hi, i’m jojo

by Gabriel Saad, age 12
hi, i’m jojo Gabriel is a 7th grade student. He enjoys reading, writing, and dancing. He ate a bagel and eggs for breakfast on July 12, 2019.

“I grab onto the doorknob and we both pull. Nothing.
Soon, everyone is pulling on the doorknob as if our lives depended on it, and right now they actually might.
The door still doesn’t open.”

CHAPTER II

On the inside of the house, there’s a huge sectional couch with a couple big chairs across from it. A large chandelier is shining bright light onto the elaborate fabrics on the couch and chairs and reflecting off of the glass coffee table in the middle. In the back of this room is a big, carpeted staircase.

We walk through a hallway into the dining room. Inside is a long table with 14 chairs: six on each side and one on each end. The huge vase of flowers in the middle of the table sits atop a runner.

“It’s awfully well furnished and maintained for an abandoned house,” notices Eriphili. Raphael and Clarice nod in agreement.

The kitchen is adjacent to the dining room and is filled with all sorts of cutlery, plates, glasses, and some lemons hanging out in a bowl by the stove.

“There’s even fresh food,” adds Clarice. “I wonder why it’s so… well… different from the outside.”

“I’m outta here,” decides Loki, running to the door. He tries to pull the door open. 

“Hey, Clarice?” he shouts, his voice slightly quivering.

“Yes?” Clarice yells back.

“You didn’t lock this door, right?”

“No! Why would I be that stupid?”

“Well… I guess we have an issue.” We all run over to the door.

“What’s our issue?” asks Raphael, his face crinkled up with worry.

“Um… see for yourself.” Raphael grabs the door knob and pulls. Nothing happens. I grab onto the doorknob and we both pull. Nothing.

Soon, everyone is pulling on the doorknob as if our lives depended on it, and right now they actually might.

The door still doesn’t open.

Suddenly, a huge voice echoes through the house.

“Ha ha ha! I see you have entered my house!” The voice has a thick German accent and is very high and squeaky.

“Hello? Who are you?” yells Eriphili.

“Oh, just a passing ghost, not much to be concerned about. Endivay, you have 24 hours to find a vay out. If you don’t, vell… let’s just put it zis vay. Sometimes you try your best but you don’t succeed, and zen crazy animatronic killer monkeys come and kill you!”

Chills run up and down my spine and neck, munching away at my bones like animatronic monkeys as I realize what this means: if we don’t find a way out in the next 24 hours, we’ll be killed. Loki grabs Clarice and I can see Raphael and Eriphili tense up.

Raphael seems to be imagining what death is like because his face is turning the color of porcelain and he’s holding a hand at his mouth. His eyes are wide open and I can see the fear glazing them like they’re donuts.

“So… how exactly do we get out?” Eriphili asks, but she gets no response.

“Well, I guess we should go look around,” I suggest. Loki and Clarice start heading towards another room opposite from the dining room and kitchen. The rest of us follow them.

The room seems pretty normal. At least until I notice a small door in the back of the room.

“Hey, people, maybe this door leads to something helpful!” Clarice, Eriphili, Raphael, and Loki run over to where I’m standing and I pry open the door. Inside, there’s a narrow wooden staircase.

I step onto the first stair to check if it’s solid. It is, so I continue up the stairs. Once I reach the top, I am greeted by a wall. I groan. 

Then there’s a random and short flicker of light, revealing a keyhole.

“Hey, people!” I yell down the stairs. “I found some sort of keyhole!” I hear the pounding of feet as everyone runs up the stairs, meeting me at the top.

“Let me see!” whines Eriphili. “I know how to pick locks!” 

“I know how to pick locks,” mocks Loki, being his normal rude self. 

“Shut up,” says Eriphili, pushing past Clarice to the door. Loki kicks her. “Hey! If you touch me one more time, I will slaughter you. Got it?” Eriphili pulls a dagger out of her backpack to prove it.

“Eriphili!” I yell. “Why do you have a dagger?”

“Oh, you never know when you’ll need it.”

“But people don’t just carry around daggers!” protests Raphael.

“I do. Ah… I see. An HYT Chain Key lock… it’s unpickable.”

“Even with your dagger?” scoffs Loki. Eriphili rolls her eyes.

Raphael moans and starts jumping back down the stairs.

“What if we look around the house for the key?” suggests Eriphili. I nod.

“Alright. Let’s split up. Loki and I will go upstairs, Raphael will search this floor, and Kingsley and Eriphili will search the basement,” decides Clarice.

Eriphili and I walk towards the stairs, hoping that they have an opposing stairway that leads to the basement.

I search all around the stairs, but don’t see anything that could potentially lead to a third floor.

“Hey, Kingsley!” yells Clarice from the second floor. “I think I see something that could lead to the basement!”

I run up the stairs to where Clarice is standing, Eriphili right behind me. The second floor is made of a huge carpeted hallway with numerous rooms spread randomly among the floor.

