Part 1 can be found HERE.
The man was average looking. Average height. Average weight. Just plain average on all fronts. His hair was ashen and his eyes a dull green. Or so Bethany imagined. She could not forget the grimace on his face when she moved his hands away from her. Even in the dark club, she could see that he was visibly hurt. But that was not Bethany’s problem.
The look he shot her today after she asked him to get off the elevator was less of hurt and more of anger.
Bethany swallowed hard. She took a few sips of her sugar-free tea, wondering if it was possible that it was that guy who was behind the technical difficulties with the elevator. “It cannot be.” She took a deep breath and looked at her watch – 8:45a.m. It had been 15 minutes since she left the room to get breakfast. Probably nearing 5 minutes that she had been stuck in the elevator. That was way longer than she had expected, so she pulled out her cell phone again – still no signal. She walked around the elevator in hopes that maybe she would get a bar. Nothing.
“Hello?” came through the speakers.
“Oh, praise the Lord!” Bethany made a sign of the cross. “Yes. Hello? Can you get me out of here?” she asked in a raised voice. She was now one of those old people who yelled while speaking on the phone with someone oceans away. As if that was going to make a difference.
“To troubleshoot, I need to know what is going on on your end.”
“The elevator stopped abruptly when I was on my way up, and shortly after, the light went off. I tried pushing all the buttons, but nothing seems to work. I am not one to panic easily, but I think I might be running out of air soon.”
“Yes, the power went out, but it is now back on. I will reset the system and then get you back into your room. Hopefully, that will not take long.”
Bethany looked around the elevator. She had watched enough movies to know that there should be a way out through the ceiling. But there was no way she could reach that high up. Plus, she could not risk getting on top of the elevator, and then it moving and crushing her against the top. She had never felt so powerless. There was nothing she could do but wait for someone else to rescue her. Bethany frowned. Powerless was not a state she enjoyed.
“While I wait for the system to come back on, tell me what you think about social distancing.”
“I think it is important to try and stay safe as much as possible and to extend that courtesy to others.” In reality, Bethany thought that it was the greatest thing since sliced bread because it kept people from violating each other’s personal space. She did not really care about the virus. In fact, she was curious to see how she would handle it.
“Even if it means one person per elevator? Wasted time. Wasted electricity…” the voice trailed off.
Bethany raised her eyebrow. “Safety first. Right?”
“Right. You definitely are safe now.”
“Excuse me?” Bethany began to worry. “How much longer until this thing moves?”
“When it is time, Bethany. When it is time.”
“How…” Bethany began to mumble, unable to form a complete sentence. Her heart started beating faster, and she took a step back to lean on the back wall.
“I have done my research. You have great dance moves.” Bethany thought she heard a smile in the speaker’s tone.
‘Emergency calls only,’ Bethany’s phone displayed. Well, this was definitely an emergency.
“OK. It is up and running. Are you moving?”
With a jolt, the elevator started back up.
Bethany did not answer, wondering what awaited her next.
“Someone will be there waiting for you once you get off on your floor. I apologize for the inconvenience.”
“Ugh!” Bethany was so angry with herself. She made a mental note to carry at least a knife with her at all times. Aside from a plastic knife and spoon, she had nothing to protect herself with. The guy was probably going to drag her into the nearest room and do ‘God knows what’ with her. She knew she had to scream.
With a ding, the elevator opened on Bethany’s floor. She quickly grabbed the still-warm tea to throw it in her assailant’s face.
The tea collided with a male face.
“What the hell?” Roy asked, wiping the hot liquid off his face.
“Roy? What are you doing here?” Bethany blinked, staring at her boyfriend with a bouquet of red roses.
“Thankfully, your tea was not scalding hot! You could have burned my face off.” Roy wiped his face again and then got down on one knee. “Will you marry me?”
“What is going on here?” Bethany looked around for a hidden camera. “Roy, I was stuck in an elevator-“
“I know. I asked Connor, who works as maintenance here, to help me. Traffic was terrible, and I knew I would not get here on time.”
The elevator pinged again, and the all-around-average man stepped off the elevator. “You forgot your breakfast,” Connor said, handing Bethany her bowl and plate.
“But yesterday-” Bethany was bewildered.
“Yes, I wanted to see how you would act if a hot guy who was not me showed you some attention. You passed the test!”
Bethany wanted to laugh at the different definitions of “a hot guy” that she and Roy had but decided against it.
Roy cleared his throat. “Please answer this time, or I will get worried. Will you marry me?”
Bethany knelt and took Roy’s face into her hands. “The stress you put me through in the past few minutes has been insane. But ‘YES.'” She kissed her fiance passionately.
As Connor was walking away, he stole one last look of Bethany’s rump. “Ooh, yea…”
“Write about someone who purposefully causes a power outage.”
“Write about a character who’s stuck in an elevator when the power goes out.”
“Write a story about someone feeling powerless.”
– prompts used for this CW piece.
P.S. As always, you are more than welcome to use this prompt to inspire your post. If you decide to write something, be sure to pingback to this post so that I can get an alert and check out your piece. (A post on how to do pingbacks can be found here.) If pingbacks are not your thing, feel free to simply leave a link to your piece in the comment section below. The more, the merrier!
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