The House of the Twelve Keys
Part 12. The Boring Basement
“Pat, it’s me. It’s Raj.”
“Doomed. Doomed,” Pat repeated.
Raj waited for his eyes to adjust to the darkness. But they didn’t. The room swallowed everything. And the longer he sat, the more he wanted to sit.
“Pat. This is the last challenge. The one the monster was so scared of.” Raj said.
Pat said nothing. Where was she?
Raj had to do something. He forced himself to move. His arms and legs felt like lead. The more he moved, the heavier he felt. The floor was completely bare. There was nothing to grab or use. How could they figure out the final key?
A voice whispered in the darkness. “There’s nothing to do. How boring. Close your eyes. Do nothing. It’s so much easier.”
Raj forced himself to keep moving. He bumped into Pat. She was shaking quietly. She felt cold.
“Nothing to do,” the voice whispered.
Raj shook his head. “There’s never nothing.” He pulled a book from his backpack. If the house wouldn’t give him something to do, they’d have to do it themselves.
He put the book in Pat’s hands. It was too dark to read, but that wasn’t the only thing you could do with a book. “Start drumming,” Raj said.
Pat’s fingers began to tap a beat on the cover of the book. Raj started singing. It was a song they’d created in the library.
“Bookbookbookbookbokkie…” sang Raj. “I love me my bookie. More than a cookie, I love me bookie.”
“This is such a bad song,” Pat said in barely a whisper. But she also laughed.
And with each tap, chuckle, and bad rhyme, the gloom began to lift.
“NOTHING TO DO!” the voice screamed.
Pat drummed louder. Raj sang louder. The light grew and grew and grew. The shadow retreated into a corner.
Finally, the basement was flooded with a bright light. The shadow howled and vanished.
“YOU DID IT!” said a voice.
Pat and Raj looked up. The monster had opened the trap door, its face filled with a wide grin. “THANK YOU!”
“Wow. That was scary,” Raj said.
Pat held up the book and strummed a beat. “Yeah, but we did it partner.”
The monster lowered a ladder and Pat and Raj scrambled up to the hallway. The front door was wide open. It was still morning.
“Now what?” Raj asked as a puffy cloud passed across the blue sky.
“Well, a little game of Random Knowledge at the library seems like the perfect way to celebrate,” Pat said.
They looked at the monster who seemed to be seeing the clean bright house for the first time.
Pat and Raj looked and each other and nodded. “But first…let’s make some blueberry muffins with our new friend,” they said.
The monster turned to them, its grin even bigger. “Really?”
“Of course!” Pat and Raj said together. “That’s what friends do.”
“We can enjoy them in my library!” said the monster. “It’s been closed off ever since the curse.”
Now it was Pat and Raj who smiled even more. “Hey Monster. Ever heard of a game called Random Knowledge?”
“No. Is it fun?”
And the three friends set off for the kitchen to make blueberry muffins.
What did you think of the story?