I have no idea how we got on the subject of Bloody Mary -- the ghosty sleepover dare, not the drink -- but somehow, we did. A little vodka may have been involved, but I am definitely sure that tomato juice and celery were not.
Jason and I both grew up in very, very religious households, and because of this, had both achieved adulthood without ever -- EVER -- attempting the Bloody Mary game. We believed that just by THINKING about Satan or evil things, one was technically inviting demonic influence, or even full-on possession. That shit was real, man, in an incredibly literal sense, and the idea of actively baiting a ghost/demon/evil spirit like that was a genuinely terrifying prospect that neither of us would ever mess with.
I have a vague memory of standing in a darkened bathroom after first hearing the story from my friends...and THINKING about maybe giving it a try, and the very second the idea popped into my head, a car drove down the street and a glimmer of the headlights flashed in the mirror and I freaked out and ran back to my room, hid under the covers and prayed for forgiveness and protection from my sinful wandering brain.
That was farther than Jason ever got, however, and he admitted that he still couldn't bring himself to do it. Despite long since abandoning the fire-and-brimstone religion of our childhoods, and happily indulging in a steady TV/movie habit of supernatural horror -- we LOVE all that Paranormal Activity/American Horror Story/True Blood/Walking Dead garbage SO VERY HARD -- the Bloody Mary game was still something that genuinely freaked him out, because what if?
So obviously, because I am a complete asshole, I got the idea that we needed to confront that fear head on. Right then, right there. We were gonna walk into the nearest bathroom, hold hands and summon up that damned urban legend and finally put this ridiculous shared part of our childhoods completely behind us. Once and for all. Together. MOVE ON FROM FEAR. GROW WITH LOVE. ALSO I THINK THIS WILL BE SUPER FUN AND LATER YOU CAN BRAID MY HAIR.
At first -- and second, third, fourth, and so on -- Jason flat-out refused. No way. No way! He couldn't. He wouldn't. I made offers and promises and some very dirty bargains, but in the end I finally managed to convince him to follow me into the bathroom via a very persuasive argument of come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on (breathes) come on come on come on etc.
We stood in front the mirror with the lights off. "BLOODY MARY, BLOODY MARY, BLOODY MARY!" I called out confidently; Jason slightly less so. I waited a few seconds and then switched on the light. Nothing happened. We'd done it! Two thirty-something parents of three had gone and played a made-up game most people stop being scared of sometime in middle school, and we survived it without a single jump scare or coincidentally-timed lightbulb flicker.
Afterwards, I was gleeful and amped up -- I felt invincible, free, reckless and daring. Like the first time I voted for a Democrat, or dropped a casual f-bomb into a conversation. Jason was...well, he was headed towards the liquor cabinet for another drink.
I followed him, giggling stupidly and trying to think of any other similar games we could play. Let's have a seance! Order a ouija board! Is The Exorcist on Netflix? Blair Witch? Candyman? ZOMG ADRENALINE OF THE FORBIDDEN.
Jason opened the cabinet. And then screamed and jumped backwards.
I remember screaming too, but I don't remember hitting the floor. But there I was, cowering behind the dining table and flat on my stomach with my arms covering my head, while Jason laughed and laughed and laughed...until he was on the floor too, because bitch, you TOTALLY had that one coming.