Mystery and Crime Fiction posted September 12, 2019

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dare you not

Naughty Country

by Iza Deleanu

The author has placed a warning on this post for violence.
The author has placed a warning on this post for language.

Students are stupid; they fall so easily pray to vicious habits. Once they leave their towns and evade in the big city, they do terrible things, and some of them don’t even get a chance to talk about it. I know you think that they usually fall prey to drinking and drugs, but you are wrong. For those habits, you don’t have to leave your small town. There is always a “good friend” ready to nudge you in the right direction. First you start with pills: Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Fentanyl, Naloxone then you combine them with hard liquor, and in the end, you jump straight to snow-white – Heroin and Cocaine.

My story is not about narcotics, my narrative talks about losing your innocence to the big monster – the Big City that takes out from the ordinary College world. The story is about a pair of students, straight A’s in high-schools, the best in every discipline that got admitted to a prestigious university in the Arts department. And no, this is not a stereotyped story about artists that are getting lost on their way to glory and fame. Or that are using stimulants for reaching out to the maximum of their creativity.
Let’s reveal their names: Eve and Arthur. They arrived from a small town from Kansas – Lecompton. This sounds so French, right? But it is 100% small American town with friendly locals that are proud of their history. Anyway, when Eve and Arthur were accepted to the University of Boston, in Massachusetts, the entire town celebrated their success.

When they saw the motto of the University on the application package:
Learning, Virtue, Piety “– both of them felt like this was a sign from Heaven, and they must go there no matter what. Both of them had good grades, and their essays were to die for. Actually, that is what got them a spot in this prestigious University.

To get here they drove more than 22 hours. The moment they stepped into the city, they fall in love with its crazy rhythm.  They were amazed about how much water can be met in one spot. Boston is surrounded by water – the Atlantic Ocean through the Massachusetts Bay but also Charles River, Boston Bay; they never have seen so much water in their lives.

Going to classes was easy; their dorm was close to the main campus, so they didn’t even have to commute. Arthur and Eve were always together. They were in the same class, eating together, studying, walking, and doing all the activities in the life of a student. As each University, there were secret organizations that were recruiting new students. Usually was one fraternity for boys and one sorority for girls. They didn’t want to get separated, so they decided to stay away from that crap, especially since all the movies about them were scary, you shouldn’t expect good things to come out of this.

They were also staying away from parties, too much booze, drugs, and sex. Yeah, they were from a small town, but their souls were not corrupt, they were good kids and wanted to stay that way! Eve and Arthur were already called nerds and freaks and left to their own devices, but there was a particular group that couldn’t stand people like them, and they made it their mission to corrupt their innocent souls.

The group name was “Truth or Dare.” I think there is even a movie made about this subject, people doing crazy things and getting virtual money for it. They tried numerous times to recruit them, but without success.  The leader of the group was furious; he needed to get those two under his thumb. He already imagines the worst punishment for refusing his authority. In his mind, his group was even better than any of that bullshit fraternity or sorority.

Harry was walking back and forth in his dorm room mumbling to himself:” Who the fuck they think they are? Eve and Arthur - special delivery from Heaven, the untouchable, superior race. They are just a bunch of villagers, who believe that if they go to college will be something, and will do something better with their lives. They need to come to me, I will teach them real skills, I will teach them life beyond the ordinary rules!” Suddenly a hysteric laugh filled the chamber. “Harry, you mean, us, right?”

  “Yes, Master of the Hallows, us, the chosen ones!”
“Harry, don’t forget we need this sacrifice so we can fulfill the ceremony and prophecy. Do what you must to bring them under our roof! Don’t forget, the full Moon is in 3 weeks, and we don’t have other candidates to fit the profile. They are our best NOBODIES, and nobody is going to miss them!” said the Master.

