01 Feb I Was Stuck in School Detention: The Janitor’s Closet
I farted into the bag.
Then I sat down in the seat where it all started. My seat in Mr. Hillrow’s class, where I had gotten detention for dressing up a dildo to look like him.
I took a deep breath from the air around me and held it. I watched the second hand move around the clock. One minute. No problem. Two minutes. Not breaking a sweat yet. Three minutes*.* There’s the strain. I knew I could make it to four minutes most of the time. At 3 minutes and 50 seconds, I opened the bag and inhaled the fart….
When I woke up on the floor, I knew that it wasn’t going to work. Apparently, farts don’t contain as much oxygen as I had hoped. Well, that sucked, but good to know. It’s why I was practicing in the first place.
I pulled the paper out of my pocket. I had written down one of the comments from my second post here, because it seemed really smart and fairly safe and was something that I hadn’t tried yet.
/u/ribnag suggested that I find — or actually create — oxygen, put in a bag, and breathe that in when the poison gas inevitably pours out the vents at dawn. That way, I could stay conscious, and try to escape during the day, when the school wasn’t full of monsters. Here is the full comment.
It was great thinking, but I couldn’t make ribnag’s suggestions work. For starters, we didn’t have a shop class. I actually remember my freshman year when Mr. Hillrow led a campaign to end it, claiming that the point of school was to build minds, not turn students into blue collar scum. By the way, that’s how I first came to know of him as a dick, because by all accounts, shop class was fun and easy.
Anyway, I couldn’t just grab an oxygen tank from a welding rig in shop class. As far as creating a reaction in the chemistry lab went, I just didn’t have the stuff. Every so often, I’d go around throwing various liquids and powders from there on various lesser monsters like the million spiders in the main office, and hope that they’d explode or shrivel up or something. They never did. So I ran through the stock, and it always took awhile for the school or The Janitor or whoever to replenish it.
The third suggestion was to create oxygen with water and a DC power source. All I’ll say about that is that I electrocuted myself seven times trying it, and didn’t get any oxygen as far as I know.
But the creativity of all of the comments, plus the specific premise of that one, inspired me to come up with my own idea. If I couldn’t find oxygen anywhere else, I’d just fart into a bag and use that.
As you can tell, it didn’t work.
But after all of the support and encouragement that you all have given me, I wasn’t about to give up. I racked my brain to make the general idea work. And then I had it.
I found a basketball in the locker room and stabbed it with a pen. I put my finger over the hole and held my breath. Then, when I couldn’t hold it any longer, I put my mouth to the hole and inhaled.
This time, it worked. At first, during the practice run, and then later, when the gas came. I stayed awake.
I opened one eye a sliver and looked down to see the unmistakable work boots of The Janitor. I was slung over his shoulder. So that’s how I get down to the sub basement every morning, I thought. That mean bastard carries me himself.
In my hand, I held the wad of old chewing gum that I had tediously scraped from under a whole lot of desks. I heard a door open, and then we were going downstairs. Into the basement.
I heard the creak of my hatch door open. As The Janitor was lowering me in, I opened my eyes another hair and took my shot. I stuck the wad of gum into the latch of the hatch door. Then I was on the floor and the door was closing.
I waited. I had spent three hellish years in that hellhole, but this felt like the longest wait yet. In reality, it was only a couple of hours, but it felt like forever. Finally, I reached up and tried the hatch door. It was heavy, but it opened. My trick had worked. The gum had prevented the latch from catching.
I crawled out of my hole into the familiar basement that I had seen so many times. There, as always, was Louie the Lobster, pressed up against the wall.
Out of habit, I started running to the stairs. But something stopped me. It should be morning now. The school should be full of people. The monsters should be gone.
I walked over to Louie the Lobster and poked him. I almost laughed. During the day, he was just a dumb costume. But then I thought about when Louie had cut my crush, Robin Philips, in half with his claws, and it wasn’t so funny anymore.
I grabbed a fuzzy red leg and tore it off. “Take that you motherfucker!” I said as quietly as my adrenaline would allow. I tore off another leg. “You crustaceous asshole!” Then I went for the claws, tearing one of them at the joint, like Louise was a lobster dinner. “See you in Hell, Louie. Again, I guess.”
I felt good until I got to the top of the stairs. Now what? What if Mr. Hillrow saw me out there? Or somebody else who was in on it? Was the janitor in on it? During the day, I remembered, he just looked like a regular person. It was only at night when he turned into a crazy demon thing… The Janitor. Or so I thought.
