A Friendly Game of “Truth or Dare” by Chilli TNG (c) 2002, Chilli TNG
Jane was studying, as usual. College was much, much harder than she had expected it to be, and she was having to work hard to keep her grades up. She looked at her clock. “11:54,” she groaned. She figured that she had at least two more hours of studying left. Jane lit a cigarette, closed her Chemistry book, and opened her Micro-Economics text. “Oh God,” she thought, “this is going to be a long night.”
“Hey Janie, what’s up?”
“No,” thought Jane, “please don’t let that be Tammy.” But it was. Tammy Thorn was at Jane’s door. Tammy Thorn, the dorm prima donna. Jane had known Tammy for years. They attended the same high school, and, although Tammy was a year older than Jane, they were both in the same class. Tammy was a so-so student, but she always seemed to get better grades than Jane, which irritated Jane no end. Of course, Jane suspected that Tammy’s grade point reflected the fact that her father, Winston Thorn, was arguably the state’s most powerful politician.
From the moment the girls first met, Tammy seemed to have some strange power over Jane. Actually, Tammy seemed to have power over everyone she met. The boys all loved her for her looks (which Jane suspected weren’t 100% God-given), and most of the girls loved her, too, because of all the boys who loved her.
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But Jane didn’t love Tammy; she feared her. She feared what Tammy knew. Some might have called it blackmail – Jane certainly did – but, to Tammy, it was simply an artful application of knowledge. Somehow, Tammy kept finding out little secrets about Jane that she used to make Jane do whatever she wanted. If Jane had been less a lady, she would have thought of Tammy as a manipulative bitch (actually, the occasional phrase that came to Jane’s mind was “Queen Tit,” a phrase that Jane’s crass Uncle Robert often used to describe Tammy).
“Hi, Tam,” Jane replied quietly. “Not much. I’m just studying.”
“I see you’re smoking again.”
“Damn,” Jane thought.
“Have your parents found out yet?” Tammy asked slyly, knowing full well the answer.
“No, they haven’t,” replied Jane. “And you don’t really need to tell them.”
“And I won’t,” smiled Tammy, “if you’ll come play a game with us.”
“I really don’t have time, Tam.”
“No problem,” said Tammy, walking away. “I just hope your parents aren’t too disappointed in you.”
“All right, I’ll play,” said Jane. She stubbed out her cigarette and ran after Tammy. “What are we going to play?”
Jane followed Tammy into Tammy’s room. Of course, Tammy’s room was a private one; everyone else in the dorm had a roommate. Not only was the room private, but it was twice the size of any of the other dorm rooms in the building. Seated around a card table in the middle of the room were two other girls, Lisa and Dawn. “Perfect,” thought Jane, “Tammy’s got her best friends here. Something must be up.”
Tammy closed the door to her room and dimmed the lights slightly. “I’m so glad that you all could make it,” she purred. The tone in her voice made Jane squirm. “We’re going to play a friendly little game of ‘Truth or Dare.'” She pulled out a piece of cardboard and laid it in the middle of the table. On the cardboard was a crude hand-drawn game board.
“The rules are simple,” said Tammy as she placed four colored markers on the square marked “Start.” “Each of us will take a turn. I’ll go first. You roll the die,” which she did, “and move your marker that number of squares. If the square says ‘Ask Question,’ pick up the top card from the ‘Question’ pile and ask the person to your right the question. If she answers the question honestly, you move your marker back the number on the die.”
“How will we know if the answer is honest?” asked Dawn.
“Oh, I’ll know,” smiled Tammy. Jane didn’t like the sound of that.
“And what if she refuses to answer?” asked Lisa.
“If she refuses to answer, or if she doesn’t answer honestly, you leave your marker there. Then you draw the top card from the ‘Dare’ pile and read the dare out loud. The person who refused to answer the question must accept the dare.” Something in the way Tammy said “must accept the dare” scared Jane, who asked “And if she won’t accept the dare?”
“Then the other three will make her,” Tammy said, looking directly at Jane.
