A.... soft, silent, sacred breeze traveled.
Beer bottles clanked as footsteps shifted the dirt.
The sweet aroma of bitternut hickory burning- seduced the midnight air.
"Your Turn", she said.
A rambunctious belch rang through the calm night.
A middle-aged man with a beer gut and reeking breath of one too many beers, sat down in the chair.
"Umm...I dare you to make out with me".
His soulless eyes glowing orange from the reflection of the burning firepit.
His sinister smile from ear to ear.
"Come on it would be like old times...instead the janitor won't catch us" He chuckled.
No, she murmured.
"After twenty years why call to meet me"? he slurred, his eyebrows furrowed in confusion.
"I don't know how you found my new number Jess; I just know you want me back.
…"Where's your bathroom"? She said.
With his eyes locked onto hers and a smile so wicked it could put fear into the devil, he pointed at the tree behind him.
"I'm just messing with you..
Thru that door...
walk past the first two rooms...
...it should be on your left."
she arose from the wonky outdoor chair. Heart racing.
she broke the eye contact with him immediately.
Her eyes locked on the door with each footstep.
she walked past him…
immediately her arm was tugged!
"I know you still love me", he whispered as he gripped her forearm. The grip so agonizing and secure.
“You’re hurting me” she mumbled.
His expression now serious and eyes piercing through her soul.
He momentarily clears his throat.
“Your not going to ditch me…are ya? we just started the game”.
She shook her head signifying NO.
His grasp slowly loosened, and he finally let go. She gradually pulled her arm away. She proceeded to the door.
Instantaneously her nose was bombarded with stenches. Each smell potent and vomit inducing with each step through the house. She passed the first two rooms like he said, but she doubled back to a specific one with the door ajar. She looked out the window near the entrance door she came in from, just to make sure he wasn’t watching. She slowly pushed the door…
Filth. Clothes scattered. A cockroach at the end of the cluttered bed. Beer cans and bottles placed at random. This is where the brunt of the stench hid. She grabbed the wonky door handle and pulled the door up.
She continued down the hall. She found a room with the lights off; Walked in and was consumed by the eerie darkness. The sound of a single drip every other second could be heard. Feeling along the wall for a light switch, she felt a bump and flicked up…
Filth once again. Aged muddy shoes prints were scattered along the once white tile floor. The shower drape stained with dirty suds. She pulled the drape back and was sick to her stomach. A soap bar lay in the tub next to a drainage. Muddy footprints scattered just like the tile floors. The only proper placed item was the blue wash rag which hung from a shower hook.
“Why am I surprised”? she said.
She didn’t even bother looking at the toilet. The sound of faucet drips and a static tv a few rooms away were the only sounds in the quiet house. She looked into the mirror above the sink and -meticulously moved a few blonde strands of hair away from her eyes. A chuckle followed by a grimacing grin was all she saw as she stared at her reflection. She blew her reflection a kiss and walked out.
The man stands up and lights a cigarette, as she returns back to her seat.
She just looks down at her hands and picks at her nails.
“Um, so you ask to see me after all these years and you barely say a word, is it me…?”
“Can we just continue to play please” she said.
“What its the beer gut, oh its cause I cheated multiple times and ruined one of your sacred friendships”.
She now starts biting her nails.
“You know they have therapist around town.” he chuckles.
“I said, lets p-play”.
She gives him a soulless look and pulls a small pocket size book out of her purse.
“Whose turn is it, I completely forgot?” he says.
“You can go.”
He rubs his dry hands together in cunning manner. His menacing grin now reappearing.
“I dare you to hand me that book”.
“Did I stutter”?
She stares into his eyes and can sense a bubbling rage ensuing. She slowly gets up with the small book clenched into her clammy right hand. Each footstep unsure and doubtful, but before she knew it, she was within arms reach of him. The stench of beer now bombarding her nasal airways.
“Come on…I don’t bite”.
He held his left hand out. She took a glimpse at his soaked pits than her eyes traveled to his long, dirty, brittle nails. She hands him-the book.
“Thank you, that wasn’t so bad…I just wanna read a little bit”.
She turns her back to him and walks to her seat across from his and the firepit. He opens the book…
“What the fuck”?
He looks up at her…
“Its my turn right” she said.
She locks eyes with him and utters I DARE…
A sizzle sound begins to come from the book. The letters I DARE appear in black ink on the blank page.
“I dare you to remain still”
His body stiffened. His eyes stuck in shock, his hunched back locked into position.
“W-wait stop, someone…” he shouted.
“I dare you to shut up”.
His lips vanished...
A sinister grin now appeared on her once shy face. Tears rolled down his face as red veins surrounded his iris.
“This…this is why I came back to you. I’m here to set you free; All off the pain you’ve caused me and yourself”.
She walked over to him slowly, but this time with confidence. She slowly leaned over and gave him a peck kiss on his forehead.
“Your filthy, your life is filthy”.
She looked at his house than returned her gaze towards him.
“I don’t smoke, but I like when things burn”.
The flames of the fire pit aggressively moved towards them. He watched as flames fastened to her and she showed no sign of anguish and pain. Her smile enhanced as each flame stream through her body. She grabs her book with her left hand. She places her right hand on his head and closes her eyes. The sound of muffled screams accompanied the whooshing sounds of the flames. She begins to hum a song to herself, as the screams die down.