Burnt Down House

Submitted into Contest #94 in response to: Start your story with someone accepting a dare.... view prompt


Fiction Horror Friendship

Frankie was part of a group of friends that would always dare to each other to do things out of the ordinary on a regular basis. There were a gang of four. Georgie, Vinny, Gabe and Frankie. They were close friends and all four attended the same college. They met up a few years ago when they were still in high school.

Their friendship started when they had to come up with a play in a drama class. That play was a comedy that involved misunderstandings in comedic situations. Their story was so well written and executed on the stage that their teacher selected their group to re-enact the play at the end of the year in front of all the students. It was a huge success. From that day on, they have kept writing plays and remained close.

Today, they are all enrolled in theater and drama. They live on campus and shared a dorm. Well, two dorms for our group of friends. Most of the classes they are taking are the same.

Frankie was the one that would enjoy so much on taking up a dare and he would go at full length to make sure he gets it done. Sometimes, the gang would even put on bets to see who can complete the dare or not…

There was one time, when Georgie asked Frankie to spend the night at the cemetery, behind the school, alone. Yes, alone. Guess what? Frankie spent the night alone and he came out alive and without being arrested. He did not sleep all night. Constantly has to be on the move. The place is pitch black. At night, a security guard roams in that compound. Mainly, to prevent vandalism and young punks throwing parties. Georgie had to pay him up a few bills with Benjamin on it. In fact, we can’t remember when was the last time Frankie backed out of a dare. Especially, when huge sums were involved.

For many years, Vinny had mentioned that in his neighborhood where he grew up, there were rumors about an old haunted house. As a kid, he never went in and heard stories of kids going in but never saw it himself someone going into that sinister place. This place had bad energy. Vinnie was willing to put a big chunk of cash to see Frankie go in for a night. A full night. After sun sets, and come out when sun rises. To make even tougher, Vinnie mentioned that this will be a dare to complete on December 21st. The longest night of the year. A nice way to celebrate the winter solstice.

A few days later, the fall semester was over and our friends were planning carefully this dare. All the conditions were discussed. If Frankie was going to complete this task, he was in for a large payout from his three buddies. 

On D-Day, the night was starting at 4:15 PM and the sunrise was at 7:35 AM, the following day. A pretty long night was waiting for Frankie. He was allowed to bring in with him whatever he wanted to for the night in in that creepy house. To stay over fifteen hours sure does seem long.

Vinny, Gabe and Georgie had rented a van. They were going to stay in front of the house for the whole night. For them, it was like a camping trip. Everyone had their smartphones, including Frankie. Just in case. You never know…

Frankie opens the main gate. We can hear the metal rust squeaking. In this part of the neighborhood, it is extremely peaceful. The only thing you can hear is the wind. Our three friends see him enter the house at 4:15 PM on the dot.

After a good hour, Frankie calls Gabe. Gabe has his phone on speaker so everyone in the van can listen what Frankie has to say. So far Frankie is bragging about how easy this dare is going be. Vinny insists that he remains careful because he did not hear of anyone going in and coming out. That they were some odd stories he had heard.

Hours have gone by. The trio staking out are having some Chinese food they got. They left the premises for forty-five minutes to get their meal in downtown China town. Here they are enjoying a good meal with laughter and curiosity. Georgie calls Frankie. No answer. The phone rang six times, then went to voicemail. He decides to call again. This time we hear the phone being picked up.

‘’Hello! Frankie! Can you hear me?’’ Asks Georgie.

We hear a heavy breathing and the call drops.

‘’You know guys, I think Frankie is not only winning this bet, he wants us to believe that he is in trouble. He really wants us to believe that they place is haunted,’’ explains Georgie to the other two.

‘’But Georgie, this might not be a prank. I never saw someone enter this house in my whole life I lived in this neighborhood. Even less, someone walking out from the front door,’’ says Vinny.

‘’Yeah, yeah, yeah…I know you told that already. This is Frankie we are talking about. He loves to brag when he completes a dare. And…don’t forget, we will owe him a grand each by this morning,’’ argues Georgie. 

Hours have gone by and our trio have fallen asleep. Almost 5 AM. When Gabe wakes up, the other two woken by Gabe. They check the time. They look towards the house and they see some smoke coming out from the back. All three check their phones and they see that there is a missed call from Frankie but he did not leave a voicemail message.

Our friends are concerned that maybe it is time to call off this dare and maybe drive away from the premises. We see Frankie running out of the house. He even stumbles on the stairs almost getting a concussion. Gabe, opens the door of the van. 

‘’Go, go, go…no time to fool around here,’’ Frankie screams.

‘’What happened?’’ Replies Georgie.

Frankie explains that he is not sure what he saw. A dream, an illusion, paranormal activity or humans performing a satanic ritual. He describes that was he saw will scar him for life and that no one should ever enter this place.

‘’Frankie, the smoke?’’ Asks Vinny.

‘’I did that. This place is heavy. I mean the air is dense, cold, negative energy. No one should be inside and it is a crumbling place. I set the fire and I hope it does burn down. How come the city has kept this place intact is mind boggling?’’

In the news, later, around midday, we see that fire trucks and the police at that location. The place was quite damaged. A good portion burned up. Authorities are saying that the next logical step will be to demolish and clean up that area.

Frankie did not get his money but he was a couple hours away from making big bucks. Our friends were money happy to see him alive. They told Frankie, they will stop these daring contests for a while and treat him to a great meal tonight at a five-star restaurant in the downtown area. 

May 21, 2021 15:33

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