CW: Mentions Blood, slight physical violence and wood knocking.
“Thanks a lot,” I said as sincerely as I could, my body couldn’t stop shaking at the face of another strange creature. But she made me feel safer by getting rid of another one that was trying to harm me. In all my years I never thought that a Vampire was standing beside me. Let alone, my friend.
He was always a troublemaker but the adventure was always fun until that one night I decided to follow him. He wore a dark grey hooded jacket and dark jeans, his hair was always in a mess and he looked tired constantly. I was worried even if I hadn’t known him long, I guess I sort of just tagged along even though he didn’t want me to. I should have listened.
We were at a large rundown house that was in fact lived in. But not by people we know. I followed him in and looked around, the rooms were just a mattress on the floor with one blanket. The contents of the room vary, but one thing I did notice, no leftover food containers, just empty plastic blood bags lying around.
Not sure when I lost him, but I already knew where his room was so I figured I’d look. In that room was a dark blanket, a single mattress, a small coffee table littered with cigarette butts and some old beer cans. On the bed was a gun. I’m not sure what it was used for, it could be for show or used on a different creature. I turned around and walked around a bit more trying to figure out where my friend could have gone.
I was then slammed into a wall, the pressure on my throat was harsh, I tried to swallow and cough at the same time. After a few moments, I was let go.
“What are you doing here? You shouldn’t have come in,” the voice was so frosty and dripping with the melted iron of hate. “Now, since I’m so nice, let’s play a game. If you get out of this house alive, you keep your life. If not, you’ll be put to work as a blood slave. You have Ten minutes to run with a Thirty-second head start. One, Two...” he continued to count and I started to scramble to my feet to try and remember how to get out of the house. But instinct was a bitch and my legs lead me to his room, my body flew for the gun that was no longer there. “It seems you have chosen your master, I’d say it is a wise decision on your part. Pets shouldn’t have fangs or claws, to begin with,” he smiled and stepped into the room.
“Oh my,” a woman stopped my friend from entering further, “looks fun, mind if I join?” She covered his eyes and her own eyes and she also started to count. I ran out of the room and down the stairs, I knew that I won’t make it out, but I could hide. I went to the kitchen and sat behind the busted counter and tried to breathe. “You know, all this running around is making me hungry,” I couldn’t scream as she was beside me, but I did stand to try and run away. Her gloved hand held me in place, “I save you and you become my pet instead, deal?”
“No,” I shook my head as I squeaked the words.
“Smart kid, although it doesn’t matter, I’ve caught you fair and square.”
“Help me,” I was terrified and my friend came up beside us growling, he reached out towards either me or the woman, I wasn’t sure and suddenly he was in her arms limp. I couldn’t move. “Thanks a lot,” I said once I had finally calmed down but I was still shaking like a leaf in the November chill.
“Get outta here, squirt. Hungry mouths are everywhere around here,” she said and dragged my friend away. I walked out of the house not daring to look back at the so-called hungry looks. I just wanted to go home and hope that this was all a nightmare.
The next few days I didn’t see him lurking around as usual, not sure if I was glad for that or not. I don’t have to see him again but not seeing him was also a problem. I wasn’t sure if he was alive or not. I dared not go back to the house, she had given me a second chance at life and I wasn’t about to throw it away on checking on him.
The next day after that, I saw him leaning on the wall. My fear started to rise when I saw him and him turning his icy glare at me just froze me to the spot.
“There you are,” he said in what seemed like a forced soft tone, “I apologize for what happened that day. Next time listen to the warning,” he said and turned walking away.
“Well isn’t he charming, I guess he did have a heart after all. Glad I didn’t kill him?” the woman walked up behind me. “Now, you owe me. I saved your pathetic lil’ friend and spared your life, which wasn’t easy. I need you to do something for me in return. Since I can’t have your blood, why not work at the hospital and get me some of that blood instead? I could also share with him if you’d like.”
“H-how would I do that?”
“Easy by working as a nurse, I could fund your schooling for it and you could get in his favour again,” she smiled.
“If I don’t want to?”
“Then I’ll get you to lure some people to the house instead, the more you send the better you have to live.”
“The old Sleep house is right down this pathway, it’s almost midnight. You have to go up the stairs into the old library say ‘Blood Offering’ before taking the picture of the stuffed dog and again after you’ve taken the picture. Then leave through the back door in the kitchen.”
“That is a stupid dare, I’m not doing it!” two girls and three boys stood before the rundown house.
“Rules, go into the house one at a time, do not wander around in the house, do not go into any other room except for the ones mentioned and most importantly don’t scream. You have Ten minutes,” a boy said smiling. “So who’s up first?”
“I’ll go you wuss,” a large man said and boldly walked into the house.
“Where did you hear about this dare?”
“Some guy, he tried it and said nothing happened. Figured it would be a nice bonding experience.” The next guy went in after the Ten minutes were up, then the two girls. He walked up to the house and gently knocked on the door.
