My friend came up to me today and dared me to go spend a night in an abandoned, supposedly haunted house, saying that he had done it only just yesterday.
I went to the house, and headed up the creaky stairs like it was nothing, but as I opened the door to one of the rooms and saw my friend’s dead body lying on the floor, I knew I shouldn’t have taken that dare.
I have a friend named Jen. She isn’t
remarkably pretty, kind of short, and just on the side of obese. She has torn
ligaments in both knees, and, as a result, walks slowly. She’s an enormous
nerd, would rather spend her evenings playing video games or table top card
games than going out on the town. She’s slow to anger, quick to smile, and all
around, people like her. As my name is James, and we’re pretty close, she and I
are often referred to by our friends as “J Squared.” I always say
that you’re not really best friends unless everyone thinks your dating, and
we’ve certainly got that part of our friendship covered.
I met Jen in my first year of college,
in the student lounge. Her voice carries, high and a bit obnoxious on first
listen, then comforting when you get to know her. You can almost always tell if
Jen is in a place simply because you’ll here her first.
I should take the time now to mention
her eyes; they’re a shifting hazel, sometimes blue, sometimes green, sometimes
grey, depending both on her mood and what she is wearing. Darking colors will
bring out the blue and the green, depending on the shade; lighter colors will
bring out the gray. The only constant is the faint ring of gold around the
It was late one Tuesday evening, some
alcohol had been consumed, and there was about five of us, including Jen and
myself, gathered casually to play games and talk shit, when the suggestion was
made we all take a trip to that old abandoned house.
I won’t waste time on describing the
house, other than to say it had two stories; every town has a house like it,
one that had been abandoned for quite some time, there were rumors of death and
ghosts and other such nonsense all around it, and it was something of a ritual
for young adults and teens to break in and test their metal.
Everyone else, including myself, seemed
to think this was a great idea, except Jen. She was the most verbal proponent,
arguing that someone had died in that house just six months ago; it was true,
it had been all over the news. Some kid had gone in alone as a test of bravery,
and was supposed to be in there only an hour; when he didn’t emerge in the time
allotted, the authorities had been called, and they found him dead, spine
snapped like a twig.
The official ruling had been that he’d fallen down the
stairs somehow, but there were rumblings there was no evidence of that being
the case; that he had been found far away from the stairs he could have fallen
But, as the majority overruled her, she
had grudgingly come along, the whole ride trying to convince us all to go
somewhere else; the cemetary, the old historic cemetary one town over, anywhere
except that house.
But we didn’t listen to here, and soon
enough, we all found ourselves at the house, flashlights and phones in hands as
we crept along through the bottom of the house.
“Do NOT seperate,” Jen
warned, and there was enough command in her voice, and we accepted her as
leader enough to stick close, no more than a foot between any of us as we moved
from room to room.
For ten minutes, nothing happened other
than us giggling between each other, and Jen, at my side, seemed to relax a