The Climate Wars - Chapter 1
It's finally here, the moment you've all be waiting for. The start of the Climate Wars! Check back every week to read a new instalment!
“Mr. Pensworth,” Chancellor Dreyer eyed the young student seated across his desk, “I’m at a loss for words. Surely you can appreciate my predicament.”
The Chancellor studiously considered the young man. His hands rested on a copy of charges and misdemeanors leveled against the troubled student by the University staff. The Chancellor very slowly thought through the next words to leave his mouth.
The student in question, Lucas B. Pensworth the 3rd, sat beside his father, Lucas B. Pensworth ll. The elder Pensworth was providing the reason Chancellor Dreyer hesitated. Lucas B. Pensworth ll had contributed a vast amount of money to the University so that his son would be allowed admittance. Chancellor Dreyer waffled between expelling the younger Pensworth or ignoring this latest batch of charges and not risking the possible withdrawal of the monetary contribution made by the young man’s father.
Dreyer sighed and settled on his decision. Looking woefully in the elder Pensworth’s he switched his attention back to the student.
“I am sorry, but the University can no longer tolerate the antics and disruptions you bring to our fine establishment,” clearing his throat he mustered some courage in the face of the probable loss of the money contributed to the University.
“It is my decision that you are to have your belongings packed and remove yourself from our campus by weeks end.” The chancellor gazed at the boy’s father and shrugged in a way of an apology, “I am truly sorry Mr. Pensworth, but the University can no longer allow your son to continue his… and I hesitate to use the word studies… his attendance on these grounds.”
“I was hoping this meeting would not come to this,” Lucas B. Pensworth replied his eyes fixed on the Chancellor. The elder Pensworth sat unmoving, a look of disappointment settled across his face. “Understood Mr. Dreyer. Unfortunate but certainly understood.”
The younger Pensworth piped up, “Not to worry Dreyer. My old man will buy another University for me to attend.” He sneered at the University Chancellor then twisted his head to face his father, “Right father,” he intoned. “Let’s leave this miserable excuse of a school; I never liked it here to begin with.”
Lucas B. Pensworth remained seated. He let his eyes wander past the Chancellor and his gaze settle somewhere out the large office window at the sunlight stretching across the manicured lawns on the other side of the glass.
“Come on father,” the younger Pensworth pleaded as he rose from his chair all too readily accepting his dismissal from yet another university. The elder Pensworth continued his gazing out the window. With the touch from his son the older man slowly returned his attention to the room. A frown had turned his mouth before his eyes locked on his son.
“I appreciate your time and effort, Mr. Dreyer. I can imagine how agitating this whole process has been for you and your staff. For that, I am the one who must apologize.” He took a deep breath before addressing his son.
“Junior. I believe that the time has come for you to make your way in the world.”
“WHAT!” the younger Pensworth exclaimed. “Come on father. You can’t be serious? You can not be insinuating that I join you at the family business, are you?”
“No son, far from that. We will discuss the matter away from this office.” The elder Pensworth said, dismissing his son and then standing he extended his hand toward the University Chancellor. “Mr. Dreyer. I want to thank you for your time.” The two men shook hands and as Lucas B. Pensworth ll was turning to leave he reassured the Chancellor, “the money my wife and I have donated is to stay with this University. Do not stress yourself about that.”
Lucas B. Pensworth retrieved his coat from the back of his chair and resting his hand on his son's shoulder, the two Pensworths vacated the opulent office of Chancellor Dreyer. Waiting until the heavy oak door closed, Lucas the 3rd turned on his father.
“What happened in there!” the young man demanded angrily of his father.
“Not here son.”
“Why not here!” the young man's voice rose. “Shouldn’t I be involved in any decisions concerning my life? I refuse to leave until I get an answer,” Lucas the 3rd announced.
“All right then. Your mother and I have decided that we will no longer support a lifestyle where you continue to shirk your responsibilities and carry on like a misguided adolescent.” The disappointment the elder Pensworth was feeling about his only child changed to disdain. “From this moment forward you are on your own. No more schools, no more trust fund. Get a job and make something of yourself. Quit being so useless, that won’t get you far in life.”
“Sure, sure. You’re right I realize now,” the younger Pensworth agreed sheepishly. His angry outbursts forgotten as he drew on a wealth of boyish charm to once again escape his parent’s bad book. The younger man flashed a smile up at the older man.
“The next school will be different. You’ll see. I promise to work harder and make you proud,” young Lucas pleaded.
