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Undercover, The Monkeywrencher, Part V by Vegard
A few days went by with me not hearing anything from Force-88, but then one day as I sat gaming I could see William was calling me on the computer.
Clicking accept I greeted him nervously.
"Hey David!" he said, smiling.
"Eager to know?" he asked.
"You’re welcome to come and see us!" William announced.
Not knowing quite what to say, I managed a "When?"
"Probably within a week or two. We have a couple of other prospects we’ve been getting to know, and we’ll contact you when we’ve managed to make plans for all of you to come see us at the Den"
"Yeah, it’s our local hangout. You won’t be told where it is, and we’ll meet you a distance away from it, and take care of transport from there."
"So, what you need to do young David is to start working on your Mom. And make up some excuse as to why you’re going away for a weekend. Think you can do that?"
I sat quiet for a bit, as if pondering it, and finally I said, "Yeah, I can do that. I’ll tell her I’m going on a cabin trip with someone from school."
"Will she believe it?" William looked a bit skeptical.
I shrugged, "Does it really matter if she does?" making him grin at me.
"That’s the spirit!"
"Have you been looking at our web-page, and read up on our views?" he added.
I nodded, trying to look impressed, while I really only felt disgust at their writings.
"Yeah!" I said, "Some of it. I never knew that was how it was."
Looking grave William said, "Most people don’t!"
"Like all that stuff about the Holocaust!" I said, with my innards squirming as I said it, "What a lie!"
William nodded, "It really goes to show you the power they have doesn’t it?"
It was my turn to nod. I felt dirty. One of the worst horrors of the 20th century, and these guys were claiming it was all a hoax.
"Have you told anyone?" William asked.
I shook my head, "I don’t really talk to that many," I explained, "But I felt like mentioning it History class, but I kind of chickened out." I looked down, and muttered, "I’m sorry sir."
"Don’t be. It’s actually a good idea to keep your head low about some things. People aren’t ready for it, you know?"
And then we discussed how narrow minded some people were, and it felt completely surreal to talk to a Nazi about that.
The message came after almost two weeks, to meet in the parking lot of a mall outside of Redding that coming weekend. And "Mom", Karen, was completely on board with me going.
My hair was almost an inch and a half on top now, and my sides were about 1/8 of an inch I suppose, and I really liked it that way. I could almost part it on the side, and it made me look less fat. I was hopeful my working out had some effect as well, but I still hadn’t had a chance to weigh myself.
I was now making an effort to walk and lift weights at least every other night, and I had increased the speed and incline quite a bit on the treadmill.
Driving up to Redding, I felt really nervous. I tried to ease my nerves by stopping for some burgers, and it helped some, but not a lot.
In the parking lot I drove up to a blue van, with covered windows, as I had been instructed. I parked a few slots down from it, and got out. A young man greeted me, and introduced himself as Daniel.
It felt pretty awkward, as we stood there, waiting for the others to arrive. I was told they were expecting six, but after almost a half hour wait, only four had arrived, including me.
I had to leave the cell phone, turned off, in the Toyota, after being told to text my Mom that I was ok, but would be without cell-phone coverage for the weekend.
We were then stowed in the back, on narrow benches, where we sat uncomfortably as Daniel drove off.
So we were four newbies all in all. Frank and Dylan knew each other, and were all for this in a way neither Timothy nor I seemed to be. They seemed to really believe this stuff. They asked Timothy and me some polite questions, but mostly talked to each other.
Thankfully I was placed in a room with Timothy, and Dylan and Frank were placed next door.
Timothy was 16, small and skinny. And it turned out that Markus, the leader of this group, was his uncle.
"Wow!" I said, pretending to be impressed, "I guess you didn’t have to work to hard convincing your parents to go huh?"
"Nah. My Dad is kind of in this to, but not as much as uncle Mark. How about you?"
"I told my Mom I was going with a friend to his family’s cabin. I’m not sure she believed me though. And my Dad hasn’t been around for about 7 years."
