“It was just a dare! He never came back out,” Jenny said with a worried tone in her voice as she rushed in to see her best friend Mike, who was sitting in a booth at the local eating joint the Grill’n Chill. Mike looked up from his burger and fries as she sat down quickly.
“Wait…what? Who didn’t come out? Come out of where? Jenny, what are you talking about?” Mike asked with a confused look on his face as he started chewing slowly.
“The new guy in my science class, Bobby Miller,” Jenny replied as she placed her small backpack down on the seat. “Tommy offered Bobby a dare and he accepted,” Jenny ordered a soda while explaining what she could to Mike about what had happened.
“I can’t remember what this Bobby looked like since he was never in any of my classes, but yeah Tommy seems to be the rebel in town,” Mike said as he lifted his drink closer to his lips.
“Bobby was the guy with the dark hair, blue eyes, and pale looking skin, not to mention he always seemed cold to the touch,” Jenny said as she rubbed her arms as if just feeling a cold chill.
“Okay, I remember him now, kind of a strange person,” Mike said. “Then what happened and calm down girl, you’re making me nervous.”
“A bunch of us were sitting in the lunchroom when Tommy asked Bobby if he wanted to hang out with us. Bobby said sure.” Jenny said as she ordered a soda then took a few of Mike’s fries and swirled them around in some of his ketchup and then bit the fry in half with one bite while holding the other half between her fingers.
“So, what was the dare?” Mike asked Jenny.
“The dare was for Bobby to spend Friday night all alone in the old house on Black Swamp Road. If he could do it, then Tommy said he could hang out with us. The dare is like an initiation into what Tommy calls our group. Which is dumb because Bobby is the only person Tommy has done this too. I suppose it is because Bobby looked a bit different.”
Mike shook his head as if agreeing, then he looked up from his wallet and right into her eyes. There were a few minutes of silence, as his eyebrows raised slowly as he put his wallet back into his back pocket.
“You said the house on Black Swamp Road? I’ve heard too many strange stories about that house. There is no way I’d spend the night there. I’ve heard some of the old-timers in town talk about how there are strange noises that can be heard, glimpses of shadow figures that can be seen out of the corner of your eye, and one man said that a ghostly face can be seen peering out of one of the upper story windows.”
“Your giving me the creeps Mike, but yes I’ve heard some of the stories as well. Once you go in, you don’t come out,” Jenny said while raising her glass to take a sip from the straw.
Jenny told Mike about how she had gone along with Tommy and the others to watch Bobby go into the house. They were all in Tommy’s truck as it pulled onto the dirt driveway and stopped. There were giant oak trees that lined the driveway leading up toward the house. They could see a white two-story house with four slender columns that went across the front porch. Paint peeled off the outside like skin does with a sunburn. The windows looked like sinister eyes that glared with anger at you as if to say, “I’m going to get you!” The house just sat there quietly, like it was waiting for its next victim. A house with probably many secrets to tell. If it could only talk., but would it allow for them to be told.
Jenny continued with her story of what happened while Mike finished up his food. She said that they all walked slowly up the driveway and stopped about halfway. While Tommy lit up a cigarette he was like, “Ok Bobby, there’s the house. You know what to do. Stay in there for one night and that’s it. We’ll be back in the morning to get you.” Everyone stared at Bobby while he stood there looking like he was contemplating the idea of it all.
“All right, later,” Bobby replied as he gave a slight wave of his hand and turned toward the house. Angie and Faye were giggling because they did not think that he would go through with it. In fact, none of them did. Tommy smiled as Bobby walked up the driveway toward the front porch. Bobby slowly climbed up the front steps to the porch. As he walked across the porch, loud creaking sounds could be heard as they echoed through the silence. When Bobby reached the front door, he grabbed the doorknob, turned it and the door slowly opened. Just before he walked inside, he turned his head to face the group and smiled. They all stood there in silence and watched as he walked in and closed the door.
“And that is that. We’ll all come back in the morning to see if he really went through with it, Tommy told us while flicking his cigarette down into the dirt,” Jenny had told Mike.
“So, when you guys went back, did he come out?” Mike asked.
“No, we never saw him,” Jenny replied. “We called out his name and even walked around the house and he was nowhere to be found.”
