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The Deadly Dare

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The Deadly Dare

  1. 1. The Deadly Dare. By Nadee Pathmaperuma; Faculty of Management Studies & Commerce. Department of Decision Sciences, 2nd year. Looking at that picture made me realize that there was a story behind it. A story that said it all. It was a picture of a girl about to step into a building so foreboding that I wouldn‟t dare even mention the name of it. The petrified look in her eyes sufficed to say she would rather be locked in prison than be facing the throes of fiery abyss that, she was positive, would be her cataclysmic fate if she were to set foot in it. “You‟re right. That was exactly her fate.” whispered my subconscious mind. “She never should have followed through on that dare if she wasn‟t up for it.” I thought back. “Well she did and look where that got her. You don‟t need to go down the same road too Sean. Back down when you still can.” came back the irritating reply. Annoyed with my subconscious for always proving me right when I least expect it, I shifted my attention away from the beautiful dark haired girl in the picture, to the horrendous looking manor that seem to hold many sinister tales of its own. The cops said she tripped and fell from the second floor and the doctors agreed with that theory too. There was no indication of her being caught up in a foul play and not a single finger print could be lifted off of her body by the forensics. In spite of the talk of the town about her ghost haunting the manor, I‟ve never believed in the afterlife or the supernatural although there‟s this nagging feeling in the back of my mind telling me I should beware. Well I just won‟t back down. Not now. My reputation was at stake. Anyway I wouldn‟t be going solo. I‟ve got backup. My two best friends, who‟d go back and forth to hell for me. Looking back at the picture of Tanya De Zilva, I felt my chest tighten with penitence at what I was about to put my friends through. “It‟s just a dare. Nobody would be in any danger. I won‟t let anything happen. ” I vowed as the images from the newspaper article, of her body lying in a pool of her own blood, kept replaying countless times in my head. “Hello? Earth to Sean.” said an impatient voice. Having being deeply obsessed in my thoughts, I jerked my head up, a bit startled; to find my best friend staring at me as if he was witnessing obnoxious acts of an escaped lunatic. “Hey Jay.” I said, returning back to earth.
  2. 2. “So, what was it?” he asked with a grin. “What was what?” I asked back, perplexed. “Was it Jupiter, Saturn or Mars? I mean, where were you seconds ago?” he inquired with a sudden interest; laying down the first step towards teasing me. Not wanting to give him the satisfaction in doing so, I just shrugged. “Hey what‟s troubling you?” he asked; noticing the downcast look on my face. The concern in his face was evident. I wasn‟t surprised. Jay has always been that one friend I‟ve held close to my heart. In fact, he‟s more like a brother to me. “Nothing. I was just thinking.” I replied, struggling hard to sound relaxed while trying to conceal the photograph at the same time. But it was too late since Jay‟s hawk like eyes caught me in the act. “You‟re still thinking about that dare? You need to let it go man. We can‟t get caught lurking in that place! If the cops find out we‟ll be in deep trouble for trespassing. ” Jay said taking the picture out of my grasp. “I can‟t just chicken out from the dare Jay. That‟s not who I am. You out of all the people should know that.” I said refusing to back down. “Marcus is trying to get you in trouble Sean. Don‟t you see that? And what about the rumors saying that the place is haunted?” retorted Jay with a frown. My lips twitched in fury at the mention of his name and I‟m pretty sure my eyes looked just as murderous as my thoughts. It was no secret. Marcus was my sole enemy. He despised me mainly because he was envious of my reputation as the cool guy in school. We were constantly at each other‟s throats. “I couldn‟t have cared less Jay. I‟m going in tonight and whether you want to come with me or not is your choice.” I snapped not wavering from my steely resolve even for a second. Neither of us were the type to get scared of anything dead or alive and I knew for a fact that Jay was only bringing up the story about ghosts just to deter me from the dare. He didn‟t want the police to add another record to our already existing heavy pile, which just might result in our expulsion from school. Well in my defense, it was all due to our knack for adventure. We couldn‟t possibly explore every nook and corner of the world without breaking few laws in the process, now could we? “Okay fine. I‟m coming with you.” Heaving a deep sigh, Jay said after a moment of stony silence. It was a relief to know that one of my best friends was already on board with my thrilling adventure. Now I had to get Misha in as well.