“There you are, you did well tonight,” my friend said with a small smirk, his lips stained red.
“Any of them blood slaves?” I had looked away when I asked.
“The second guy and the last girl, you really outdid yourself. Just two more to go and you can stop, I look forward to the next ones. Good night,” the door closed and I made my way home. I’ve been doing this for a year now, getting into a circle of friends, telling them about the dare and bringing them there to be taken as food for the Vampires of the Sleep house. Each day I grew more terrified of the circle of friends figuring me out, but none had suspected. I guess either He or She had something to do with it and I was then forgotten by them the next day.
I kept the friend circle to 2 or 3 groups around me that way I can just stop and actually be friends with them when the Vampires had found their blood banks. Although the trouble with this is that some of them were dying, I guess the other Vampires in the house didn’t like the attitude of some of my ‘friends’ and discarded them when they want.
The next night I brought the next group, telling them the same dare and repeating it for them. They went in one at a time and once that was done, I knocked on the door waiting for one of them to answer. It was always Him that answered the door, what I wasn’t expecting was the smallest guy leaning on him.
“Another successful night, but as you’ve heard you can’t stop. Five of them were furious about their previous pets. How about finding some better behaved ‘friends’ this time?”
“How long will he last?” I asked trying not to look at the wound on his neck or the dazed look in his eyes.
“Jealous? Then why not become,” he said and I shook my head. “Hm, we’ll see about his temperament, I’ll let you know. You really had done well, good night.”
We walked up to the Sleep House and I told them about the dare again.
“Then I dare you to go in first,” one of the guys said smiling.
“I-I can’t,” I said feeling terrified just like that night.
“So scared and you haven’t even gone in,” he taunted. It continued for a bit longer before one of the girls spoke up saying they were going in. “Letting a girl show you up, you really aren’t a man.”
“Stop it! It’s obvious that this dare terrifies him, it makes sense that he would want to do it with us. His closest friends,” another girl said pulling me away from the guys threatening pose.
“I-I’ll go next.”
“No, you won’t! Not until we see David go in first, John was making sure it was safe for us girls, but we would feel even safer if David also went to check.” I liked these girls. They knew how to play his ego. “You’ll go after me, alright Zayne?”
“O-okay, thank you, Raven,” I said and watched as they went in. I walked up looking back to the last girl there and walked in. I gently knocked on the busted counter and he was there instantly.
“Doing well, but why are you in here? Have you changed your mind?”
“No, there’s one more girl out there, what do I tell her about the others missing?”
“Just go out through the front door again and say you couldn’t do it.”
“Then we’ll both end up coming in.”
“That’s fine, just tail behind her. You’re doing really well,” I shivered nodding and going back through the front door in a rush. The fear was real, just remembering that night when I almost didn’t make it out.
“Oh, you poor thing! Did they jump out at you?” she fumed when I said nothing, “I’m going to give them a piece of my mind, wait here,” she walked in and I waited. I heard nothing for ten minutes so I knocked on the front door.
“That went easier than we thought, huh? Good night,” he closed the door and I went home.
The next group was just as stubborn, but this time they forced me in and held the door so I couldn’t get out. I walked to the kitchen and knocked, but he didn’t come down. I walked up to the library and knocked.
“Did you fail?” I shivered at his cold voice, “You know what happens when you fail.”
“I, ace,” I muttered.
“That’s right, you take their place. We’ll wait out the Ten minutes to see if they come in, if they do you are free to go home for the night. If not, you’ll have to stay here.”
Like any other time, I failed to bring them in the wait was long and even more terrifying as I sat in his room. He designated it the safe room, the pets were stored in a different part of the house so as not to ward off the next line of prey.
“Blood offering,” I heard the voice and was so glad that someone saved me. I wasn’t too sure what had happened but I opened my eyes, I was laying in the bed the covers drawn over me. I guess I was so relieved I fainted.
“Go back to sleep,” I heard growling behind me and I was ready to start running out of the house.
“I-I should go home,” I said as quietly as I could, my heart nearly beating out of my chest and no doubt he could feel me shaking.
“Go back to sleep,” he said again more gently? I wasn’t too sure but tried to do as he says.
The next few years we’ve gone through the dare, some of the people were reoccurring as they found new friends to hang with but each time they don’t remember who I am. I’ve even brought some police there just to get them off me when they started suspecting me. I grew numb and mastered being the ‘friend’ to these people. I somehow even stopped being afraid of failing as my success rate went up. But none of the people I bring were ever permanent. I never pay attention to the found bodies or missing people, I practically gave up from breaking from the routine and made larger groups of friends. This was the perfect life, I should thank them for sparing me, and I got lots of friends to share it with. So, would you like to come to The Sleep House to try the Dare? It’ll be fun, I’ll take you there tonight, take a friend if you want, the more the merrier.