REVEALED: Queens’ student pursued for nine months by stalker using decapitated, ‘bloody’ rubber ducks
ABBIE COOMBS tells us about nine terrifying months of duck-based debauchery
When I arrived as a wide-eyed fresher, I thought I was prepared for the bubble – oddballs, eccentrics and all. A whole twelve months and many more stories later, Cambridge has corrupted my once angelic self in ways I never could have anticipated. But none of these experiences has matched the madness of the curious case of the ducks in room EE42.
It was the second day of Michaelmas Term and I had left my door unlocked. Freshers’ Week isn’t a gentle introduction into this most intense of institutions, but my welcome was stranger than most: when I returned to my room, I began to find small rubber ducks dotted around.
I soon found six ducks fluttering their eerily-long eyelashes at me. They were dotted in all sorts of places – my jewellery box, my drawers, my fridge and an oddly sweet one reading ‘love-a-duck’ in my shower.
Well surely it can’t be one of my fellow freshers, I thought – I hardly knew anyone yet – and I dismissed it as some prank the upper years must play on freshers. Anyway, what did I care, I got six free, rather cute rubber ducks out of it.
But this was only the beginning.
A couple of weeks later, the duck bandit struck again, with more yellow rubber ducks showing up in my room. I have to admit, at this point I thought it was rather bizarre, but I wasn’t too alarmed by it.
But on the first day back in Lent Term – Michaelmas having gone ‘swimmingly’ obvs – I checked my pigeon hole, to find green delivery slip.
Excited to retrieve my parcel, I handed the slip to the porter in return for a small square package, with my college address in a rather mysterious, robotic like font on the front. With slight apprehension, I opened the parcel only to find a box containing a large bar of soap in the shape of, you guessed it, a duck.
Another week or so passed, when late one night I returned to my room after a hard day in the library, yearning for the welcome comfort of my bed. As I pulled back the covers, low and behold, the duck bandit had struck once again. Things were getting sinister though.
This duck was decapitated.
The decapitated duck variety not really being to my taste and the prospect of a peaceful night’s sleep shattered, I was now quite alarmed. What’s worse was the head, presumably from the headless duck I received the night before, turned up the next day in my pigeon hole.
If I wasn’t creeped out a little already, the alarm bells were definitely ringing now.
But it didn’t stop. In fact, if it is even possible, the situation worsened.
I awoke one morning, dreading a 9 am, to find a pink rubber duck in the most unsuspecting place of all – my underwear drawer. I have to admit this one rather took me by surprise, with its beak cut open to look like the joker and a stab wound in its stomach.
Clearly I had to tighten up security at chez Abbie, so I began locking my door if I was going to be gone for more than half an hour. But that mother ducker blind sided me. In the five minutes I spent in the gyp room heating up some (rather ironic) duck chow-mein, the duck bandit had entered my room, thrown some of my ducks in my toilet bowl, and put another three ducks in my bathroom cabinet, all while I was no more than ten meters away.
This called for drastic action; somehow I needed to catch this guy yellow handed (the pun wasn’t funny at the time mind you).
Luckily an engineer friend of mine supplied me with a Go-pro, which I hooked up in my room, hidden within my criminal law binder folder. The plan was to turn it on whenever I left the room. But the duck bandit somehow knew something wasn’t quite fitting the bill, targeting no longer my room, but my kitchen cupboard.
That’s right, on looking for a breakfast bar, I discovered an orange duck with my kitchen knife stuck through its middle, and is that… blood or KETCHUP all over it? WTF???!!!
Thank God, the last day of term had arrived, meaning a whole five weeks at home duck-free. But the duck bandit left with a quack – his parting present – a goodbye note reading ‘DUCK DUCK YOU,’ delicately placed in a duck with its head turned inside out, behind one of my photo frames.
As if exam term wasn’t stressful enough, I found myself once again trying to fend off the duck bandit in Easter term. On the way back from Queens’ library (at one in the bloody morning) I returned to a dark room, and what can only be described as a demon-duck seance.
I can tell you, at this point I thought I was Quacking up.
Finally, whilst rejoicing the end of exams, I discovered a paddling pool full of water, my ducks swimming contently around in it, in the middle of my room.
What a way to finish the year.
I only pray that you, duck bandit, will not be so brave as to bestow me with any more than the 24 ducks you have already given me.
P.S. to the fresher living in EE42 this year, I strongly advise installing 24 hour CCTV outside your room and maybe changing your locks.