April 24, 2021, 1:37 p.m.

This Just Became a Body Bag for Two

Without further ado, Jo jumped in after Nando.

God, could that boy scream! Jo was almost impressed. Good lung capacity had to count for something, and when she figured out what that might be, she’d be certain to point Nando towards it. As they approached the bottom, Jo considered what landing pose might look coolest. She was absolutely certain that Nando would be landing on his back, but there was no need to indulge in his flailing dramatics when she could delight in her own. Finally, she decided: on one knee, like an angel cast out from heaven. If she was lucky, the lumos Nando had cast would give the whole thing an air of dark drama. If she was very lucky (and then, immediately after, extremely unlucky), Nando would faint on the spot and she’d have to find the yoyo alone.


He was dead. She had pushed him into his untimely death and he had died. He suddenly wished he was religious so he could go over his last rites, but seeing as how the closest thing he had to a spiritual experience was using the restroom at the church near his mami’s job, he figured he would die a heretic. He didn’t expect dying to take this long. He felt like he was dying for what seemed to be an eternity before he realized he could feel what seemed to be a satiny floor on his butt. Oh, he was going to be okay! He wasn’t dead-

Jo gracefully landed onto his belly, knocking all the air out of his lungs. Okay, never mind, he was dead again. Taking a moment to regain his senses, he tried to focus on whatever it is she was saying to him between the many gasps for air.


As predicted, Nando landed and flopped like a fish. As desired, Jo landed on a knee and did her best Batman impression (although she had never seen the movie and thus had no cultural keystone to tap into for the dour glower she shot at him). Unfortunately, she had landed exactly on him, so he wasn’t really in any state to comment on the grace of her landing. Nando groaned pitifully, so Jo dropped the lighthearted antics, righted herself, and got off of him to see how he was doing.

“You’re not dead,” she informed him, as it was looking to be a very real concern he carried within him. Perhaps the lighthearted antics weren’t over. Her tone grew sinister. “But you’ll wish you were.”

She let out a subdued laugh and tapped him gently with her foot.

“Come on!” she encouraged him.


Nando closed his eyes and tried to do that thing his mami had taught him whenever he got anxious. What was it? Counting and senses. Five things he could see: darkness. Wait, open your eyes. Okay. Five things he could see: the head of a broken bust, several band-aid wrappers left opened on the floor, what seemed to be yoyo-sized skidmarks on the floor, a beautifully designed sign that read “Land Here”, and a single button. Okay, his senses were coming back to him. Four things he could hear: his own breath gasping for air, the words of a crazed maniac warning of death wishes, the sound of barking in the distance, his own breath gasping for air. Okay, he might have cheated on that last one but these were desperate times. Three things he could feel: the satin on his butt, Jo’s light shoe tap, and the feel of his wand, which he grasped tightly with his hand. Two things he could smell: isopropyl alcohol and what seemed to be...limestone? One thing he could taste: the salty tears that came not from fear but from acceptance.

Nando stood up. He was alright again. Shaking his head, which made his poofy hair fly all over his face, he quickly shouted a quick “Hey, wait for me!” as Jo began to make her way down what seemed to be an endless passageway. His Lumos Maxima had started to simmer down into a “Lumisito”, so he cast the spell again and ran over to Jo.

“Okay. Numero Uno, never push me into boundless voids unless I give you STRICT permission to. Numero Dos, where the hell are we? Is this thing a portkey? Some sort of evil bag of holding? Are-” His voice dropped an octave and he became gravely serious. “Are we in hell?”

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