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Holiday Drama Adventure

Mirror On The Elevator 

A Short Story By Ella Sipp

Victoria DuPont strutted into Macy’s on the day before Christmas Eve. It was practically bursting with people going to and fro, buying this, listing that, shopping and talking and chattering and talking. 

The noise, the miserable noise. Madam DuPont thought, for that was what she liked to call herself. 

I should be working ahead at the office, but noooo! I just had to buy a gift for that ‘fun’ white elephant game at the stupid family reunion. 

Victoria DuPont liked to think that she was a special breed of human. A breed so elegant and high-mannered that other lower people were just an utter nuisance. Her philosophy was this: friends were a waste, love a trifle and family insignificant. 

“A reminder to customers that the store will be closing in 15 minutes.” A scratchy voice announced over the intercom. 

Victoria DuPont (who insisted I always listed her full name) stopped and checked her Rolex watch; it was 9:45. She adjusted her Hermes handbag, straightened her Armani brand dress and started off down the aisle. 

Her plan was to buy some chocolates and leave it at tomorrow’s reunion. She would not waste her precious time in Grandmother’s perfume-stinking home, filled to the brim with brats and adults alike. No, no, no! Victoria DuPont had better things to do, like her flight to California in two days. She planned to wait out the cold weather and holiday nonsense at a fancy beach-side hotel. Of course she’d keep up with work there, but it was all the better to organise bills and make phone calls while staring out at the blue seashore. Why, she could even negotiate employee pay rates while getting a spa treatment! 

Needless to say, Victoria DuPont was very rich indeed. She was the owner of a well-to-do custom clothes company, DuPont Designer Fashions. What started out as a local business had blossomed into an expensive, nationally known company. Madam DuPont was nothing less than royal (or so she thought). 

“The doors will be closing in ten minutes, please make your last purchases and thank you for shopping with Macy’s.” The scratchy voice said once again.

Victoria DuPont rushed to a nearby elevator and pushed the button leading to the third floor. She drummed her long, manicured fingernails on her arm as she waited. 

Ugh! What terrible service! I’m in a hurry, don’t they know who I am? She thought impatiently. 

It was only when complete silence had settled that Victoria DuPont realised she was the only one in the room. A quick glance around the empty floor gave her an uncomfortable feeling, like being watched. Suddenly, she was plunged into almost total darkness. For a moment Victoria DuPont thought the store had closed on her, but the lights quickly came back on. She sighed with relief and took a moment to recompose herself. 

Ding! The elevator doors slid open and Victoria DuPont was relieved to see a young man about her age standing in the compartment. 

“Merry Christmas!” He greeted cheerfully.

“What? Oh, yes, yes. To you too.”

The doors closed and she felt a pull as the elevator climbed upward. 

There was a mirror on the wall next to her, so she busied herself with re-adjusting the stray hairs on her head and avoiding eye contact with the young man. The overhead light was yellowish and rather unclean, but she made do. Only the young man noticed how unusually long the ride was taking, only an occasional click! or clack! told them that they were moving. Victoria DuPont’s work was quite absorbing, so she received a shocking jolt when the elevator screeched to a halt. 

“I’d say this thing needs an update.” The young man said, giving the wall a few pats.

Victoria DuPont waited, but the doors didn’t open. She exchanged a confused glance with the young man. He reached forward and banged on the door, but nothing happened. Victoria DuPont pushed the “open door” button, nothing. The screen above the control panel flashed between floor 2 and floor 3, then the overhead light flickered and she began to panic. 

“Calm down, we’re gonna be okay.” The young man said soothingly. 

Victoria DuPont wrung her hands and began pacing.

“No! No! It’s not okay! We’re stuck!” She said despairingly.

“Maybe the door is just jammed, help me pull it open.” 

They both wedged their fingers in the door’s gap and pulled as hard as they could, it opened just enough for them to see a metal wall blocking their way out. The elevator had stopped mid-floor. 

They both let go and stood back to take a breath. Victoria DuPont reached over to push the “call for help” button, but just as she did, all the buttons went dark and the panel switched off. She jammed her thumb down on the red circle, nothing. 

A voice on the overhead speaker made them both jump.

“Ladies and gentlemen the doors are locked and the store has been closed. Merry Christmas and sleep well.” The voice was much clearer this time.

“Wait! We’re still here!” Victoria DuPont and the young man shouted, pressing their lips to the gap in the door. 

“We’re still-” But they were cut off by the utter darkness that ensued after the overhead light blinked off.

Victoria DuPont fumbled for her phone, dead. 

“Do you have your phone?” She asked the young man, there was a ruffling sound in the dark.

“No, I must’ve left it in my car.” He said. 

“Ugh!” Victoria DuPont groaned. 

She tried turning on her phone again and the “no battery” symbol dimly lit the compartment, as well as the ghost standing in front of Victoria DuPont. She screamed, but then realised it was just her reflection. 

“What! What is it?” The young man asked. 