Jane looked at the board. Almost every square had the words “Ask Question” written in. About every fifth square was empty. “What happens if we land on an empty square?” she asked.
“Nothing,” replied Tammy. “Your marker sits there until your next turn.”
“And how do we win this game?” asked Dawn.
“You have to be the first one to get into the ‘Finish’ square. When you land there, the other three players, starting on your right, get to draw a Question card. You have to answer the question or accept a dare from each of the remaining players. Then you win.”
Tammy sat down, leaving only one chair empty, Jane noticed. “Of course it would have to be the one on her right,” she thought. Jane sat down and prepared herself for what she suspected would be a most unpleasant evening.
“I’m blue,” said Tammy. “Dawn, you’re red. Lisa, yellow. And Jane, you’re green.”
Tammy rolled the die. “Four,” she said, moving her marker. “Ask Question,” she said, which drew some “ooooohs” from Lisa and Dawn. Tammy grabbed the first card on the pile. “Jane,” she said, “your question is: ‘Do you masturbate?'”
Lisa and Dawn giggled. Dawn whispered to Lisa, “You known that the only answers to that question are ‘Yes’ and ‘¡No hablo ingles!'”
Jane went red. She was glad the lights were slightly dimmed and prayed that no one noticed her blush. She did masturbate from time to time, but she wasn’t about to admit that to Tammy and her cronies. “No,” she quietly said.
“Uh-huh-huh,” smiled Tammy, waving a long finger towards Jane. “Remember, the name of this game is ‘Truth or Dare’. You didn’t answer me truthfully.”
“I did too,” protested Jane.
“Then perhaps I need to refresh your memory. Three nights ago, I came down to your room to ask if you had any paper I could have. Before I could knock on your door, I distinctly heard you calling out in a low whisper, ‘Oh Steve…'”
“Ok, ok, enough!” Jane said, a bit louder than she would have liked. “You caught me.”
“Steve?” asked Lisa. “You don’t mean Steve Bartlett, do you? God, what a hunk!” Jane’s deepening blush was all the answer that Lisa needed.
“Dare time,” said Tammy, drawing a card from the “Dare” pile. “Jane, I dare you to….” She paused, then quickly said, “…drink five shots of Everclear.”
Jane breathed a sigh of relief. So, this was a drinking game. Although Jane wasn’t much of a drinker, she didn’t think that five shots of Everclear would hurt her much. She was sadly mistaken.
The game progressed at a rapid pace, and the four girls learned things about each other that they had never imagined. For example, Lisa, who professed to being a virgin, turned out to have lost her virginity when she was fourteen; she promptly had to drink two shots of Everclear and two beers. And Dawn, who said that she had been going steady for two years, had to admit that she had dated not one, but six other guys in the last month alone; her dare consisted of three beers, which she promptly drank, stating that “…the punishment’s not too bad.”
Even Tammy was caught in a lie. Dawn asked Tammy if her chestnut brown hair color was natural. Tammy said that it was, but, as Lisa, Dawn, and Jane quickly pointed out, there was an empty box of hair color in the garbage. “Whoops,” Tammy said, “it looks like I’ve been caught.” She only had to drink two beers for her transgression.
Subsequent rounds of the game went largely unchallenged. Perhaps it was the alcohol that had freed the women up a bit, or maybe it was the nature of the questions, or maybe it was the lateness of the hour. Jane was feeling a bit cheated, however, as she kept landing on empty squares. After landing on her sixth empty square in a row, she was frustrated. “Dammit,” she said, “this sucks. I’m not getting to ask Lisa any questions.”
“Yeah,” said Lisa, “but at least you’re advancing. You stand to win this game the next round.” Jane looked at the board. Lisa was right. Jane was only three squares from the “Finish” square.
“Hey Tam,” asked Jane, “do I have to get into the ‘Finish’ square exactly?”
“Nope,” replied Tammy. “All you have to do is roll at least the number of squares to enter it.”
“What do I get if I win?”
“A huge surprise!”
Jane was just drunk enough to get excited at the prospect of getting a huge surprise. “Cool,” she said enthusiastically. “Come on, Lisa. Roll your die.”
