But I’m Scared of Heights
I was going to write a horror story but it came out dripping with sarcasm and not very horror-like. I feel ashamed of myself. Please do bash this story.
Towards the end I decided to let it go and turn this whole thing into a miserable train wreck of misery with tragic raindrops pitter-pattering down the sides and a fire somehow surviving the rain and also many dying people screaming plus Indiana Jones hurrying past with a crowd of venomous adders at his heel and Tumblr feminists bashing the fedora thing he wears I swear it’s gonna be bad because I am typing all of this off the tops of my head and absolutely no editing has been done and no damns were given.
I am a tragic disappointment to the writing community I am sorry
Sometimes, when you’re running late, fate will throw another misfortune or two at you.
In the pits of Hell, the school bell would be ringing at this moment, signalling your lateness. If only you had the time to examine what the heck was wrong with your alarm clock.
Your ‘breakfast’ is churning around in your stomach more violently than it should be, your hair looking like it had been assaulted by half a dozen cows in the night. During misfortunes such as these, your fingers gain several levels in dexterity as your manage to buckle your watch while jamming the lift button.
If this were any more of a cheesy horror story, then this very moment would be when the creepy music starts. Are you sitting with your back against the wall? If there’s empty space behind you, and it’s night, you might want to check over your shoulder. Nothing will be there but you might feel more relieved to have done it.
(For best effects, start up any scary music box tune and let the fear wash over you. Those things are horrendifying.)
Up and down, stop, up and down is the pattern the lift usually observes. Today, it’s up and down, up and down, up and down, a box of emptiness running between predetermined destinations with a noticeable lack of both passengers and purpose. It has taken 6 minutes to pass your level 3 times. Its sister lift is under maintenance, the door panes giving you a glimpse of the darkness within.
Yet the other lift still keeps going, racing against nothing for a nonexistent prize, while you anxiously check your watch again and again, the lift still merrily zooming past you despite the two red lights that are the activated lift buttons. Why do you even care? You’re gonna be late either way.
You finally decide that you’ve had enough, and you start for the stairwell, crashing down the last few steps of every flight, not caring how much damage you cause your feet.
Then you wonder if anyone’s ever taken these stairs instead of the lift at your level, other than emergency evacuations and the like…
Probably not, you think, noticing the number labels beside each level’s door. They’re all the same as your level- who the hell would willingly take stairs this confusing? What kind of bloody idiot would stick the same number over and over on the stairs? Luckily you’ve been counting in your head ever since you started your desperate run, so everything’s going to be fine.
So when you reach the ‘ground floor’ and you open the door to find the same set of doors you left behind 16 floors above, the lift still flying high and dropping low, you simply check your watch and lament how terribly late you’re going to be. Oh dear.
Nah, just kidding. Only the most stoic of protagonists would do the above so calmly, calm as still water, cough Drizzt of the burning lavender orbs. You immediately panic, running up to your house door and managing to unlock it. Indeed, that is your house, somehow transported here from 16 floors up. And oh, there’s the neighbour’s home next to yours, with the lift in the background still on its comical travel route. So hilarious, but only to the spectators.
Thankfully, even if you’re trapped in some horror movie, you at least have your house to escape into, with your bed still left in the messy state it was in, and all the living inhabitants intact and sleeping. Hopefully.
(yeah, right… As if life is that kind. What did you expect? A smooth plot with no twists? Granted, this is hardly a twist. More like the subtle bump you didn’t catch with you first ironed that shirt. And you can probably tell I have never ironed anything in my life.)
You run back to the stairwell, its yellowish light seeming freaky now, and go down another 3 levels. When you emerge, you are happy to find that it is not another repeat of the 16th level.
No, the various apartments have been replaced by lifts, all of them going up and down up and down at various levels, all the buttons lit up. Everything in working order just like it should be.
You don’t even care that sweat is soaking your school uniform while you run up and down and all over the place, trying to find that white door that speaks of home, but all you find is the cruel lift forever mocking you in its oblivious flight.
There is no end to the story. I got lazy and tried to break the fourth wall even more, so have a cliched ending: finding out what happens to the character through a newspaper report. Isn’t that nice? Of course it can’t really beat the ending where
1) good student does good deed
2) gets rewarded
3) parents find out through a newspaper report where someone presents the child with 200 gold medals and a candidacy for the next presidential election
4) IT WAS ALL A GOSH DARN FRICKEN DREAM
‘Student is found dead at bottom of apartment building.’
‘Apparently, the time of death was around 8.29 am, about an hour after most secondary schools in the nation have started their day. It is not known why said student decided to commit suicide.’
‘Look, I’m not actually a reporter, I’m just here to be the required Plot Device. See also: the Shapeshifter of a Character who can turn into anything you need on the road. Charming British dude? Yes yes I am Benedict Cucumber combined with Tim Hiddlestoner and I like tea plus I have a sexy accent that can turn gay guys even gayer if that’s possible. Charming French guy? Mon Dieu, tu vais aller baguette je suis Paris aiment! Chienne mort j’aime caramel frappe!’
And what exactly happened to the mouse? He died, obviously. What did he see up there besides those damned lifts? (Someone tell the maintenance man to get his stuff together) Maybe he didn’t see any scary things, except the time on his watch. Maybe someone made a dummy of him, Mythbusters style, and just threw it out of a window. Just throw everything out of the window dammit, don’t you know that’s the way to live life? Maybe he got to school on time but forgot his homework. Maybe-
And he didn’t even get to find out what the heck was wrong with his alarm clock.