unlocking the door, Cody slinks up to the sinks but there’s no sign of tweedle dumb, dumber and dumbest. The sinks are dry meaning no one used them (although truth be told, hygiene isn’t exactly a strength of the heterosexual jock). It isn’t until he looks up in the mirror that he sees in the reflection the bullies all strung up by their boxers in a joint hanging wedgie. Cody turns around in disbelief, but nope, that is definitely them all there, dangling a good few inches off the ground. From the looks of things, they’ve been knocked out, and Cody can just make out the faintest shit stain on Jono’s underwear. Cody winces.

Usually Jono would be the one to blame, and Cody wouldn’t put it past him to subject his own henchtwins to a brutal ball-splitting hanging wedgie. Yet here he is, all kebab’d up by his own boxers alongside the twins, and no culprit in sight. Cody definitely didn’t hear the bathroom door open since the bullies came in, that is unless the person who did it came in with them? But then they’d still be in here, wouldn’t they? Goddamn being a crime investigator is hard work.

Something moves in the dark outside the window by the ceiling, jolting Cody out of his detective fantasy. Something, or better yet, someone is out there! Cody jumps to reach the window, hoisting himself up onto the ledge that truly has never been dusted since the school’s establishment. Kicking open the window with his feet, he falls onto the roof outside and darts his eyes around him. Although not yet used to the darkness, he can just make out someone running away across the roof in the distance. One last look at the lifeless jock bodies and he scrambles into the night.

Cody’s body is not made for an intense chase sequence. He has long legs, but the majority of his figure is just lank and of no real use in this situation. Still, he manages to at least keep up with the mysterious figure, running across the rooves of his high school. The faint reflections of alternating purple and blue disco lights underscore the flurry of Cody’s feet, propelling him over the gymnasium of unsuspecting ex-students below. He eventually reaches the end of the building and notices a ladder that could’ve only been placed there by the figure. He descends it, making his way to the oval where the figure now stands with their back to Cody.

“Who are you?” Cody yells between pants, catching his breath.

But the figure doesn’t respond; they don’t even flinch. Cody shivers, the mist from his anxious lungs being squeezed out of him like an accordion. He didn’t consider for even a second what the hell he’d do once he caught up with the mysterious person, and now that he’s out here on the dark cold oval, he realises there’s not much stopping him from ending up in the same fate as the bullies back in the bathroom. Cody gulps.

“Hello?! I— I know what you did to Jono and the twins back there! Whoever you are, I just— I just think that’s not, y’know, cool and stuff.”

A cackle answers Cody’s trembling voice, a cackle so piercing that even the sound of 90’s hip-hop music from the gymnasium is overpowered by the sheer assuredness of this figure.

“Ah Cody, so great to finally see you again.”

The figure slowly turns around and it’s Anton. The oval spotlight gives just enough light to be able to make out Anton’s giant grin and the fire in his eyes.

“Anton? Wh— What are you doing here?”

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