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Authors: R.L. Stine

The Dare

If you purchased this book without a cover, you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher, and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”

A Deadly Call

“Hello, Johanna?” a boy's voice said.

“Yes. Who's this?” I didn't recognize the voice.

“It's Dennis. Dennis Arthur.”

I nearly gasped into the phone. I was so startled. Dennis was calling
me?

“Hi, Dennis,” I managed to choke out. “You're back from vacation?”

“Yeah. This morning,” he replied. And then he lowered his voice to just above a whisper. “Hey, Johanna,” he murmured, “are you ready to kill Mr. Northwood?”

Books by R.L. Stine

Fear Street

ALL-NIGHT PARTY

BAD DREAMS

THE BEST FRIEND

THE BEST FRIEND 2: SPECIAL EDITION

THE BOY NEXT DOOR

THE CHEATER

COLLEGE WEEKEND

THE CONFESSION

THE DARE

DEAD END

DOUBLE DATE

THE FACE

FINAL GRADE

THE FIRE GAME

FIRST DATE

HALLOWEEN PARTY

HAUNTED

INTO THE DARK

KILLER'S KISS

THE KNIFE

LET'S PARTY

LIGHTS OUT

THE MIND READER

MISSING

THE NEW BOY

THE NEW GIRL

NIGHT GAMES

ONE EVIL SUMMER

THE OVERNIGHT

THE PERFECT DATE

THE PROM QUEEN

THE RICH GIRL

THE RUNAWAY

SECRET ADMIRER

THE SECRET BEDROOM

SKI WEEKEND

THE SLEEPWALKER

THE STEPSISTER

THE STEPSISTER 2

SUNBURN

THE SURPRISE PARTY

SWITCHED

THE THRILL CLUB

TRAPPED

TRUTH OR DARE

WHAT HOLLY HEARD

WHO KILLED THE HOMECOMING QUEEN?

THE WRONG NUMBER

WRONG NUMBER 2

Fear Park

THE FIRST SCREAM

THE LOUDEST SCREAM

THE LAST SCREAM

Fear Street Cheerleaders

THE FIRST EVIL

THE SECOND EVIL

THE THIRD EVIL

THE NEW EVIL

CHEERLEADERS: THE EVIL LIVES! (A Fear Street Superchiller)

Fear Street Duet

FEAR HALL: THE BEGINNING

FEAR HALL: THE CONCLUSION

Fear Street Trilogies

The Cataluna Chronicles

THE EVIL MOON #1

THE DARK SECRET #2

THE DEADLY FIRE #3

99 Fear Street: The House of Evil

THE FIRST HORROR

THE SECOND HORROR

THE THIRD HORROR

Fear Street Saga

THE BETRAYAL #1

THE SECRET #2

THE BURNING #3

THE AWAKENING EVIL

CHILDREN OF FEAR

DANCE OF DEATH

DAUGHTERS OF SILENCE

FORBIDDEN SECRETS

HEART OF THE HUNTER

THE HIDDEN EVIL

HOUSE OF WHISPERS

THE SIGN OF FEAR

A NEW FEAR

Fear Street Super Chillers

BAD MOONLIGHT

BROKEN HEARTS

THE DEAD LIFEGUARD

GOODNIGHT KISS

GOODNIGHT KISS 2

HIGH TIDE

THE NEW YEAR'S PARTY

PARTY SUMMER

SILENT NIGHT

SILENT NIGHT #2

SILENT NIGHT #3

Other novels

HOW I BROKE UP WITH ERNIE

PHONE CALLS

CURTAINS

BROKEN DATE

The Dare

R.L.STINE

SIMON PULSE
New York London Totronto Sydney

If you purchased this book without a cover, you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher, and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”

This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author's imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

First Simon Pulse edition July 2004

Text copyright © 1994 by Parachute Press, Inc.

Originally published as an Archway Paperback in February 1994

SIMON PULSE
An imprint of Simon & Schuster
Children's Publishing Division
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
www.SimonandSchuster.com

All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

Manufactured in the United States of America

10 9 8 7 6

ISBN-13: 978-0-671-73870-9

ISBN-10: 0-671-73870-4

eISBN 978-1-439-12045-3

FEAR STREET is a registered trademark of Parachute Press, Inc.

The Dare
prologue

A
m I really doing this?

The question repeated in my mind as I made my way across the backyard.

The pistol in my hand felt hot, as if it were about to burst into flame.

Am I really doing this?

Do I really have a loaded pistol in my hand?

Am I really going to use it?

Johanna Wise, murderer.

Is that how I will be known from now on?

“She was always a quiet girl. Rather mousy.” That's how the neighbors will describe me in the newspaper. “She lived with her divorced mother. They didn't have much money. Johanna never seemed to have many friends. But she always had a nice smile for everyone. Who would ever guess?”

Who would ever guess that Johanna Wise was a murderer?

Or maybe I'm not.

Maybe I'm not creeping across to the next yard to kill my teacher.

I mean, would I really kill my teacher just because of a stupid dare?

Maybe this is just another one of my fantasies.

