86 comments

Submitted on 07/09/2020

Categories: General

Danny taps his card, prompting the metal door to open. Holding the bulging plastic bag with his left hand, he walks in and presses the button with the number 38 written on it. A girl follows him, pressing the button with number 40. Then the two wait for the elevator door to close.

Ten floors pass by. The girl pulls out her smartphone from the pocket of her dress and glues her eyes into the social media account.

Twenty floors pass by. Danny averts his vision from the girl, trying his best not to stare too much.

Thirty floors pass by. The elevator suddenly comes to a stop, yet the door stays closed. Danny glances at the floor display and realizes that the screen has gone blank.

Without instructions, both Danny and the girl look at each other in confusion.

“Is the lift… stuck?” the girl throws a question.

Danny presses the open button several times, yet the door stays closed. “It seems so.”

Upon hearing the reply, the girl starts to press every button from the top, hoping one of them can bring a change to the situation. Yet, nothing happens; the screen stays blank, the elevator stays immobile.

Until she presses the bell-shaped button beside the open button.

“How can we help?” a husky voice echoes inside the metal box.

“Hey, can you send a technician? We are stuck inside the elevator,” Danny lowers his face towards the holes below the bell-shaped button.

“Sure, please wait for a moment,” the voice replies.

The girl shoves Danny away, taking over to speak to the staff with a shaky voice. “Can you tell us how long until the technician is here?”

The voice stays silent for several moments before answering. “I’d say about an hour? But it depends on the traffic from the technician’s location to yours.”


---


Ten minutes inside, Danny leans his back on the right corner, while the girl stands at the other corner of the elevator. The two of them spend the time in silence; each busily fiddles with the mobile phone on hand.

From time to time, Danny glances over, unable to resist the urge to observe the girl stuck beside him. The girl has light brown hair, dark brown eyes and fair skin tone. With pastel blue coloured nail extensions, the dark blue short dress and the white sling bag, she completes her look.

The girl, as if she feels his eyes on her, turn her head towards Danny. Yet, without making any noise, she turns around and occupies herself with her phone once again.

And the two stay without letting out any voice.

Until a stomach rumble penetrates through the silence.

Danny lets out a chuckle. He pulls out a snack from his white plastic bag, slowly stretches it in front of the girl.

“Do you want to eat some snacks?”


---


Thirty minutes inside, the two of them are sitting at the elevator’s floor, with empty packaging surrounding them. Feeling slightly better from having a full stomach, Danny pulls out one last thing from his white plastic bag.

“I only have one, but feel free to have a drink. All those snacks must have been salty,” Danny stretches his hands, offering the bottled lemon tea for the girl.

“Oh, thank you!” The girl reaches out her hand towards the drink, right when Danny pulls his hands, moving the bottle behind his back.

“On one condition,” Danny grins playfully.

The girl pouts. “What?”

Danny keeps on smiling as he lets out his sentence. “Give me your contact.”

The girl eyes widened by the surprise request. She rolls her eyes, puts her hands under her chin, contemplates over the deal for a few second. 

“Social media is fine, right?”

Danny nods. 

The girl then pulls her smartphone, handing it onto Danny’s palm, gesturing to him to type his profile out.


---


Forty-five minutes inside, the elevator is now full of chatter, from which Danny learns about the girl in front of him, whose name is Jade.

From the social media account, he realizes that they are both the same age, twenty-two.

And going through the posts on social media, it turns out that they have many mutual friends, yet they never met with each other beforehand. 

On top of that, they are both students in the same university, although taking two different major.

“Why don’t we have lunch sometimes at university, then?” Danny asks suggestively. He slightly bites the bottom of his lips, nervously hoping that Jade agrees to his invitation.

“Yeah, sure,” the girl gives out her reply almost immediately, taking Danny aback with such a positive response.

“I mean…, if our schedule matches, sure,” she rephrases her sentence. Jade averts her face, but Danny could see the girl in front of him is blushing shyly.

And Danny could no longer hide the wide smile from his face.


---


One hour inside, the technician finally comes over. With his tools clinking against each other, he squats down on the first floor and quickly starts to disassemble the parts of the elevator.

“How is it looking?” The building manager comes over, then stands behind the man in the orange-coloured jumpsuit.

The technician lets out a sigh. “Honestly speaking, it is pretty bad. Do you have any idea on which floor the lift was stuck?”

The building manager ponders for a while. “I believe it was around thirty. Or maybe even higher.”

The technician puts his focus back on the machine in front of him. “Has there been any weird sound or anything from this elevator?”

“Some residents in the lobby mentioned that they heard a loud bang a few minutes before you came,” the building manager gives out her answer as she crosses her arm. Her face looks worried. 