Lisa did, and landed on an “Ask Question” square. “Ok Dawn,” she said, “‘Have you ever shaved off all your pubic hair?'”
All four women laughed at the question. “You promise not to laugh?” Dawn asked, laughing herself. The other three assured her, amidst bursts of giggles, that they would not laugh. “Then yes, I have.”
More laughter ensued. “You promised you wouldn’t laugh,” Dawn said, laughing herself.
“Why would you do that?” Jane asked.
“Two years ago, my boyfriend, Danny, went on vacation with his parents for a month to Hawaii. I didn’t want Danny to forget me, so I shaved my pubes and mailed them to him!”
“You’re kidding,” laughed Lisa. “What did he say?”
“Danny called me the day he got the package. At first, he was mad at me, but, after I explained why, he calmed down and told me he loved me.”
“Then what?” asked Tammy.
“Then the dumb prick didn’t write or call the rest of the month. And when he got back, he started going out with that bitch Kellie Van Auken! The things I put up with. The itching was terrible!” All four women started to laugh again, and it took them a few minutes to calm down.
Once she had regained her composure, Dawn rolled her die. “All right Tammy,” she said, drawing a “Question” card, “‘Have you ever had, or would you ever consider having plastic surgery?’ ”
“No I have not, and I never will,” Tammy replied, somewhat indignantly. “Does it really say that?” she asked, grabbing the card from Dawn’s hand. “I’ll be…it does.” She put the card in the discard pile.
Something about the way Tammy answered the question irritated Jane. She really wanted to catch Tammy in another lie, but she didn’t have any proof. She had suspected that Tammy had had some “minor alternations” done during the summers, but she just couldn’t prove it. She knew that, someday, she’d find a way to prove it; then she’d be able to order Tammy around.
“Well, Jane,” said Tammy, “what’s your answer?”
“What’s the matter? Did I stutter? I said, ‘Why are you afraid to tell your parents that you smoke?'”
“It doesn’t say that!” Jane shouted, grabbing the card from Tammy’s carefully manicured fingers. She read the card to herself; it read, “Why are you afraid to tell your parents that you smoke?”
“This isn’t funny any more, Tammy. I quit.”
Tammy grabbed Jane’s wrist and held it tightly. “You can’t quit,” she spat. “What would your parents think?”
“All right. Because it’s none of their damn business, that’s why.”
“Liar!” Tammy shouted. “It’s because your Aunt Susan smoked, and she died of lung cancer, and you promised your parents that you’d never smoke.”
Jane felt a chill run up her spine. “How in the hell did you know that?” she asked in a quiet voice.
“Your mother told me,” Tammy replied. “Now, for your dare.” She grabbed the topmost “Dare” card from the pile. “Jane,” she said, “I dare you to… shave off your eyebrows.”
“What?” shrieked Jane. She again snatched the card away from Tammy. It contained the exact dare that Tammy had read. “No way. No way am I shaving off my eyebrows.”
Tammy looked at Jane with a stone cold stare. “Then I guess I’ll have to tell your parents about your little pack and a half a day habit,” she said. “What was their telephone number again?”
“FINE!” Jane screamed. “I’ll do it.”
Instantly, Tammy’s demeanor changed back to smiles and grins. “Great!” she exclaimed. Tammy stood up and went to her dresser. She opened the top drawer and removed a small, black case. She handed the case to Jane. “Here you go,” she said. “You can plug it in over by the closet.”
Jane opened the case. It was a man’s electric razor. “Don’t think about it,” Jane told herself as she stood and walked over to the closet. There was a full length mirror on one door of the closet, and a wall outlet was nearby. “You can always pencil them in while they grow back,” she thought as she plugged in the razor.
She flipped the switch, and the razor sprang into life. Jane had always taken great pride in her appearance. She personally liked the look of thin, well-kept eyebrows, and, as such, kept her brows neatly plucked. She lifted her honey blonde bangs up off of her face and began to massage the razor over her left eyebrow.
