The Lift

by Vikta

She found herself walking into an extra ordinarily tall building, pushing the double doors forcefully with both of her hands. The ground floor was drowning in darkness and gloom together with a strangely green light flashing out of control. She looked around, her eyes desperately searching for the call lift button on the wall. When it was not detected her fingers traced alongside the bricks of the wall like a blind man's. Her fingertips froze when they touched the cold glass lift button and unconsciously pressed it hard, desperate to get out of the ground floor. Every muscle in her body was awake and clenched. Her eyes moved from side to side following every shadow on the dirty walls around her. The shade of the leaves shivering outside seemed to form the shadows of humans all around her, but she could hear no footsteps nor sense people with any part of her senses.

'The lifts broken deary' a strangely masculine yet a female's voice spoke from behind.

Her head turned so fast around it seemed as if the bones in her long neck would have broken. A tall skinny figure revealed itself from the gloom. The figure was of a skeleton shape the baggy black sweater and suit trousers hanging on it like rags. The figure's eyes sparkled looking fearless. The long black hair tightly knitted into a ponytail indicated that it was indeed a she.

'You have to get to the third floor through the fire escape staircase, the lifts working from there on' the figure spoke again after a long silence.

Our character had no choice but to follow the strange creature into the staircase and walk closely behind her climbing to the third floor. The fire escape stairs were even more dirty and dark then the ground floor had seemed. There were no windows and the odd green light was flashing each time as if the whole building did not have a properly working light bulb. The third floor was finally reached, but it could have been the very last floor all the way at the top of the building as the staircase was at its end and didn't lead any further up. Our character's eyebrows narrowed on her forehead in astonishment. They only walked a couple of flight of stairs and surely as they stepped out of the staircase and into the floor of the building she saw the scratched panel indicating '3rd loor'. As she continued to follow the creature in complete silence towards the lift she noticed a number of other peculiar specimens of humanity already waiting for the lift. This time she noticed the glass which was flashing in red light, indicating the lift coming down. The only thing that could be heard in the dark silence was the electricity passing through the lift wires as they pushed the metal box down from the upper floors. Our characters neck turned in the same incredible speed as a loud bang of a door closing behind was heard. A man had just walked out of his room and was heading for the two lifts behind where everyone was standing. She found that bemusing as she was sure that she did not see any lifts behind her on the ground floor. As the man pushed the button to call the lift the creature which led our character up the stairs turned around also. No one else waiting for the lift had seemed to be affected by the going 'ons' behind them.

'Don't use those lifts, they're not working' the creature spoke, her voice full of worry.

'No it's ok, its coming up, it must be working fine now, thanks' the man said as the door of the lift opened slowly and he stepped in. Our character was tempted to run across the floor and get in also, these non moving people and the creature were too strange for her liking, but before she could do what her conscious mind wished the doors of the lift closed and the man was gone out of sight.

'You're not supposed to use those lifts' the creature spoke towards the closed lift.

Our character was too confused and fearful to dare ask for an explanation.

The lift for which our character was waiting finally arrived and was opening it's jaws in the same slow and loud motion. She hated lifts, she hated closed spaces, she hated electricity and small cramped metal boxes. Yet she followed the small crowd of people into the old small looking lift. She didn't even think of which floor she was going, she didn't even know. Somebody pressed the 4th floor and while the doors where closing the most peculiar thing took place. An old man wearing a cream suit and carrying a cane walked towards the doors, turned his back towards the closing lift doors and stuck his bum in between the doors so they couldn't close. The doors couldn't close. The small lift filled with the fastening heart beats of everyone around. No one but the creature panicked.

'Get off, get off' go' she spoke fast as if she was not worrying about the lift but about being late somewhere. She pushed the mans butt forward with both of her hands and just managed to pull her hands out of the way in time when the doors touched each other forcefully like two knives. All eyes were looking up as the lift started moving up in incredible speed. 4th 5th 6th 7th floors were passing by on the screen inside the lift like second on a ticking bomb. The lift was moving in incredible speed, as everyone realised that no lift of this age moves this fast. Our characters eyes started feeling prickly and salty almost sour full and tears were beginning to form inside her eye sockets but before she could let out a cry the lift stopped suddenly causing everyone to hit each other in the cramped space. The creature quickly glanced at which floor they were all at and started forcing the door open in a masculine manner just the way she spoke. In such a fearsome time our character somehow had time to wonder whether the woman was actually a man, but things were moving fast and small gap was appearing in between of the doors. Without a single word our character scrambled her way out almost crawling out of the lift followed by the rest. She picked her self of the floor looking around seeing that 50th floor looked just like the 3rd. She looked back towards the lift. The creature was walking into one of the corridors the others were touching their limbs checking that all is in tact as if they just escaped from a war zone. One last man who looked awfully familiar walked out of the lift.

'Are you okey' his voice said but his lips seemed to move a second after the voice spoke as if he was mimicking a playing cassette.

After nothing was said he asked whether our character knew where she was going.

