The sound of knobs belting out blood-curdling screams interrupted Cadet Nash as he peacefully dreamed of summertime. Digging his face deep into the warmth of his pillow, he attempted to drown out the company’s human alarm clock.
As the noise finally grew softer and softer, Nash’s body began to excuse the interruption. He ventured into the warmth of his blanket and thought about all of the sweet sleep that he had over the summer. Late nights always resulted in late mornings. That was the great thing about summer—hardly any obligations. Nash loved the feeling of waking up and having the whole day as his blank canvas. So often he had woken up at ten or eleven in the morning, feeling rejuvenated and excited for the happenings of the day. Beach days, movie days, hours and hours devoted to piddling on his car, girls; no matter what the adventure, he was always in control. Having the sky as your limit was a good feeling, the best that the summer could offer.
The door went flying open and a figure came bursting through the door. He flung on the lights and stood energized in front of the sink.
“Rise and shine, Nashiepoo,” yelled Nash’s over-excited roommate. Foster could always be counted on for sympathy and sensitivity to his roommate’s needs.
“You know, Evan,” Tom mumbled with an irritated tone, “just because you’re some sort of PT god and you get your kicks from smoking the dog crap out of knobs every morning, doesn’t mean that everyone has the same interests. Some of us consider sleep to be essential.”
Foster was a great roommate to Nash, but as an individual he was down-right ridiculous. Early on in their friendship, Foster jokingly established that he had directly descended from the Norse god, Thor. The more that Nash roomed with him, the more he could actually believe the joke to be truth. In regards to physical fitness, Foster definitely was a deity. While Nash and other mere-mortal cadets spent their time studying, doing extra-curricular activities and—let’s be honest—sleeping, Foster invested all of his time at Deas Hall in the gym. He had so many barrels of protein powder that Nash occasionally arranged the containers in alphabetical order as a joke.
Walking into the room, Foster bent over and pulled one of Nash’s towels from his half-press drawer. He wiped his sweaty face and then proceeded to throw the contaminated towel at Nash. “Nashiepoo, you remind me of a cat,” he stated. “A Persian cat. The moment you have the opportunity, you hop up in that little bed of yours, circle it a couple times, push down on the mattress with your paws, then sprawl out and purr yourself to sleep. I’ve missed that buddy.”
He walked over to the edge of Nash’s bed and began to mime petting him. As his roommate stood there, making a ridiculous purring noise, Nash couldn’t contain a smile. He pushed Foster out of the way and jumped down on to the dirty, dusty, cluttered wooden floor. As he headed toward the sink, he felt the grime of the floor sticking to his bare feet.
“Welcome back to The Citadel,” he said to himself as he reached for his shaving cream.
Haddon Kellahan is an English major and Philosphy minor, currently in his third year as a cadet at The Citadel. Haddon is a contributing writer to the Citadel's newspaper, The Brigadier. He is also a fiction editor for The Shako, the Citadel's literary magazine. As a cadet in India Company, Haddon serves as his unit's Human Affair Sergeant and is a certified peer-educator on issues involving drug and sexual assault/harassment prevention. He actively participates in two cadet choirs, including an honorary auditioned group called The Citadel Men’s Cadet Chorale. Haddon also holds a leadership position in a campus ministry called Reformed University Fellowship (RUF). He resides in Kingstree, SC. Haddon is very excited to become a contributing member to Pluff Mud Mag—his first off-campus publication! For more information and updates concerning Cutting the Deck, please visit Haddon’s blog: www.cuttingthedeck.wordpress.com