Chapter 1

As it turns out, cow tipping isn’t a real thing.

But how was I supposed to know? I’m a city boy. And I was trashed. Even if I’d known you can’t really tip over a sleeping cow, I’d have still gone with them. No way I was going to punk out now, not after all the hell I’d been through.

It was rush week and I’d already survived three grueling days of hazing. There had been forty potential Rho Omicron Omicron initiates at the start, it was now down to twenty. We’d been split into groups of five, plus two standing members.

I don’t know what the other groups were doing, but my group went camping.

“Alright boys, load ‘em up!” commanded Evan. “We’s going cow tipping. Yeee haw!”

Nobody whipped out a phone to Snopes ‘cow tipping’. We all just piled into the jeep, with ‘piled’ being the keyword. Evan and the other standing member, Jon, took the front, leaving only the tiny back row for the five initiates. Since two of my potential brothers could barely walk—let alone race to the jeep—I managed to score a bench seat.

Thank God, because Jon flew down the dirt road, bouncing helter-skelter. As we left the hills, the windy road straightened and Joh killed the headlights, without slowing. We barreled on through the black of the moonless night.

Then slid to a stop.

“Alright fellas, this is it,” announced Jon, killing the engine. “From here on, no talking.”

Down a ravine we stumbled. Through some trees, over a fence, and into a field we went.

“Over that way,” whispered Evan, pointing.

Jon strained to see. I doubt he saw anything, but we all heard a deep groan, one that could only have come from a large animal.

“This is so awesome!” whispered Kevin.

“Shut up, pleb,” hissed Evan.

I elbowed Kevin for emphasis. I’d only known him a few days, but I really wanted him to make the cut. Kev was a great big fat kid, always grinning about something, always cracking jokes. I really liked him.

“Lead the way, tubby,” said Jon, giving Kev a shove from behind.

We crept toward the noise, in the same direction Evan had pointed. Soon we could hear the heavy breathing of large animals, occasionally blowing gusts from their noses. Before long we could see large shadowy figures.



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