Language > English
Type > Original fiction
Length > Short story
Notes > Another one for the prompts I was given. This one's inspired by one of Alice, who said: 'How about, you walk into an elevator; and when you walk out, the world, or the situation, or the something... is different.' I hope you all like what I came up with.
The world was slowly getting dark outside the large office windows. A lone lady looked out, sighed, and gathered her things into her large leather bag. Time to go home.
She went to the bathroom first, washed her hands, checked her reflection in the mirror. Dark, tired eyes stared back at her, lying deep in a pale face and surrounded by a vague blue sheen. She hadn’t slept properly in days, maybe weeks. Not much longer now, she thought, until this project was over and she could sleep well again. If you don’t collapse from exhaustion first, a cynical voice echoed through her head. She shook it resolutely. A bit of fatigue wouldn’t knock her out.
It was late, the building deserted. The constant click of her heels on the stone floor resounded through the empty halls; her brand new, tight and stern-looking suit creaked eerily loud to her ears. She suppressed a shiver, gripped her car keys tighter as if clinging to the protection they would not offer. Irrational fear, she told herself. Nothing was going to happen. She was the only person left in the building, there was no one else. Her fingers tightened even more.
The elevator announced its presence with a soft ping, and the doors slid open smoothly. She stepped inside, pressed the button for ground floor, blankly watched through the windows before the doors slid closed again and cut off her view. In the twin building opposite this one, one lone window on the top floor was still emanating light, a small beacon in the otherwise completely dark sky scraper. It seemed meaningful and symbolic, but the thought fled out of her mind again before she could fully grasp it, eluding her.
The elevator shook slightly before starting its descent. She felt her stomach churning as it always did at the downward movement, a slight uneasiness that wasn’t entirely unpleasant. Her eyes now turned towards the numbers above the doors, shining bright green and counting down agonizingly slow. She wanted to go home. She was so very tired, all she wished for was a long, peaceful rest, but the elevator wasn’t speeding; if anything, it seemed to descend even slower than before.
She rested her head against the cold metal wall, tried to blink away the sparks of fatigue, then simply closed her eyes, dropping her bag onto the floor carelessly. It was only a few seconds later that she felt a tremor run through her legs, stood suddenly unsteady on her heels. An uncontrollable shaking seemed to spread from her ankles via her knees to her thighs and hips, a short burst of pain flashed through her entire body, her legs gave out and she slowly slid down to the floor of the elevator. Her eyes remained closed. A soft ping told her she’d arrived at ground floor.
Her head slowly, almost sluggishly, keeled to the side, banged into one of the buttons. The doors slid closed again, the elevator shook, hitched, then moved up. She blinked and slowly stretched her legs in front of her, smiled, then kicked off her bothersome heels. Then she tore off her tight black jacket, next her white blouse, wrinkled after spending so ridiculously much time working at the office. Her trousers, pinstriped, prim and proper, came off after that, then her underwear. She pulled the bun out of her hair roughly, let it flow down past her shoulders. A ping again. She stepped out, naked as the day she was born, onto an endless field of the greenest grass, stretched under a bright blue sky. There was no fatigue.