“Finish your soda and we’ll go out there and see if we can see him anywhere,” Mike told Jenny.
Jenny agreed, so they both went out to the house which still sat quiet and alone. As they walked up the driveway the only sound that could be heard was the sand and small branches crackling underneath their feet. Dead silence maybe one of the creepiest sounds because there is no sound.
“I’m not too comfortable with this, not comfortable at all,” Mike told Jenny as he looked around. “I’ve got chills everywhere.”
“Bobby!” Jenny said loudly. “Are you in there?” There was nothing, no sounds at all. Just an eerie silence that caused their thoughts to run wild with scary lurking images of the unknown to run through their minds.
“I’ve got the creeps,” Jenny said to Mike.
“Me too! Let’s get out of here. Maybe Bobby has already gone back into town. Maybe he slipped out the back door,” Mike said while they walked quickly back to his car.
“Maybe you are right,” Jenny agreed.
They both went back to town wondering if maybe Bobby had come back to town. They both went to the local pool hall where Tommy likes to hang out.
“Tommy!” Jenny called out as she walked across the room toward the pool table in the back.
“Hey girl, what’s up?” Tommy said with a smile while balancing a cigarette between his lips.
“Have you seen Bobby?” Jenny asked. “He doesn’t seem to be anywhere.”
“No, I haven’t seen him anywhere,” Tommy said with a laugh. “He’s probably just hiding out somewhere. I’m sure he’ll turn up.”
“I hope you’re right,” Jenny replied as she turned around to walk out.
Jenny passed Mike on the way out the door, but it was eating at Mike at the way Tommy did Bobby.
“Man, how could you dare someone to stay in that house overnight,” Mike asked Tommy.
“Come on man, it’s fun. Nobody wants to go into that house because its creepy and there are so many different stories about it, who knows if they are really true or not,” Tommy said with a smile while he stuck an unlit cigarette between his lips and raised his eyebrows.
It’s been two months since anyone has seen or heard from Bobby Miller. His name will come up in a conversation or two every now and again, but Jenny still wonders whatever happened to him. Guess all the stories about that house are true, once you go in, you don’t come out. Well, no matter how the stories go, Bobby did go into the house and what Jenny does not realize, is that this is not the only time Bobby has gone in and not come out.
Jenny walked up to Mike at the Grill’n Chill and tapped him on the shoulder.
“Yeah, yeah,” Mike said as he turned around. “Oh, Jenny hey.”
“Hey Mike, let’s talk shall we,” Jenny said as she passed by Mike while walking over to a booth and sat down.
“Sure,” Mike said as he followed her and sat down. “Ok, what’s up?”
“I’ve been thinking…about Bobby and I can’t shake the idea of what happened to him. Let’s go out to the house and look around inside.” Jenny said.
“Ok, I’m game. When do you want to go?” Mike said.
“Right now,” Jenny replied.
Both went out to the house to see if they could find any trace of Bobby. They took their phones, flashlights just in case, and all the courage they could muster up. When they arrived at the house, it was just sitting there all alone. Jenny and Mike both slowly walked up the driveway and once they reached the stairs, they started walking up with each step cracking under their feet. Once they got close to the front door, a sudden rush of wind came through the porch blowing past Jenny and Mike with a whoosh sound.
“What’s wrong Mike?” Jenny asked while feeling a chill go down her arms and legs. She could feel her hair stand out on end.
“Did you feel that rush of wind? Before that, I thought I heard something.” Mike said as he turned and looked at Jenny.
“Well yeah, that rush of wind felt somewhat cold, even though it is warm out here. That was strange indeed,” Jenny said while grabbing onto the back of Mike’s arm.
“You still want to go inside and check stuff out?” Mike asked as he reached for the doorknob and grasped it tightly. As he turned it to the right, it made a creaking noise from not being used.
“Yes, let’s go,” Jenny said as she stepped forward toward the front door not sure of what she and Mike may find on the other side. She sighed and went ahead all while trying to keep her nerves in check.
Mike and Jenny walked forward through the front door of the house. It was dark and felt unusually cool. The whole atmosphere of the house just had an uneasy and creepy feeling to it. As they walked through the rooms downstairs, they found nothing of interest.
“Let’s go upstairs,” Mike said to Jenny.
