Chapter 8: University of Chicago
It was an old building, and quite decrepit looking, unlike the wonderfully restored classic buildings on the University of Chicago campus. Trash littered the surrounding lot, and even the steps of the school building itself. A large group of black youths of about his own age lounged in front of the building, although school had been over for hours. Many were smoking, some were drinking, and they looked out sullenly at each car that went by. Wulf walked towards them, hoping to get a closer look at his future school. He noticed one boy circling behind him, as two more looked at him challengingly. He had no idea as to why, but then he had never seen a black person before the last few days. Perhaps they were extra friendly, he thought?
He nodded towards the two before him, who just stood there, their black eyes boring into him. He nodded towards them in a friendly fashion, and then, the keen ears that had been trained in the wilderness for his whole life caught a scuffling sound on the concrete just behind him. He turned with incredible swiftness, sensing an attack as surely as would a tiger in another dangerous jungle, and saw the fist flying towards the backside of his head!
With a quickness that was again tigerish in it’s speed, he turned and met the fist, that had been meant to knock him out in the street, with an open hand. The fist stopped abruptly, and the fellow who had thrown the punch looked astonished. His flying punch had been not avoided, but simply stopped dead against what seemed an immovable wall, but now the hand that had stopped his punch began to close around his fist.
He tried to back away, but the large hand imprisoned him. The large white youth who owned that hand looked at him appraisingly. “Why would you seek to strike me, who has done you no harm?” asked the youth. He answered with unprintable swearing, which truth be told Wulf could not even understand most of his words, spoken as they were in a strange dialect only faintly English. He tried to back away, and started striking with his other fist, ineffectually against the muscle plated chest of his opponent.
Annoyed, Wulf began to squeeze the black fist in his hand. There were a few sharp cracks as fingers broke, and an agonized gasp from the black attacker as he abruptly stopped swearing. Then, Wulf released the broken fist, and the “knockout game” assailant, for such he was, fell to his knees, crying. The other blacks had frozen, not even sure what they had just seen. The youth who had just been “dissed” as they would have expressed it was Tibo, the leader of the toughest group in that high school! He had meant to show them once again how tough he was, and it had backfired in a huge way with this, what- one big white kid from who know where? Momentarily, the group was rudderless, without any idea how to respond or react.
Wulf looked at the two who still stood before him, and the look on his face as his eyes burned bluely towards them was…sinister. This wild youth, born and bred in a rugged land, had the untamed ferocity and power of an animal from the wild, just beneath a thin veneer of book learning and civilization. They were the degenerate spawn of a decadent civilization, supported by the government, gone savage. He was born to the ways of the true wilderness, he was part of clean combat and survival of the fittest, not someone who had learned to be vicious because of bad example and over-leniency.
They saw the look he gave them from blazing blue eyes, and they backed up, quickly. He walked towards them, and they suddenly broke and ran, as a pack of jackals will run from an approaching lion. The rest of the loungers on the steps of the school just sat there, since Wulf had not looked towards them. But none arose, not even to help Tibo, sobbing on the sidewalk. Wulf walked deliberately away, musing on the nature of his future schooling, and the character of his future classmates. Was this what Nora had meant when she said she wanted him to experience “cultural diversity”?