The razor began to clip away the brow hairs. “Ohmigod,” she heard Dawn mutter, “she’s really doing it.” Jane rubbed the razor back and forth, making sure that it got all of the hair removed.
Jane examined herself in the mirror. She could see no trace of her left eyebrow. She turned to Tammy and coldly asked, “Is this close enough?”
“Looks good to me,” smiled Tammy. “Dawn? Lisa?”
“Looks fine,” Dawn said reluctantly.
“Perfect,” whispered Lisa, keeping her eyes focused on the game board.
Jane turned back to the mirror and repeated the process to her right eyebrow. When she finished, she clicked off the razor, unplugged it, and put it back in its box. She examined herself in the mirror once again. Her bangs nearly covered her brows, or, rather, where her brows used to be. She lifted her bangs and looked at herself. The longer she looked, the more she realized that she didn’t mind the no- brow look as much as she thought she would. With a smile, she handed the razor back to Tammy and sat down.
“It’s your turn, Jane,” said Tammy. “Roll your die.”
Jane picked up her die, shook it, and rolled. It was a five. She advanced her marker to the “Finish” square. “Lisa,” said Jane, “ask me a question.”
Lisa drew the top card from the pile. “Jane, ‘Are you a virgin?'”
Jane swallowed hard. She was a virgin. She believed in saving herself for marriage; she had always believed this way, and was proud of it. However, something inside her told her that, no matter how she answered, Tammy would call her a liar and would produce some evidence to support her claim. She took a quick glance at Tammy. Perhaps she imagined it, but Tammy almost seemed ready to cry “Liar.” So she decided to answer Lisa with, “I refuse to answer the question.”
Lisa, Dawn, and Tammy all shouted “Dare!” at the same time. Lisa drew the “Dare” card and said, “Jane, I dare you to take off all of your clothing.”
Jane was proud of her body. She worked out in the college gym twice a week and watched what she ate. Still, she found it difficult to disrobe in front of others. Her mother wouldn’t even let her wear a bikini when swimming. She looked at Tammy and said, “If it will make you happy.” She stood and removed her clothing.
Jane returned to her seat. “Dawn,” she said, “I believe it is your turn to ask me a question.”
Dawn picked up the next “Question” card. She read it, looked at Tammy, then read the card again.
“Just read the goddamn card, Dawn,” hissed Tammy.
“Jane, ‘Do you find being naked a turn-on?'”
Lisa looked at Dawn, then at Tammy, then back at Dawn. “Does it really say that?” she asked Dawn, who nodded in agreement.
These questions were too pointed, too direct, for Jane’s taste. Tammy must have something planned. “But,” Jane thought to herself, “she’s got you over a barrel. You’re just going to have to play along with her game.”
“Dawn, I refuse to answer the question.”
Tammy shouted “Dare” with such force that Dawn and Lisa both jumped. Dawn picked up the “Dare” card and read it. “Tammy,” she said, putting the card down, “I can’t dare her to do this.”
Tammy turned on Dawn. “Yes you can, damnit, or do you want everyone to know the real reason that Danny stopped seeing you after he got your bush in the mail?”
Jane saw Dawn grow visibly pale. She picked the card back up. “Jane, I dare you to shave off your pubic hair.”
From Dawn’s reaction, Jane knew that Tammy had some deep secret she was holding over Dawn in much the same way that Tammy was holding the secret of Jane’s smoking over her. She felt anger beginning to build deep within her, and, with that anger came a strong resolve. “No matter what she throws at me,” Jane thought to herself, “I will handle it.”
“I believe you’ll be needing this,” said Tammy as she again handed Jane the razor. Jane walked back to the closet, plugged in the razor, and turned it on. She noticed that the razor had a trimmer attachment, so she opened it and used it to trim off the bulk of her most private hair. When she had it clipped down to stubble, she closed the trimmer and began to work the razor over the stubble.
Jane looked into the mirror. She saw both Dawn and Lisa looking down at the table, too ashamed to look at her. And then she looked at Tammy. There was a strange glint in Tammy’s eyes. Some might have said that Tammy looked power-mad; others might have described her look as crazed. To Jane, however, Tammy looked like a totally different person, a person that she was no longer afraid to challenge.
