It's Just a Dare- Competition Version

*Entry for Halloween Competition*

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1. The Begging to an End

“Come on man, let's get outta here." Bruce said gruffly. 

Henry nodded as his heart started to pound. Suddenly the whole conversation he had had with his mother disappeared because not fifteen feet away from him stood the most popular girl:

Jennifer Mortson. 

Her long, blond hair streamed like a river down her back as it seemed to shimmer in the moonlight, her eyes were a crystal-like grey color as they reflected of the glowing lights all around the compound. Her skin was porcelain, her figure was delicate and feminine. She wore a flawless white dress that made her look exactly like an angel.

And she was walking straight towards Henry.

Henry wasn't exactly popular in school, he wasn't a looser because he was friends with the biggest bully in town but he wasn't completely 'accepted' either. So the fact that Jennifer had even noticed him was huge in the world of Henry Williams.

As she approached, he saw a mischievous gleam in her eyes. The other thing that made Jenny so popular was that she was terribly mysterious. Nobody knew where she lived, where she was from, who her parents were... Some people claimed she was a witch or something but Henry thought that maybe, just maybe, she was like him and didn't want to share personal details.

"Hi Henry." She greeted, her voice as silky as a waterfall. She smiled softly as her dimples made the slightest appearance. Jenny's teeth were a pearly white and they stood out immensely against her blood-red lips.

Henry looked up at her in amazement. "Uhh... Hello..." he stuttered as he began to bunch his costume up in his hands. 

Jenny just giggled, her laugh sounded like a million church bells pealing their joyous songs.

Henry had to pull himself together but even Bruce was looking a little flushed.

"So," She whispered seductively, twirling that river of hair around her finger, "Do you two want to be my buddies for trick or treating?"

Henry felt his legs turn to jelly and his words started melting in his mouth. Thankfully, Bruce answered for him.

"Sure, but hurry up. We're gonna miss all the good candy." He said nonchalantly. 

Jenny looked pouty. "Don't talk to me like I'm your, dog, or something." She whined.

"He didn't mean to, I promise. It's, well, it's Bruce. He expresses as much emotion as a rock." Henry said quickly. The last thing he wanted was for her to leave and spread rumors about the two boys.

She smiled sweetly at him. "Aww, thanks Henry. Your so sweet." She purred. Suddenly, Henry could've sworn he saw her tongue lick her lips. He just shook his head, though. He was DEFINITELY hallucinating. 

As he snuck glances at the girl, he started to shiver more and more furiously. A soft glow seemed to emit from her figure bit once again, Henry just guessed it was some sort of costume effect.

"Trick or Treat!" Bruce snapped impatiently. An elderly woman emerged, her bathrobe hanging limply around her skinny and frail figure. She held out a bowl with quivering hands as Bruce dug his hand in, grabbing at least ten pieces of candy. The action nearly made the old lady fall over and Henry hurried up to her and balanced her. 

She nodded at him kindly as if thanking him. Then she squinted a little beyond, seeing if anymore children were coming when she saw Jenny. Her face went even paler than it already was as he chin trembled. Her eyes widened greatly and suddenly, she stared chanting so loudly that a few passerby's looked up. She slammed the door with way more strength than Henry ever thought an old woman could muster up as she continued screaming and chanting her weird language. Bruce simply shrugged his shoulder as he glanced down at his stash of candy but Henry suddenly wanted to go home as he realized what street they were on. How they got there, he didn't know but the whispering breeze seemed to coax him to leave.

"Hey, guys," he murmured, " I think I'm gonna head home..." He looked at the ground, kicking a rock. He had never felt so embarrassed in his life. 

Jenny pulled a face. "Already?", She whimpered, "Okay, fine, we'll head home but I want to do one more thing first." Her eyes danced with excitement as she pointed towards the great darkness at the end of the street.

"I dare you, Henry Williams, to visit the house at the end of the street and if you do, I'll go out with you." She said as her voice dripped with persuasion as thick as honey.

Suddenly, the coldness over took Henry. His bones rattles, his teeth chattered, and the whistling wind started to whisper "Do it, do it, do it, do it, do it...." He heard the wolves howls louden, the trees started brushing against each other with nervous movements, but the moon... the moon gleamed down with her baleful smile as the millions of star at her sighed seemed to wink with even more horror than before.

The coldness stopped and a sickly sweet warmth took over Henry's soul. It slithered up his spine like he had just drunk hot chocolate on a winters day. He collapsed to the floor and started jerking uncontrollably. He felt his heart constrict as his airways were clogged, his eyes bulged as he heard an insipid crack just before all fell silent.

He stood back up, shakily, but he stood. His soul felt trapped as it screamed and hollered against the cage it was locked up in. Jenny giggles as she smiled once more and Henry saw her lips drip with blood as her canines began to extend. Her eyes hollowed out, leaving a big black pitiless socket in their spot. She spoke but her lips did not move, only a whisper was carried across the wind.