'II don't knowI don't know this buildingIIII don't know' her confused and silent voice spilled onto the air.

'You can wait over there, while I sort something out, we can figure out where you're going when I get back' he said pointing towards what she assumed was his room/ apartment door. Before she could think to ask anything more he had quickly walked down the same corridor the creature had done and all the people had disappeared in the few second during their exchange of sentences.

She stood in the middle of a square floor with the same green light flashing. With her feeling and looking as confused as a cat, which has just been dumped in a an empty rubbish pit.

She begins to wonder whether going inside a stranger's room/ apartment is wise, but her hand reaches for the door handle and opens it slowly trying not to disturb anyone inside. As the door creeks and a small narrow gap is created she sees a double bed a few inches away from the door. It's a room. The bed is occupied by two fast asleep children of similar ages and a woman at the far end side. A family. She quietly opens the door and enters the room. It's a contrast from the rest of the building. Its cosy, calm and warm. A night light switched on and not flashing sits on the bedside table. A television is showing an unseen black and white picture. There is nowhere to sit down. The room is small and there are only a few inches to walk around the bed. She wonders what is she supposed to do. Is she supposed to sit on the corner of the bed? What is she meant to do if the children wake up? She's a stranger, they'll scream.

Before she manages to gather her thoughts the doors through which she had entered slowly open and the man walks in.

'You've met my wife and kids then' he speaks loudly as if the other three people in the room are not asleep. Yet his loud voice does not wake them.

'I haven't met them exactly, no, they're asleep' she says in a quiet considerate voice.

'Oh. That means you've met them' he replies refusing to lower his voice and having no impact on the sleeping triple once again.

'You don't know where you are, do you?' he asks while taking something out of the bedside table.

'AmnonoI'm afraid of lifts erm am sure it'll come back to me in a minute. Maybe I should go, I don't want to disturb your children's sleep' she says quietly.

'Not a good listener huh?' They're unlikely to wake up' he replies coldly and calmly opening that in his hand he's holding a file. He opens it slowly. He looks at it and looks up at her, looks down at it again and up at her again.

'Laura? Isn't it?' he asks formally.

'Ermhow?' is all that Laura manages.

The man's head shakes up and down while he pulls out a chair which Laura didn't notice as being there before. As he sits down Laura begins to slowly stand wanting to get out of the room. The man's head shakes in disapproval and indicates for her to sit back down. An instruction she obeys solely due to fear.

'You don't need to be frightful. Damn that 's not a good start, that's what a serial killer would say.' the man begins to talk while Laura's eyes slowly fill with terror.

'Alright I'll start in another way. My names Kurt, I probably look familiar to you because you have done something good for me back up there and so I've got the responsibility of helping you out now. That's my wife Louse there, Eddie is 7 now and Katie's 5. They won't wake so there's no need to talk quietly. They've been asleep for the past three years. You can see your closest family sleeping in room 3378, its just round the corner. You can't wake them you see. You are left in a bit of a torture of just being able to look at their faces everyday, but they don't talk to you or anything. And if really gets too much staring at them you can't get rid of them.' He goes on in a calm slow manner while Laura's sockets begin to fill with scorching tears again.

'You'll remember everything in a few days time, so don't worry, but what I am going to tell you in just a second you mustn't never forget and you mustn't fight it, they don't like that' he sais leaning closer towards her and looking frightened of whoever 'they' are.

'You're dead Laura, You may feel alive but You- are-dead' he slowly wispers and pauses.

'Welcome to Hell'

The last thing she could remember was running for the door. She wanted to find the passage back to that place she was in just a few minutes before.

'Relax' said the man 'You can check out any time but you can never leave'.

With those words ringing in her ears Laura's eyes opened suddenly together with her body jumping up in her bed. She was covered in sweat and the 6:15am on the clock suggested time for getting ready for some breakfast.

For those confused by the whole thing I shall depict. Laura has just entered hell (yes hell as in she's dead and she's in hell). The doors she so forcefully pushes are the doors to hell. Hell is a very tall hotel full of small tiny rooms and many mysterious, evil and strange people. All live separately in each room. They share the room with a few of their closest family members who are still alive back on earth. The family or friends are asleep and can not be woken. This is a form of torture for those who are in hell-having to see their loved ones but not being able to interact or actually 'have' them there with themselves.

The pushing of doors 'forcefully' indicates Laura's wish to die or giving up her life. The man putting his butt in the lift is a person back on earth who is dying on the surgical table but it is not yet his time hence he doesn't get to go into the lift. He gets to live. The man taking the other lift is a man who was a temporary guest at hell hotel and is coming out of a 13 year comma.

The creature can be seen as the 'matron' of this particular hell hotel. Cummon you didn't really think you could fit everyone going to hell in one building?!

The man is a person to whom Laura was kind to back on earth but who's a stranger none the less. He's meant to help her 'settle in'.

The ending of 'You can check out any time you like but you can never leave' is for your own consideration.

Oh plus all this wasn't real! Some teenager just had a dream which predicted that she's going to hell and what it will be like. Good night children!

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