Jane finished the removal of her pubic hair, turned off the razor, then sat back down. The cool metal of the chair against her freshly shaven skin was somewhat shocking.
Tammy didn’t waste any time in picking up the next “Question” card. “Jane,” she said, “your last question is, ‘Am I your friend?'”
To Jane, Lisa, and Dawn, the answer was obvious. But, it was even more obvious to Jane that, no matter how she answered, Tammy would call her a liar. So, once again, she answered by saying, “I refuse to answer the question.”
“Dare!” Tammy cried, lunging for the topmost “Dare” card. But Jane grabbed it first. She read it, then quietly placed it in the discard pile.
“What’s it say, Jane?” asked Lisa.
“Yeah,” said Dawn. “Tell us what it said.”
Jane looked at Tammy. “Well,” she said, “will you tell them, or should I?”
Tammy’s smile cast a nearly manic visage over her normally beautiful face. “It says, ‘I dare you to shave your head!'” she laughed.
Both Lisa and Dawn gasped. “You can’t ask her to do that, Tammy,” said Lisa.
“I didn’t ASK her to,” said Tammy, “I DARED her to.” With that, she handed a small bag to Jane. “You’ll be needing this, too,” she said with a smirk.
Jane didn’t need to open the bag to guess its contents. She walked over to the closet mirror, opened the bag, and removed a set of electric clippers. She plugged them in and turned them on.
The clippers were professional quality and came with a series of comb attachments. “You won’t be needing any of those,” giggled Tammy. “Just take it off at your scalp.”
Jane looked at herself in the mirror. She looked at her hair. Honey blonde, it hung half way below her shoulders in back. When she pulled it around front, it was just long enough to tickle her nipples. “What am I?” she asked herself. “Am I appearance? Am I so vain that the loss of my hair will cripple me? Sure, it’s beautiful. But so am I. And, once my hair is gone, I’ll still be me. I’ll still be beautiful. And I’ll still be better than Tammy!”
With that realization, Jane placed the clippers below her bangs, swallowed hard, and pushed. The tone of the clippers changed as they plowed into Jane’s thick mass of hair. When she reached her crown with the clippers, she removed them and looked at herself. She saw a path of creamy white skin down the middle of her head, surrounded on either side by soft blonde hair. She stood a little taller, a little prouder. She brought the clippers back to her forehead and began to peel away another strip of hair.
Jane quickly removed all of the hair from the top of her head. She studied her reflection for a moment. Sure, she was going bald, but that wasn’t what she was seeing. She was seeing a woman full of confidence, strength, and resolve. Jane actually surprised herself with the inner calm she felt regarding the loss of her hair. “A loss in one area represents a gain in another,” was a saying that her father had often told her but, until this moment, she had never fully understood it.
The clippers continued their way through Jane’s hair. She was very careful to clip away all the hair she could with the first pass. The buzzing of the clippers was slowly becoming music to Jane’s ears. The tug that she felt as they burrowed into her locks was almost reassuring. She turned slightly to better view the back of her head. The contours of her skull were now clearly visible. Her small ears neatly hugged her head. Jane liked what she saw.
She ran her hands over her stubble-covered scalp, searching for any last remaining long hair. Finding none, she turned off the clippers and picked up the electric razor. She turned it on and began to run it across her scalp. Back, then forth she went, seeking to remove every trace of hair she could find. As all traces of hair began to disappear, so did the worry of the secrets that Tammy knew about Jane. Jane moved the razor towards the back of her scalp. She felt the delicate tendons at the back of her neck, the slight indentation at the base of her skull. Her neck was long and graceful. Her eyes, previously hidden by her mass of hair, now loomed large. Her dainty nose and full, sensuous lips were only enhanced by her lack of hair. The bone-white skin of her scalp would need to be tanned, and Jane actually found herself looking forward to sunning it.
It was only after she had turned off the razor that Jane was able to look at the others in the room. Both Lisa and Dawn were sitting there, mouths agape, tears streaming down their cheeks. She saw both sympathy and admiration in their eyes, plus a little relief. “Of course they’re relieved,” Jane thought to herself, “what I’ve just gone through could have happened to them!”
