Escape Till Dawn

I would like to invite you to an estate like no other, a magical mansion, which holds many secrets. A dinner party. We will experience things you have never experienced before. I hope you respond to me as soon as possible. If, and when you do, come to the estate in a Victorian fashion. – Jonas Partel


Chapter One: Dinner

“Welcome! Welcome to the Partel Mansion! Let me lead you to the dinner table.”

Ruby, a brown-haired twenty-two-year-old, walked into the house first. Alex, a brown-haired twenty-five-year-old walked into the house after Ruby. He immediately felt that something wasn’t right.

“Where is Jonas? I didn’t come here for nothing?” Alex said.

“Just get in the darn house, Alex.” Olivia, Alex’s girlfriend, a blonde twenty-four-year-old nudged him to get in.

Jaxon, the party animal of the group, entered next. “Wow! This place smells like weed!” he exclaimed.

Chantelle, the 25-year-old stereotypical, sassy ex-sorority leader rolled her eyes and said, “Where even is Jonas? He was the one who invited us to this dump in the first place.”

“You’re calling this place a dump? Call it five million dollars!” Ruby replied to Chantelle.

“Whatevs. Girl, I could be at the club right now.” Chantelle rolled her eyes and continued walking.

“Same!” Jaxon laughed.

Alex, who wasn’t listening to them, tripped on a stair. “Ouch! Why is there a giant ledge on this one? Stupid step!” he ranted.

Olivia, who wasn’t in the mood for helping Alex up, spouted “Get over it. I’m starving.”

“Is no one going to talk about where Jonas is? He’s not even here.” Ruby said, starting to get annoyed.

“Maybe he’s at the table?” Chantelle answered.

Little did they all know that Ronnie, the owner of this mansion, had taken Jonas hostage, and forged his signature. The letter Jonas had “sent” to his friends hadn’t really been from him. The house suddenly got eerier and eerier by the second. The night was only starting.

When they all got to the dinner table, many of them were disappointed that Jonas was not actually at the table, and Olivia was even more disappointed that dinner wasn’t there either. Alex took a look at the scene and saw an older lady staring at him and his friends. He looked down the woman’s side and saw she was carrying a dagger. Straight up, nothing to be hid, she was just holding a dagger. Alex seemed to know something we didn’t, because he went up to the lady and whispered something into her ear. She glared at him and said something that we couldn’t hear. Of course I heard it, but I can’t say it or else I would be a bad narrator. Heh.

“There’s something sketchy about this…” Alex sheepishly said.

“Let’s eat!” Jaxon beamed.

“Here here,” Chantelle replied.

“Where the heck is Jonas?” Ruby low-key bellowed. “I’ve been waiting to see him this whole darn time. I’m done. There isn’t any dinner either. I want to go home.”

“Dinner’s ready!”said the older lady watching over the friends.

She brought out a rare-looking steak.

“Eat up!”

“I don’t trust you, lady.” Alex questioned the food.

Ruby, Alex, Jaxon, Olivia, and Chantelle started to eat. Alex took a bite and started to cough. He coughed and coughed.

“Alex! Are you okay, baby?” Olivia said.

Alex couldn’t answer. He coughed. Soon he started coughing out blood. Alex died.

“And that’s only the first one!” The lady, who was older, turned into a fierce looking witch.

“Ha. Three more to go. That’s what happens when you question the house. You DIE.”

“Are you serious? What the heck? You just killed my darn boyfriend!” Olivia cried.

“Boyfriend? Man, Alex. He was a player. He came to my house so many times.” Chantelle laughed.

“Chantelle, they’re serious about the deaths. I want you to die,” Olivia glared at her.

“You can’t kill me.” Chantelle answered.

Wow. Only three pages in, and we’re already getting some drama between the two girls. Hint — One of them does die. I wish I could wink right now, but I’m a book.

“Hello — ” Ruby slowly waved her hand at the witch. “Do you know where Jonas is?”

“I’ll take you to him,” the witch answered.

When they got to Jonas, he was locked up in a box filled with water; only his head out of it.

“Joe!” Ruby exclaimed!

“What happened? Why are y’all here?” Jonas questioned.

“Why did you send us here?” Olivia screamed. “You killed my boyfriend!”

“Boyfriend,” Chantelle air-quoted.

“Basically, we have to kill three more people to leave this crazy place. That means only two people survive. The witch told me that there are three main rooms in this house, and each of them has a thing that can kill one of us. We have to vote in each room to choose who will die. Two people will be chosen to go against each other. One of them has to die. I’m so sorry, dude. Thought this place was hecka lit,” Jaxon explained.

