Authors: Steve Elliott
Copyright Steve Elliott 2012.
All rights reserved
This story is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
The sun was shinning, as it often did during the day – not so much at
though – and Kim and I were strolling along, quite content with our lot in life. Of course,
wouldn’t last. It never did. Our lives seemed to be television sitcoms of one adventure after another, almost none of it
none of it my fault anyway. Kim, on the other hand, had a propensity of falling into adventures on a regular basis, most of which were
- Hey! Stop
- What slander? It’s the plain, unvarnished
- No, it isn’t.
- Yes, it is.
- Okay, we’ll flip a coin. Heads I’m right, tails you’re wrong.
- Ho, ho. You think you’re so funny.
- Of course I am. I’m also gorgeous, talented, and athletic and …..
- Saints preserve us!
Anyway, we were strolling along, as already mentioned, minding our own business, when suddenly……
- I heard that on the Monty Python Show once.
- And you thought it was
then, did you?
- No, not funny as
than funny, really.
- Well, it’s
. Get back to the story.
- Very well, sir.
happen. All the excitement occurred sometime later back at our house where Kim was holding what she referred to as a ‘
party’. Apparently she was comparing herself and her friends to domestic fowl.
- Hey, I was just making an observation.
Neither of us had many friends, so we tended to savour the rare ones that we
have by keeping in close contact with them. Seated around the dining room table were three of
: Maureen, Janice and Stephanie. I didn’t know their last names because I never bothered to find out. I think Kim told me once but I forgot it as soon as she stopped talking. They were certainly a
group of women. Kim was of medium height, with short blonde hair and very pretty; Maureen was overweight and plain looking with longish, dark hair; Janice had medium, multi-dyed tresses and was quite tall, while Stephanie seemed average in every way but one – she possessed the most piercing set of dazzling green
I’d ever seen. They seemed to look right through you and out the other side. But one thing they all had in common was
I ever heard when they got together. I had no idea what was talked about, and I’m not sure I
to know, but whatever the subject,
invariably followed. Of course, the two or three bottles of
they consumed each time may have had a small bearing on the situation, but maybe I’m just being mean.
particular occasion, after the last of the wine had been consumed and the atmosphere was, shall we say, a little
, Stephanie suggested a round of ‘
. I was in the kitchen, making myself a sandwich. I could see through to the dining room and could hear everything that was going on. Not that I was eavesdropping, mind you. Normally, I blocked
their chatter, but they were rather….
, and it was hard not to overhear. I could see the others staring at Stephanie, mystified.
“It’s easy,” she explained. “We all
a dare for one of the others to complete. The one who completes the dare wins a prize.”
?” Kim wanted to know.
“What’s the dare for
?” asked Janice.
“Can I go
?” Maureen begged.
! One at a time,” Stephanie ordered. “Okay, this is my game, so
set the rules.
of us pick a dare for the fourth and it has to be completed inside a
. The prize is that the three who picked the dare have to do
the winner says for a whole
. Maureen goes first, then Kim, Janice and then me. You can refuse to do the dare but that means you have to pay a
, the nature of which is still to be decided. Any objections?”
They all looked around at each other but no one disagreed. I believe the
may have had something to do with that because I think, on sober reflection, they may have raised some serious questions about the whole scheme, especially the part where they had to do ‘anything’ the winner suggested.
“If everyone agrees, then we’ll start,” Stephanie began. “Okay, what do we want
to do?” Frowns of concentration immediately appeared on all of their faces.
around the block?” Janice suggested.
around the block,” giggled Stephanie.
one’s out,” Maureen immediately demanded.
“Go to the mall and ask the first handsome guy we see out on a
,” Kim said.
“Not bad,” Stephanie applauded. “Keep trying.”
“Wait a minute,” Kim objected. “If we all finish our dares,
decides the winner? It can’t be one of
. There’d be too much bias.”
of that,” Stephanie smiled triumphantly, trying to tap her nose, but missing and nearly poking herself in the eye, “we’ll let
decide the winner.”
Inside the kitchen, I nearly choked on the mouthful of sandwich I’d been swallowing.
“Yeah,” Kim agreed, “
,” Janice objected. “He’s your
me?” Kim said. “If anything, he’d want to see me
! You know what
This elicited sage nods of agreement from those of the group who
“Back to Maureen,” Stephanie ordered. “What’s
Various impossible tasks were suggested, but finally a consensus was reached – Maureen had to lose seven kilograms of
in the month.
“I guess I could live with that,” Maureen mused. “I
need to lose some weight after all and this might give me a bit of an incentive. Very well, I
This pronouncement was greeted with cheers and whistles around the table.
After the initial precedent was set, the
dares followed in quick succession. All of them ended up as personal goals: Stephanie had to overcome her
phobia by letting a tarantula crawl up her arm;
dare was to do a parachute jump and Kim had to promise not to lose her
for the month.
“A piece of
!” Kim boasted. “The prize is as good as
The others smirked knowingly. “Yes, Kim dear,” Stephanie consoled, patting Kim’s hand in a condescending manner. “A piece of
? I’ll lay odds that you won’t last a single
“What do you
?” Kim instantly flared, and then slammed her hand over her mouth. “
! I mean
, pray tell, is the
behind that offhand remark?”
The rest of the group fell about laughing. “Luckily for you the dares don’t start until
,” Stephanie remarked, with a mischievous grin. “Kim, sweetie, I love you like a sister, but you haven’t a
of finishing your dare. Hey, that
got a prayer!” Kim declared stoutly. “
the one who’s going to fail, Stef. Just
at spiders makes you faint. You’ll
be able to let one crawl up your arm. Come on, admit defeat
and save yourself the humiliation of losing later on.”
see, O Doubting One,” Stephanie affirmed. “I
let one of those ugly, hairy, multi-legged things…. horrible,
, I think I’m going to pass
!” Kim grabbed Stephanie’s arms as she slumped in her chair and prevented her from falling sideways.
, Stef?” Kim asked anxiously, as she held her friend upright.
“I’m fine now,” Stephanie gulped, white-faced. “But for just a moment there I felt a little
“You see,” Kim chided, “you’ll
do it. You can’t even
about spiders without falling over.”
do it,” Stephanie replied stubbornly. “You just want to win by
“I don’t want to see you
yourself, honey,” Kim answered, seriously.
“I won’t,” Stephanie stated confidently. “This was a minor setback, that’s all. I’ll
, you’ll see.”
“No, I will,” Janice interjected.
?” Maureen chortled. “
it, Jan, you can’t even get up on a
without panicking. Even high heel
! That’s how much
know!” Janice affirmed. “I’ll show you
“Well, this sounds like a whole lot of
,” Stephanie said, rubbing her hands together excitedly. “We’ll meet at Jan’s place next week to see how everyone is going. The only problem will be
. We won’t be able to keep an eye on her all the time to confirm when she breaks her dare. She’ll have to be on the
I break my dare, not ‘
’,” Kim firmly reminded Stephanie.
, my darling,” Stephanie apologised, insincerely. “Of course I meant ‘
’. A mere slip of the tongue.
, you don’t want to place a
bet on it do you, by any chance?”
“You don’t think I can
this, do you?” Kim asked, bluntly. Her gaze swept around the group. “In fact,
of you do, isn’t that right?” They all looked away from Kim’s accusing glare.
, sweetie,” Stephanie finally answered, “you don’t believe that any of
“I suppose that’s true,” Kim grudgingly admitted. “All right then, no more
. Let the
At that, they all stood up and, raising their glasses, drank a toast to future victories.