  3. 3. “Just do me a favor and tell Misha about the plan will you? She‟ll bite our heads off if she finds out we went in without her.” I told Jay. Misha my other best friend is the kind of girl no one would ever like to mess with. For a girl, she‟s the most daring person I‟ve ever met. Nothing could possibly scare her. But even though they are my best friends, Jay and Misha find it a little hard to get along with each other. I think it‟s just because of their obstinate ways. Also the fact that Jay has been harboring a secret crush on Misha ever since he met her and her being completely oblivious to it, might have added to their constant bickering. It‟s quite entertaining, watching Jay go out of his way just to annoy Misha. Only I know he does that just to get her attention. I have dropped hints from time to time but I know Jay would shoot me dead if I ever tell her. Anyway it‟s not my place to tell her. “Don‟t worry I‟ll call her. I‟m not going to tell her exactly where we‟re going though. That would just ruin all the fun.” replied Jay, with a mischievous glint in his eyes. Slowly and silently she glided on the floor towards the door. Her long dark mane of hair, which was sparkling due to the moonlight coming through the window, made her pale blood drained face look more ghastly than ever. Her long white dress swept the dust off the floor as she walked. Reaching for the door, she heard voices coming from the other side. Her face hardened. A sudden rage mixed with envy and loathe, rose up within her, like a blazing fire. Her evil bat-like eyes narrowed in malice. She couldn’t believe it. After all this time, who has had the nerve to come here? She leaned forward and strained her ears to hear more clearly what they were talking. “Hey Misha, feeling scared? Want to hold my hand?” a male voice asked mischievously. “You can only keep on dreaming. I‟d rather have my arms severed from my body than hold your hand.” came the angry retort of a female voice. “Jay, leave Misha alone.” another male voice joined in. This voice sounded a bit daring. “You can‟t scare her that easily. The girl has more guts than you do.” “I seriously doubt that Sean.” Jay was quick to retort. “Well I seriously doubt you.” came in Misha‟s sarcastic response stressing heavily on the word “you”. “I wouldn‟t do that if I were you, love. I might just be your knight in shining armor tonight.” Jay switched on to his playful mode.
  4. 4. “I think your lips moved, but all I heard was „blah‟ „blah‟ „blah‟” Misha‟s face was red with fury. “Well you shouldn‟t have focused on my lips that much then love.” Said Nick, passing a flirtatious wink at her. “Okay guys give it a break. My poor ears can do without all your shouting.” Sean‟s voice interrupted. “Sean where are we exactly? Mister jerk-face over here didn‟t tell me the specifics over the phone” Misha replied in a sour voice. “I didn‟t think you‟d be able to handle it baby doll ….” He was yet again interjected by Sean. “Jay stop kidding around and fill her in.” his tone was nothing but serious. “Okay. Okay. Relax man. Well this place is said to be haunted. It‟s said that a girl got herself killed here and that her soul is lurking in this place ready to snatch another. Many have gone in, but nobody has ever returned. And our Superman here has been dared to go in and come out in one piece.” “Dared? By who?” asked Misha, enraged, as if to say, „who dares my best friend?‟ “Marcus.” Sean replied bitterly. “It isn‟t much of a dare anyway.” “Yeah it‟s not. This is totally my type of adventure! I‟m super glad you had me come.” she said fervently. “Yeah! Haunted houses are my favorite too! Let‟s go in. No ghost can possibly scare us off, if there‟s any I mean.” said Jay valiantly. “Oh don’t bet on that.” Giving a mirthless laugh, she said after eavesdropping. “Let’s see who will survive the night, shall we?” Her ice cold voice was a little more than a whisper and her face was deadly demoralizing. Now she had her thin lips curled into a malevolent grin. “Bustle up you guys. Let‟s go in before somebody sees us!” I said to my two best friends who were now sneaking inside, past the massive corroded iron gates. The broken gutters and windows added a nasty, creepy look to the derelict old manor. The faded walls were covered in thick green moss. It sure would have scared an ordinary person out of their skin. “Creek!” Jay cracked opened the door which was covered in a thick layer of dust.