“Then, it might be already too late.”

The technician no longer talks, but his hands move even faster.

And when the metal door is open, red splashes have filled the inside of the elevator.

Along with two lifeless bodies, sitting on the floor, hugging each other, with smiles painted over their face.


If only they were lying flat on their back to increase their chance of survival from a free-falling elevator.

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86 comments

Niveeidha P
22:55 Jul 09, 2020

Hi Deborah, this story was so good! The relationship with Jade and Danny was incorporated in such a meaningful way! Like, Courtney said, I love how they were complete strangers at first...the ending was so drastic, however, I never really expected....wow... One thing to improve: Your singular and plural words...you kept mixing them up, it was hard to focus on the story... That's all, otherwise, this story was absolutely heart-wrenching and lovely!

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Deborah Angevin
07:11 Jul 10, 2020

Thanks for the feedback, Niveeidha! I have smoothed it up for now, but would definitely proofread further for the next submission!

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Niveeidha P
07:17 Jul 10, 2020

No problem Deborah, glad to know it helped you in some way! Looking forward to reading your next story ;)

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Ranya Navarez
15:21 Jul 09, 2020

This is a great story, Deborah! But I do have a few pieces of advice. I found many grammar errors such as a singular verb matched with a plural pronoun or a plural verb with a singular pronoun. Another piece of advice: to give the reader a vivid, personal picture of what's happening, it is typically good to show with the five senses rather than tell. (I have trouble with this, too.) Also, when you tell the ending of this, it may make it more heart wrenching for the reader if say something like "If only they had lain on their backs,...

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Deborah Angevin
20:40 Jul 09, 2020

Thank you for the great feedback for the ending, Ranya! :o

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Ranya Navarez
02:43 Jul 10, 2020

You're welcome!

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Courtney Stuart
13:54 Jul 09, 2020

that ending though...wow. you did such a great job leading up to that very last scene! you established the fact that they were complete strangers at the beginning of the story very well, so the development of their relationship was very clear to see, and it made the ending very surprising and unpredictable! great job! :)

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Deborah Angevin
20:37 Jul 09, 2020

Thank you for the review, Courtney :)

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Daryl Gravesande
12:55 Jul 09, 2020

Woah, you KILLED them?! That was a great twist, told with a smooth flow and fleshed out characters. Perhaps this could be my new favorite story...

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Deborah Angevin
20:39 Jul 09, 2020

I did contemplate whether to kill them or not, actually! Thank you for enjoying it, Daryl :)

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Daryl Gravesande
12:19 Jul 11, 2020

No problem!

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Lata B
14:50 Jul 09, 2020

OMG! I love this story especially the way you ended it! Amazing job!

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Deborah Angevin
20:41 Jul 09, 2020

Glad that you enjoyed it, Lata! :)

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12:40 Jul 09, 2020

You killed them! Lol. I didn’t see that coming. I love a good twist. Well written smooth flow. I noticed a couple typos that I’m sure you’ll catch if you reread. But other than that perfection. And thanks for the tip 🏢

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Deborah Angevin
20:50 Jul 09, 2020

Thank you for reading it, Sarah :)

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Charles Stucker
12:40 Jul 09, 2020

You certainly have a keen eye for the O Henry moment. The tale flows well. Everything is spot on. Except for a few usage issues. Danny "averts" his vision... Not sure why you used averts and to(ward) the bag. You avert away from something- the girl presumably. The two of them "spends" the time...It's spend here. All the issues are little glitches that would certainly be smoothed out except for the rush of getting it finished before the deadline. In the end, it is the ending which makes it a memorable story, because you avoided the rom...

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Deborah Angevin
20:51 Jul 09, 2020

I edited the story here; hopefully smoothed out by now. Thank you for reading it, Charles!

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12:14 Jul 09, 2020

What an ending! But kind of happy, in a way. I enjoyed watching the malfunctioning lift bring them together

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Deborah Angevin
20:51 Jul 09, 2020

Glad that you enjoyed it, Emilie! :)

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Laura Clark
12:04 Jul 09, 2020

Oh wow! This is quite the ending. What a tragedy, that they’d connected and never got a chance to explore it. Thanks for the tip about elevators too!

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Deborah Angevin
20:52 Jul 09, 2020

That is exactly it! Thank you for reading it, Laura! :)

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Anthony Neal
11:24 Jul 09, 2020

You have a very lively narrative style - there is always movement in your sentences which makes the piece flow. Your verbs are strong contributing factor to that, I can tell that you have paid close attention to this. My one suggestion would be to dial back on the dialogue tagging. For example, Danny makes a suggestion, hoping Jade to agree to his invitation, leads the reader to much - the dialogue already tells us this. I hope that helps! I really enjoyed your work :)

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Deborah Angevin
11:54 Jul 09, 2020

Thank you for the feedback and for enjoying the story, Anthony! I really appreciate it :)

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11:06 Jul 09, 2020

Short and crisp to the point. Very well narrated. The end was unexpected but proves the friendship had been worth the wait. I liked the story.

