As I write these words I am stuck in an elevator. No fooling, honest-to-God stuck in an elevator. It will be another 40 minutes until the service worker comes to the rescue (eyes fluttering, I leap into his hairy arms and coo “my hero”).
And so I’ve turned on my laptop and am writing down my observations for future posterity; listening to music, over the din of the working elevator which continues to yo-yo beside its stationary brother, the first song which my random selection plays is, of all things, “Stairway to Heaven.” Let me relate for you then, the events of my story:
I had just finished my last final of the semester, and had almost completed the journey back to my apartment. I arrived in the building, quickly checked my mail, and pushed the button to call an elevator. We have two elevators in my apartment. Elevator 1 and Elevator 2 I suppose. Elevator 1 is known to those who live in the building as “El Elevator de Muerte” or “Clarence.” It has always behaved suspiciously; doors closing with an ominous sloth, the buttons bathed in an eerie luminous red, and occasional tremors which shook the elevator as if it were possessed by an epileptic demon.
It was Clarence which greeted me that fateful day (Saturday), and I stepped in eagerly, excited to arrive home and begin celebrating my completed semester. Perhaps if I hadn’t been so distracted by thoughts of leisure, I would have noticed that when I stepped into the elevator it shook severely. But other than the shaking of the elevator, I noticed no such thing. As I pressed the button for my floor the elevator slowly started to carry me skyward. Then, without warning, the warning bell sounded, and the elevator, which had reached the fourth floor, stopped quickly, and began a short, swift descent. The fall, fortunately, came to a quick stop – it seems Spiderman must have been waiting in the elevator shaft to catch the elevator with his webbing. Or maybe there was a break mechanism. Either way.
So now here I sit, stopped in an unresponsive elevator, just below what I believe to be the third floor. The digital display inside the elevator shows a 3, and peeking through the crack of the door I can see that the top of the elevator has reached the bottom of another set of doors.
I am contemplating a daring escape: I figure that if I can pry open the doors a little more I might be able to slip through and steal a spoon from the cafeteria. I can then dig away at the floor every night, slowly creating a tunnel which will lead 50 yards past the outer wall, beyond the reach of the search lights. After building the tunnel I will sneak some hair from the prison barbershop, and, using wood from the shop and papier-mâché which I form from the books in the library, will birth a dummy which looks just like me. I will then construct a rudimentary bomb from all of the natural elements on the planet’s surface, as I try to avoid the giant lizard creature from the other spaceship, and use that bomb to blow my effigy to pieces. Then, when the guards think I am dead, I will be free to switch places with my recently deceased mentor, crawling into his body bag just before it is thrown off the side of a cliff. After surviving the fall I shall use the call of a dying giraffe to alert my contacts in Le Resistance that I have escaped. Le Resistance will help me acquire a knife, which I will then use to whittle a gun. I will cover the wood with shoe-black, completing the appearance of the faux-weapon. Only then will I sneak back inside the prison, and, using the fake gun, take a guard hostage. Using the captive guard as leverage I will explain to a negotiator that most of the force is on the take and that I have been framed for the murder of my best friend, who it just so happens, looks exactly like me and so was able to take my place at the guillotine so that I could return to my family. Oh hey, the elevator guy’s here. Good, I think the air was starting to get a little thin.