Shackled, left for dead. From above a small key falls. The harsh world awaits. You are trapped in the basement of your friend's house. The door is locked and bolted from the inside with no way out. > You try the key. It takes you several tries to get it open. You take a deep breath and slowly push on the lock. It clicks into place and you hear the latch click as well. Then you pull back the bolt...only to find the door still bolted from the inside. You sigh and sit down in frustration. You are trapped. The bolt unlocked the door but the latch still kept it secured. you look around the basement for something to bash the door open with. You find a hammer, a chisel, and a screwdriver lying nearby. You take up the hammer and begin to bash at the door. It takes several hits before the bolt holding the door in place finally comes loose. You fling open the door and see the priest standing nearby. He backs up and you charge at him with the hammer raised. Your eyes narrow as you take in the details of the creature. > You your hammer bounces harmlessly off his leathery skin. He charges at you and you barely have time to swing. His claw catches the hammer and sends it spinning into the wall. in desperation, you slam the screwdriver into the priests eye and run. You grab the hammer and run back as it screams at you and sends its claws after you. You plant the hammer blow after hammer blow into its stomach, until finally it backs off. > You quickly run upstairs and try to find an escape. The stairs are far too narrow to fit through them both. You try to maneuver the priest through the door, but it grabs your arm and drags you into the dark hallway. The lights turn on and you see Tony, the friend who kidnapped you as revenge for making fun of Sister Act 2, sitting across from. him. "Hello," he says. "I am your captor and judge of your crimes. I am to decide your fate based on the rule of three. First, we will state what we have." you ask "what is the rule of three?" "you must survive three trials to prove your innocence. If you fail, I will peel off your skin, bite through your bones, and crush your body until nothing is left. You will be denied a fair trial." Tony describes the first trial to you. "You are blindfolded and must feel your way to the door. Once you open it, you may remove the blindfold. Any noise made or missed steps will result in your death." You nod. > You easily pass the first trial. The next trial is a little more difficult. "You must feel your way to the power switch for the flashlight. Once you flip the switch, you may remove the blindfold." > You easily pass the second trial. "The final trial is quite simple. You must cross the room to the table, and touch one of the cups. once you choose, you may remove the blindfold." you agonize over which cup to touch. There is a pause. "Your choice is the one that has water in it. Correct?" you nod. "The rule of three has been enacted. I will now describe your fate." He describes your fate in gruesome detail: you will be skinned alive, your bones will be smashed, and your body will be crushed into dust. "It is my honor to judge you. Good night." > You beg Tony for mercy. "Please, I'm sorry!" you cry. "I won't make any noise! Don't hurt me!" "Okay," he says. "But if I were you, I wouldn't count on it." > You demand an unfair trial. He sighs. "Very well. Give me your reasons." "It's against the natural order of things for a human to skin a human alive!" you say. "Okay..." he says doubtfully. You present your evidence: a key you found in the basement. "But how does this prove your innocence?" "It proves that I might be able to find a way out of here!" He smiles. You list the reasons why sister act 2 is the best film: "It isn't like rah-rock, and it's better than sister act. Also, I don't care what anyone says, Sister Act is the superior film." "There is your first point." You say "Sister Act 2 if best watched on the big screen, I can prove it." "Very well." "It's better than Sister Act, the first one. No one can deny that." "Your second point is debatable." "What?" you ask, exasperated. You see the Sister Act 2 DVD sitting on the table, and rush over to grab it and snap it in half in front of Tony who cries in agony. You turn to leave, when you feel his hand on your shoulder. He holds out the DVD. "What? Are you punishing me now?" you ask. > You see a single tear in his eye. "Well, you still haven't told me your real name," he says. You think for a moment, and then speak: "Anthony Durante." The name sounds oddly pleasant to you. "Anthony" > You step out the door, and into freedom. "Anthony, that's a great name! Anthony wins!" You nod at him. "Thanks." "Anthony, go wait by the car. There's some food in there for you." You look in the car and see on the passenger seat is a large bowl of chili with some soda bread and a plastic knife. "Thank you, sir!" "Go now, Anthony." You go to the front door and wait. > You the door opens, and you step inside. "Here we go again," you tell yourself. You walk into a large, dark room. The only light comes from the small gap under the door. You can hear the rustling of leaves outside, growing louder and louder every second. You say, "THE LEAVES ARE COMING RIGHT FOR US!!" "Shut up," a dark voice replies. The door slams shut, blocking everything out and plunging you into complete darkness. Your heart skips a beat and your breath catches in your throat. The moral of the story: Even the bravest of heroes should always be prepared to run when it gets scary. Bravo, reader. You have survived your first haunted house.