Truth or Dare - The Spin of the Bottle.

Written in response to: Write about a game of ‘truth or dare’ that goes horribly wrong.... view prompt


Coming of Age Friendship

Truth or Dare

It was the last Sunday of the school vacation. A new decade next year, wonder what the eighties would bring to us, as we entered our final year of High School.

Assembled in our hideout at Matilda’s property were the usual suspects, David, Rhiannon, Jonathon, Matilda (often called Tilly amongst us), and myself, Derek. Bored as ever, but not wanting to go anywhere. We had done so much but also, so very little in the break. All we did was hang together, but that’s how we like it.

The attic room above the barn and garage served as our hangout. Not really too secret but enough for us to be happy with our privacy we got there. The loft had repurposed stuff, from the main house that was no longer needed, sofa chairs, beanbags, and tables and chairs, These were allegedly our work stations for homework and school projects. For access up here, we had a somewhat dodgy ladder that hung loosely suspended and wobbled with the slightest breeze.

Out of left field, but not sure who had suggested it, but we agreed to play. We mixed together two gang faves, ’spin the bottle’ and ‘truth and dare’. Playing paper, rock and scissors to decide the first person to spin. We all battled it out and the girls were left to challenge it out for the start.

David called the one, two, three and then the girl’s hands went centre, shaking them, and anticipating the move of the other. Stopping on three, Tilly had a closed fist, making rock, and Rhiannon, an opened flat palm, the paper. Snatching the empty glass soda bottle, she began giggling with delight at winning, now tempting fate, she said, ‘Let’s begin’. 

The floorspace within our seated circle was cleared, a carpeted remnant was laid onto the wooden rafters to help to steady spin of the bottle. 

‘One, two, three, spin’, she said, letting the bottle go on three. The gyrating vessel turned about twenty or so revolutions, slowing, then edging to a stop, pointing sharply at Jonathon.

‘Oh, shit’, he mumbled, ‘not me’.

Rhiannon spoke next, ‘Yeah, and now, which is it? Truth or dare’.

Jonathon, being a bit of a chicken, with such adventurous things we all guessed he would pick a Truth. 

He knew the girls would choose a weird dare. ‘Truth please’, he said.

‘Are you sure?’, Rhiannon exclaimed.

‘Sure’, he replied gingerly.

‘Cool, let me think, what do we all want to know about you?’, she retorted.

The gang looked around at each other but said nothing. It was after all Rhiannon’s question to ask.

‘Tell me this Jonathon, have you had your first kiss?’, she giggled as she spoke.

‘Of course, I have’, Jonathon ejected.

‘Not your family or your dog, I mean, someone you like’, she continued.

Silence filled the air. Jonathon, could not tell a lie, and did not want to, did he have to now? He thought about the wording of the question and if he could answer truthfully but still not give away too much. The gang, waited silently for the answer.

‘Well, have you?’, Tilly chimed in.

‘Yeah, tell us, answer the question’, David chided. 

Rhiannon, folding her arms as she sat cross-legged, leaned back and let out a explosive giggle. ‘I bet he hasn’t kissed anyone’, was all she could muster.

Jonathon thought, he wanted to let them know he was not behind with those kind of things as they would imagine, his puberty and hormones arriving much later than his mates, and he blurted out, ‘Sure I have, it was last summer’.

‘Tell us more details, who was so lucky’, Tilly spoke through her laughter, ‘I don’t remember you and me last summer, getting close’.

‘Not either of you lovely ladies, I am so sorry to say’, Jonathon stated in his most Casanova style voice.

‘Then who was she’, the girls screeched in unison.

‘I don’t want to say, that was not part of the question, all you asked was if I had ever had my first kiss’, he was hoping that the interrogation would now cease.

I piped in, ‘He does have a point, to be ultra pedantic, all you asked if he had had a first kiss. Maybe you should have added, and who was the lucky one, if needed to know’.  

‘Shit’, Rhiannon blurted, she knew she could not push the point any further.

‘Thank you Derek, for helping us all stick to the rules’, Jonathon confirmed, in his realistic Sherlock Homes persona, ’Now I shall take my spin’.

The others looked dejected but the game must go on, they had all agreed to the rules.

Jonathon taking the bottle to hand, rolled it between his palms and closed his eyes. Opening them a few seconds later and placing to the carpet, ‘One, two, three, spin’.

With a much slower and rotating fewer times than before and coming to a stop, pointing directly in Tilly’s direction.

‘Wow, I was hoping to get a turn soon, I don’t wanna wait’, she gasped in excitement.

‘Cool, Truth or Dare Tilly?’, Jonathon spoke in his most Bela Lugosi-esque voice. He was known for his voice talents and celebrity impersonations.

‘Dare, I think’, she responded, in an equally vampiric tone.

‘Okay, we all know that you have been going with Sam for a few weeks. He let it slide that he gave you a hickey, in a place not visible when wearing your school uniform. Show us the hickey’, Jonathon presented his dare.

‘No way, I want a truth now’, Tilly blurted, through her crimsoned cheeks.

‘Not likely’, everyone said together. 

‘You made your choice’, David continued.

Tilly shied away and sunk into the bean bag, reminiscent of a gonk with her crop of red tresses, being the only remnant of her visible, she had been engulfed.

A few seconds later she sprung up, ‘Oh well, here goes, only for second’, she said. Her rosy cheeks are spread to her whole face and neck, she fought through her embarrassment. 

As she rose to a standing position, our eyes met her gaze. Wearing only her thigh-length shorts and a tank top, she gripped one item in each hand and slowly parted the clothes and exposed her bear chest, but covering her braless bosom. Cupping them in her hands, she raised them and flashed a purple bruise below her left breast. Yanking her clothes back in place hastily she down slunk back to a seating retreat. Eyes and head bowed, her ginger mop hiding her displeasure.