“No worries Master, even if I have to kidnap them, you will have them on full Moon! Do not worry. My crew is working on this.” Harry stops pacing and finally sits in front of the fireplace from where the voice was coming.
“Harry, they need to come on their own free will, so no kidnapping! Find a way to invite their curiosity. Just like the lambs that are coming willingly to the slaughterhouse, trusting the hand that feeds them.”

“Master this will be a little bit difficult because they are not our usual type of students. They practically don’t do anything against the law. Eve and Arthur are the perfect kids of God!” continued Harry.

 “Harry, don’t you ever dare to even whisper that name in front of me! We are doing all of this to take that power away from HIM!” screamed Master.

“Sorry Master, I think I have a way to make them come to us. I have this new recruit, Cassandra. She is from a small town too, but she jumped into the new life with everything she got, she is not going to classes and hangs out in all the bad places. She will be the bait for these two sissies.  I will ask her to approach them and ask for help to come back on the right path. She will bring them to our den and then will play!“

“Harry, I don’t care how you are going to do it, just bring them here, this is all I ask!”

Harry got out of the room he felt angry. “He just orders me around like a scared puppy. If Master, is so mighty, why doesn’t he do this dirty business himself? He just sits in that fireplace and barks orders to me! This will be my lost job, this is a shitty place to be. I will just leave the town immediately after the sacrifice. I have to find Cassandra and tell her what to do.”

Cassandra was staying by herself in the library. A few meters from her were Eve and Arthur, those two were unseparated. How the heck was she supposed to trap them and bring them to Harry? Maybe she will have to play the helpless card. She stood up and approached them shyly. “Hi guys, I am Cassandra, and I am from a small town from Kansas.”

Arthur exclaimed: “What a coincidence we are from a small town from Kansas too.  We are from Lecompton. We have not met anybody from that part yet so, what town are you from?”

Cassandra starts scrambling for her phone, crap she didn’t do her lesson properly, she wonders what town is small there? “Arthur, just a second my mom sent me a message,” she went on Google and picks the first city she saw, small enough to get lost. I am from Le, oh no, I am not from the same town as them; I need to find a different one. Here, this town looks good enough:” I am from Lindsborg.” She beamed, that puts two hours and something between the two cities, no away that they can ask her question about people that they knew.

Eve exclaimed, “Oh, the Swedish town?”

Cassandra looks back at her phone, crap she is right, the city was the Little Sweden  USA. Cassandra smiles and faking a German accent said: “Jeah.”

“Cool, will you like to hang with us?” asked Eve.

“Yeah, that will be nice, because I don’t know anybody here! So this will help me a lot. I started University a few weeks ago, and everything is so chaotic! There are so many things to learn that my head is spinning!”

“No worries, we will help you to navigate the campus. We will show you the best places to eat and study.”

“What about those Alpha, Omega houses? Are you going to any of those?”

“No, we are not even sure if those are the right names, but we are staying away from these places, we didn’t come here for this. All we want is to study and get better jobs so we can help our folks back home. ”

“Oh I see, so no socializing with anybody? So it will be just the three of us, then?”

Eve beaming answered:” If you want sure, you are welcome to our Kansas pack, or more duo, so will be now a trio.”

Cassandra faking happiness and joy hugged both of them, then spotting Harry she quickly added: “.Thank you for my Kansas friends, I guess I will see you after classes. Let’s meet here in the library.”

Excellent, we will meet you later,”, said both Eve and Arthur.

Cassandra timidly approached Harry, he smiling asked: “So?”

Cassandra answered:” All is well so far, we are friends now. I just need a few days to find an excuse to bring them to you, and your work will be done!”
Harry hugged her and said: “This is amazing Cassandra, you did, what I couldn’t since the beginning of the semester. When you bring them to text me so I can prepare the chamber, ok?”

Cassandra saluted him: “Of course, Boss!”

Cassandra met with Eve and Arthur every day. On the day when the full Moon was about to begin, she invited them to follow her to the dorm chamber under the pretext that she has a surprise from back home to show them. The two follow her without thinking about anything wrong. Cassandra was from Kansas, so she was to be trusted. On her way, she managed to send a message to Harry:” I will be there in 30 minutes, you better be ready because I can’t keep up this masquerade for too long!”

