Predicament – Part 1 by htflatnc
Predicament – Part 1
Ryan woke up hogtied and helpless. He could not see anything and could not open his eyes. They were taped shut with duct tape. There was something in his mouth. It was a mouth gag. There were plugs placed in his ears. They were held in place with duct tape.
How had he gotten here? What was going to happen to him? These were the thoughts rushing through Ryan’s head. The ‘What was going to happen to him’ question started to scare Ryan. The thoughts "Keep calm - Think - Keep calm - Think" started to go through Ryan’s mind, but somehow it wasn’t working. In fact, it was making Ryan panic more.
Ryan began to thrash around and he could tell he was on some kind of a cushion. He could hear some muffled noise that he recognized as voices talking, but he could not make out what was being said or who was talking. Ryan could also sense that he was in motion which was confirmed when he felt the occasional bump from a pot hole. They were moving fast and not starting and stopping, so he was sure they were on a highway. So where was he headed?
Then another source of panic rushed through Ryan’s head. He was supposed to be at a meeting about now – or maybe he had already missed it. For missing the meeting, Ryan would catch hell and it might seriously affect his future in a totally negative way. There was absolutely nothing Ryan could do about that now, so Ryan let that slip out of his mind.
Ryan’s thoughts turned back to last Monday, the day the first signs of his current trouble might have emerged – though he couldn’t be certain even of this. Ryan was walking from his dorm to the cafeteria Monday morning to grab some breakfast when he received a text message that read: "You didn’t get a haircut this weekend. You’ve lost an inch. Looks like I will need to take charge."
After seeing this, Ryan blew it off. He figured someone was pulling a prank on him. After arriving in the cafeteria, he took his phone back out to look at the number. The message had disappeared.
After his two morning classes, Ryan went over to get some lunch. As he was walking to the cafeteria, he received another text message. "If you don’t get a haircut before afternoon classes, you’ll lose another inch. I will be taking charge."
This time, Ryan looked at the number the message was coming from and it was nine special characters (^*^#@@&&%). And as he was looking at the message, it disappeared as if magic from his phone.
Ryan put his phone away and without thinking measured two inches off the ends of his hair. That would leave about four inches on top and make the back and sides very short. That was the basic haircut he had been planning to get. He was expecting to start getting a shorter haircut before too long, but this seemed to be forcing his hand.
Lunch came and went and Ryan had about 30 minutes before his next class. There wasn’t enough time to walk over to the barbershop, get a haircut, and get to class. Ryan could, of course, blow off class to get a haircut, but decided it would be better to go to class. Instead, Ryan would blow off getting a haircut for now and headed to his first afternoon class.
Ryan received another text message. "You chose to eat lunch rather than get a haircut. That was a bad decision. You’ve lost two inches and will lose a third if you don’t get it cut before 6 o’clock when the barbershop closes. I’m taking charge."
Who was this sending these messages? Taking charge? Who does he think he is? Or was it a she? That might be fun. Sex is never far from a horny college student’s brain.
Ryan’s two afternoon classes ended about four o’clock so he had plenty of time to get to the barbershop. One of his classmates, Jim, asked Ryan if he wanted to go work out. They worked out regularly since the start of the semester about a month ago, so nothing unusual about this. And at the moment, classes and the workout were providing some normalcy in Ryan’s life that the text messages were upsetting. Ryan thought there would be even enough time for getting a haircut before 6 o’clock after working out. The two walked over to the gym, got changed in the locker room and did strength training for an hour. After a quick shower, Ryan told Jim he was going to head over to the barbershop. Jim said he would join him since he needed a trim as well. They walked over there and arrived at about 5:40. The shop across from campus had closed at 5:30. There was another shop down the street, but they could tell it was closed as well since the barbershop poll had stopped turning and the shades were drawn.
As he was standing dejected in front of the barbershop, Ryan received another text message. "Hah! The barber shop closes at 5:30 and not at 6:00. You shouldn’t have left it until the last minute. The three inches are mine." And as Ryan was about to show the message to Jim, but the message disappeared.
Ryan then asked Jim if he had ever known of text messages being sent anonymously and then disappearing. Jim said he had read about it on the internet and it was a sign that the Russians or Ukrainians had hacked his phone and that he should be careful.
Russians telling him to get a haircut? That was just too bizarre. Unlikely. That certainly couldn’t be it. He had a suspicion the hackers were much closer than Russia. He just wasn’t sure who it was or how seriously to take the threats.
That evening, Ryan was studying in his dorm room when his roommate, Jeff, came in. First thing Ryan did was ask Jeff if he would give him a haircut. This was the first time that Jeff had been asked to give Ryan a haircut. Jeff couldn’t wait to get hold of Ryan’s golden mane. Jeff had been dreaming about this for the past month when they had first become roommates. Ryan was placing himself in the hands – and scissors and clippers – of a hair fetishist without realizing it.