(Originally published in HALF-MINUTE HORRORS, an anthology of short-short stories edited by Susan Rich and published by HarperCollins Childrens’ Books.)
“I dare you,” Jack said. “Knock on the door and ask for a drink.”
Tommy touched his red cap with a shaky hand, climbed the rotted porch steps, and knocked.
The door creaked open and Tommy stepped inside. Through the lighted window Jack saw him sit on the couch.
“He never came out,” Jack told his dad later as they approached the dark house.
“The place has been abandoned for years,” his dad said. “See?”
They climbed the steps and pushed open the front door. Their flashlights lit only cobwebs in the empty room.
“Must’ve been some other house,” his dad said. “He’ll be home soon.” They closed the door behind them.
Neither saw the red cap lying in the dusty corner.
* * *
Here is a 7-minute film of this story, created by Vincent Dolinsek, a young German filmmaker. He dubbed it in English just for us!