“I dare you to run over to his front door, light up this bag of dog poop, ring the doorbell and run like hell,” a snotty kid named Jarvis challenged his friend, Jake. Jake fearfully glanced along the walk of house number 308 to the front door. He gulped.
“Well? It’s a dare, are you gonna do it or not?”
“Uhhh… what about Amanda?” Jake looked to their other friend, a girl in pigtails whose face paled. She backed away from them, shaking her head.
“No! No, I’m a girl, girls don’t do these things! You have to do it, Jake, it’s a dare!” Amanda retorted with her hands askance.
“Huh, says you! Becky’s done a cherry bomb in the teachers’ bathroom and got away with it! So-so I double-dare you!” Jake shot back, grinning in a sort of desperate way. Jarvis and Amanda gasped, looking at each other.
“It’s a double-dare, Amanda,” Jarvis said officiously, now plying the sack of dog poop into her hands, laughing. She dropped it like a hot potato, stepping backwards once more as it made a splat on the cement.
“Hey! That took me a while to collect enough for one bag!” Jarvis picked it up, inspecting it.
“If it’s that valuable to you, Jarvis, then I TRIPLE-DARE you!” Jake oohed at that, looking at them with an awestruck look. Never in their lives had a triple-dare been turned down. It was considered as the ultimate dare. As if attesting to its power, Jarvis’ mouth opened and closed like a fish a few times, nervously looking to house number 308, took a deep breath and screwed up his courage.
“All right, I’ll do it!” he spoke in what he thought was a brave voice.
“Who’s doing what?”
The sudden voice made the three kids jump and turned around to face the owner of the new voice. It could not have been worse for what they saw was like their lives had definitely ended.
It was the man in the black trench coat, walking towards them with his hands behind him.
Sheer terror gripped the kids’ expressions, causing Jarvis to drop the bag of dog poop, splatting once more. A dark spot blossomed upon Jake’s pants to spread around between his legs, and Amanda looked dangerously close to fainting.
“Well now, talk about a three-course meal tonight!” he spoke with a gleeful grin, bringing his hands from behind to rub together in apparent delight. This was the final straw as it galvanized the trio into action with a start.
They screamed and bolted away as fast as they could, hearing laughter echoing towards them from the man in the black trench coat.
“Hah, that’ll teach the little bastards a lesson!” Travis grinned, chuckling and then looked to the bag of dog poop thoughtfully. He wondered if the kids were going to treat him as an object of their pranks or leave him be in respectful terrified silence from this point on. He was taking a stroll around the town when he had spied them loitering around in front of his property on his way back, and took the chance to expound on their silly legends about him and his wife personally. His wife was going to enjoy what transpired for sure.
Movement from across the street alerted him from his thoughts and he jerked his head to see Hunter making his way towards him. He smirked and waited on the old man to get to him, greeting him with a wave.
“You know, their parents are not going to like what you’ve done. They’ll be calling you up and probably the police,” Hunter said as soon as he got to Travis, admonishing with a small smile.
“Bah, not my fault, ya know, so screw them,” Travis replied with a dismissive wave and went on, “so what’s new?” Hunter frowned at this and reluctantly broached the subject he had been planning and hoping for a chance to get it done. Why was this starting to feel like high school all over again…?
“Well, if you don’t mind, Agatha and I want to do something with you and your wife. I think a camping trip is perfect for us to know each other better, don’t you think? I mean—that is if your wife doesn’t mind, I don’t want to offend her… sensibilities, if you know what I mean.”
“How so?” Travis blinked and furrowed his brows. Hunter apparently took it as a sign of anger as he was quick to explain.
“I mean, she’s Muslim, right? With her clothes and all, what if her religion doesn’t allow her to go camping with us? You’ll have to pardon our ignorance…”
“Oh! That’s no problem at all! That should be quite interesting, as a matter of fact. But you’ll have to mind me leaving you guys all alone without me, since I just got a job a ways from here,” he replied with a chuckle. Hunter’s heart leapt at the possibility of finding himself quite alone with Travis’ wife…
“A job? What do you mean?”
“I got a job at Cyberdyne Systems, it’s highly classified, so I can’t tell you what I do there, you know what I mean? Anyway, I’ll have to leave you guys from time to time depending on my workload, but other than that, I’ll be there with you throughout.”
“Oh, sure. So it’s a plan? We start on this weekend to the next weekend, if that’s okay.”
“A whole week? Sweet, sounds good. You guys lead the way and we’ll be there!” Travis said cheerfully and Hunter smiled in relief and turned back towards his house across the street. He mentally crowed in victory at the infinite possibilities of being with Travis’ wife.