You have been trapped in a jail cell of an evil mastermind!
The cell has a locked door with a keyboard with the letters a to z and an enter key.
(Original image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
The evil mastermind gives you some clues to escape, as he does this as a pastime:
Only one person has escaped.
They had to figure out the same password as you.
They had a box of clues, which you currently don't have, so he tells you about them.
This is the tale of my first escapee:
They discovered the clues to the password in a box.
In the box they found a red herring and a butt.
The red herring was way past its time.
The butt was only part of its body, with the rest long risen above.
That was the fate of both of those items.
Using these clues begot the solution to the escapee:
What could've happened to one item to prevent its fate
that would've happened to the second to make it reach its fate?
Note: "they" is used as a gender-neutral third-person pronoun. Can be replaced with "he" or "she".