Lucas was trying to be brave but quickly discovered he was just plain stupid like his sister often said. He trusted Cole, even if Cole wouldn’t admit to seeing him following, and he was now inside the abandoned house, his families voices getting further away.
“Cole, where are you going?” Lucas was yelling but Cole didn’t even pause.
Cole felt the temperature plummet and shivered. The house was silent, with the exception of his own footsteps and the warm breeze blowing through the broken windows. As captain of his rugby team but only 5’4 and 125 pounds Cole thought the scariest thing he’d face was his opponent towering over him. Those matches were nothing compared to being in the empty house even with a crowd not far away but he wanted to face his fears. He felt he had nothing to lose and so much to gain, not to mention his best friend Kevin dared him.
All he had to do was get to a front window and wave then he could leave. It seemed easier to do from the outside as there were plenty of windows close to the front door but inside, the floors were rotten, the light was dim and the chill freaked him out the most. With each step Cole took the floor crumbled which made it even harder to figure out how to get back.
Remembering the lighter in his pocket he grabbed it and looked for something to use as a torch while his eyes were still adjusting. A piece of the floor would simply burst into flames but, he thought, maybe it would be enough to get his bearings or find something better. He bent down and ripped a piece of the wooden flooring from beside him and lit it.
All he could see was a young boy hanging on to a floor board while he dangled into what must be the basement and then the fire went out.
Panicked, Cole forgot all about the stupid dare but jumped through the nearest window to a cheering crowd. Kevin came over, made sure he was okay and then high-fived him, accepting that the dare was completed and was actually epic.
Cole, brushing himself off, went back to the front step where Helen and Charlie were still walking to an older couple. “Helen, what’s going on?”
“My brother… have you seen him?” Helen was oblivious to Cole being through the house and back, he hoped she would think he was brave but she had other things on her mind. She showed him the framed picture and his jaw dropped.
“He’s in the house and he’s in trouble.”
Next installment “Hanging Onto Hope”