I Hate Elevators

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: House of Ghosts
Sarah Winters hates elevators for one simple reason. She made a mistake in her senior year of high school that she can't take back.

Submitted: August 14, 2019

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Submitted: August 14, 2019



All the modern conveniences humanity has created, they’re mostly great. Electricity, advanced medical treatments, refrigeration, and plumbing are wonderful. Phones allow us to rapidly and effortlessly communicate and find information. Space ships and other vehicles help us move fast and explore vast stretches of unknown territory. All of these things are useful and necessary for progress, and I understand that. Despite my understanding, there is one human advancement I abhor with every inch of my body. Elevators. I, Sarah Winters, hate elevators. First of all, you could just use the stairs. Secondly, every time I use an elevator I end up in an alternate dimension. I suppose that’s what I get for playing the stupid “elevator ritual”. In my defense, how was I supposed to know it would actually work? Besides, I performed that ritual five years ago! I was 18! How should I have known that it would have lasting effects? Usually, I can avoid the issue pretty easily. I simply use the stairs. However, it’s extremely difficult to use stairs when your leg is broken… and you work on the sixth floor of a massive building.    It’s my first day back at work, and I’d like to think I’m as prepared as possible. Hopefully nothing will go majorly wrong. I bought an enchanted ring from a well-respected witch for five candles and the promise of daily prayers for her health. Simple enough. As a bonus precautionary measure, I packed all my belongings in a padlocked bag that sits across my body. This way I avoid losing my files, snacks, and laptop to a never-ending abyss. The ring is designed to light up the correct path to return to my own dimension safely. I guess I’ll find out soon if it works. I hope it does, or else I am utterly and completely screwed.

I roll onto the elevator with a deep sigh and, unfortunately, a coworker. My least favourite coworker. This will be difficult to explain. The doors slide closed faster than should be possible. I sigh again. I wish I had time to get him out. The tell-tale signs begin. Lights flicker, the cheery, peppy elevator music slows to a crawl, and the floor number becomes glitching ancient symbols. Luckily I’ve become fluent in Enochian by now. The symbols currently read: “Exit and new possibilities shall find you.” I roll my eyes. I’ve seen it all before. I expect the message will change at least once before my time in this particular elevator is over. Meanwhile, my coworker is understandably frantic.

  “W-what the hell?” Eric from accounting screeches. I wince. He drops his briefcase and begins randomly pressing buttons. An obvious beginner.

 “That won’t do anything.” I comment, yawning and glancing at my watch. “Damn, it’s only been five minutes?” The transfer between dimensions usually registers as ten minutes on my watch. By the time I get back to my dimension of origin, probably three minutes total will have passed. 

  “What do you mean? How do you know?” I give him a deadpan stare.

  “Use your subpar accounting skills and figure it out.” I revert my attention to the doors as they open into a scrambled version of our office. The corridors shine with a dim purple glow, casting massive shadows across every wall. “C’mon, Eric, if you want to live long enough to get back to Janet, follow me.” I roll myself out of the elevator and twist the ring twice, just like the witch told me. A faint line of blue light trickles to the left. “This way!” I announce cheerily. I hear Eric stalling outside of the elevator, brushing his greasy hair back with trembling fingers. I’m sure he distrusts my navigational skills as a woman. He finally comes running after me. “Took you long enough.” We pass by conference rooms with tables and chairs on the ceilings, and rooms where all the chairs have melted. It’s an intimidation tactic, and luckily I’ve learnt to ignore it all.

  “H-hold on a minute!” Eric shouts, blocking the path of my wheel chair. “How dare you accuse me of cheating on Olivia? I would never cheat on my girlfriend!”

“I’m not saying you cheated. I’m saying everyone knows you and Janet love eachother. Now, if you want to see Janet ever again, you’ll get out of my way before the glow fades.” I push past him and continue on my way. He stumbles behind me in a huff. That’s when I remember rule two, never shout in another dimension. “Oh shit, damn you Eric!” I mutter, pushing myself faster. “C’mon,” I whisper back to him. “We’ve got to hurry and be very, very quiet.”

 “Why?” He demands in a loud voice. I roll my eyes. 

  “I guess you’ll find out.” I push myself harder and faster. Thank God I’ve been working out lately, or else I wouldn’t make it out alive. I need stamina if I’m going to make it to the exit before the Thing catches up. I’ve never looked back to see what it is.

 “Sarah, wait. Did you hear that?” Eric whispers, finally getting the memo. I shake my head. A louder growl comes from the corridor behind us. I heard it that time. I push faster, and Eric picks up his pace. I reach the elevator before he does, and the doors are about to close, locking him in this strange dimension. A massive dark shadow comes bounding around the corner. Eric screams and dashes towards the elevator. He won’t make it. I sigh, lodging my wheel chair in the doors. 

  “Get behind me!” I instruct firmly. Under normal circumstances he would undoubtedly contest my judgement, but not today. Not now. He cowers behind my wheelchair. The shadow comes racing towards us. It is large and vaguely dog-shaped. “Hello, aren’t you a lovely boy?” I ask in a cooing voice, just like I would a puppy. The shadow-dog slows his movement and a large purple tongue licks my outstretched hand. “Oh, who’s a good boy? You just want a friend, don’t you?” I pet his surprisingly soft fur. “I’ve got to go, buddy, but I’ll be back after work!” I give him one last pat on the head before wheeling back into the elevator. The doors close and we begin our ascension.

  “Wow, you handled that really well.” Eric remarks with quiet awe.

  “Yeah, I’m used to it.” We sit in silence, and Eric thoughtfully ponders something for what must be the first time in his entire life.

  “Does everybody really know about me and Janet?”’

  “Yes.” I reply truthfully. “Everyone except Olivia.”

  “I should tell her.” He murmurs quietly.

 “Yes, you should.” I answer. He nods resolutely. We exit the elevator, and head to our separate departments. 

  As the work day approaches a close, Eric sends me an email. ‘Go out for drinks with Olivia. She’d really like you. I passed along your number.’ I smile. Maybe our little adventure in hell changed him. I can’t wait for my date, but first I have a hell-hound to adopt.


  And yes, even though I love Crowley, I still hate elevators.


© Copyright 2019 Thalia Bronwen. All rights reserved.

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