May crept silently - or as silently as the fallen leaves and cracking twigs would allow – towards the old house. It was one of those places that every kid knows; full of mystery and the promise of ghosts, ghouls, dead bodies, mad old ladies in wedding dresses, or maybe just nothing, all of which was exciting in its own frenzied way.

May would not normally be any where near the house in usual circumstances, but truth or dare at a sleepover was a serious business and since, at eleven, the truths were all about boys and love and kissing, she had chosen a dare. And the dare was to knock on the door of the old, possibly deserted, possibly occupied with any kind of monster, house, wait for ten seconds (one Alabama, two Alabama…) and then walk – not run – back down the path. Simple. Terrifying. Exhilarating, which was one thing May was surprised at. She was actually having a good time.

She passed an old washing line, a chequered lumberjack jacket hanging heavily, its sleeves stiff, its padding ancient. It had been there through long hot summers and brutal winters, slowly decaying. But no one thought to remove it. No one would dare. And besides, it wasn’t theirs.
May reached the door. She stood, steadied herself, and did it. She knocked. Loudly too, knowing that her friends were watching, waiting at the roadside, and that they needed to hear the knock, otherwise she couldn’t prove she’d done it. May smiled to herself, so pleased, her heart beating in her ears and loving every second of this thrill. Nine Alabama, ten Alabama…

As she turned to go, she heard a creak. A shark crack, the door opening on long forgotten hinges. A voice, dusty and full of pain. “Can I help you?”


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NYgirlLovesCA about 13 years ago

I completely pictured this as I read it; and I smiled when you said 'Alabama;' we always said 'Mississippi.'

lisamarie20010 about 13 years ago

Thank you, I'm so glad you liked it!

lisamarie20010 (joined over 13 years ago)

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