Geno Smith walks across the dark West Virginia campus. There is no moon tonight. He knows this means danger. From the bushes. From the trees. He could come from anywhere. Last week he opened a dryer and took a helmet in the throat. It hurt. Life hurts. That's what Holgo would say. Hurt it back.
Coach Holgorsen wanted you to know fear, and then come to greet fear as a friend. It explained the random snares he set for them around campus. It explained the smoke grenades lobbed into their apartments at odd hours of the night. One night in film session he made them watch three Katherine Heigl movies in a row. He passed out halfway through The Ugly Truth. Maybe it was halfway. It was hard to tell. All he remembered was horror. Holgo said it made them tougher, but Geno wasn't so sure about that.
He knew the assistant was out there. He just didn't know he was in the laundry hamper. Geno didn't know he'd be blindsided on the way back from the shower. All he would remember would be hitting the floor. The lights swirling. The sound of the assistant whooping "LIGHTS OUT! LIGHTS OUT!" and making a choo-choo sound while high-stepping out of the room. The note on the floor: HOLGO IS WATCHING. He always was. Shaking his head. Wondering how he would survive. He always was.