I needed a distraction. I knew that there was a fire alarm right next to the basement door. I opened the door up, reached over, and pulled it.
As the alarm blared, and the lights flashed, I hurried down the hall.
Sunlight was pouring in through the windows. There wasn’t a Wrangler to be seen.
After all that time, I walked right out the front door.
My car keys were in my backpack, which had been eaten by a giant electric blob in the pool room a year or so back. I had to hoof it.
I stayed off the main roads, and stuck to the woods. I got scraped up by branches and whatnot, but I didn’t even feel it. All I felt was the joy of finally getting out of that school, tempered only by the creeping feeling that it wasn’t real. They’d find me. They’d hunt me down and drag me back.
But they didn’t. At least not before I emerged from the woods at the clearing where my house stood. Man, that was a good sight.
There weren’t any cars in the driveway, which meant my parents probably weren’t home, but that was okay. They’d be back, I figured. I lifted the rock on the porch and sure enough, the spare key was still there. I stuck it in the door and opened on up.
As I went in, I got the sense that something was… off. It took a while to hit me, but I finally got it. All of the pictures of me were gone from the walls. I hurried up the stairs, swung open the door to my room… and it wasn’t my room any more. There was a desk there, and a bunch of bookcases overflowing with books.
I sat down in the office chair, my head spinning. Okay, I thought. I should have expected it. After all, Jason hadn’t remembered me, and neither had any of the other kids. Even if they didn’t know me by sight from school, they should have at least heard of my disappearance. So I should have expected my existence to have been somehow erased from the outside world. I had no idea how or why, but I knew that it had been.
I stood up on weak knees and started pacing the room, trying to figure out what to do. If my parents didn’t remember me… then what? But they had to remember me, right? Christ, I’d lived with them for 16 years!
As I was pacing, I saw it, on a bookshelf, on top of a row of books. It was the name, written in black Sharpie, that caught my eye: EMMETT. I ran over and grabbed it. It was one of those single burnable CD/DVD cases from back when people used to burn discs. There was a disc in it, with the same thing written on the surface as was written on the spine of the case: EMMETT.
I walked it over and popped it into the computer on the desk. The screen lit up and asked me for a password. Fuck it, I thought, and typed out: EMMETT.
It worked, and the video started playing.
It was a video of me. First, I was cracking up at my “Mr. Dilldow” bit. Then Mr. Hillrow was giving me detention. Then I was in detention. Then I was in Hell.
The cameras followed me down every hall, and into every room. They recorded my entire first night trapped in that school.
Then there was something else. It was daytime again. Mr. Hillrow wheeled a TV into the classroom. “Today for class, we will be watching a video.”
The camera panned across the class. All the kids looked relieved. Video days, as rare as they were, always ruled.
I heard a hiss and watched as the camera pointed up to the vents, where a green gas rolled in like fog. This was different than the gas that knocked me out every night. That was white.
Now the camera was pointing at the TV screen. Mr. Hillrow was standing next to it, wearing what looked like a military grade gas mask. He turned the screen on.
A man in an awful red mask appeared on the TV. The mask was like a horribly distorted human face, with no eyeholes. The eyes were meant to look like they had melted shut, with one down near a cheek, and the other up by the forehead. There was an unsettling, ear-to-ear grin, and the ears themselves were bad too: one was only half an ear, and the other was pointed, like an imp’s ear.
At least, I thought it was a mask. When the low, gravelly voice issued forth, I wasn’t so sure.
“Emmett Emerson does not exist,” said the demonic voice on the screen in Mr. Hillrow’s class. “You have never met him. All memories of him are false. Destroy those memories, for he has never existed. There is no such person as Emmett Emerson. He is not your classmate, and never was.”
The camera panned back to the students. Their eyes were open wide, and glazed over. As one voice, they repeated:
“Emmett Emerson does not exist.”
Then the video ended.
I was freaked right the hell out. At least now I knew why nobody from school remembered me… but what about my parents? And what was this video doing in their house?
I tore through what used to be my clothes closet looking for… something, anything that could help me get a grasp on what was going on. That’s where I found the mask. The same mask from the video.
Just as something important was starting to click into place in my mind, I heard a voice behind me.
“You must understand, son, you were never to be harmed. Only kept locked in.”
