Dare (bark like a dog)
“Dare,” Daniel said as he stepped into the living room, looking around Pammy’s house. Things seemed off. The circle of his friends sat, all eyes on him. He eyed around the house, the others so very, very still. There was silence. It was almost tangible in the air, as Daniel walked around the group of them, Pammy, Jake, Gassan, and David, he felt their eyes on him.
The game of Truth or Dare seemed innocent enough, but the events leading to it, the empty streets, the blank stares that met him from his friends, made him almost regret having said it.
“You have to go outside and bark like a dog.” Gassan said, blinking those soulful brown eyes of his, a false smile crept across his face. “You have to do this for a minute.”
Daniel nodded as he walked outside and rolled his eyes. This was ridiculous, he had just agreed to it almost on instinct. The street he and his friends all lived on was still so very barren, no people in cars, no one outside, nothing.
“Guys, this is stupid, I’m not going to play,” was what Daniel meant to say. However, upon exiting the house, and breathing in the faint mist and fog that clung to the neighborhood like a glove, sent a shivering sensation down his throat. It was cold like menthol, and burned ever so slightly, like diluted mouthwash. When Daniel opened his mouth to speak, only canine growls and barks emerged from his lips and throat. His hands shot to his throat and he screamed, or rather, howled. The words just were not coming, and no matter how he tried to manipulate his speech, all the came out was barking.
Daniel blinked and looked at the closed door, hearing someone lock it from inside. “You have to go outside and bark like a dog. You have to do it for a minute.” echoed in his mind. He growled, still worrisome, but as he counted and reached near a minute, he felt that cooling stinging sensation go over his throat again, and in mid growl he felt his vocal chords stretch in his throat and his human speech was returned to him.
Daniel ran towards the door and as he went to pound on it, it swung open, Gassan’s face visible behind it. Daniel stopped himself short before heading back in, Gassan following behind him. The rest were still seated as they had been, staring blankly forward, Gassan joining them shortly thereafter. Pammy moved slightly to the right, giving Daniel some space to sit with them.
“Truth or Dare has been a significant bit of fun today, Daniel.” Jake said, staring forward before turning his head to meet his gaze. “It’s your turn, buddy.”
Written by Jack Ripper on 26 November 2015