“What is it?” I ask Clarice. She points to a little square outlined with thin black Sharpie. However, the square is on the ceiling. “Well, how are we supposed to reach that?”

“I don’t know,” Clarice replies. 

“What if we try walking up the wall?” suggests Eriphili.

“Do you seriously think that would work?” Clarice snaps back.

“I think it’ll work better than you and your annoying boyfriend sitting around doing nothing this entire time!”

“Don’t say that to her,” yells Loki.

“Hey! People!” I yell.

“It’s not like you or Loki have done anything!” says Eriphili, her voice rising.

“Oh, really? We’re the ones that found the trap door!” protests Clarice.

“You’re also the one who can’t survive a creepy bus driver without crying into Loki’s shoulder!” Loki runs up to Eriphili and prepares to punch her.

“Hey! Loki! Stop! None of you are helping us get anywhere! You’re just wasting time that we need! All your bickering is completely pointless! So shut up and do something! All of you!” I shout. Loki’s face looks sheepish as he wanders away from Eriphili, who is crossing her arms and rolling her eyes. Clarice puts her hands on her hips and I can see her nostrils flaring. 

Eriphili walks over to the wall and presses her hand on it. Then she presses her foot on. She lifts her other foot off the ground and, amazingly, she stays on the wall.

“Woah!” I say, doing the same on a different part of the wall. However, I fall down and land on the hard ground with a THUMP! “Ow!”

“I guess it only works on this part of the wall,” concludes Eriphili. So, once she’s up on the ceiling, I climb up after her. “Now, how do we open up this door?”

“Maybe just try to pull it,” says Clarice. Eriphili rubs her hand along the edge of the square, searching for any sort of notch that she could pull.

“Here,” she says, and then she grabs a little dip in the ceiling and pulls it. The squeaky door flies open. “You first.”

I crawl over to the hole in the ceiling and hoist myself up. It’s like a vent: square and metal. Every movement creates an echo that runs all the way down to the end of the crawl space and back. I start crawling down it and Eriphili tails behind me. Suddenly, I hear a switch flip, and then drop down a hole in the crawl space and keep falling, falling, falling.

I land on a huge pillow-like thing. Lights turn on, going all the way up to the top of the hole where I see Eriphili’s round face. She’s holding her dagger.

“I hope you’re not scared of clowns!” she yells, her mouth in a huge grin that reveals her teeth. They almost look like fangs. Then she cackles and the roof of the hole closes up.

All the walls around me pull backwards, creating a small pit with tunnels going out in every direction. The lights turn multicolored and start shining all around the room. Creepy carnival music starts blasting throughout the room.

“Wait! Eriphili!” I yell, but it’s no use. She’s gone.

The room is about seven feet by seven feet. The crazy-colored lights are making my head hurt a little bit, and the music is not helping. 

This is probably just a joke, I think. I really hope it is, because the aesthetic in this room is really creeping me out.

All of a sudden, I see a figure coming into the room. It has a white cloak, and I can’t really see what else it looks like. Is it an angel?

No, not at all.

The thing that is coming towards me wears a huge white robe and its face looks like Pennywise. It’s clutching a huge dagger in its right hand–no, its left hand. And the dagger is the same as Eriphili’s.

“Hello, Kingsley Caligari! Would you like to play with me? Forever and ever and ever and ever?” I recognize the voice. While the clown is still far away from me, I scan my mind for who it could be. Then I land on someone: Eriphili.

“Um… not really…” I answer.

“Too bad!” yells Eriphili. She leaps towards me and I jump to the side. The knife slices my right pinky finger off. I yelp in pain and dash off to one of the tunnels. Eriphili follows me. Suddenly there’s a clang on one of the other sides of the pit. Eriphili turns and starts walking towards it; I think she thinks that I’m over there.

Then I have a revelation: since the clown is Eriphili, she must be wearing a mask. Therefore, she can’t see, and only relies on her hearing to capture me.

I slowly tiptoe backward into one of the tunnels and Eriphili doesn’t notice.

When I get into the tunnel, I rip off my sweater to try to staunch the bleeding from my finger.

I almost reach the end of the tunnel when I hear clanging like cymbals. I look all around me and see nothing except a figure in the distance.

As it gets closer to me, I see a monkey figure. In its mouth it has huge sharp teeth and blood splattered around its mouth. The eyes are different sizes and the larger one is rolling around in its socket. 

“Oh, no,” I mutter as I notice that the sweater didn’t help, and that the blood is draining out of my finger like a storm drain during a hurricane. I start becoming dizzy and I can’t see straight. I think the monkey is close to me… or is it far? Now there are two. Or maybe I’m just seeing double. 

A white border starts creeping into my vision. It slowly takes over everything except the bloody, satanic face of the monkey.

Then everything goes black. And it stays that way for a while.


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