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The Janitor’s Key

Estimated reading time — 4 minutes

One day, a kid got what he thought was a genius idea. He’d find a way to stay overnight in his school. Just to be able to say he did it, the idea of the story that it would make thrilled him. He had no idea how right he was.

The major problem of the plan was getting a key. He couldn’t just hide in corners the whole night, he wanted to explore. He also wanted to scope out the best places in the school for some after school activities with any girls interested. He began to think of himself as the king of the brick castle that he spent most of his time in. He just needed that key.

The only people that he thought would have a key to the entire school would be the janitors. They kept their keys on them, and had a spare set in their break room. He went in during lunch, when the janitors were on cafeteria patrol. He came into the break room and picked up the keys. He’d figure out what they were for later. As he was walking out of the room, amazed that it actually worked, he walked right into one of the janitors.

What are you doing back here?” inquired the custodian. The kid stammered for a few seconds, and ultimately decided to tell the truth. There was something about the man that said “You can trust me.” The janitor laughed and said “You know, I wanted to do the same thing when I was young. Something about having the whole place to myself, it was an intoxicating urge. I made the mistake of going to the top, thinking I could get the keys there. I got caught, and the old man expelled me, for lack of a better word.” Then he took a key off of his key ring and gave it to the kid. It was an odd key, he couldn’t properly tell what color it was. It seemed to keep changing, even when he held it still. “That key will open any door in the school for you. Enjoy, son.”

The kid couldn’t believe his incredible luck. He ran off once the janitor finished talking. He thought that he caught a whiff of something odd coming from the janitor, but thought nothing of it. The guy did clean up after teenagers for a living, after all.

That night, the kid came out of the corner that he was hiding in. He told his parents that he was sleeping over his friend’s house. He promised the friend a tour of the school in exchange for covering for him. He went through the school, finding out what teachers kept in their desks, playing with chemicals and fire in the chemistry room, and generally enjoying himself. He had no problems getting into any of the rooms, desks, or even lockers. He had to use a flashlight instead of turning on the lights, but that just heightened the thrill.


When it was around three o’clock in the morning, he decided to call it a night and sleep in the janitor’s break room. He brought an alarm clock so that he could wake up in time to make his perfect escape, but if he was to be found by anyone, it would mean he would never be able to do this again. Plus, if he was caught by the janitor, he didn’t think he would get in as much trouble.

He woke up early. He heard some thumping, but couldn’t tell where from. It sounded like footsteps. The smell that came off of the janitor permeated the air. The kid thought it smelled familiar, but couldn’t place it. He turned on his flashlight. He pointed it around, and the beam fell on a figure in the corner. The kid let out a yell and dropped the flashlight. It went out. As he was picking up the flashlight and preparing to run to beat the devil, he realized that he hung up his coat in that corner.


“Dumbass,” he said to himself. Now that the flashlight was out, he noticed that it was a little brighter. Morning already? No, a glance at the clock told him that it was little over an hour after he fell asleep. So what was making it brighter? He felt his way out of the office until he was in familiar territory. He took his hands off of the walls, now walking fairly confidently. It seemed to be getting even brighter.

Then it occurred to him. If the figure in the corner was his coat, what made that thumping noise? He stopped and looked behind him. He saw a shadowy outline behind him. It was wearing his coat. Even though he couldn’t see the face, he knew that the figure was smiling. He ran like hell, aimlessly turning until he reached a stairwell. He went down it. Funny, he didn’t remember there being a down stairwell there, he thought he was on the first floor. Too late to turn back now. As he ran down, it got brighter and the faint odor he detected was getting stronger. When he noticed the light flickering like a fire, he placed the smell. Sulfur. He looked around him and noticed the walls. They looked like cave walls with odd runes covering them. He saw the end of the stairs, and the figure at the bottom waiting for him.

The janitor looked up at him, smiled, and laughed.

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94 thoughts on “The Janitor’s Key”

  1. So, most people have a problem with the ending, and I agree that the author made a really shitty job of it. It was as if he’d gotten bored of the whole thing and just wanted to finish writing as soon as possible.

    The part that irritated me was the opening sentence. “One day, a kid got what he thought was a genius idea” sounds incredibly juvinile; like something a 10 year old would write. The first few lines of a story are extremely important, as they clue the reader in to the sort of quality they can expect from the rest of the pasta. I disliked the story as soon as I’d finished reading the first sentence, and that’s not the kind of attitude you want your readers to adopt.

  2. redfox_lucky13

    I really enjoyed this pasta,the whole teen angst aspect of it. But I wish they could have explained a little more about the cave…

  3. Ah wait. I take back what i said. The janitor story i could use to scare students rather than scaring myself only (‘cos apparently i wasn’t able to relate to it upon my first reading). =D

  4. I liked my interpretation of the story, but I also liked the deeper, more damning, interpretation as well.
    I thought the janitor stumbled upon something terrifying in the school and wanted to show this youngster, to discourage any future attempts at trespassing. His laughter at the end translated to the kind of laugh an old man does when he watches his grandson learning to ride his bike.
    The heaven/hell/Lucifer ending is good, too.
    Either way, good. Could use a little work, but it’s alright.

