Are you going to lunch?” The question was so basic and ingrained in my head, I didn’t hear it until the second time my coworker Marie had asked me. I looked up from my half of a sad looking egg salad sandwich and glanced outside. It was pouring down rain and the weatherman had called for thunder later on. I shook my head.
“It’s raining,” I pointed out dumbly. Marie rolled her eyes and crossed her hands over her chest.
“As if I didn’t have eyes in my head,” She said with a laugh, “Come on, we can hail a cab if we split the fare. There’s an awesome little café down the street I’ve been dying to try out.”
I looked back down at my sandwich and finally made up my mind. Grabbing my jacket off the back of the chair, I shrugged it on. It was a Friday and the office was mostly empty due to the impending storm and the threat of flooding was severe in our city that had been built over a swamp. I followed Marie towards the elevators and she stopped just short of the doors, wrinkling her finger at the button that would call it. “Do you mind? I hate touching the button,” She admitted with a sheepish little laugh. I rolled my eyes good naturedly, but called the elevator. We stood there for about 3 minutes, waiting impatiently on the elevator. Marie glanced down at her watch, “Maybe we should just take the stairs.”
“We’re on the 19th floor,” I reminded her, “And those stairs get super slick when it rains. I’d rather not fall and crack my head open.”
She shrugged, “Fair point.” It was at that moment, the whir of the elevator could be heard and with a pleasant ding, the elevator doors slid open to reveal the empty red interior of the elevator. I stepped in and waited for Marie to follow. She stepped over the threshold and I pushed the button for the ground floor. The doors silently slid shut and we began our descent, the silent between us pregnant.
Suddenly, with a booming rumble above our heads that seemed unnaturally loud for thunder, the elevator lurched and the lights began to flicker. “Oh shit! What the fuck?! That was way too loud to be thunder!” Marine shrieked, looking above our heads. Now, the elevator has a glass ceiling for whatever reason, maybe in case someone wanted a quickie while they were going down and wanted to watch, but I glanced up and swore I saw something in that mirror. My heart lurched, but I thought it was just a figment of my imagination. I shook my head and kept my mouth shut as the elevator stopped whining and came to a complete stop. The lights flickered again and the elevator was plunged into complete darkness. I wasn’t sure who screamed, me or Marie as the inky blackness surrounded us.
“Are you okay?” I said in a shaky voice as I reached out to try and find my friend. I felt my hand wrap around a wrist as she took a rattling breath.
“Yeah, I’m alright. You?” She asked.
I opened my mouth to say something, but in that moment, I heard something that sounded like tapping. “Do you hear that?” I whispered.
“I thought that was you.” Marie whimpered, “What the fuck is that?”
“It must be someone on the other side of the door; they must realize we’re in here.” I slammed my hands against the elevator doors, letting go of her wrist, “Hey! Hey, we’re stuck in here! Help!” I screamed, still slamming my hands against the door in the pitch black. Behind me, I could hear Marie crying.
“Something’s wrong.” She sobbed, “Sometime doesn’t feel right.”
“Hey, it’s fine. We’re gonna be okay. Any minute now, they’re going to turn the emergency generator on and we’ll be fine.” I reached out to reassure my friend, but instead felt something cold under my fingertips. I instantly recoiled, “Why are you so cold?” I demanded.
“You didn’t touch me!” She protested. Dread filled my stomach. We were not alone in the elevator after all. With trembling hands, I reached into my pocket and brought out my phone, turning on the app for the flashlight. I quickly shone the light on Marie which made her wince from the sudden onslaught of brightness. I then shined it around the car just to make sure that nobody else was in the small room with us.
“We’re okay. Nobody else is in here.”
The tapping noise could be heard again, but this time, it sounded like rain above our heads. Slowly, we both looked up and saw what could only be described as a nightmare. Hundreds of hands tapped on the glass above our heads in a swirling cloud of inky blackness that seemed to morph into faces twisted in horrific agony. Marie started screaming and flailing, knocking my phone out of my hand. The car was plunged back into blackness as the tapping grew louder. Marie started to weep again, her sobs drowning out even the tapping.
“Christ!” I swore as I picked up my phone with shaking hands. I went to look back up at the mirror, but something else caught my eye when the light danced over my friend. Standing next to her, arms wrapped around her shoulders was a woman. But this was like no woman I had ever seen. Her face was distorted with a ghastly, toothless black smile and lanky black hair that hung down around her knees like an oil spill. It was her eyes that really frightened me though. They were nothing but infinite black holes of nothingness that were melting down her face, staring straight at me. Her body seemed to be melting upwards and as I started at her, a scream bubbling in my throat, she raised one finger to her lipless mouth like she was telling me to keep quiet.
That’s when a hand grabbed my shoulder with long, ice cold nails. I leapt forward, screaming but as I did this, my phone fell from my hands, the flashlight shattering. The tapping grew louder as hands clawed at my body. I fell to the elevator floor and curled up into a ball as fingers tried to dig their way inside my soul, like they were looking for something to hold onto. A piercing scream unlike any I had ever heard before filled the car that chilled me to my very bones. I grabbed my phone off the ground and flicked it on, holding it up to see that Marie was gone. I used the screen’s light to look up, just to see a pair of kicking legs disappearing into the mirror. Her voice was muffled as she tried in vain to fight the hands that were pulling her up. I could only watch in horrified awe as her feet finally disappeared into the maw of the mirror that had swallowed my friend whole. I watched as a pale pink hand with mauve colored fingernails clawed against the ones that fought to drag her down into the inky abyss until finally, the shrieks died away and Marie was gone.
With a grinding whir, the backup generator kicked on, filling the elevator with an eerie white light. It dropped two more stories until it finally opened up in the lobby. Sobbing, I scrambled on my hands and knees out of the car, screaming at someone to call the police because Marie had just disappeared into the mirror. Someone either was terrified of me or pitied me because the police were called.
The only traces of Marie they found was her shoe at the bottom of the elevator shaft. I was brought in for questioning, but I remained steadfast to my story. Without any evidence, I was allowed to leave, albeit on quite a few medications. I know I’m not crazy. I know what took my friend and I fear that it will happen again. Never get in an elevator during a storm, or it may be the last thing you ever do.
Credit: Nordic Nonsense