  5. 5. “Ladies first.” he said to Misha. “Oh look who‟s got scared now.” With a smug smile adorning her face, she said cynically. “Come on guys. Don‟t start up a row now.” I said half annoyed. When will they ever admit to liking each other? Sometimes I felt like banging their heads together for being so stubborn. “Okay, I‟ll go in first.” Said Misha after a couple of seconds. Slowly, but steadily she entered. Her torch-light swept the dusty dark walls. The eerie sound of the creaking floorboards followed her every step. With another lighted torch in my hand, I went in after Jay. There were a number of old antique tables all covered in thin white sheets. Piles of battered old books were kept on a book rack, across the room. There were tons of dust, and not to mention cobwebs. “Wow! Looks amazingly neat and tidy! Shame it didn‟t win a prize for the cleanest house in the area. I would‟ve awarded the owner a broom, if it was up to me.” Said Jay after stealing a glance across, what I assumed to be, the living room. Believe me, „neat‟ wouldn‟t surely be the first word you‟d have in your mind if you ever see this place. “May be you can make this place look more heavenly. Why don‟t you give it a try? I reckon you‟re good at cleaning.” I said directing the sarcasm back at him. He was hopeless in the cleaning department. “BANG!” The old door slammed shut behind me, making me jump at the sudden sound. “What was that?” turning around, Misha asked alarmed. “The door! It‟s locked!” I said frantically, trying in vain to open it. “The windows are barred!” Jay exclaimed. My stomach did a somersault. “We‟re trapped.” I said softly, trying to digest the solid truth. “No. No. This can‟t be happening!” My friend looked immensely aghast. “Let‟s try the back door.” Jay‟s voice was filled with a dissipating amount of hope. “If there is one.” I added softly.
  6. 6. “Where‟s Misha?” Jay asked suddenly. “Misha?” She was nowhere to be found! “Misha? Misha? Where are you??” I swiveled around frenziedly looking for her. “MISHA!!” Jay joined in with the search too. My throat was parched from all the shouting and I was a nervous wreck. Where was she? Was she alright?? “Sean you think something happened to her? You think the rumor‟s true? About that ghost?” Jay asked with his voice quivering. “Don‟t you dare think like that! She‟s alright. She has to be.” My voice sounded even more broken to my own ears. “Look there‟s a stairway! Should we go up??” halting abruptly, my friend asked; noticing a rusty old stairway. “Umm….you go upstairs and I‟ll go straight ahead. It‟ll be faster that way. We have to find her before something happens.” I said, dreading every passing second. Jay looked nearly hysterical. “We have to find her. We must. I don‟t know what I‟d do if something happens to her!” A single tear escaped his eye attesting to his anguish. “Hey. Hey we‟ll find her alright? She‟ll be okay. Be strong for her bro.” I said, regaining the confidence I thought I no longer possessed. “Sean?” Jay said softly, as I turned. “You are truly, the best friend I‟ve ever had.” His voice was filled with raw emotion. I could barely speak. Why did his words feel like a final good bye? With one last glance at my best friend, I departed into a long dark corridor. My torch light swept over a number of dusty doors which were locked using thick chains. “Aaaaahhh!!!” The unnerving silence in the manor was shattered by an air-piercing scream. I felt my heart pounding heavily, as I recognized the voice. The voice of the person I knew only too well. “Jay!” my voice sounded frenetic. Following his blood curdling scream, I broke into a run. I had never, ever in my life, run at such a speed. I felt my insides burning as I reached the old stairway. Different thoughts swirled in my mind. „Is he alright?? Was Misha okay?‟ With all these hideous questions popping in my head, I sprinted upstairs.
  7. 7. “Jay? Misha?” Reaching the 1st floor, I asked in a barely audible whisper. Jay was nowhere to be seen. I felt an icy chill passing through me as I looked around. “Please be okay. Please be….What the..!” my voice trailed off as I felt something dripping down on to my head. I didn‟t have to be a genius in science to guess what the thick red liquid was. “Blood!” the word escaped from my lips as my body went numb with horror. My stomach churned. With my heart in my throat, I lifted my head and allowed my eyes to open. My mouth went all dry. It seemed like the time had come to a sudden halt in my world; as I stood there transfixed with shock and terror, staring at the sight before my eyes. Jay and Misha were hanging in mid-air, with blood dripping out of their noses and ears. I couldn‟t think straight. With utmost horror creeping down my spine, I felt Goosebumps rising on my skin. „My best friends are dead and it‟s all my fault.” The sentence kept repeating over and over again in my head, weighing me down with guilt. “oh Sean” I heard a raspy voice from behind me. “No. No. Stay away from me! Somebody please help me!” I shrieked to no avail as I felt someone breathing down my neck. My throat began to throb. I felt my T-shirt soaking with something warm. “My throat.” I croaked out, feeling my agonizing throat. It didn‟t take me seconds to realize that I was cut in the throat. “I‟m so sorry.” With my last words echoing in my ears, I collapsed onto the ground. Before I passed on to the oblivion, I thought I saw a pale face sneering exultantly.