“Oh it’s nothing, just my reflect- um, hmm. That’s odd.” Victoria DuPont was looking at her reflection, only it wasn’t her. The person in the mirror was painfully hunched down, wore a ragged dress, had dirty, unwashed hair and a sad, filthy face. Victoria DuPont raised her arm, so did the dirty woman. She turned her head from side to side, the old woman did the same

She looked at the young man’s reflection, he was clean with lovely robes of purple, jewels speckling off of its surface. A large golden crown rested upon his head. The silhouette around him glowed slightly and his smile was warm and kind.

“I’m going crazy.” Victoria DuPont muttered. 

“That’s a fun trick.” The young man said, studying his reflection. 

“You mean, you can see it too?” Victoria DuPont asked. 

“Well, yes. My, my, my. I do look good as a king.” He smiled, turning from side-to-side. The luscious fabric swished luxuriously.

Victoria DuPont’s phone blinked out again and did not come back. Both sat down in the dark and could not think of anything else to do. 

“My name’s Michael, by the way. Michael Beckett.” He said. 

“I’m Victoria DuPont.” Victoria DuPont said, but stopped and thought for a moment. Then, for the first time in her life, she gave a stranger this permission:

“But you can call me Victoria.”

In the dark, both gropped around until they found each other’s outstretched hands, then they shook. 

“So… what are your holiday plans?” Victoria said.

“Well I have this crazy uncle, see. And after six years he sends me this letter…”

So on the night went, talking and talking and talking. They may have been trapped in a cramped elevator, but that didn’t matter, Victoria could not remember a time when she felt happier. It was probably the first time in a year that she had laughed. 

In the morning, both were jolted awake when the overhead light switched on and the elevator moved to level three. The two found that they’d fallen asleep on each other’s shoulders, much to Victoria’s embarrassment. A very stunned Macy’s manager awaited them when the doors opened. Based on Victoria and Michael’s disheveled appearance, the man put two and two together. He apologized profusely after hearing their story and gave each of them a fifty-dollar gift card. 

Victoria and Michael exchanged phone numbers, hugged (a very foreign ritual to Victoria) and went their separate ways. 

Victoria checked her watch, it was 9:00 am. Great goodness! The family reunion was at 10:00 and she still needed to buy a present! Plucking her high-heels off, she ran over to the nearest candy stall. With her Macy’s gift card, she filled three bags with gumdrops, huge lollipops, taffy, chocolate and much more! After shouting a loud “Merry Christmas!” to the lady at the check out, she made a beeline for her car. 

But wait! I couldn’t possibly go to a party in this dress! She thought. 

So on the way out she picked up a nice, ugly sweater and some sweatpants. 

Oh, if only I could describe the utter shock on the faces of Victoria’s family when she made her entrance. 

“Merry Christmas to all!!!” She shouted as she twirled through the front door. 

All the little children screamed with delight when Victoria began to throw giant handfuls of candy in every direction. After everyone had gotten over the initial surprise, they all settled in to hear Victoria’s story about her death-defying imprisonment in a broken elevator. She had quite literally become a new person overnight, Victoria DuPont was never the same again. 

As for Michael Beckett? Let’s just say he and Victoria kept in contact until Victoria DuPont became Victoria Beckett. Or, as she was fondly known by friends and family, Vicky.  

Under the new, more flamboyant management, DuPont Custom Fashions expanded into five times its original wealth. It was now a globally known and loved company with thousands of orders coming in from all over the world. With the extra money, Victoria and Michael Beckett supported young artists, donated to charities and even funded a new school for beginner fashion designers. The entire Beckett family (for they had at least eight children in the end) lived sumptuously, although they never forgot to be caring and thoughtful. 

Even years later when I gathered this story from an aging Victoria, she said she never found out who was responsible for that mirror in the elevator. What she did know, is that it actually reflected one’s soul. She, a wealthy, powerful, yet selfish woman on the outside, but a dirty, shriveled old lady on the inside. Michael, however, was like a king. He had quite a bit of wealth on the inside, due to his kind heart. 

Before we depart, I have one last piece to share on the story of Victoria DuPont, or Vicky Beckett. 

It had been five years since she had last been on this elevator and much had changed since then. For one, Vicky Beckett was now holding the hand of her four-year-old daughter, while gripping onto a stroller containing her newborn twin boys. Her little three-year-old son was standing in the other corner of the elevator, sucking his thumb. 

Vicky Beckett turned and looked at her reflection in the mirror next to her. She saw herself as a crippled old woman, but smiling. Victoria DuPont waved at Vicky Beckett as she melted into a beautiful queen with golden robes and a bejeweled crown. Vicky waved back and then walked off the elevator, children in pursuit. 

“Mamma? Who was you wavin’ at?” The little four-year-old said. Vicky smiled. 

“Just, someone I used to know.”

The End. Or Rather, The Beginning. 

September 05, 2020 20:00

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1 comment

02:12 Dec 18, 2020

One thing: 🤩😍😮😮😊😊 - Amethyst


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