I showed up at the location, bags packed and ready to depart. I was immediately greeted by a gentleman presumed to be some sort of guide. He offered to take my bags, and though there was not anything remarkable about him to make me suspicious, I was leery. I had a bad vibe and for some reason, did not want to let him take my luggage. I was planning on keeping my things with me the entire time because I had really precious cargo that I did not want to be separated from.
But he was persistent, and insisted they would be safe. I rolled it over in my head and reasoned that only a person who was meant to be my guide would greet me at the door – if he was someone that should not be there, someone would have noticed by now. So I reluctantly let him have my things and then he pointed me in the direction that I should go to meet with the rest of the group.
I started in that direction. Up a flight of stairs, or perhaps it was an escalator (I can’t remember), and then down some hallways with no other exits to get lost going the wrong way. When I got to the end there was a room with lots of seating and a bar of sorts. It was nothing fancy, the kind of setup you might see at a small airport terminal. There were a few people up at the bar itself and a nice looking gal behind the counter. Not as many people as I had expect though, for the excursion that I was going on. I strolled over to the bar and asked the lady what was up, “Where are all the people?”.
She told me that everyone had already gone back down to the departure point. I was confused. “But the man who greeted me at the door and took my bags told me to come this way.” To which she replied, “What man? We don’t have anybody who does that.”
That’s when I knew I was in trouble, and I for some reason, I wasn’t as worried about missing my trip as I was losing what was in my bags. I asked her where they take the bags before they load them up and she pointed me down some other hallway. I walked fast, trying to calm myself and not break out into a full sprint. At the end of this hallway was a room with a bunch of shelves and it was full up with luggage. Other peoples luggage. I quickly looked through everything there and my things were not among them. The only thing I could think to do next was to retrace my steps and find that man at the entrance and demand he return my luggage.
I started back down the hallway to the bar area, but things were not the same as they were before. I started questioning my memory. Had I gotten myself in such a panic that I didn’t remember what my surroundings looked like? I kept going forward, sure that something was going to look familiar soon. But I never came across the bar and I never saw an escalator or stairs. I was sure I had come up a flight, or was it two? And that was before I was unnerved by my situation. Eventually, I ended up in front of an elevator.
Once again my instincts were telling me to be wary, but my desire to get back “down” to where I came in the building overrode any sense of caution. “I must get on and go down”, is all I could think. So I pushed the button and waited for the elevator doors to open. When I stepped in, there was a cold sensation that rushed straight through my bones, like a ghost that wanted desperately to get off the elevator. I shuddered and looked at the panel of buttons before me. Having no idea what floor I was on, and no clear indicator of what floors were what, I just started pushing some of the lower buttons. “1” seems good, but I could have come in on level “2” (some buildings are like that), surely I did not come in from the basement. The elevator doors closed and I could feel I was going down.
A sense of relief washed over me. Soon I would be where I started, and find someone to help me get my things back. Then the “2” button unlit and the doors opened. I peeked out, and determined that this was clearly not the floor I wanted, because nothing looked familiar. The doors closed and once again the elevator was going down.
Then the “1” button unlit, but the elevator did not stop, it just kept going. The brief relief I had was gone as quick as it had come, and I felt even worse than I did before. In that instant, I had a major Déjà vu. I knew I had been here before, in the elevator, and trapped. My heart began to pound and my hands became cold and damp. I could feel the blood draining from my face and I started to get that light hot feeling you get in your head just before you pass out. A multitude of thoughts and questions started rushing into the space where the blood had been. Where was I going? Where would I end up when the doors opened? Would they open?
From what I could remember of the last time, I could never get to the floor I wanted, and behind every opening was some other place I did not want to go. Some of them were nothingness and others were just down right terrifying. I was trying to get to something, and no matter what I did, I could not get the elevator to stop on the right floor. And to make matters worse, I knew that this had not happened just once before, but several times. Though that thought made me shiver with fear, I convinced myself to keep it together and wait it out. It would end, sooner or later. I reasoned that I would not be in the elevator this time if I had not found my way out the previous times.
I tried to search my brain for exactly how I got out before, or where I ended up, but the sick feeling in my stomach was keeping me from concentrating. The longer I waited, the sicker I felt and the more desperate I became to escape from the elevator. I’m not sure how much time had passed, it could have been a minute or it could have been hours when I finally decided that no matter when it stopped, no matter what was on the other side, when the doors opened I was getting out.
Then the elevator stopped and the doors opened. Standing there was a girl waiting to get on. I didn’t hesitate for even a second, and passed through her as quickly as I could…