“Okay. If that’s what we have to do…” Ruby said.

“I’m so sorry guys… I had no idea…” Jonas said.

“Shut it, Mr. Murderer,” Olivia demanded.

“Let’s go,” Chantelle sighed.


Chapter Two: Snakes

As the friends walked to the first room, they heard hisses.

“I want to go home!” Ruby complained. “This sucks!”

“Hey, you hear Ruby? She keeps complaining. Not being a team player. I think she should be the first to go.” Jaxon said.

“I really don’t want to think about this right now.” Jonas answered.

“I think Olivia should go. She’s been really negative, and I think she deserves to be dead with her boyfriend.” Chantelle said.

“I don’t WANT to kill anybody.” Jonas replied. They had reached the first room. A note was waiting for them at the door. Jaxon started to read it.

Two people must be chosen to fight each other in the battle of snakes. Each of you vote unanimously one person and give it to the witch. The votes will be mixed, and the witch will pick two random names. Voting starts now. You may discuss with fellow humans.

“Great. One of us has to die,” Ruby said. “I know who I’m voting for. The person who brought us all here deserves to be the first to die.”

“Excuse me?” Jonas screamed. “This isn’t my fault. I was kidnapped.”

“I don’t know. I think you’re working with the evil,” Olivia said.

“Here here,” Ruby replied.

“I think I’ll keep Olivia until the end because she’s weaker than me. So I’ll vote for Ruby.” Chantelle said.

“Thanks,” Jonas replied. “I don’t want to die.”

The voting ended. The witch pulled two names out of a basket.

“Ruby. Jonas.”

“Who voted for me?!” Ruby screamed, and Jonas said, “Who voted for me?

“Come on, Ruby and Jonas. I will take you to the snake room.”

“Snakes? You’ve got to be — ” Ruby stopped herself.

She didn’t want to complain in front of her friends — it was probably the reason she was in this position. The witch gave them a paper. It read:

There are three steps to this challenge. The first one: find a key and open a box with it. The second: take the puzzle out of the box and complete it. The third: take the snake out of the box and put it on the completed puzzle. Once someone has completed the third step, snakes will start viciously attacking the other opponent, killing them. Are you ready?

For a quick moment, Jonas and Ruby were scared. But then they started their challenge. Jonas immediately got a head start. He found a key and put it into the box. Ruby still couldn’t find the key.

“Any help, Joe?” she yelped.

“How would I know where yours is?” he answered. Jonas finished the puzzle.

“Darn!” Ruby screamed.

Jonas completed the puzzle, and Ruby had just started it. Jonas took the snake out.

“I’m so sorry, Ruby, but it’s either you or me.”

“Joe! How are you going to put me through this! Spare me!”

Jonas put the snake on the puzzle. Ruby shrieked. The snakes piled on top of her, as she was poisoned with the venom of the snakes. Ruby died. The challenge ended.

Jonas was scared as he walked down the hallway. He didn’t know what his friends’ reactions would be. He killed his best friend. Ruby was dead; how could he possibly live with that? He also had to worry about dying. Would he survive? As he walked down the magnificent hallway, the “Ruby” tinted carpet under him started to move. He saw the wooden floor suddenly become metal, steel, and then mist. He ran. What was the house doing now? What was it planning? Before he ran in the room, he heard a low and haunted muffled voice scream, “Midnight. It always comes.”


Chapter Three: Sweet or Sour?

Chantelle leaped for joy when she saw that Jonas had survived.

“Thank god it’s you, Joe!”

“I feel horrible,” Jonas replied.

He sat down on a ginormous, fluffy couch. The couch soon exploded with candies. On one of the candies, the biggest one, was a note. Everyone groaned.

“How many more have to die?” Olivia said with a grim look on her face.


All four looked at each other like it was the Hunger Games. Well, in a way, it was. They took the note, and it read,

Before you reach the second door, be sure you have an appetite. Things are about to get sweet, so don’t turn sour. Vote for a member that you think can take on this challenge. Two names will be picked. They will be taken to a room to fight for their lives. How sweet!

Chantelle started to talk to Jaxon, and Olivia started to talk to talk to Jonas.

“I’m voting for Olivia. I’m guessing she’s going to vote for me, and I think I’m stronger than her,” Chantelle bragged.

“Okay, I’m going to vote for Olivia too. Ugh! I feel horrible doing this. Just remember, Chantelle, if you do get picked, I want you to come out alive.”

