Marnie's Truth or Dare

Submitted into Contest #107 in response to: Write about a game of ‘truth or dare’ that goes horribly wrong.... view prompt

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Fiction

It was in Belinda's spacious kitchen, with its white-painted cupboards, its ten-foot ceilings and its chintz curtains that the idea was first hatched. The women were seated round the big old wooden table. They were all college-age, attractive and fairly brimming with new ideas and enthusiasm.
"OK truth or dare?" said Belinda. She'd been more or less the leader of the group for the past couple of years.
Marnie thought hard for just a moment. "Truth!" Marnie was nothing if not enthusiastic.
"Are you still a virgin?"
"Hmmmm..." Marnie now had to think that over and after another moment of intense thought, changed her mind. "Uhhh, OK dare!"
"Oh! Changing up on us, huh? OK, you have to jump off the Empire State building!" said Belinda.
"No way!" Marnie knew this was a joke
"Yes! That's the dare!" Belinda was adamant. She slapped the table for emphasis. 
"No way"! Marnie wasn’t about to try so foolhardy a stunt as that.
"Yes way!" Belinda wasn’t about to give in. A deal is a deal, after all. A bet is a bet. A wager a wager, and a game is a game. 
"Are you for reals?" Marnie still couldn’t quite believe what was happening. She pushed back from the table now, arms straight, back even straighter. What in the world had gotten into Belinda?
"Yes!" Belinda had that look of determination on her face that everyone was familiar with. It meant she was not about to change her mind. She stood up, scooting her chair loudly backwards and leaned slightly over the table, pinning Marnie in an intimidating glare. 
"Well can I at least use a parachute?" said Marnie, feeling somewhat defeated and very apprehensive.
Belinda relaxed a bit at that, and stood up straight, no longer leaning over the table quite so menacingly. "Yes of course you can use a parachute! I don't want you to die, I just want to challenge you."
"I think I'm definitely feeling challenged." Marnie couldn’t ever remember feeling quite so intimidated. At least, not by Belinda. 

"Good! You are ready then?" There was an anticipatory gleam in Belinda’s eye that Marnie couldn’t remember ever seeing before either.
"Yes, I suppose I am."
"Marnie, she's kidding!" said Jackie.
"No I'm not!" Belinda seemed quite serious indeed. 
"Wait!" said Angel. She was the smart one. "You can't just waltz into the Empire State Building with a parachute and jump off!"
"Sure we can!" said Belinda, pointing to her chest. "We have these!" Belinda was, they all agreed, rather marvelously well-endowed.
Jackie shook her head. "Don't be stupid. No one's going to be distracted enough by your chest to let us jump off the Empire State Building with a parachute!"
"Not just mine!" Belinda said. "All of us. We'll all flash the guards while Marnie sneaks past with the 'chute. Then she jumps off."
"Have you ever jumped with a parachute before?" Angel asked Marnie.
"No", she said, quietly, nervously, obviously contemplating what such a jump would entail.
"Uhhh! I think I see a problem here!" Angel announced. "Your very first parachute-jump EVER, is going to be off the Empire State Building? I don't think so!"
"I don't think so," said Jackie.
Marnie just shrugged.
"Why not?" said Belinda.
“Why not? Why not?” Angel was beginning to lose patience. “Look, this is just stupid. No one's jumping off the Empire State Building! Now let's get back to the game.” 
“She's right!”
“She's right!”
“Let's get back to the game!”
“This is the game!” Belinda said, savagely. But she could see no one was paying attention.
Finally, amid the chaos of three women talking at once, Belinda’s big voice cut though. "Wait!" she said. "What if there really was a way, though?"
"This is crazy! Do you want to play or not?" said Jackie.
"We'll take her up in a wheelchair!" said Belinda.
"What?"
"We'll take her up in a wheelchair! We can cover her with blankets. That way, no one can see the parachute. We'll get one of those front-parachute thingies."
"You mean a reserve chute?"
"Yeah! That's it! A reserve chute!"
"No! This is just stupid!"

Within days, Belinda had procured a wheel chair, blankets, and a "reserve 'chute"; a parachute that was worn in front. She also had a plan.

The group walked past Macy's and Grand Central Station. Belinda was pushing the wheelchair. They rolled Marnie up to the entrance of the storied Empire State Building – the stuff of legends; the object of their collective desire – swathed in blankets that concealed her parachute. The rest were all dressed in short, tight dresses that called attention to their abundant assets.  They had finally came to the storied building that was their destination. They paid their fees and got on the elevator to the 86th floor. They'd decided on this level, even though there was another observatory on the 103rd floor. But the higher-up observatory was fully glassed in while the 86th was open-air, with only steel-rod barriers to hinder jumpers.
They hurried from the elevator and Angel pulled out some bolt-cutters concealed underneath Marnie's blankets and went to work, savagely gnawing at the criss-crossed metal rods that were the only remaining obstacle to their plan. In seconds an adequate gap was created and with an assist, Marnie, vaulting from her chair, scrambled up the low wall, through the opening and launched herself, grimly, into space...
Everyone filmed the launch on their cell-phones of course, and followed Marnie’s trajectory toward the city street below.
They waited for a few seconds in silence. Filming.
"Do you see a parachute?" said Angel.
"No." Belinda replied.
"Do you see a parachute?" Jackie asked.
"No." said Belinda again, sounding much more worried this time.
"Open!" they chanted, hoping against hope.
"Open!"
"Open!"
"Open!"
"Now do you see a parachute?" said Angel.
"NO!" Belinda felt like she’d been kicked in the gut. After all, this had been her idea.
"It didn't open." said Jackie.
"It didn't open." said Angel.
"Oh my god! It didn't open!" Belinda screamed.
"Poor Marnie!"
"Poor Marnie!
"Oh my god! What am I gonna do?” Belinda screamed.
The now forlorn little group made its way soberly back down to the street, trying to ready themselves for what would come next.

August 18, 2021 14:43

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1 comment

Stevie B
11:06 Aug 23, 2021

Dale very original and imaginative. Well done.

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