Jake’s caught in an elevator that’s only going down. Now he’s got to work out why before its too late. After all, he only gets a half dozen chances.
by Joey To
Jake groaned, his head heavy. And what sounded like stupid elevator music didn’t help. His arms and legs were numb. The last thing he remembered was crunching the latest financials at his office desk.
“Good, you’re awake. I’ve prepared something special for you while you were sleeping. Let me just remove that blindfold. There we go.”
Jake squinted. He was tied to an office chair in the elevator. Great. An embossed “4” was above the speakers and buttons to the left. The screen displayed no floor numbers. A brunette towered over him with a razor blade in hand. Her white skirt and blouse seemed elegant but revealed much flesh. Like a figure skater. Jake hated figure skating.
“Now that you can see, perhaps you’d like me to put the blindfold back on?” said the brunette as she cut his binds. He was tempted to kick her but he was still numb.
“See what?” snapped Jake, rubbing his wrists. “Been in this elevator plenty.”
The doors parted with a whoosh.
The brunette shifted aside, blocking the buttons, then nodded at the opening: just blackness and stars.
Jake rose, staggered forward and peered down. Below was the city. Far below. The elevator simply hovered in the night sky. Then he reeled back.
“I didn’t bring you up here just to push you out,” she said.
Jake forced a chuckle. “Now why would I think that.”
He inched forward, considering another look.
The brunette smiled. “This world will be yours if you—”
He grabbed her and shoved her out. Unfortunately, she grabbed his arm, insisting on his company.
“I always knew Elevator Four was dodgy,” Jake muttered, glancing around the compartment. Well, he wasn’t dead nor injured. Yet.
The brunette winked. “You didn’t hear me out. You were humming along to the album your friend lent you whilst working…”
He peeked at the night sky. She smirked.
“I know you rather be home, away from morons at the office, and playing drums,” she added. “Your employer, Scorpio, is a competitor in the field of musical instruments. We want you to alter certain financial records.”
Jake frowned. “Then you’ll pay me?”
She nodded at the city below. “And much more.”
Jake bit his lip—”I’ll think ’bout it”—and punched her in the gut.
She didn’t even flinch. Then he felt the wind rushing against his back whilst her face and the floating elevator shrunk very fast.
At least he no longer heard the stupid elevator music.
The doors weren’t even fully opened when Jake’s right leg lashed out. She caught his kick and swung.
“Didn’t I say you can stay home and compose music?”
The brunette’s lips curled. “We want you to. We will even supply drum kits and any other instruments you wish. For life.”
“You haven’t told me why. You bring me up here, offer me the world and tell me to play and write music. Weird much?!”
She looked down. Jake followed her gaze. Faint waves of light rippled between houses, cars, (presumably) people and the darkness. Perhaps music and their instruments were powers to them.
His captor leered. “Your friend Rawdon rejected our offer. I hope you’ll be wiser.”
He’d have to check up on his friend later. But first, Jake pulled her hair and smacked her head against the speaker. The annoying music finally ceased and, before she could strike back, he threw her out.
“There’ll be hell to…” she called out as she fell away.
Jake repeatedly hit the door-closing button and “G”. The doors took its time to shut… then numbers flashed on the screen, dropping rapidly from six thousand and something. His stomach almost exited his mouth.
It wasn’t the lobby. It was… the second floor, his floor. Not quite hell, but close enough.