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Deborah Angevin
11:55 Jul 09, 2020

Thank you, Jayashree. Would you mind if you give the like? :)

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Roshna Rusiniya
10:32 Jul 09, 2020

That was a chilling twist at the end! Very well-written Deborah!

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Deborah Angevin
10:36 Jul 09, 2020

Thanks for checking it as it is out, Roshna! I appreciate it! :)

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Roshna Rusiniya
10:39 Jul 09, 2020

You are very welcome! Check mine also when you get time. Like you, I took a dark route too.

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Verda H
10:24 Jul 09, 2020

Wow this took a dark, twisted turn. I liked it! Also, remind me to get into elevators with you from now on, you seem to know what to do ;)

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Deborah Angevin
10:37 Jul 09, 2020

At this point in time, I feel like having twist at the end is my becoming my kind of thing! P.S: I did get stuck in the elevator once!

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Verda H
13:59 Jul 09, 2020

Oh that's great! Are you finding out your style? Also I would love it if you checked out my stories too :)

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Batool Hussain
09:52 Jul 09, 2020

Oh my God! What have you done? What have you done! Ugh...i thought this was supposed to end on a happy note. But, instead you killed them?! Kidding, I lovedddd your story. So good! There is a typo which I came across. You've written "yet they never meet with each other beforehand" instead of "yet they never met each other beforehand. This is really good. Like the two of them befriended each other in such a short time( I would never do that ^ _*). I would have been happier if the story would have had a happy ending. Nevertheless, gOOd ...

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Deborah Angevin
10:39 Jul 09, 2020

To be honest, I contemplated whether to end it in a happy ending or making it a twist! But I figured I should let people know how to survive a free-falling elevator :D

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Batool Hussain
11:00 Jul 09, 2020

Yes, you did it right!

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Batool Hussain
15:14 Jul 12, 2020

Mind checking out my new story and sharing your views on it? Thanks,

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Deborah Angevin
10:00 Jul 13, 2020

Sure thing, Batool! :)

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Eve Falls
12:55 Jul 16, 2020

WHY DID YOU KILL THEM!!!!!! They had a DATE!!!!!! Great story, by the way! I loved it! Would you mind checking mine out?

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Deborah Angevin
07:09 Jul 17, 2020

Hahaha! I just like surprising people with a twist at the end of the story! Sure thing, I'll check out your story! :D

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wait...they DIED?? Noooo!!! They were getting along so well! Could you check mine out? It's called ''people talk'' and will be public on Saturday 18th July... Loved the story by the way. You should publish it in a novel, you'll have the fangirls (such as myself)/boys out of their minds! ^-^ :)

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Deborah Angevin
07:13 Jul 17, 2020

I'll think about the novel suggestion (I was originally thinking short-stories collection of some sort, but novel sounds good too!) Sure, I'll check out your story! :D

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T.m. Kay
16:09 Jul 14, 2020

Great story Deborah. Wow. What an ending. I never saw that coming. Great job!

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T.m. Kay
16:07 Jul 14, 2020

Great story Deborah. What a surprise ending! I never saw that coming. Great job!

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Deborah Angevin
22:10 Jul 14, 2020

Glad that I can surprise people with the ending! Thank you for reading :)

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Shivani Manocha
11:25 Jul 14, 2020

Oh my God . . . like this was literally the reaction when I read this "And when the metal door is open, red splashes have filled the inside of the elevator". I mean I had not expected that at all. The way you wrote this story emphasizes that as readers we should always be open to reading and understanding new things . . . the reading process is not just about the fulfillment of our expectations. Great story!

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Deborah Angevin
22:10 Jul 14, 2020

Glad that you enjoyed reading it, Shivani :D

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Jane Andrews
17:24 Jul 13, 2020

Hi Deborah. I won't go into too much detail with anything technical such as tenses etc as I see you have plenty of other helpful comments from other people. (If I was going to add anything, maybe it would be to make your dialogue a little less formal in places eg "We're stuck inside the elevator" rather than "We are stuck", but that's a minor quibble.) What I will say is that you've produced a compelling piece of writing here - the fact you have 46 likes at the time of me writing this proves that you can tell a story that captures people's i...

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Deborah Angevin
23:47 Jul 13, 2020

Thank you for your review, Jane! Will work on the dialogues (and as others commented, the description too!) :)

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