Outage

Photo by Bruno Kelzer on Unsplash

My morning break was nearly over. I got on the elevator with Tory and David to ride it back to the fifteenth floor. David stood quietly. Tory yammered into her phone about a reality show. I watched the numbers change on the lit panel. Seven…Eight…a jolt knocked us off our feet as the lights went out. My back hurt and head throbbed.

“Sheri, are you still there? Hey, she hung up on me. Wait, whose arm hairy is this? David, get off me!” Tory said.

Shuffling and a muffled ‘sorry’ came from another part of the elevator. I shrieked. A sharp stiletto heel dug into my hand. The pressure immediately eased.

“What?” asked Tory.

“You stepped on my hand,” I said cradling it.

“Why are you on the floor?” she asked.

“I thought it safer to stay on the floor and get my bearings before standing up. Guess not.”

“Hey, my phone won’t dial out.”

Scraping followed by a slice of pale light came from four feet up on the door side of the elevator. “Anyone in here?”

“Yeah, get me outta here,” said Tory. “David, help me.” I could see a dim outline of him pushing her up. Tory’s spindly arms reached up towards the hands visible between the doors. They took a hold of hers to finish pulling her out.

“Hey, don’t touch my butt.”

“Then take those weapons, you call shoes, off.”

“I don’t want to leave them.”

“You want out or not? You’ll get them back.”

After she disappeared through the opening, David lifted me up. The same two men grabbed my hands and pulled me out. Then they each took one of David’s hands and pulled him through the doors.

One of the guys said, “We were waiting for an elevator when the power went out. We heard a scream from this elevator.”

David looked at me and muttered, “At least those shoes were good for something.”

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