I have so many violent fantasies these days. I imagine so many frightening things.

Maybe this is another fantasy.

My stomach really hurts. This is the worst stomachache I've ever had.

My hand is sweating.

I'm really afraid.

Am I really doing this?

Yes. I am.

I'm raising the pistol.

I'm squeezing the trigger.

Once I kill him, I'll feel so much better.

chapter 1

I
guess it started weeks ago at the 7-Eleven. The one at the end of Mission Street, way past the mall.

It was a little after eight o'clock. A cold, clear night. I remember thinking the stars overhead looked a little like snowflakes.

My best friend, Margaret Rivers, and I drove to the 7-Eleven in Margaret's little white Geo to get hot dogs. Believe it or not, that was my dinner.

You see, Mom's been working two jobs ever since she and Dad got divorced. She works late every night. Sometimes I don't see her for days. I can't remember the last time the two of us sat down to have dinner together.

So Margaret and I were at the front counter, ordering hot dogs. I was starving. Everyone thinks I don't eat much, because I'm so skinny, but that just isn't true.

Margaret and I don't look like we have a thing in common. But maybe that's why we're such good friends. I'm short and very thin. I've got long, straight black hair—my best feature—and dark brown eyes. My nose is too pointy, and I hate the cleft in my chin—but that's another story.

Margaret is nearly a head taller than I am and kind of chunky. She's still trying to lose her baby fat—that's what she always says. She has curly carrot-colored hair and a face full of freckles. She isn't very pretty, but she's a great friend and she can always make me laugh.

This winter, after my parents' divorce and all, I really needed a friend who could make me laugh. I've always had a tendency to look on the dark side.

You know how people can see a glass of water, and some will say it's half full and someone else will say it's half empty? Well, I'm the kind of person who will say the glass is half empty and cracked, and who cares about a stupid glass of water anyway?

I get depressed a lot. I admit it.

That's why it's so great to have a close friend like Margaret Rivers.

Margaret and I may not have the coolest clothes or drive the best cars. We're both totally broke most of the time, but we manage to have fun sometimes, even in a little town like Shadyside.

“We're out of mustard,” the salesclerk at the 7-Eleven said, holding our two hot dogs out to me over the counter. He was a middle-aged man, balding in front, his stomach bulging under his green knit shirt.

“I guess we'll have them plain,” I told him.

“I guess,” he muttered. He handed over the hot dogs, then threw two more raw dogs on the machine.

“Hey, Johanna—look.” Margaret held her hot dog in one hand. She nudged me with the other hand.

I followed her gaze to the back of the store.

I heard laughing and loud voices, and then I saw a bunch of kids I recognized. “What are
they
doing here?” I whispered to Margaret.

There were five kids back there around the Slurpy machine. I didn't know any of them very well—they're seniors and Margaret and I are juniors—but I recognized them right away because Margaret and I have been taking some senior classes.

They were just about the wealthiest kids at Shadyside High. I was sure all five of them lived in North Hills, the ritziest part of town. You know. Enormous houses. Well-kept lawns. Tall hedges to keep riffraff like Margaret and me from getting too close.

They were laughing a lot and shoving one another, knocking the Slurpy cups on the floor. You know, just goofing on each other, having fun.

I saw Dennis Arthur and his girlfriend, Caitlin Munroe. I like Dennis. We're in advanced math together, and he let me copy from his paper during a test once.

He's a pretty good guy. And really great-looking. He's got short black hair and green eyes. He's the star of the Shadyside track team, and he really looks like an athlete.

A girl named Melody Dawson was there too. She's a real stuck-up snob. She was kidding around with Lanny Barnes and Zack Hamilton.

Zack is a big guy, built like a wrestler. He has curly red hair and wears bright blue sunglasses day and night. He was bragging in class about how he's related to one of the Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton. Maybe it's true. I don't know.

And do I care? No.

I took a bite of my hot dog. It was cold. Margaret and I watched the five kids, trying to look like we weren't watching them.

“I dare you,” I heard one of them say. I think it was Lanny.

“I
double-
dare you!” one of them shot back.

Dennis started to pour some of the purple Slurpy stuff into a cup, and Lanny punched the cup out of his hand. The purple slush poured onto Dennis's white sneakers.

“Hey—!” Dennis playfully punched Lanny on the shoulder.

Then Lanny poured a big glob of slush into his hand and shook hands with Dennis.

Margaret and I had to laugh. I mean, it was really funny. But out of the corner of my eye, I saw that the store clerk had an angry scowl on his face. He was getting really steamed.

The Slurpy fight was getting a little wild.

Caitlin and Melody were splashing cups of purple slush at each other. A big glob fell onto Melody's head and trickled down her perfect blond hair.

Dennis started laughing a high-pitched hyena laugh.
But he stopped when Zack and Lanny both dumped cups of the purple stuff down the front of his maroon and gray Shadyside High jacket.

The five kids were slipping and sliding now. The floor was covered with puddles of purple slush. Lanny went down. He hit the floor and slid onto his back. And then Zack sprawled on top of him. Dennis let out that high-pitched laugh again.

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