Harry answered: “No worries, everything is ready!”

Cassandra stopped in front of the room and told them:

“Guys promises me that you will keep an open mind and don’t freak out; no matter what you see, you will keep, your cool, ok?”

Eve and Arthur looked at each other and murmured:” The Lord is my Shepherd, and He will not fail me!” and then turned to face Cassandra:” we trust you, you will not hurt us, will you?”

Cassandra blushing said:” No, I am from Kansas, remember? I will never personally hurt you, so come in.”

She opened the door, and the three of them stepped into a dark chamber. The only light that was coming was from the fireplace, and there were a few candles that were burning on the table next to a pair of cards. There was an hourglass half empty. Both Eve and Arthur, felt uncomfortable, they felt strange and dangerous energy pulsating in the room, but they promised to keep an open mind, so they fake confidence. Eve turned to face Cassandra:” Ok, we are here, so what’s the surprise?”

Cassandra made a gesture towards the table,” please take a seat, we will play a naughty game of truth and dare. The winner takes it all.”

Arthur pushed Eve towards the door: “Cassandra, we are so sorry, but we can’t play this, it’s against our religion. We promised our priest that we would never be engaged in naughty games like this.”

“Ok, let’s forget the cards, let’s play without them.”

“No, we will not play, cards or no cards! This is not us! Please let us go, friend.”

Harry stepped into the chamber from behind a dark curtain and put a knife behind Cassandra’s throat. “She is not your friend, buddy. She belongs to me, and if you want to keep her alive, you need to play this game.”
Both Eve and Arthur, run towards Cassandra, who is in shock. Finally, she managed to nod towards the door, and in her eyes, they read: “Run, leave me, save yourselves!”

Eve and Arthur, start praying: “Our Father, who is in Heaven.”

A voice from the fireplace screamed: “Cut that crap! Just do what you are asked, and Cassandra will be free!”

Holding hands, they both turned toward Harry: “Ok, we are ready. Let Cassandra go! What do you exactly want from us?”

Harry looked over the window; the Moon was shining in her full majesty. This was the right time. “I dare you to jump in that fireplace, if you don’t I will kill Cassandra and both of you! So if you are good Christians, you will sacrifice yourself to save her life.”

Eve scared looked at Arthur and asked him: “Is this for real or he is bluffing?”

Harry pushed Cassandra toward the fire:” Come on, I don’t have all night. This is the truth; I dare you to jump. You have to do it together at the same time. No worries, the fireplace is big enough to accommodate both of you.”
Arthur took Eve’s hand, “Don’t worry, the Lord is my Shepherd, and he will save us! Let’s do it; Eve, we are better than him!”

“I am scared, Arthur, why do we have to do this? I don’t want to!”

“We have no choice. Either way, we are dead, so why not finish this truth or dare game, especially when there is no truth…. There is just this dare thing to jump in the fireplace. I will count to three, and we will jump together. Close your eyes; I will guide you.”

Eve closes her eyes and followed Arthur toward the fireplace. He counts to three and dragging Eve jumps into the fire.

Harry let go of Cassandra and approached the fireplace; there was no trace of the duo. Scared he called:” Master, are you ok? What happened? Where are they?”

“Shut up, Harry! They are gone into the Light; their truth was more than your naughty dare game. I am stuck here, and you have no other choice but to find me other suckers, but this time make sure they are not Christians!”

Cassandra runs out of the room. She went straight to the church: “Father, forgive me for I have sinned. Please help me mend my ways. As she was praying, both Eve and Arthur come near her. They were dressed in white. Don’t worry Cassandra that naughty game was actually for your Salvation; the fact that you repent saved you and us. Goodbye, and don’t ever lose your faith again, child.”

Naughty game contest entry

. Hard story to write, since I have zero experience in these games. The image is from
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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