The Dare
Utsha, Age 12, San Pablo, California

Katie was currently playing truth or dare with Aria, Jason, Madison, and Jared. She was at Aria’s annual last day of school party. Katie could see dozens of empty soda cans and pizza boxes scattered around on the floor. She was overwhelmed with the blaring music and the sound of roaring laughter. The lingering smell of fresh pizza still hung in the air.

“Jason, I dare you to put on lipstick, take a picture, and post it on the school website,” Aria said smugly grinning like a maniac.

“Come on is that the best you’ve got?” Jason questioned.

He quickly grabbed a lipstick from Aria’s nightstand, put it on messily, took a picture, and posted it on the school website with a proud smile.

“Alright Jason, it’s your turn to pick someone,” Madison said.

“I pick…Katie!” Jason replied with a sinister smirk.

“Truth or dare?” he said staring at her intently.

“Umm…uh…uh…d-dare?” Katie said, but it came out more of a question.

Katie never liked attention on her. Not since the incident. In 2nd grade, Katie had thrown up while on stage in front of a bunch of people. Some were even unfortunate enough to have had some land on them. Ever since that fateful day, she never liked attention: at all. She was that type of girl who sat at the back of a class and avoided getting noticed at all cost. She had straight hazel hair with the tips blonde and ocean blue eyes. She was wearing her favorite blue faded skinny jeans and a black long sleeved t-shirt that contrasted against her pale skin.

“Katie!” Jared exclaimed.

“Huh?”

“Are you going to do the dare or not?”

“Umm…what is it?”

Jared sighed exasperated and said, “Jason dared you to spend the night at the old abandoned mansion on Emerson Ave.”

Katie gasped in shock. The mansion had been closed off for half a century now. Nobody ever dared to step one foot in the mansion because of the howls in the middle of nights. It was said to be surrounded by wolves devouring anyone who dared to come near.

“No, I don’t want to!”

“Then I guess you’re going to have to say goodbye to your grandma’s necklace,” replied Jared.

“But that’s not fair!”

“Sorry Katie. We all had to bring our most prized possession so that if we didn’t want to do the dare, we would have it taken away and you brought your grandma’s necklace.”

“Well I guess you have a point, but I still don’t want to do the dare! How about I do the science project by myself but you still get credit?”

“Sorry Katie, but you can’t bargain your way out of this this time.”

Katie huffed. She regretted ever bringing the necklace. Scratch that. She regretted ever playing truth or dare period. Now, she was buried in a heap of trouble.

“Fine, but if I get kidnapped my some psycho while spending the night, it’s all on you Jason!” Katie said desperately trying to change his mind.

“I’ll take my chances.”

“Come on Katie we have to have to change,” Aria told her.

“I have no need to change,” she said glancing down at her outfit.

“Fine but I do.”

“Me too,” Madison stated.

Twenty minutes later, Aria and Madison came out.

“Geez, what took you so long?” Jared questioned.

“What, we’re girls!” screamed Aria.

“Whatever,” Jared replied rolling his eyes.

Aria had her strawberry blonde hair up in a ponytail causing her bangs to cover her emerald green eyes. Unlike Katie, Aria was really tanned from sunbathing almost every day. She was wearing a sleeveless tie-dyed shirt with white shorts that stopped right above her knee.

Madison had her strawberry blonde hair up in a ponytail just like Aria, but she didn’t have bangs and instead had chocolate brown eyes. She was just as pale as Katie; maybe even more. She was wearing her diminished white skinny jeans with a shabby gray hoodie. She seemed nervous by the way her eyes kept darting around the room.

“Come on. Let’s go!” Aria shouted impatiently tapping her foot.

Aria, Madison, Jason, and Jared pushed each other out the door in a rush. They wanted to drop Katie off as quickly as possible because just the site of the deserted mansion was frightening.

Ten minutes later, they were standing in front of the mansion just looking at it. They all got chills. Not from the cold but from the eerie sight of the mansion. The brown uncut grass and boarded up windows made the mansion look like it came right out of a horror movie. The sound of owls hooting and the wafting smell of mould only made it seem more.

“Well, I guess I better go inside,” Katie announced.

“Good idea, we’ll check up on you first thing in the morning,” they said in a rush and ran away.

“Some friends I have,” she muttered to herself and went inside hesitantly.

Dust laid over every surface like dirty snow, and cobwebs covered every nook and cranny. The sound of rats scurrying could be heard throughout the house. It smelled like something was rotting , but Katie ignored it and laid down on a worn-out sofa. She felt like she was being watched, but she thought that she was just being paranoid.

“CREEEEK!”

Katie’s heart beat skyrocketed and she quickly turned around .

“AHHHHHH!” screamed Katie closing her eyes.

“ARFF!”

Katie hesitantly peeled her eyes open one by one. She saw a tiny white and brown puppy looking at her happily wagging his tail. He looked to be only a month old. She reached down and petted the puppy. She noticed that a patch of white fur was shaped like Mickey Mouse’s head. She then decided to name him Mickey.

“ARFF!” Mickey barked happily.

“Well, aren’t you cute!” she said aloud.

All of a sudden she heard a loud howl. Mickey ran off leaving her to wonder where he was going. Although she wanted to follow him and find out where he was going, she didn’t want to get overly attached to the puppy. She was also too scared to leave the door out of her sight. It was her only escape if something bad happened. Katie sighed and laid down back on the sofa trying to sleep. Her eyes slowly dropped closed as she fell into darkness.

Katie was awoken by something slimy licking her face. Realization finally dawned on her and she shout up straight.

“AHHHHH!”

“ARFF!”

She looked down at her lap and saw that it was just Mickey.

“Well that explains the licking,” Katie muttered to herself.

“ARFF!”

Katie looked down at her lap expecting it to be Mickey who barked.

“ARFF!”

Katie gasped and turned her head to where the bark came from.

“AHHHHH!”

There was a gigantic dog sitting right next to the sofa looking at her. The dog looked just like Mickey except older. She realized that it was probably Mickey’s mom.

She reached down to pet her, but she ran off.

Ten minutes later, Katie heard a bark and turned around. She saw Mickey’s mom carrying a piece of bread in her mouth. She dropped it on the floor, and Mickey jumped off Katie’s lap to eat it.

While Mickey was eating, the mom jumped up on the sofa next to her. Katie hesitantly scooted next to her and petted her sleek fur.

By the next morning, Katie had gotten really close to Mickey and his mom. She was really sad that she had to leave them. She sat on the sofa deep in thought. She decided to come there every day from now on to look after Mickey and his mom. She wanted to take them home, but she knew it was a bad idea since her parents were allergic to dogs.

“KATIE!” someone screamed from outside the house.

She stood up from the sofa and walked over to the boarded up window. She saw Aria, Jason, Madison, and Jared standing outside looking around scared. She laughed to herself. She was no longer scared of the mansion. During the night, she had realized a lot of things about the mansion. Like how the howls everyone would hear at night were coming from Mickey’s mom not some wolves that were supposedly living there.

Katie walked back to Mickey and his mom. She petted them softly on their head and promised them that she would come back there every day to look after them. She sadly trudged to the door and took one last glance at them before exiting the house.

“ARIA, MADISON, JASON, JARED,” she shouted at them at the top of her lungs.

Their heads whipped around and they looked relieved as she jumped down the stairs.

“Come on, let’s go!” yelled Katie.

They didn’t have to be told twice. They ran until they were out of breath.

When they got home, Katie told them about the dogs at the mansion. They instantly begged her to take them when she went back. Katie agreed and ever since then, it had become a routine to come there every single day to take care of the dogs.

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