We were introduced to about 15 guys, including Markus and William, and there was a barbeque in the yard, with burgers and hot-dogs. I was really hungry, but too nervous to eat a whole lot. I stuck close to Tim, since he already knew some of the guys.
All the guys had shaved heads, except Markus and William.
Along with the food, there was plenty of beer, and we were encouraged to drink.
Unnoticed I poured quite a lot of my beer out when I went around the corner to piss.
As it began to darken outside, we were taken aside one by one, for a talk with the two leaders. And I was in after Dylan and Frank.
"Do you want to join us?" William looked gravely at me.
"Will I have to shave my head if I do?" I asked.
"Yep! That’s kind of the deal here," Markus said, "Can you do that?"
"Well," I said, "I do wear my hat almost all the time anyway, so I suppose…"
"Even in class?" William asked, sounding disapproving.
"Yes sir," I said, "A lot of kids do."
He looked half amused; half disgusted, and muttered something about how this country was going "to the dogs".
They asked some more questions, and we discussed politics a bit. Or, rather, they talked politics, and I nodded, and agreed a lot.
"What makes you want to join us?" Markus asked suddenly.
We had prepared for this at the house, and looking down, I began telling how my Mom had had some problems with the boss at her old place of work.
The story, that I haltingly told them, was that her boss had sexually abused her, and no one had believed her, since the black employees had all backed their own, and sided against her. I kept looking down, not least because I felt terrible telling such an awful lie about others. Even though they weren’t real in any way, it felt like I was branding a group of people as something they weren’t .
Mistaking my utter embarrassment for grief, or anger, William said, "I’m very sorry to hear that kid."
I just nodded, still looking down. But thankful the interview was now over.
After we had all been in, we were all assembled outside. Fires were burning in a couple of barrels, and one spot in the yard was lit up with a lamp hanging from a wire.
"Are you ready to join us?" Markus asked us all this time.
Timothy and I looked at each other. I swallowed, and Tim looked scared. But we both stepped forward and nodded.
Dylan and Frank also stepped forward looking more ready than I ever would.
The four of us were placed in a row under the light, and told to stand and wait, until we got further orders.
"Kneel!" Markus barked at us, and we all came down on our knees.
"Take your shirts off, and toss them behind you!" I pulled at my XXXL shirt, but my overalls were over it. So, I pulled my braces down, pulled my shirt off and tossed it over my shoulder. Leaving my overalls hanging, and hoping they wouldn’t slide down my butt.
"Bend your heads!"
"Are you ready to leave your former selves behind, and become warriors for the Cause!"
As one we said, "Yes sir!" in loud voices.
"Daniel, will you do the honors?" he said, and we could see a set of booted feet approaching. Not daring to look up, I assumed it was Daniel.
I was number two in line, and almost shaking with anticipation and some fear. What had I gotten in to?
The pair of boots stopped right in front of Timothy, and I could hear a set of clippers being fired up. Immediately after, I could see Timothy’s reddish blond hair begin falling to the ground. Through the sound of the clipping I think I could hear a gulp escape him, and I felt sorry for him. Like me, I don’t think he was ready for this.
The boots moved to the side, and between us, with the toes still pointing at Tim as Daniel continued moving around him, clipping the sides and back, before stepping to the front again.
With an almost military side step, the boots were suddenly in front of me. The clippers were still buzzing, and I felt them suddenly being plowed quite brutally in to my hairline. Without mercy they were pushed back all the way to the crown, and a bit past, before being moved to my forehead again. It felt like the metal teeth were digging in to my scalp as they were mowed over, pass after pass. The feet moved, and my hair was attacked from the side, from the back, and from the other side. There was short hair falling around me, and then it stopped as suddenly as it had started, and the boots moved on.
I could feel a small tear in the corner of my eye, and I quickly blinked to get rid of it. These guys would have no understanding for weakness. I was sure of that. So I kept blinking, at the same time as I was watching Dylan’s dark hair falling to my left.