Tammy, on the other hand, looked positively possessed. “You win!” she exclaimed, jumping up from her chair. “You win! Remember that I promised you a huge surprise?” She walked over to the closet and opened the door. “Well, here it is!”
Jane just stared in a mixture of shock and horror. Seated inside the closet, a camcorder pressed to one eye, was Steve Bartlett, the same Steve whom Jane had often fantasized about. Jane looked at the door. What she thought was a regular mirror was really a two-way mirror. Steve had been hiding there the entire game, taping the event! And he was laughing.
Jane quickly flew into action. She took two steps and was in front of the closet. “You pathetic son of a bitch,” she swore. She smashed one foot into Steve’s groin. With an explosive grunt, Steve doubled over, dropping the camcorder. Jane caught it before it fell two inches. “To think that I actually fantasized about you, you loser!” She swung the camera upwards, catching Steve hard on the chin. She watched with grim satisfaction as his eyes rolled back in his head and he fell over, unconscious.
“Here, catch,” Jane said to Dawn and Lisa, tossing them the camcorder.
Tammy had been laughing, but seeing the fury that Jane was in quickly sobered her up. “Come on, Janie,” Tammy pleaded, “can’t you take a joke?”
Off to the side, Jane heard a faint “click” and glanced over. Dawn had turned the camcorder back on and was taping her and Tammy. She smiled faintly, then turned back to Tammy.
“Yes, Tammy, I can take a joke. What I can’t take any more is being taunted,” SLAP, “teased,” SLAP, “and manipulated by you, you vindictive little bitch.”
Jane quickly moved around behind the somewhat dazed Tammy and grabbed her in a choke hold. “You know, earlier in the game, you answered that you’d never had any plastic surgery. That just didn’t ring true with me. It made me think of the time we were at your house, looking at some of your parents’ photo albums. I saw a picture of a young girl who looked a lot like you and was about our age. She was rather chubby – not that there’s anything wrong with that – and I asked, ‘Was this you?’ You denied it, claiming it was your cousin Shelia.”
“It was,” Tammy choked out.
“Sorry, but I didn’t believe you then, and I don’t believe you now. I think you had surgery to remove the excess fat and to tighten up your loose skin. I bet you’ve got some scars to prove it. Scars that no one can see. Until now.”
With that, Jane grabbed the hair clippers and turned them on.
“Oh God, NO!” cried Tammy.
“Do it,” whispered Lisa and Dawn in unison.
“Snort” went Steve; he was still out cold.
“Buzzzz” went the clippers as Jane worked them through Tammy’s chestnut mane. She wasn’t worried about accuracy with her hair cutting, but with speed. In seconds, most of the top of Tammy’s head had been sheared. Odd, thin strips of hair remained on top as Jane began removing hair from the sides and back. In less than a minute, nearly all of Tammy’s three foot long tresses had been slashed from her scalp.
Jane turned off the clippers and took a close look at Tammy’s bald scalp. “Well, I guess I was wrong, Tam,” she said as she released her choke hold. “I don’t see any scars. That must have been your cousin in the picture after all.”
Tammy collapsed in a heap on the floor. “My hair,” she sobbed, “my beautiful hair. Why, Janie? Why?”
Jane was in the process of putting her clothing back on. As she pulled her blouse back on, she walked over to Tammy, grabbed her by the chin, and lifted her head up. She looked her straight in the eyes and said, “Because I am not going to take your crap any more. Neither is Dawn. Neither is Lisa. You are going to quit school, Tam. Tomorrow morning, first thing. No one here is going to be bothered by you again.”
Jane unplugged the clippers and the razor. She put the clippers back in the bag and put the razor in with them. “I’m keeping these, ” she said to Tammy. “I’ll be needing them in the morning. And I’m keeping the video tape. You can keep my hair. I won’t be needing it, or you, any more.
“And Tam, don’t ever call me Janie again. Only my friends call me that. And that’s the truth.”