Fly on the Wall“The Lift”

Dave is nervous. Well, not nervous, but not calm. Okay, maybe he’s nervous. Maybe he’s really nervous. His foot begins to tap. The woman in front of him gives him a look. He smiles sheepishly but his foot doesn’t stop. Can’t stop.

This elevator is too slow. He brings his arm up, checks his watch, puts his arm down. A few seconds later he does it again because somehow, he forgot to actually look at the time. Okay. He’s not late. He can make it. He will make it. Maybe.

Is the elevator even moving?

He looks around. No one else seems to be concerned. But it’s been at least two minutes. Even on the slowest elevator, he should have made it to the fifth floor by now. And no one else has gotten on or off; that is not normal either.

Dave opens his mouth to inquire about this when the elevator jolts to a stop, making a loud, short ding. He looks at the screen and a red, pixelated “1” looks at him. Now he’s really confused. He got on at the first floor and he’s been on for five minutes. What exactly is going on here?

The woman who gave him a look steps forward, looks out, comes back in. The doors shut. No one else moves and Dave’s nerves go into overdrive.

Why didn’t anyone press a floor? Why was she the only one who moved?

“Excuse me,” he tries. No one replies. “Uh, could someone press the button for the fifth floor, please?” He’s at the back, he’ll have to squeeze through at least three people to press it himself. There is still no response. He doesn’t even get a look from the lady in the front.

Okay. He breathes deeply and slowly. Okay, this is okay. He’s still locked into his place at the back, but this is a busy building. Surely someone from one of the other floors will call the elevator, and it will move.

So, he waits and waits. Then he waits some more. He checks his watch, and his eyes bulge and his heart drops. How could twenty minutes have passed? “I really have somewhere to be,” he tries again.

There is still no response.