  5. You know, the first entrance the Animorphs discovered to the Yeerk Pool was in the a janitor’s closet.

  6. Always thought that the “Deal with the Devil” had to be clear.. As it is now, I didn’t even think that the kid made any kind of deal, he just accepted something.

    It’s like this;

    1) I give you an apple
    2) You eat said apple
    3) Your sould belongs to me, trololol, u mad brah?

  7. The story was good, but the ending could’ve been much better.

    thepizzaelemental – your explanation made it clear. Thank you

  8. DJ LoONa, judging by what you wrote… you didn’t spend nearly enough time in school. The story, though, I felt was fairly well conceived, though poorly executed as it reached the end. It would have done well with extra detail.

  9. He thought it would make thrilled him

    ^^ how is it possible to fuck up a sentence that badly? dod this person not even take a glancing look onec they’d written. I write myself, and an error in syntax like that is kinda stupid, even if you’re typing it on a computer

  10. He deserves that, what dumb as idiot would take a key off a janitor who offers it to him, and actually uses it to go to school at NIGHT by HIMSELF even after he realises that the key is also CHANGING SHAPE, and who the hell would want to go to sleep after all that?


  11. FaerieInCombatBoots

    I always figured the portal to hell was in a high school. Makes perfect sense. Also, I’m probably not the first or last person to make this quip.

  12. oh i most def. thought the kid was going to get trapped in the school and have to be a janitor for the rest of his life or something? this ending was much better.

  13. The Janitor was Lucifer. Reread his description of what happened when he wanted to “stay after school.” He wanted to get into Heaven when God wasn’t around, but God caught him, and “expelled” him — cast him out.

  14. If this were a fanfic that boy would be Harry Potter, the janitor would be Filch and non con sexual things would be occurring.

  15. You’d think since the kid is still in school he’d fucking “pay attention”. Especially if he’s running from something or someone. Hah. The shit got what he deserved. >XD

  16. After reading the explination, this story made a lot more sense, and was a lot better. I still liked it beforehand, though.

  17. What’s up with all the “WHO WAS” questions? Like “WHO WAS PHAONE?” and “WHO WAS COAT?” I don’t get it.

    I seem to be the only one not understanding anything.

  18. read paradise lost

    the janitor “tried stealing the key froem the tope and was expelled in a way”

    Satan tried stealing the power from god and was hurled headlong from paradise

  19. Didn’t scare me quite so much. I thought the janitor would eat him or something. Why was there a need to wear the kid’s coat?

  20. yeah, comment no. 10 by thepizza elemental makes the story all better. makes more sence. and makes me actually like it XD lool. nice going ;)

  21. …fail
    there was no point…the devil wud need a little boy for what? amusement?…to do his bidding? if so what bidding?
    and who the hell wants to spend a nite in skool? i spent enuff days there [with my mom as a teacher] and now that im dunzo with skool i cudnt b happier
    the end was anticlimatic…oooh a coat, oh noes its the devil..whatever ><

  22. I liked it, but I was really expecting a better ending…
    the begining was really good though.

    lol school is HELL.

  23. …..AAAHHHHHHHHH. Just kidding. Anyway, creepy story! Just the thought of a kid WANTING to stay after school is scary enough XD

  24. Thanks thepizzamental. You actually gave it a meaningful ending. I figured a pointless meaning was what had happened… Just a janitor trying to scare a kid.

  25. That was so set up for a “and then the kid woke up and there was a monster eating his face” ending. I’m glad it was something semi-creative.

  26. I didn’t love the ending here, but I think it’s because I prefer “unsettling, strange” creepypastas to the ones with the bigger, bolder endings.

  27. Nice start, could sort of see where it was going a bit with the ‘shifting’ key but I wish he actually opened a strange door with that key. Ending wasn’t scary unfortunately.

  28. I liked this one well enough. The way I was led up to the climax was thrilling, and I got a little jolt when I realized the thing chasing him was wearing his coat after all.

    But I didn’t like the ending. It was rather anticlimactic.

  29. So the kid basically traded his soul for anight in the school? Wow. That’s a horrible trade. lol. I liked this one.

  30. thepizzaelemental

    Okay, here’s how it goes down:

    The janitor is the Devil. The smell is good ol’ Fire and Brimstone. The story the janitor tells is an intentionally vague recounting of his own experience of attempting to take the Keys of the Kingdom from God, and being cast out as a result.

    So, the Devil is here offering the kid something he really really wants, and the kid impulsively accepts, and now the path to Hell has been opened to him. By the time he realizes where he is headed, he’s already lost, and the story is over.

  31. arabian goggles

    I’m not quite sure what exactly the janitor’s plan was. Was he just trying to scare the kid or was he going to kill him? Plus whats up with the cave stuff It doesn’t make sense to me.

  32. I don’t much like this one. It’s basically: “I’m staying at school”. “I AM THE JANITOR FROM HELL”.

  33. so that janitor basically told that kid to ‘go to hell’, and the kid’s all ‘okay. i’ll take your key, thanks!’

    i wish there was a bit more detail. the end of this seemed pretty rushed.

    1. The janitor was possessed by a demon, a demon gives of a strong odor of sulfur and apparently when the kid fell asleep the demon took him to a Labrinth where he would kill the kid and eat him

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