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Mogul Turned Monster
Catalina Vasquez was different from the other girls who attended the University of Chicago. Unlike other students who went to achieve prestigious careers in the medical or engineering field, Catalina wished to go into writing reviews for movies. Because of this goal, Catalina was a wealth of film information at the university, knowing the most obscure trivia and facts; particularly in the horror genre. Her roommates have often noted that on moving day Catalina had more cardboard boxes filled with DVDs and movie memorabilia than clothes. Her wealth of obscure knowledge and wide collection of movies made her different from her roommates and, by extension, led her to be frequently ostracized and treated as more of a social anomaly than an actual person on campus. However, one faithful night will put this mogul’s knowledge to the ultimate test for survival.
“I heard all of the girls in the sorority are out tonight. Perfect,” chuckled a masked figure, peering at the dark house through the bushes.
“You sure this is a good idea?” questioned his fellow thief. The power’s still on, I can see some light.”
“Don’t worry,” assured a third voice, “I think that antisocial girl from Mr. Burke’s class is here, just like we planned. I mean what can she do? Figure we scare her off and steal a couple things and we’re set.”With that they all donned their balaclavas, and zeroed in on the dorm across the yard.
It was humid night in June when Catalina was busy re-watching the popular slasher films of the 1980’s for an essay regarding the history of horror films. Catalina spent night after night watching and writing about how horror films left their mark in history. She was analyzing popular clichés of the slasher subgenre when all of the lights and television sets suddenly went out. She went outside to check on the power box so she could get the lights back on; she then realized the power lines had been cut. The exposed wires began to fizzle as rain began to fall; she retreated to her fortress of solitude. She soon realized how grave the situation was; the nearest help available, including her roommates and neighbors was at a block party seven miles away, and with no cell phone reception she realized she was trapped.
Then, all of a sudden, she heard glass break in the living room and took cover behind the dishwasher in the kitchen, mace in hand. Catalina peeked around to see her visitor was nothing more than a thief, snatching up assorted trinkets scattered by her roommates. Although she was frightened the mogul would only care about this breaking and entering if the thief decided to steal her movies. Thinking the thief left with what he needed she began to creep up from behind the dishwasher only to see another masked figure. Feeling spastic, she unloaded the whole can of mace out the open window like a machine gun. The figure who she could tell was male due to the sound of his groans, dropped to the ground, writhed, and rolled outside in the rain. Catalina knew this would draw his partner’s attention, so she bolted to the basement.
After her feeling of fear subsided, Catalina began to recognize her surroundings; she also began to realize that she of all people had made the classic Hollywood move by hiding instead of running out the door. She also knew that with more than one bandit involved in this break in, they were determined to steal as much as they could, and not let some film geek botch up their operation. Her mental observation proved to be fatally correct as she heard the thieves devising a plan to split up and look for the person who pepper-sprayed their partner’s face off. Knowing from her vast film knowledge that splitting usually resulted in the deaths of so many part goers, and camp counselors, she saw hope in the situation. Thinking of her television hero McGuyver, Catalina took her hair tie and stretched it on one of the basement stairs, tying it. Knowing that the trap was set, Catalina began making a subtle tapping noise to attract one of thieves.“If it could work for him, it could work for me”, she thought to herself.
Surely enough, the thief saw the face of the enemy and proceeded to race downstairs to catch her. Catalina’s plan worked like clockwork as the disgruntled robber tripped over the hair tie and got a face full of pavement on the floor below knocking him out cold.
After a moment of personal victory, Catalina returned upstairs to try and find the last thief. Remembering that there was payphone a couple of blocks up the street, she started for the door until she heard the tapping and rattling of plastic; they were stealing her DVDs. Catalina’s rage got the better of her and she flew up the stairs to end her uninvited guests’ romp once and for all. She saw the thief she had sprayed in the bathroom looking for medicines and aspirin to sooth his massive red face. Catalina snuck up behind her prey, but he saw her in the reflection in the mirror.
“Boss!” he cried. “It’s mace-girl!”
Before he could utter another word, Catalina rammed his face into the mirror shattering it, along with the thief’s consciousness. Catalina backtracked to her room where she met the last of the robbers, fumbling around her film collection. She saw the shock and terror in his eyes; knowing as well as she did the remarkable role reversal taking place. No longer was she the terrified one, no longer was she the vulnerable one; she became the monster in this horror film called reality, and she loved every second of it. The leader dropped his bag of stolen goods to prepare for this final confrontation, as the bagged dropped, Catalina heard the sound of discs breaking, making her seethe with rage. Catalina charged, driving her victim into a wooden nightstand next to her bed, destroying it. Catalina observed the damage and saw the thief lying in a pile of splintered wood and glass; she turned her back on him and began to check on her movies. But the leader of the burglars could feign death like the best of them and lunged at Catalina when he saw the opportunity. Catalina jammed her elbow into his stomach, freeing her, as she made her way in front of the window; she had one more trick up her sleeve. After righting himself the thief charged at Catalina, the last thing he heard was a deceptively clever snicker. Catalina dove out of the thief’s way as the poor soul rammed through the window, landing face first into the air conditioner unit two stories below. Catalina looked out the window at her latest victim with triumph and contempt.
After checking the house to see that her prey remained in the state she left them in, Catalina left the house and walked to the nearest payphone. She proceeded to dial 911; she also requested an ambulance for her guests. As she walked back to her house, she could see her roommates pull in to the driveway and heard their screams of fright as they saw the aftermath of what had transpired on that faithful night, all she could do was crack a slightly crazed smile.
“Oh my god!” she heard her dorm mates shriek.
“What happened Is he dead? “There’s blood everywhere!” another yelled.
“Why it is so hot in here? Is the A.C. busted again?” asked one of the drunken boyfriends.
Knowing her domain was safe, Catalina took a quiet stroll down the misty sidewalk, humming the hard string theme from a certain shower scene in a certain horror movie. For the first time in her life she truly felt like she emulated the celluloid villains she adored. She was the reptilian alien that stalked Schwarzenegger through the jungle; she was the unstoppable android that hunted Linda Hamilton. She felt like the ravenous extraterrestrial that haunted Sigourney Weaver, and the hockey masked killer that terrorized countless dimwitted teenagers. Ever since then, the University of Chicago remained crimeless, until Catalina Vasquez’s graduation.