We were all silent, we did not wish to goad her anymore. The dare was completed, now we had to move on from her reveal.

We were all intrigued, and wanted to ask more, but didn’t or couldn’t. I wondered if Rhiannon knew more, the girls shared everything, that’s what girls do. 

Boys were less likely to share such personal things, but are known to brag when they reached or mastered certain bases. I for one had a few secrets that would never get out even to the gang. Maybe we all do.

Showing that we were ready to continue Tilly reached for the bottle. After the last two turns I didn’t feel like having either option, so wished the bottle would not point my way.

She held the bottle and looked like she was meditating and posturing to a certain person. The luck of the draw was often not that at all. Could we wish a result?

‘One, two, three, spin’, the most rapid and it felt like Tilly wanted the bottle to fly off the loft so as to end the stupid game.

It didn’t, remaining on target, and as it slowed, it seemed it would stop with David, I sighed a relief. But too soon, it slid past him and pointed directly at me. Shit.

‘Okay Mister, Truth or Dare’, as Tilly conveyed her delight.

I did not want to give away any secrets but what kind of dare would she ask of me? She would have some terrible thing for me to do. She was much more open to anything as we were beyond the naivety of our youth, when we first began playing this game.

I chose, ‘dare’. Too late, I said it without much thought, but a truth could be worse.

‘Wow’, Tilly retorted, ‘let’s see, have to be specific because we don’t want to give you an out-clause’.

‘Got it’, she laughed as she pondered the structure of the dare in her mind. Everyone imagining the cogs of thought moving within her skull.

‘Each of us, except you, will write our names on a paper scrap and place it on the mat, near the bottle. You then must choose one at random, and that is the person you must kiss, right here, right now’.

‘No way’, David said, ‘That’s not cool’.

The girls bleated together, ‘we are up for it’. 

Grabbing the pad and pens, they started writing their names , tore it and scrunched it and threw it into the middle of the circle of them. The two boys did not, so Matilda and Rhiannon did it for them.

‘He won’t do it’, David exclaimed, ‘I won’t let him, if it is me’.

‘I will’, I said, reaching for one of the names. 

Tilly then continued,’Okay, you have one in your hand, don’t look yet’, reaching in for the remaining rolled balls. Picking one up she said,’Lets make it fun, to increase the suspense. I will read two, and leave one. Then Derek has the one he picked and another, okay’

We all nodded, David wishing and hoping that Tilly would collect his name first.

Tilly reached, opening it up, ‘Matilda, what a shame, I was hoping for a pash today, hahaha’.

David recoiled into his beanbag now and shied away from the game. One more chance to positively be out of the dare.

Reaching in a second time, and hovering over the two remaining names. 

‘One, two, one, two, which one should I do, two’, she projected her choice.

Unravelling the ball, she flattened it to read, ‘Rhiannon’.

‘No way, the girls are out’, David jumped to protest.

‘Chicken, are we?’, we all chided him.

Rolling my choice between my fingers and palm, then shaking between my closed palms, I gasped, ‘Who is the lucky recipient of my affections today?’.

Both of my dear friends, stared blankly and hoped my choice was their wish. 

Taking the crinkled note, I unfolded it. I knew which of two choices I had, I would not be kissing one of the girls. What now?

I threw the opened scrap to the carpet, it fluttered to a stop and revealed the name. David let out a big ‘phew’ and then I turned to Jonathon.

He looked at me, he was not showing any emotion, but neither was I. The other three sat up and looked in our direction.

‘Go on boys, dare, dare, dare’, they started the chant. Jonathon and I, trying to lock eyes, trying to ignore the rowdy throng surrounding us. 

We both sat up, showing we would participate in the dare, as they had previously. I thought I might say we don’t have to let’s do this, but then I would be seen as the one who wasn’t part of the gang.

What was Jonathon thinking? We were best friends but of course we could not read minds or communicate telepathically. We had to do this.

Okay, I said to myself, Tilly had shown her hickey, all I had to do was kiss Jonathon in front of them. What happens in the gang, stays in the gang, right? I hoped.

Jonathon edged to the floor from his beanbag as did I, getting to my knees I crawled towards him. He was doing the same. The gang watched in silence. Did they honestly believe we would go through with it?

We met with a foot or so between us. Raising our arms from the ground to a kneeling crouch, we inched closer. Eyes looking ahead to avoid the staring gang members. They were in silence, the chanting had ceased, I hoped they were not watching.

Jonathon and I postured our heads and faces together as our noses touched. Automatically I turned my face ninety degrees so as allow our lips to meet. He did the same pressing our lips as one. Our tongues darted in and out of each other’s mouths.

The gang watched, were they were shocked that we did it. I was too, but this was not our first kiss together, but it became our way of ‘coming out’ to our dear friends.

August 21, 2021 02:21

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Daniel R. Hayes
16:14 Aug 25, 2021

Hi John! This was a really good story. I found myself really engaged in the characters, and I loved the tone of the story. You did a really good job writing this story. My only critique and I hope it's ok to give - is that when writing dialogue you used the quotations (') instead of (") but other than that, I think you did a great job. I look forward to reading more of your stories :)


John Filby
05:37 Aug 26, 2021

Hey Daniel, Thank you. I will remember the dialogue markings from now on. I don't often write dialogue, so I am trying to challenge myself with the unfamiliar and unliked. I am very open to critique as we all can learn and benefit from each other. Thanks :)


Daniel R. Hayes
06:27 Aug 26, 2021

You're welcome John. I find Reedsy to be a great place to learn and we all learn from our mistakes and get better. It's ok to make mistakes, I do all the time ;) You have a great talent for telling stories and look forward to reading more of your work.


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