"I dare you Henry Williams, I dare you." Her voice moaned with ghoulish properties. 

Not a moment later, Henry's legs began to move. One, two, one, two. Tick, tock, tick, tock. He was being carried against his will up the street when Jenny disappeared into the darkness. The blackness got thicker and thicker and Henry thought he would choke on its insufferable form if he didn't emerge from it soon. 

Dare, dare, dare, dare.

Death, death, death, death.

His heart thrummed in his chest as he made his way around the final bend, up to the house at the end of the street. Henry had never seen anyone go in but he had also seen no one come out. The black Victorian manor loomed above him as an eerie mist seemed to hover lazily above the grass. There was no light here on the hill, only dark. It seemed to tower hundreds of feet above him as he continued approaching in and suddenly a heart wrenching scream filled the air. Then silence. 

A lone tree was planted in front of the door, it branches bare of life. A heart was hastily carved into its trunk with the letters J and H embedded into it. Henry swallowed uncomfortably as he knew exactly what names those letters signified. The most disturbing thing, though, was not the letters, but a single noose hung limply from the tree and on the end was a rotting teddy bear, its stuffing bright red. Bugs and beetles scurried over it, hollowing in its eye sockets. An ebony black cat sat directly beneath it, gnawing on something human. Henry turned away, as he felt bile rise to his throat.

He continued walking.

Dare.

Dare.

Dare.

The walls are lined with paintings with people in them... so many faces peered down at henry as their eyes followed him, their smile showing mouths filled with redness. Blood stains were splashed on the floor and at the end of the hallway, a lone pair of shoes sat in the ground. All alone, completely empty. 

He heard running on the top floor, loud feet banging in the hallway. Girlish laughter pealed from the top yet it seemed to fade away. Henry's feet lead him into another room now where a wooden table stood with a single chair next to it. In the corner, something caught his eye, a gleaming knife smiled evilly at him as it went up and down, up and down, slicing at a human head, bloodied and chopped beyond recognition. Henry tried to scream but all he felt was a huge weight in his throat, forbidding him to make a sound. 

His feet shuffled away from the site back into the hallway. Henry looked for the empty shoes but they were gone as if they'd never been there. In the distance, a piano was being played. A soft, blood curdling sound drafted through the house. 

Henry turned a corner as he emerged into deeper darkness where the smell of rotting flesh was over powering. A single light beamed down on a little rocking chair that creaked back and forth back and forth entirely on its own. He squinted around the room and he realized he was in a nursery when in the darkness, he spotted a lone figure staring at him with vacant, white eyes. She started singing. It wasn't any song in particular, just... singing. The little girl approached him and he saw a green ribbon tied around her neck. A doll smiled up from the ground at him, her face cracked and broken, missing an eye and an ear. 

The girl looked up at him, the white eyes staring straight into his soul as her bony hand reached up and grabbed the ribbon. She smiled and instead of teeth, human fingers filled her mouth. She pulled the ribbon and her head fell to the ground with a soft thud.

Henry's soul yelled and pushed against the barriers of the cage, but it was no use, he was trapped.

Dare

Death

Dare

He willed and wished his legs to run so hard that he thought he might simply explode. Then suddenly, his legs moved, shuffling back into the hallway. He was grateful to be away from the little girl with vacant eyes but then, he wished he was back on the room.

At the end of the hallway, a noose hung down from an exposed beam. A limp corpse hung there too, dangling lightly in the draft. Henry knew in his heart who it was. James. His brother.

But the thing that begrudged him most, the thing that made his soul scream and tear was not seeing his dead brother hanging from the ceiling. No. It was Jenny. Her young, porcelain face was buried into the corpses side as her extensive canines dug into the moldered flesh. She pulled away, her once white face now covered in sticky, thick blood. It dripped from her mouth, oozing like a slug on its way to the floor.

"Darling," She moaned with a sound so lonely and deathly that it made Henry want to cry, her lips not moving, "so glad you could join me." 

Jenny glided without touching the ground over to Henry where he stood, still frozen in his body. Lightning cracked outside and suddenly rain was pelting down like gun shots on the window panes. Henry then realized something, her name, Jennifer Mortson, Mortson, Mort, Death. The white sheet of paper that had been pinned on his door, it wasn't paper at all, it was a piece of fabric from her dress. 

A single tear rolled down Henry's cheek as he thought of his mother and somehow, he managed to whisper "I'm sorry" despite his soul being captured. Jenny raised her hand, her skin glittering in the moonlight, her smile like a thousand knives being punctured into the body. She brought them down straight to his face, her razor sharp nails gouging out his eyeballs, just as she had done to the little girl. 

A single scream filled the night.

An abandoned bucket of candy sat.

A mother wept.

Dare.

Dare.

Dare.

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