Every Silver Lining has a Cloud

Submitted into Contest #40 in response to: Write a story about two people who meet and become instant friends.... view prompt


Kids Fantasy Horror


“Five, please.”

“Absolutely,” he said, as he pushed the elevator button.

And there we were, rising in our silver lining box. Damn, he was hot. That two-button navy business suit barely hid his muscles and broad shoulders as he leaned against the railing. And the goatee with a soul patch, sweet green eyes, and sinful grin... I averted my eyes as he shot a glance my way. The elevator buttons showed floor five and floor six. Breathe, I remind myself.

I straightened my little black dress.

“You here for the seminar?” he asked.

“Yes, I’m attending the social platforming breakout session this afternoon. Not a bad seminar so far. Your accent is lovely.” My brain shouted shut-up, but my mouth had no ears.



“The red hair and accent were a dead giveaway,” he whispered with a wink.

“Smart mouthed Englishman, I see.”

A ding, and then a slight jar, saved us—kept the rebuttal from destroying our polite banter. The silver doors opened with a rattle. I lingered a bit, wanting one last look at this interesting man. “My floor.” I nodded and walked out, digging through my clutch for my room keycard as the doors rattled back in place.

The bell and rattle of the doors a second later signaled the reopening of the doors. Odd, I thought. Glancing into a well-placed hall mirror, I realized he’d exited the elevator a few seconds after me. My thoughts scrolled through every stupid move of every minor character in every horror movie I’d ever seen. His heavy steps followed right behind me. I thought to turn and say something, but my room was only three more steps.

I stopped at room 518 and heard his laugh behind me. My eyebrow raised and head tilted, I turned to look at him as he circled around me until we met face to face. He leaned his shoulder against the wall, crossing those long legs at the ankle.

“You must have bewitched me in the elevator. I got off a floor early,” he grinned. “Funny thing, my room is right above yours.” I played with the silver pendant on my necklace and smiled, my eyes connecting with his brilliant green although fibbing eyes.

“Jewish?” he asked, nodding at my necklace.


“Ah, mysterious woman, I see. How about we do lunch together before the afternoon session and get to know one another, solve the mystery?”

I pulled my keycard from the door. The green light signaled me to open the door. I smiled. An omen? Those eyes, that grin. Man.

“Silver lining in fifteen minutes? Hold the door for me?” I said, pointing to the elevator.

His laugh was infectious.

“Clever bird, you are.”

“Careful, Edgar Allan Poe had trouble with a bird if I recall.”

“James, James Bollinger, Marketing Manager of SECO,” he said extending his hand.

“Raven, Raven Grogan, Director of Marketing at WC of Ireland,” I said shaking his hand, allowing my hand to linger.

Fifteen minutes later, he appeared as the elevator doors opened and I stepped inside. The lobby button was lit like a lighthouse, essential as our cloud of tension transformed into an awkward fog.

“Show me your hand,” I said

I turned his left-hand palm up and checked for a wedding ring or wedding ring mark. Gently, I ran my finger across several lines of his palm.

“This is your life line, and this your heart line. No W… hmm, disappointing.”


Ding. Saved by the bell. “I’ll tell you after lunch.”

“Mean you are, genuine colors, see I.”

An adorable Yoda imitation. I couldn’t help but giggle.

“Trust me, you have no idea.”

After a lovely lunch, where I hung on his every word while eating escargot and cuisses de Grenouille with a glass of sweet Lambrusco Rosso, I stole away to check-in at WC in Ireland.

On my cell, I whispered to Glinda, “I found one. He’s luscious. Bringing him in this evening. Be ready. You can release Jerald. Tell him it’s over. He’s free as a Raven. Gotta fly.”

“Ready for the afternoon session, Mr. Bollinger?”

“Indeed. Then drinks after?”


We sat together trading glances, writing suggestive notes, playing footsie. Finally, he reached for my hand under the table.

I don’t remember a word of the lecture. Our steps slowed as we held hands and bumped into one another. Butterflies grew as we walked down the paisley-patterned hall carpet to the darkened bar with its thick cherry wood bar and silver-plated mirrors. I couldn’t believe my luck. Such serendipity. One elevator ride and everything changed.


“Not too much, but yes,” I responded wryly

“Ha. Wine, not whines. I can’t imagine you ever having a cross word. You are like sunshine on a cloudy day. Say, what was that disappointment you saw in my palm?”

“Oh yes, look.” I showed him my palm and traced three lines that made an M or a W depending on your perspective. “If you have this mark, it means you have the fortune of magical powers. Your palm is so close and with practice, you could gain your W.”

“My W?”

I tapped my pendant three times and his eyes blinked three times before turning hazy.

“Drink up. I’m going to tell you something and it will change your life forever.”

His blank stare said it all. Tranced as planned.

“Listen, I whispered. “You are my silver lining. Every cloud has a silver lining, and every silver lining has a cloud. I’m your ‘W’, your witch. The witchcraft world I live in needs a few ‘not so good’ men. You are mine. We will take my boom to WC in Ireland. At Witchcraft, Inc., we will teach you all you need to know about magic. All you have to do is follow me to the elevator.” I stood. He stood. He followed me to the elevator. “Five, please.” He pushed the five-button, and we rose. As we rose to the third floor, I called Glinda and asked her to gather our things from the hotel. Then with a snap of my fingers, we were on my broom flying through the clouds. He held me tight, though the handcuffs helped with that. The moonlight was lovely glinting off the silver cuffs I love instant friends, don’t you?

May 03, 2020 18:21

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Pragya Rathore
07:35 Jun 02, 2020

Very well expressed! What an interesting story!! I really loved the character descriptions... Great going! Please review my stories too...


Christina Steele
15:28 Jun 03, 2020

Thank you for your kind words. I will return the kindness. I'm under a few deadlines ur should have time this weekend. AgAin thank guy it really helps to know if I'm doing well or not.


Pragya Rathore
16:46 Jun 03, 2020

You are doing amazing!!! :D Thanks


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E. Jude
08:23 Jul 12, 2020

Hi Christina, This was a great story, awfully realistic. The dialogue had lots of pep and banter. The only thing that really threw me off, was when she said: "Smart mouthed Englishman". Ireland and England are two distinct Nations and that often gets played down a lot on Ireland's part, because of the history. This can be offensive to an Irish person (such as me). I'm sure you weren't aware of it, but I just wanted to inform you, for future references. I hope I didn't make you uncomfortable Have a nice day XElsa


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Praveen Jagwani
02:37 Jul 01, 2020

I've been bewitched in elevators but still await my broom ride. Rich storytelling Christina. Look forward to more.


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Batool Hussain
16:11 Jun 23, 2020

Good story! Mind checking out my recent story too? Thanks.


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Evelyn ⭐️
19:54 Jun 06, 2020

Great story! Loved every second. It really caught my attention!! Can wait to read more of your work! Stay safe,


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22:06 May 13, 2020

Wow! So, I was brought here by the new 'Critique Circle'. And I loved this story! I definitely was thinking that they would become friends, and then become lovers. I was definitely wrong. I really don't have any critiques...Just keep writing and stay safe! -Brooke


Christina Steele
15:31 Jun 03, 2020

Thank you, Brooke. I like a twist ending and a bit of magic. So glad you enjoyed it. I'll be subbing a new one soon. Hope you like it too.


15:35 Jun 03, 2020

I'll check it out! You're welcome! -Brooke


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David Painter
13:35 May 11, 2020

Cool story well written 👍


Christina Steele
18:49 May 11, 2020

Thank you, David. May you never meet a witch within your silver lining cloud.


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