“Thanks, Jaxon.”

The voting ended. As the witch pulled the two names out of the basket, Olivia moaned. It had been a horrible night for her. Alex had died, and she was probably going to be picked out of the hat. The witch pulled the two names.

“Olivia. Chantelle.”

The two girls glared at each other, knowing one would die. But which one? Chantelle took a good look at Olivia. Neither were quite confident, probably because death was coming. She was going to take the high road and talk to Olivia.

“I’m so sorry about Alex.”

“Yeah, it makes me feel better knowing that you had make-out sessions with him.”

“Look, I’m really sorry. Maybe do you want to, like, find a way out of killing each other?”

“Do you really think… whatever.”

“It doesn’t matter anymore. Just read the note.”

At this moment, Chantelle realized that Olivia was acting. You see, Chantelle was the leader of the Delta sorority of Wesleyan College, and she could tell when a girl was playing dumb-dumb because she wanted to get out of trouble and have fun-fun. Chantelle thought, I’m gonna beat this girl. They finally got to the room, and it was full with candy. Anything you could name; it made my mouth water. M&Ms, Snickers, Hershey’s Kisses, Twizzlers, Reese’s, Kit Kats, Gummy everything, worms, bears, bunnies! There were cakes; all different colors, fluffy and thick, smooth and rough, and even jelly beans in every color you can name. The room had a table in the middle with small cookies on it. There were closets, and Chantelle’s mouth dropped. Out of nowhere, a giant gingerbread man with a knife appeared.

It bellowed, “Eat every single jelly bean that is red. Some of them will taste bad, so you have to figure out which ones are poison. If you eat three poisonous jelly beans, you die. Get sweetened up!”

The gingerbread man poured brown sugar all over Chantelle.

“What! Do you see this dress? Are you kidding? How do you expect me to eat jelly beans when I’m covered in sugar!”

Olivia laughed at Chantelle’s pain.

“Three, two, one. GO!”

The challenge started. Chantelle started sniffing the cherry jelly beans.

“How the #$#@ am I supposed to tell which jelly beans are poisonous?”

“Just eat them,” Olivia said.

Chantelle and Olivia ate and ate. Three-hundred jelly beans later, both Chantelle and Olivia had eaten two poisonous jelly beans each. Both of them were waiting for each other to eat the next jelly bean.

Olivia sneakily said, “I’ll eat the first one. Okay, Chantelle?”

“No. I’ll do it.”

They both raced to the jelly beans. They both grabbed one. They gulped the candy down. In three seconds, one of the girls died.


A smug face looked down at the body.

“Bye!” she mumbled gleefully.


Chapter Four: Midnight Trouble

Chantelle walked down the hallway. Looking taller than she’d ever been, she knew she was going to get out of the house alive. Or at least that’s what she thought. She walked into the room where Jaxon and Jonas were. They were both talking to each other and then turned to see Chantelle, covered in brown sugar. They couldn’t help but laugh.

“Okay, so Olivia’s dead.”

“Tell me something I don’t know, Chantelle.”

Then, out of nowhere, that crazy witch appeared again.

She bellowed, “One of you will be sacrificed at midnight. Hide. Now. You have five minutes.”


“Well, I’m going to hide.”

“I’m scared.”

The witch bellowed again, this time telling Chantelle and the two boys what was happening.

“The Schmorezzelachen will come out any time now. It will pick which human it wants to devour. When it does so, the exit to this estate will be opened. God! It’s coming! The Schmorezzelachen! Hide!”

They all recognized the Schmorezzelachen when they saw it. It was giant with wings and a hairy head. It had an aura from a different dimension, creating thin air, making it hard to breathe. It took a step and another. All of them made sure not to breathe. Someone took a breath, but who was it? Ugh! I’m such a bad narrator! I can’t even breathe in here! The Schmorezzelachen pranced out of its slow walk and devoured the body. The door to the house opened, and the two survivors ran out of the house. They ran out of it like it was about to self-destruct. They took breaths and went into their carriage. It was 5 AM, and they could see the little sliver of the sun appear over the horizon. The night was over.

“That was one heck of a night,” one of them said.

“Sure was.”

Oh, did I forget to tell you who survived? Oh, dear me, I’m such a bad narrator. And I wish I could wink at you right now, but I’m a book.


Epilogue: Five years later

Chantelle and Jonas were the only people who survived the house. But the fight was not over. Their friends were all dead, and only now did they realize the consequences. It was time for their police investigation. Who would come out guilty?


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