I spun around to see my dad, and all at once it hit me, like I somehow knew it all along. He was “You-know-who.” I felt dizzy and sick, and then puked all over the rug.
“Dad? You kept me locked up in that fucking school? Why?”
My dad sighed. “I had to. The prophecy was too close to fulfillment, and I couldn’t let that happen. You were only meant to be captive until the portal fully opened, which should actually be any day now. Then you would take your place by my side. You were never to be harmed, and I insisted that you have free reign at night. Mr. Haldro… you know him as Mr. Hillrow… wanted to keep you in the sub basement all this time, but I wouldn’t allow it. Not my son. Not my Emmett.”
My dad gave a nice fatherly smile while my mind spun like crazy. Prophecy? Portal? My place by his side? What the fuck?
Still, there was one thing that I knew for sure. That school had killed. It had killed my buddy Jason, and who knows how many others. “Why did anybody have to die in that place?” I asked. “You killed them, didn’t you dad? Or you knew that they would die.”
My dad sighed again. “The school must be fed, son. At least until the portal is fully opened.”
“What portal?” I asked.
“It will all be clear soon, son. Until then… I am very sorry. It breaks my heart. But I must bring you back to school and you must stay in the sub basement. Not for long. But it’s what must happen.”
I couldn’t believe it or process it. My knees were weak and I felt on the verge of passing out. That’s when I saw him, come up behind my father. It was The Janitor, there, in my house, with his spiked head and the white absence of eyes.
“C’mon now bub,” said The Janitor, reaching out to me. “Time to be getting back.”
So that was it. I was going to live the rest of my life in that goddamned high school. I closed my eyes and felt that familiar warmth spread out across my crotch once again.
Then I heard a bang that made my ear rings. I thought I heard a thunk, but I wasn’t sure. I slowly opened one eye and looked down to see The Janitor lying face down on the floor, with a hole oozing black blood from the back of his head. I watched in amazement as his body shriveled up and then blinked out into nothingness over the course of a few seconds.
I looked up… and saw my mom standing there, pointing a gun at my dad, who had his hands up in the air.
“Now, now, Faye. Take it easy,” said my dad.
Faye, my mom, cocked the gun.
“Wait!” I shouted. I didn’t know at the moment whether I wanted my dad dead or not. I didn’t know much of anything at the moment. “Please tell me what the hell is going on, mom!”
My mom lifted the gun up and brought the butt down on my dad’s head. He slumped to the ground.
“Come on,” she said. “Help me tie him up and get him to the car. We have to hurry. It’ll be dark soon.”
I still don’t know everything, and can’t tell you everything that I do know, at least not right now. But I’ll try to sum up what my mom told me as we drove around town like crazy, gathering up supplies, while my dad sat unconscious and tied up in the back seat. I’ll fill that in with a few things I’ve learned since.
A couple hundred years ago, my parents were on the run from the law. They hid out in the woods in the place that would later become Clairmont, Maine, and built their cabin near the spot that would later become CAHS.
One night, while they were outside cooking dinner over the fire, they saw a strange glow coming out from under a rock. They rolled the rock aside, and all of a sudden, they heard voices in their heads, telling them things.
They had found the portal. At the time, it was tiny, like the size of a quarter. I don’t know if it was a portal to a different universe, or just some place far away in our own universe. I do know that it was a portal to some place horrible, full of horrible things trying to make their way to our world.
The voices in my parents’ head told them that if they helped nurture the portal, and eventually open it fully, they would be granted immortal life and unimaginable powers.
The voices said that my parents must build a structure around the portal to house the creatures that, one by one, would come through it every night. Those creatures must occasionally be fed with human life. If they did this, over the course of hundreds of years, the portal would become larger and larger, until one day it would finally open wide and the barrier between worlds would dissolve completely, in an instant.
That is, unless the prophecy came true. That was me. I was the prophecy. The firstborn son would place The Object into the portal, closing it permanently.
At some point, the Haldros came wandering through the woods. My dad was wearing that creepy red mask doing some kind of ritual when the Haldros found him. They were on some kind of crazy missionary work, looking to set up a school of God’s Highest Word and Devotion. My dad pretended to be the devil and duped them into building and maintaining the school for him. They were all too happy to help, believing that they were doing the Lord’s work, and getting immortality too.
That’s how it started. For hundreds of years, my parents avoided having any kids, in order to prevent the prophecy from coming true. Then they got a little drunk one night, and whoops, here comes Emmett. That’s me.
