The fatal repercussions to playing the Elevator Game

I just wanted to get home that night. An impromptu board meeting ran late, and I had to stay until almost 9 PM just to take notes. When I finally did get out of there, waiting for the elevator was absolute torture. My heels were killing me, my bra was a dagger in my back, and all I had to show for my hard work was a legal pad full of inane political drivel and off-colored jokes.

Five minutes. Ten minutes before the door opened. Inside a pair of giggling teenagers were shoving each other back and forth. One girl, one boy. Baggy hoodies. Ripped jeans. Smelled like they thought marijuana was a perfume. It didn’t take a legal secretary to guess they had been playing an elevator game by pushing every button.

I thought about reprimanding them, but the moment I stepped inside they went dead quiet. Maybe they knew they were busted. The building should have been locked by now anyway. I don’t even know how they got in here, but at my energy was so depleted that didn’t really care.

“Where are you going?” I asked, just to be polite.

The boy started to giggle again for a second. Then stopped. So abruptly I almost thought I was imagining it. It looked like the girl was holding her breath. She hid her face beneath her hair and went to push floor #1.

Not my kids. Not my problem. What was my problem is that the elevator was going up instead of down. I moved toward the row of buttons, and the girl fell flat to the floor and scrambled out of my way like I was made of lava. I mashed the highlighted #1, but we were going up quicker than ever.

Faster than it had ever gone before. There was nothing to hold onto, but I had to press myself to the wall to stop from falling over. It was shaking now too, buckling back and forth as it screeched up the cable. The lights flickered, and a cold wind started to whistle through the crack in the doors. It wasn’t like a storm or anything though. It was more like all the heat in the elevator was flooding out into the shaft.

Another lurch. The hardest one yet. I fell straight on my ass. The kids playing the elevator game were holding onto each other and managed to remain standing, but even after we’d stopped they kept clinging on as though holding for dear life. The #1 button went dark. #10 turned on. Slowly, ponderously, as though it were struggling against a nearly insurmountable pressure, the door slid open.

I started to stand, then slipped again as one of my heels snapped cleanly off. I took the other shoe off, so frustrated that I just threw it at the kids.

“Now look what you’ve done. You broke the fucking elevator.”

The boy glanced in my direction, but immediately turned away again. They were straining to look outside, but terrified to get close to me. Good, they should be scared. Vandalizing a legal office was as stupid as picking a fight in a police station.

“I want your names, and IDs. Both of you,” I snapped. “You will be held responsible for any damages incurred. As far as the trespassing is concerned -“

But they still wouldn’t look at me. The boy grabbed the girl by the hand and darted out into the hallway. I couldn’t just let them run havoc.

“Hey, you can’t go in there!” I had to run to keep up now. “That’s Mr. Bogles office. You aren’t allowed to -“

Annnnd they were inside. Of course. I patted myself down for my cell phone, but it wasn’t there. I must have dropped it when I fell in the elevator. I half-turned back, but the door was already closing. I took a step in that direction, but then I heard something crash from the office. I spun again, sprinting down the hallway in my bare feet.

The boy was sitting on Mr. Bogles desk while the girl stared out the window.

“Look at the sky!” she said. “And how tall the buildings are!”

“Dude, this is crazy,” he replied.

Either they were stoned out of their minds or it wasn’t just marijuana. They were running their hands over everything, so I wouldn’t have been surprised if they were rolling too. The boy was even poking the potted plant like it was some alien creature he’d never seen before.

“That’s enough!” I roared. Finally they both looked at me. Then at each other. Then back at me. Did they regret playing this stupid elevator game yet?

“Let’s get out of here!” the boy rammed straight through me with his shoulder, sending me spinning back to the ground. The girl was trying to jump over me now, but I managed to grab her by the ankle and drag her down. She thrashed melodramatically on the ground for a few seconds, but before I could get to my feet she planted a kick in my face and broke free.

The door was already closing by the time I got to my feet. They were both inside, staring at me with wide trembling eyes as though they were somehow the victim in all of this. I felt absolutely feral as I lunged at them. I managed to get my fingers in the crack before the elevator closed and the sensor reflected the doors open wide. Half a dozen buttons had already been pushed, glowing like one big middle finger. The final stage of the elevator game had been played.

They were cowering in the corner as I loomed over them, an inferno of retribution burning in my eyes. Fine, let the elevator take the long trip down. That was just longer for them to be trapped in here with me. Now that they couldn’t run, the struggle was absolutely pitiful. The boy’s throat was almost comically fragile, and I was amazed how little pressure I need to ram my broken heel through it. The girl was almost gone by the time I got to her, withering to a husk in seconds after the venom from my nails coursed through her leg where I had grabbed her.

I got out of the elevator at the bottom, straightening my dress. I’d found my phone again and fixed my hair, and after snapping the other heel off my shoe, I was able to look almost presentable again.

I thought I could finally go home after that, but it didn’t take long to realize that I’d never been further from home in my life. What strange green plants they have here, and the dark blue sky was nothing like the purple and orange we have at home. No wonder they were so surprised by everything in my world. If everyone here is as fragile as those two little ones, then I think I’m going to have a lot of fun here.

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