There are some things frat boys are not meant to know.

That had always been the excuse given by the sisters of Lambda Qoppa Delta for the strict prohibition on guests, boyfriends, and photography at their annual Spring Fling. They went to an undisclosed location in the wilderness outside of town for a weekend, carrying enough supplies for a grand feast, and returned woozy on Monday.

To Wesley McCall of Phi Qoppa Beta, the isolation and supplies meant only one thing: the Lamb Qops must have been engaging in a salacious, girls-only free-for-all. As such, one year he followed them into the woods.

It was easy enough; he loaned his car to his Lamb Qop girlfriend and it had GPS tracking software installed. With a borrowed Land Rover, not to be confused with the Land Rover he had loaned out, Wes tracked her to a location deep inside Lauryn Ghantt State Forest. The dirt road was blocked off with a chain bearing a stern-looking park ranger warning; Wes cut the lock with bolt cutters and opened it himself. He hadn’t gone to all that trouble to go home without laying eyes (and camera lens) on ribald frolicking Lamb Qops.

To Wes’s surprise, after a time the dirt road turned to well-maintained asphalt, and he came across a parking lot that wouldn’t have been out of place in the suburbs, cunningly laid in and around the lofty pines so as to be all but invisible from the air. He slid his vehicle into an empty space, distinguished from the other Beemers and Land Rovers only by its lack of Lamb Qop bumper stickers. Keeping to the trees, and dressed in neutral tones, Wes continued on foot.

Streams of Lamb Qops dressed in bright colors and bearing coolers were flowing along brick-paved paths to a pine-hemmed hollow. Wes recognized the figure on a raised dais therein as Beryl Sawyer, the Lamb Qop housemother, but he did not recognize the ornate robes she wore or the midnight-black stone from which the dais had been hewn. Unlike the robes that the brothers of Phi Qoppa Beta wore during imitation (and hazing), Sawyer’s robe glistened with an unearthly sheen that gave Wes a headache.

“Sisters of Lambda Qoppa Delta!” cried Sawyer. “We have come together in the spirit of sisterhood to make our offerings in the abode of our patron. Let all among you who would call yourself Lamb Qops display your true colors proudly!”

Wes was delighted to see that the assembled girls immediately began removing their colorful sorority shirts (which formed a uniform so strict and standardized that even the Prussian Imperial Guard would have been envious). But there was something underneath – different shirts, bearing different slogans, in a script so fiendishly twisted that it blurred the edges of Wes’s vision just to behold it. And the colors! They were no hues that existed or could exist in nature, brighter and more pastel while at the same time luminous and ruinous, like holes torn in the fabric of a sane universe.

If the script made Wes’s vision blur, the colors threatened to draw the very breath from his lungs and lay him flat upon the pine needles.

“And with your true colors displayed, bring forth your offerings to our patron, the dread lord Rnyugnatlath! Can you feel it, sisters? Star-Spawn of the Infinite Void, the Creeping Conundrum, It Whom Human Tongues Fail, come forth at the call of your faithful on this spot where our offerings to you have lain since the time before time, the world before the world!”

When the first appendage of dread Rnyugnatlath emerged from the howling void on the dais, the ceremony was interrupted by the soul-shattering screams of an interloper in the woods. Wes was found a week later, raving in gibberish, his hair a white shock and his body sunburnt across his face and the palms of his hands. What little remained of his life was spent in the Granath Nulty Asylum.

There are somethings frat boys are not meant to know.

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“Now,” Bethany said, toying with the ‘editor-in-chief’ sign on her desk. “With a Greek participation rate approaching 50% on our campus, we have to be very careful about offending our fraternities and sororities. Offense translates into boycotts which translate into lower sales which translate into pink slips and thin resumes and eventual refrigerator boxes under overpasses for the lot of us.”

“Do you really think a school newspaper run by students runs that kind of risk?” asked Tom, the sports editor.

“Try and get a Kenmore box when you land in the gutter,” Bethany retorted. “They’re the most spacious and are double-ply.”

Tom folded his arms and glared as Bethany passed a stack of papers around the office.

“The point is, people, we need to take steps to preserve our circulation from baseless attacks on the Greek community, especially on the opinion pages,” Bethany said. “So I’m beginning a new initiative.”

The paper contained the following list:
Digamma Ϝ
Stigma Ϛ
Heta Ⱶ
San Ϻ
Qoppa Ϙ
Sampi ϡ

“What the hell is this?” demanded Aaron, the opinion editor. “It looks like a rejected script page from a Star Wars prequel.”

“Those are obsolete Greek letters,” Bethany said proudly. “Unused since 500 BCE. They look Greek, they sound Greek, but they ain’t Greek. Not anymore, at least. From now on, you are to substitute these letters for the letters of an actual Greek organization when writing opinion columns, dealing in speculation, and so on.”

“You cannot be serious,” Aaron said.

“So, if you were writing about a rumor of a wild party in your opinion column,” Bethany said, briskly ignoring Aaron, “you could attribute the even not to the very real Sigma Phi Delta, but the fictional Heta Qoppa San.”

A moment of silence followed. “I like it,” Felicity, the weekend insert editor, said. “It opens up all sorts of puns to us. Frat acting up? We can tell people ‘don’t be a Heta.’ Sorority getting a bad rap? We’ll call ’em Stigma Heta Omega or the Stig HO’s for short!”

Elections for homecoming royalty were always a hazard, McClernan thought. The groups of sorority girls, always clad in matching too-big t-shirts in bold primary colors, relentlessly pushed their candidate of choice on hapless passersby and streamed across campus roads in droves. Strategically placed groups of women blocked every access point to campus and every thoroughfare between major buildings.

They were everywhere.

And they were well-prepared.

Drilled in late-night sessions over the past month, the pledges were prepared for every dodge and evasion that McClernand could summon.

A group of girls canvassing for Phi Qoppa’s candidate jumped him on the way in. “Vote for Brandy!”

“I”m a professor,” McClernand said. “I can’t vote.”

“Tell your students to vote for her after class, then!” They formed a human phalanx and wouldn’t let McClernand proceed until he’d taken a stack of fliers to pass out to his biology students.

Another group hovered near the cafeteria at lunchtime. “I’m a graduate student,” McClernand volunteered.

“We have a candidate for Graduate Council too!” they said as different fliers were unleashed.

Walking between Hurley Hall and Davis Hall, another group accosted him. “I’m just visiting,” he said.

“Tell your kids to vote for Mindy and the Qop Sigs!” the lead girl said.

“I don’t have any kids,” McClernand returned.

“Well, when you have some, tell them to vote Qop Sig.”

“I don’t ever plan on having kids. Can I go through?”

The head girl fixed McClernan with a steely, patrician glare. “Nephews? Nieces?”

By the time he arrived at Davis, McClernan had promised his niece Susan’s vote to three different sororities in perpetuity, despite the fact that Susan was three years old and in Connecticut.