“Ok. I’m nervous, ok I’m kind of scared actually,” Jenny said.
“Yeah me too,” Mike replied as they both started up the stairs to the second story. The paint was peeling off the walls in places and cobwebs hung from the corners. There were old landscape pictures that hung up on the walls and pieces of the ceiling that have collapsed from age and weather erosion. As Mike and Jenny reached the top of the stairs, they went into the first room and looked around, nothing much in there but dirt and dust.
The next few rooms were the same as the first except for maybe an old chair or dresser with a mirror that sat close to the wall. The green and yellow striped wallpaper was peeling off the wall showing a light blue color underneath.
“Should we check the closet, Mike?” Jenny said as she stopped in front of the closet door and pointed her finger.
“Well why not, we have looked about everywhere else,” Mike replied as he grabbed the doorknob and turned it. Mike pulled on the door, but it wouldn’t open. He stopped and looked at Jenny, then he looked at the door frame itself and noticed something so strange. He turned to Jenny with his mouth open and eyes as big as saucers.
“Why are you looking like that Mike?” Jenny asked.
“Jenny looked at the door frame, it has been nailed shut and there is a hole in the door like a bullet hole,” Mike said as he scratched his head. Jenny saw the nails and was silent.
“Why? I don’t understand,” she said.
Mike looked around the room and found a hammer over in the corner of the room. He went and pulled out every nail he could find. Once the last nail was free from the door frame the closet door popped open just a little bit leaving a crack of darkness.
“Holy cow, that is crazy,” Jenny said as she stepped back a step. Mike slowly opened the door and they both gasped for air and jumped back from the door. Everything was silent for a few minutes except for the sound of their heartbeats racing. What was in the closet was unbelievable, it was a skeleton that was sitting on the floor, leaning up against the wall with its legs drawn up. There was a hole in the front of the skull that Mike thought could have been from a bullet, but he wasn’t sure.
“Let’s call the police on this,” Mike said to Jenny as they ran downstairs and outside of the house.
Once they called the police, it didn’t take long for them to arrive on the scene. The police questioned Jenny and Mike about why they were there and what all happened. While the coroner was collecting the skeleton from the upper story closet, a note was found and given to the policeman in charge.
“Officer, what happens now?” Jenny asked.
“Well ma’am, the skeleton will be sent off for testing to determine the cause of death. If there is no more information that you can give us right now then you can leave, but don’t leave town in case we need to get back up with you,” The Officer said while getting into his patrol car and closing the door.
“Thank you, Officer,” Mike said as he put his arm around Jenny, then took her to his car. Mike took Jenny home and reassured her that the skeleton mystery would be solved and there is no guarantee that the skeleton was Bobby Miller. Once Mike made sure that Jenny was safely in her house, he went home too.
A few weeks had passed, and the identity of the skeleton was revealed, that it was indeed Bobby Miller and he had died from a single gunshot wound to the head. The note that was found had been apparently written as a suicide note, but upon further investigation, it was found that Bobby had been murdered by his father. Once the father had been discovered two towns away, he was arrested for the murder of his own son. Although the father claims it was an accident, he was found guilty of shooting Bobby in the head. The father said when he was on trial that he freaked out and didn’t know what to do, so he put Bobby’s lifeless body in the closet and nailed the door closed. Soon after, he moved from the house to another town, so he could try to forget what happened.
Jenny was fast asleep in her bed when a noise woke her up. As she opened her eyes, she was startled by the sight of Bobby Miller standing at the end of her bed.
“Bobby is that you?” Jenny asked in a nervous voice.
“Hi, Jenny. Yes, it is me. I have to tell you something,” Bobby said in a soft voice.
“Well ok, what is it?” Jenny said as she sat up and pulled the covers up close to her.
“I just wanted to say thank you. You never gave up on me,” Bobby said with a smile as a warm bright light surrounded him like he was glowing.
“You’re…,” Jenny started to say as the light around Bobby grew a little brighter. Before she could say anything else, Bobby was gone. It was like he just softly faded away into a beautiful white light. Somehow Jenny didn’t feel sad, but relieved. As she laid back down in her bed, she pulled the covers up close to her neck, a smile came across her face and she whispered, “You’re welcome Bobby.”