“I am truly sorry son. You have drifted from University to University. Nine years of majoring in…. what?” the older Pensworth’s shoulders sagged as he stared into his son’s shocked face. “Your chances have run out.” The boys pleading tugged at the heartstrings of his father. Without much conviction, Lucas B. Pensworth ll held firm to his decision then turned his back on a son he had sworn to support and protect from birth. His eyes misted while he listened to his son’s pleas.
The elder Pensworth strode out of the Universities administration building. “May God help him find his way,” Lucas the ll mumbled as he crossed the buildings threshold into the bright sunlight.
Lucas B. Pensworth 3rd stared in amazement at the back of his father's retreating figure. The old bastard will come around. Just trying to teach me a lesson, like all the times before, young Lucas thought as he sauntered out the admin building in direction of his dorm room. Still, his old man’s attitude irked him. He dug in his front pants pocket, his fingers searching for the plastic bag containing his stash of marijuana and a pack of papers.
Rolling a joint as he walked he fished a match out and stopped in the middle of the busy sidewalk to light up. Oblivious to the foot traffic having to veer around him he closed his eyes as he drew the pungent smoke deep into his lungs. The narcotic eased into his bloodstream. The meeting in the chancellor’s office sent adrift far from his thoughts as he struggled to hold the pent-up smoke in his lungs.
His mood lightened. He exhaled and the smoke escaped as he parted his lips. Lucas the 3rd wanted a place to vent and have a beer to go with the misery his father had caused. He changed course. The campus watering hole was across the campus lawn from the admin building; maybe he would run into some good-looking university coeds while he was there. His experience had time and again proved that they were usually very sympathetic when he compared notes with them about unreasonable expectations from parents. The older generation could never seem to comprehend how hard his generation had it.
The alcohol combined with drug-infused chasers intensified the talking down from his father gnawing at Lucas’s mind as he sat in the corner booth at the campus bar. Instead of enjoying a few drinks and the company of some university sororities his mood darkened, the booze and drugs pulling him down into a dark, angry place.
Swaying as he stood up, he bumped into a waitress carrying a tray of food to the next table.
“Watch where you’re going you dumb bitch!” He yelled. Why didn’t the cow get out of his way he fumed as he swayed looking down on the waitress as she knelt down cleaning up the fallen tray? Didn’t she know who he was for Christ’s sake?
In a drunken stupor, he nudged the waitress with his foot. “Get the hell out of my way you idiot!” the slurred words stumbled out of his mouth.
The waitress looked up at him, tears forming in her eyes, the tray held in the air with one hand as she scooped food off the floor with her other.
Lucas’s temper flared as he stared down at the distressed young lady. “Oh for fuck SAKES!” He bellowed as he angrily shoved her aside. A group of male students at the next table jumped to their feet and grabbed him.
“Apologize!” One of the students demanded.
“Fuck off.” Lucas replied and took a drunken swing at the man. His aim was off; the momentum of his flying fist carried him crashing into the students vacated table, toppling drinks and food onto the bar floor.
As the bars bouncers carried him screaming out the doors, across the sidewalk and deposited him on the campus lawn, he lashed out at them.
“Don’t fucking touch me. Don’t you know who I am?” He screamed back the bouncers. “I’m Lucas B. Pensworth. I’ll have my dad buy this damn place, and I’ll burn it to the ground.”
Lying crumpled on the damp grass he crawled to a nearby tree and threw his hands around the slim trunk and pulled himself upright. Swaying on his feet, Lucas fingered the now closed doors of the bar and peering through blurred vision, his drunken mind struggled to find a path back to his dorm room. Shoving off from the tree he set out precariously on the spinning campus grounds.
The drinks and company at the lounge failed to help him escape the disconcerting thoughts of his father’s warning. Instead, he found his anger growing toward his father’s contemptuous treatment with every unsteady step. Lucas seethed as he staggered back and forth. He was 27 years old; he could do what he damn well pleased, who and the hell were his parents to treat him like a kid.
A short distance from his dorm room he bent over with his hands resting on his knees as the cheap booze from the bar flushed out of his mouth. There in the middle of the lawn, a lucid thought hit him. What if his parents cut him off this time? Naw. Impossible. Parents didn’t abandon their children, especially their only child and the next in the long line of Pensworth men. His position in life was owed to him after all.
They could have a few days to cool and realize the mistake they were making then he would act humbled, beg for forgiveness and once again reassure them that this time he really would change. Besides, they were fools. Hadn’t this same ploy worked for him the last three times when the other Universities sent him packing?
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.
A new Canadian Author with too many ideas in his head. Surprising even himself with where his stories go.