Three times a week, I go to a mysterious building. In this mysterious building, I take a mysterious elevator to go to the mysterious seventeenth floor (that's the top one) into a mysterious room. I know what you're thinking: Golly gee wilikers, this is all very mysterious! Well, yes, yes it is.
The elevator in particular has mysterious workings. It all starts when I enter the lobby (which is set to approximately 3 degrees Fahrenheit every day) and wait in the ridiculously long line of people. Usually when I get there, the lobby is packed with people whose sweat is rapidly turning into little icicles that click on to the ground. I end up squished between the wall and the door, and the lovely people that come in like to smash the door into my face.
After a few hours, an elevator dings, and a massive riot ensues. Have you ever seen a hemorrhage? What a stupid question, of course you have. Well, the lobby is the blood vessel, the elevator is the bandage, and the people are the blood. Everyone makes a run for the elevator (except me, I'm still getting beaten up by a door), and eight or nine manage to squeeze themselves in there. The bleeding stops and the elevator leaves, with a couple people hanging beneath it and screaming.
A few more elevators come and go, and finally, I'm close to the elevators and far away from the door. The next elevator comes, and I fling my body into it, hugging my knees to my chest in the fetal position. My body thuds onto the floor, and the next thing I know, people are standing on me. Some guy gets his hand stuck in the doors and starts whining in a loud, obnoxious voice, "Oh, God, help me! Oh, God, I think my hand's coming off from my wrist! OH JESUS!"
"Someone hit seventeen for me," I croak.
The person who's crammed against the buttons sticks his elbow on "17", and I smile weakly, out of oxygen and thus unable to thank him.
Floor by floor, the people leak out, until at last I'm by myself. Gasping for breath, I leap to my feet and stretch out the burning cramps. A second later, the elevator begins the ride of terror, which always occurs when I'm by myself on it. It starts with a tremble, barely noticeable. The trembles become more and more violent until it's like being in Hurricane Katrina 2.0.
I cling to the bar, kicking my legs as if that would help. Something heavy sloshes around in my head - probably a rock that got stuck there or something. By this point, all the shaking is horizontal, so now the elevator goes for the vertical. It bounces from floor twelve to fifteen, down to ten, up to eleven, twelve again, shoots straight down to nine, and so forth.
Now for the sound effects. The elevators makes a shuddering noise, like an arachnophobe who just saw a spider, and then a creaking one, followed by a couple groans for good measure. I brace myself against the wall, humming a 30 Seconds to Mars song in an effort to block out the sounds. It doesn't work.
By some miracle, the elevator makes it to floor seventeen. But really, the challenge has just begun. The shaking stops and the noises cease, but the resulting silence is eerier than anything the elevator could do. I step as close to the door as I dare, clutching my current read like a child clutches a teddy bear. (Sidenote: when I was a kid, I couldn't go to sleep without holding a novel to my chest. My stuffed animals were on the shelves above me. Man, I was such a nerd. Because, like, I'm totally not anymore. *shifty eyes*)
The door begins to slide open, and I lean forward, eyes narrowed into determined slits. Then, in one quick swoosh, the door billows out halfway. I throw myself into the hallway, breath catching in my throat. I tuck my feet under me lest the elevator door snap them off my ankles, and roll safely towards to the mysterious door.