The voices told my parents to kill me right away. Obviously, they didn’t listen, instead deciding to watch me carefully. Then, one day, they knew that there was no longer any avoiding the truth. The prophecy would come true, unless they did something.
My mom begged my dad to do nothing. To let the prophecy come true, and close the portal. As she begged him, blood poured from her nose, as the voices inside her head raged. She pushed them down.
My dad thought there was a way to have it all. All he had to do was keep me locked away until the portal opened fully. But my mom was resolved. She wouldn’t let him do that. So my dad did to her what he did to everyone else in that town: he erased all memory of me from her mind. He went around the house and removed all evidence that I’d ever been there.
And it worked. Until she took one look at me, standing there in my old room, and it all came flooding back to her. That’s when she shot The Janitor.
We pulled up in front of the school. It was dark out, but I hoped that the monsters weren’t out yet. I hoped that they were still on the other side of the portal. If they were out, we were fucked.
We took the keys from my dad’s unconscious body and headed in. I couldn’t believe that I was going back in there, after just getting out, but it had to be done. We walked slowly through the building, checking for monsters. We lucked it. They weren’t out yet.
Then we were in front of The Janitor’s closet. In the three years I’d been locked up there, that was the one door that I never opened. It was always locked, and there was always this green light coming from the crack under the door.
That’s where the portal was.
“Are you ready, honey?” asked my mom, pointing the gun at the door. I nodded, stuck the key in, and swung it open.
We were too late. A big hole of crackling green energy was suspended in the closet, getting larger by the second. A Wrangler was just crawling out of it, reaching its horrible tentacle arms, feeling for prey. My mom fired, but missed the head, and then the Wrangler had her, wrapping around her neck and her arms and her legs.
“MOM!” I shouted.
“Do it Emmett!” she gasped. “Quickly!”
I turned to do it, but there was already another Wrangler there, and before I could think, it had me.
We were going to die. We were going to get our faces eaten off like Jason.
I felt the Wrangler squeeze me in a dozen different places, pulling me closer, and I closed my eyes. “I love you, mom,” I said.
“I… love you…” my mom whispered with what sounded like her last breath.
Then I felt the Wrangler’s grip loosen, and I opened my eyes. Standing there, with a huge butcher’s knife in each hand was Miss Hadley, aka The Lunch Lady. Right behind her was Lilly, but she only had one knife because she only had one arm. They were hacking away at the Wrangler that had been getting ready to kill me.
“Nasty old things,” said Miss Hadley, “aren’t they Lilly?”
“Yes ma’am,” said Lilly. “Reckon they’d make a fine stew though.”
I had one chance. I pulled The Object from my pocket.
Formally, in the prophecy, it was called “The Phallic Effigy.” But I still called it “Mr. Dilldow.”
I shoved the dildo (dressed in its tiny glasses and tiny necktie) into the crackling green hole.
There was a terrible shriek, unlike anything I’d ever heard. The portal grew massive and bright for a second, and then shrunk away into nothingness. It was gone. I looked over to my mom, and saw the Wrangler shrivel up and disappear. She was in rough shape, but alive.
I slumped to the ground in relief. We had done it. We had closed the portal for good.
I wish I could call that The End, but it’s not. There are portals like this all over the world.
Once the portal at the high school closed, the voices in my dad’s head lost most of their power. He can’t believe that he locked me in that school. But it wasn’t him, and it took a lot of willpower just to keep from killing me.
The voices are still there, whispering, echoes from other portals. We’re going to find them and close them all. But now that the strongest voices are gone, my parents have also lost their immortality.
I really shouldn’t be posting this at all, but I couldn’t leave you all hanging, thinking that I’d died inside of that hellhole. After this, I do have to go on the DL for a while, so this will be my final update, at least for the foreseeable future.
I do have one more thing to tell you. We’re on our way to meet up with another team. There’s a kid there. You might know him as Calvin Dunlop. He posted his story here a few months back. Apparently, the cults that he’s been fighting have become deep in this whole thing too. So we’re teaming up.
Calvin wants you to know that he’s doing just fine. He wishes he could update you, but it’s too dangerous. I know it’s dangerous, but like I said, I had to get this last one out to you.
Calvin says that you guys are the best. I agree. You guys gave me the courage and hope and creativity I needed to get out of that nightmare. And if I hadn’t, and that portal had fully opened… well, that probably would have meant the end of the world.
So you guys literally saved the world.