The four friends arrived at the address indicated on the invitation. They parked their car in front of a large, decrepit house at the end of a dead-end street. It looked abandoned and sinister, with boarded-up windows, peeling paint, and overgrown weeds. A sign on the gate read: “Beware of the House of Horrors. Enter at your own risk.”
Jake got out of the car and looked at the house with excitement.
“Wow,” he said. “This is it. The House of Horrors.”
He checked his watch.
“It’s almost midnight,” he said. “We made it just in time.”
He opened the trunk and took out a flashlight and a backpack.
“Here,” he said, handing the flashlight to Amy. “You’ll need this.”
He put on the backpack and walked towards the gate.
“Come on, guys,” he said. “Let’s go.”
Amy followed him reluctantly, holding the flashlight nervously.
Ryan, Mia, and Liam trailed behind them, looking around warily.
They reached the gate and pushed it open. It creaked loudly, breaking the silence of the night.
They entered the front yard and walked towards the house.
They saw a wooden door with a brass knocker shaped like a skull.
Jake knocked on the door three times.
The door swung open by itself, revealing a dark and dusty hallway.
A cold wind blew from inside, making them shiver.
They heard a voice that sounded like a whisper but was loud enough to fill their ears.
“Welcome to the House of Horrors,” it said. “I’ve been expecting you.”
They looked at each other with fear and curiosity.
“Who are you?” Jake asked.
“I am your host,” the voice said. “The master of this house. The one who invited you.”
“Why did you invite us?” Ryan asked.
“Because I like to play games,” the voice said. “And you are my players.”
“What kind of games?” Mia asked.
“Games that will test your courage and nerves,” the voice said. “Games that will make you scream and cry. Games that will make you wish you never came here.”
The voice laughed maniacally, sending chills down their spines.
“What do you want from us?” Liam asked.
“I want to see how far you can go,” the voice said. “How much you can endure. How much you can survive.”
The voice paused, then continued in a more serious tone.
“But be warned,” it said. “This is not a game for the faint-hearted. It is a game for the brave and the bold. It is a game where you can lose everything. Your sanity, your dignity, your life.”
The voice paused again, then added in a mocking tone.
“Or maybe you’re not brave enough to play. Maybe you’re too scared to face your fears. Maybe you want to turn back and run away.”
The voice laughed again, then said in a taunting voice.
“Well, go ahead then. Run away. But remember this: once you enter this house, there is no turning back. There is no escape. There is only one way out: through the game.”
The voice stopped, leaving them in silence.
They looked at each other, unsure what to do.
Jake broke the silence.
“Well, guys,” he said with a smile. “Are you ready to play?”
The friends looked at each other nervously. This strange voice was trying to scare them away.
“I don’t know, Jake,” Amy said hesitantly. “This seems dangerous. Maybe we should leave.”
“Come on, don’t chicken out now!” Jake said. “We came here for an adventure, didn’t we?”
Ryan shifted his feet. “I’m up for a good scare, but this sounds more than just a haunted house attraction. The voice said This was a game with our lives at stake.”
“It’s probably just trying to spook us,” Jake scoffed. “It’s all part of the experience.”
Mia chimed in. “But what if it’s not? What if this is some twisted trap?”
Liam nodded. “Yeah, I don’t think we should risk it.”
Jake rolled his eyes. “You guys are no fun. But fine, if you’re all too scared, we can leave.”
He started to turn back towards the door. The voice suddenly shouted, “Wait!”
The friends jumped, startled.
“Leaving so soon?” the voice purred. “The game has only just begun…”
The friends froze, looking at each other with wide eyes.
“What do you mean the game has begun?” Amy asked nervously. “We didn’t agree to play any game!”
The voice laughed, low and sinister. “Oh, but you did…when you stepped through my door, you agreed to play. And there is only one way out now.”
Suddenly, the front door slammed shut behind them, making them jump. Liam ran to it and tried to open it, but the house had locked it.
“Let us out!” he shouted, pounding on the door.
“You must play the game to the end,” the voice intoned. “It is too late to turn back now.”
The friends huddled together in fear. Jake’s excitement had turned into regret.
“What have I gotten us into?” he muttered.
Just then, the floor began to shake violently. The boards creaked and groaned beneath their feet.
“What’s happening?” Amy screamed.
“The house is coming alive!” Ryan yelled. “We need to get out of here!”
They ran down the hall, dodging falling debris and jumping over cracks in the floor. The shaking intensified.
They made it to a large sitting room. But before they could figure out their next move, the floor where they stood was going down. The friends shrieked as they tumbled down into darkness.
They landed with a thud on a cold stone floor, piles of bones surrounding them. The echo of the voice rang out:
“Let the games begin!”
To be continued…