E for Elevators had always terrified her: #atozchallenge

As a co-host, I begin with A to Z Challenge  reminders:
1. Turn off your word verification. It helps no one. You may moderate comments for a while if you’re unsure.
2. In your comment id, link only to your AZ blog, NOT your profile which may have 5 other blogs.
3. Leave a link to you when you comment.
4. Comment when you visit blogs. Start visiting with the blog below you on the linky list.
5. Make it easy for people to follow your blog and follow you on social media.

Today’s prompts (the picture prompt to the left and the story starter below at the beginning of the story in bold) both come from Li Vogt, a great blog friend, and amazing fiction writer. I picked these because elevators fascinate me, and I wanted a chance to set a story in one. So here it is:

Elevators had always terrified her. 
After you die, you get into an elevator. Her grandfather’s words chased her each time she went on her rounds somewhere too high to take the stairs.
If you’re good, it takes you up, all the way up to heaven where all is good and happy. Grandpa’s words followed her much like the silent troop of a dozen black-clad men who prowled around her now, guns drawn, and went on to clear the fortieth floor. As she got ready to walk towards room 4011, her partner gestured and pointed. The boys needed to break down the door, and wanted her and the partner out of their way.
Job done, the men dispersed, escorting their handcuffed trophies. Relieved men, smiling, slapping each other over a job well done. She let them go ahead, all of them, including her partner, and then faced her nemesis.
If you’re bad, it takes you down, into the deep dark pits of hell where everything burns and no one is happy. Grandpa’s words, whispered on what would turn out to be his deathbed, plagued her as she sauntered into the elevator, pressed the button for the lobby.
What happens, Grandpa, if I’m neither too good nor bad? She remembered her question, and the lift jolted to a halt on cue, suspended between floors. The light dipped and flashed.
She fought to control the wobble in her voice as she pressed the intercom button and called for help. 

That’s why you and I are here, sweetheart, stuck in the middle, whispered Grandpa in her ears as she settled down to wait.

A to Z Stories of Life and Death

If you liked this story you might like some of the stories I wrote for my A to Z last year.

I love comments, and I always visit back. Blogging is all about being a part of a community, and communities are about communication! Tweet me up @damyantig !

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Add Yours
  1. sulekkha

    I am claustrophobic but was getting over my fear of elevators, but thanks to your story,I am back to square one ;)Fantastic post.

  2. Nigel Mitchell

    Wow, writing short flash fiction for the A-Z challenge? I'm struggling to produce just one good flash story right now. The fact that you can produce 26 of them, especially ones this good, leaves me in awe of your writing talent. I want to be you when I grow up (creatively).

  3. Stuart Nager

    Wow…amazing FF Damyanti! You did that elevator door pic true justice. She was already on her way to hell: sounds like she just needed that one last push.

  4. Paula Martin

    Stuck in an elevator – my worst nightmare! I'd be waiting for one of the cables to break, sending the thing crashing down to the basement.

  5. Angela M.

    So ironic that she's a cop, someone who's supposed to be as fearless as a person can be. I worked on base in San Diego, and one of our elevators got stuck a lot. Twice while I worked there, people got stuck between floors. Oddly, it only happened after a hard rain.

    I agree with all above that this story is uber-creepy!

  6. Joe Richardson

    This is sooo nicely done. You could build a book from this scene. Easily.

    Thanks for sharing this! Makes me envious I didn't reach for something this creative as my theme.

  7. Melodie Wright

    Oh, nice imagery. Of course, that's what limbo really is…nowhere, stuck, unable to move, both spiritually as well as elevator-wise. *shudders* can't imagine having to spend eternity there. Uck.
    I'm loving your stories! 🙂

  8. Damyanti

    Thank you, folks, for all your kind words as usual.

    I wasn't really going so hard for the creep factor, but it came across–and I'll fault only one thing for that, my writing.

    Eric, I like your suggestion of letting go of everything, and retaining just the italics. I was going for the image of a woman in a position of power—she's a police officer come to ensure an arrest—still dealing with her insecurities, all the way from childhood. The Grandpa was not intended to be creepy—just very factual: and the stuck-in-between a sort of parallel of our own existence. We're trapped where we are, with voices in our head.

    So I'm guessing this one didn't work 😀

    Li, you're the one who deserves the thanks—that gold-work on the elevator gave me the first notion—what if it were an elevator to heaven? Or to hell? How would it be to get stuck in between—is that where we already are? But going by the feedback, the piece didn't work on that level.

    Joe O—I can so write a story about your weekends spent in elevators!

    Once again, thank you! Bloggers and writers are a generous bunch, and if any one needs proof, they can read the comments you left me today.

  9. Archna Sharma

    Hmmm…no wonder his voice was so clear. Maybe it isn't so strange, they are together.

    So many stories in this one.

    Thanks for visiting my way!

  10. Li

    Thanks for the shout, Damyanti 🙂 I'm really pleased – the story suits that elevator nicely. I enjoyed my ride in it, but Stu and I rode in a scary old one in NYC; it had a little glass window and when it stopped at the bottom floor there was a weird guy peering in at us! We hit the Up button frantically and fortunately the door didn't open and we went back up. True! Thanks again, you did a wonderful job.

  11. MAJK

    Well that explains why I keep getting stuck between floors 😉 Very nice and creepy.

    Twitter: @Safireblade
    A to Z Blog Challenge

  12. Dazediva

    Ooooooh kinda creepy. I don't have a problem with elevators – I just don't want to be stuck in one (with no cell phone) especially between two floors – that would be horrible ! I'd keep thinking 'what if some tries to get me out from between the floors and the elevator moves ? then I'm a goner!

  13. Cheryl

    I don't want that creepy guy for my grandfather. I've never liked elevators much either.

    Thanks for stopping by Books, Products and More for the challenge yesterday.

  14. TMW Hickman

    The elevator in the building I work in is only two floors, but some days it creeps me right out. This was a bit nerve wracking, like a carnival ride! Great fun!

  15. Eric W. Trant

    I skimmed through this and read only the italicized grandpa parts, and if I were your editor, I'd say cut everything and leave only that.

    Then you have a stunning micro-flash fiction piece. The elevator heaven-hell concept is awfully stirring.

    – Eric

  16. Jaime

    Love your stories. My favorite elevator moment is a scene from Manahattan Murder Mystery. Woody Allen freaks out when he gets stuck in an old elevator. It's hilarious.

  17. Joe O.

    That's crazy. I thought I was the only one that found elevators strangely creepy. Maybe it's because I used to help my dad out on the weekends. He used to work in one of those skyscrapers with different banks of elevators to different levels. They were black inside and had the strangest light fixtures. I never knew if my elevator car would take me to the right floor or if it would just keep going down and down. I know, crazy, but such is the mind of a wild imagination.–Joe