"I'm not chicken!" I had protested.
"Of course you're not, but why don't you prove it to us?" one of the older ones, the seeming conductor of this mismatched orchestra, had replied.
I knew I should have backed out then, said I needed to go home, faked a call, anything at all - but my mouth seemed to betray all of my thoughts.
"I'll do it."
That conversation seemed a lifetime ago as I made my way up the spotless front steps excruciatingly slowly. They stood out from the overgrown foliage that seemed to devour the house from all sides, providing a stark contrast to the well-maintained building ahead of me. Yet I couldn't decide which of its deceiving faces were worse: a party disrupting a war or a war disrupting a party. No one had lived in the house for years, making it the ideal place for cruel teenage boys to set off the unassuming new kid. After all, it's not like someone could have occupied it without letting anyone know. Could they? I pushed my doubts to the back of my mind and hopped over the final step, before pushing the door with a grunt. But there was no need to as it swung open effortlessly, as if some supernatural force had pulled it back. The hairs on the back of my neck went upright. Whose idea had this been again?
Rays of warm sunshine bombarded the interior of the house, illuminating it with a rosy glow. I had stepped into a rather spacious room, furnished with extravagant pieces fit for royalty. In the centre of the room was a grand table occupying the space with an air of arrogance surrounding it. Yet there was something unsettling about the entire thing. The table was set for a full house: plates, glasses, cutlery.There were even fresh flowers lining the centre. Yet the carefully painted portraits hung up on the walls and black and white family pictures lining the shelves told a different story. What was going on in this nightmare of a dream house? I didn't want to wait around to find out. Suddenly, a cough came from behind me. I hadn't heard any footsteps.
This is another piece for Quille's Cliffhanger Queen Contest. Go check it out!!