A red-blond pile to my right, my own mousy blond around me, Dylan’s dark hair to my left, which was followed by another mousy pile from Frank.
The clippers went silent. And Daniel stepped back, and marched back to Markus, out of my field of vision.
"Hold out your right hand!" Markus ordered.
"Daniel, if you please. The shirts!"
The boots came marching back, pushing a folded brown shirt, in to our outstretched hands.
"Don’t look up!" Markus barked. Maybe one of the others had tried to?
"Now, shirts on!"
Still looking down, and kneeling, we all fumbled with the shirts. I unbuttoned it, and pulled it on. It was a long-sleeved brown, cotton uniform shirt. Wondering to myself who supplied Nazi uniforms these days, I buttoned it up all the way up, and tucked it in to my overalls. Pulling the bib up and the braces over my shoulders. Realizing as I did it, that this was obviously not "protocol". Nazis did not wear overalls.
I hoped Markus and William weren’t angry about it.
"Stand up!" came the order from Markus. Still looking down, we did.
"Now, raise your heads, and be a part of Force-88!"
There was loud cheering and clapping as we lifted our heads. I looked over at Timothy, and almost gave a start. He looked completely bald, and his scalp was so white. But he had a brave smile on his face, and held his hand out for me to shake.
We shook, and I managed to smile back, at him, and at all the others who were now congratulating us. Dylan and Frank looked like real storm troopers already. With their dark pants, brown shirts and cropped heads, both having dark enough hair for the short stubble to show slightly on their pale scalps.
Both Markus and William came over and shook as well, welcoming us.
I felt my own head. It felt like my back and sides do when Liz cuts my hair, like sand paper. Only now it felt like that all over.
As soon as the crowd dispersed and we were free to wander, Tim and I went to the bathroom to look at ourselves.
Tim looked shocked. As did I, I suppose. We were both totally focused on our own reflection in the mirror.
And I hated it. I could barely see the stubble on my head. And my skull looked small over my face and neck. Like it was several sizes too small for my big frame and large jowls.
I wondered what policy Force-88 had on wearing hats.
The party went well in to the night, and there was a lot of beer being drunk. I can drink quite a bit, but knew I had to be careful.
I also kept reminding myself I was supposed to be slightly slow. Not by much, but at least by a little bit.
So, most of the evening I sat, with my jaw hanging a bit, and listened to the others. As a strategy for infiltrating it proved to be brilliant, since I didn’t have to have any lengthy conversations with anyone. It was mostly short questions or comments, like "How are you Dave?" And "Lookin’ good!" to which I gave short answers, or just smiled and nodded.
Since my cell was still in the car, I had trouble knowing what time it was, but it was really late before people started turning in.
Standing alone in the bathroom of our shared cabin, after I could hear the others sleeping, I studied myself in the mirror again. It really did not look good. And it felt all prickly.
Unlike the other three newbies I had a bit of a tan at the lower part of my skull, and it was just the top of my head that was really pale. It didn’t look better for it though, just different, and weird.
I turned the tap on, and held my head under the running water for a bit, to soften the bristles. Drying off a bit, I applied lather to my back and sides, and used my razor to scrape it clean, first against, and then with the grain, before rinsing under the tap again.
Nice and smooth, just like I like it.
Running my fingers over my head my skull felt all wrong though. Thinking about how I would probably be going back to wearing my hat full time back with the Planet First crew, I thought "What the heck!" lathered up the rest of my scalp and began scraping from my forehead. Only shaving smallish areas at the time, rinsing my razor under the running water between each swipe. I was careful, and meticulous.
As I repeated it with the grain, my head almost shone as it was uncovered in all its whiteness. I washed again, and wiped my head dry, before running my hands over my completely smooth head.
Wow! That felt weird. And wonderful.
It looked even worse now than before, but the feeling was amazing.
Really glad I could wear a hat, I fell asleep stroking my head.