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Living on the 12th floor wasn't bad; the view over the busy city was pleasant to look at. The only problem was those elevators. I have bad sinuses, you see, and the pressure of descending quickly gives me headaches. But it passes, so it's an easy sacrifice.

I waited for the elevator to arrive on my floor. It always takes a while. After a couple minutes, I got impatient and started fumbling around with my pockets. While I was fondling my keys specifically, I realized one of the elevators had already arrived, wide open, even. I hadn't heard the ping of the floor indicator nor the doors creaking open, but I shrugged it off and went inside.

I should have left right then and taken the stairs.

The air was immediately denser, hot and sticky. The faint stench of onions tickled at my nostrils, but I figured it was just some dirty neighbor's lingering odor. Again I noticed that the doors had moved without me seeing them, and that the warm, natural light was now gone.

The elevator jumped for a second before descending, the creaking of the walls and cable jolting my nerves. The pressure in my ears slowly began to build, although this time, it gradually formed into a horrible migraine, pushing in on my temples. The trip was taking much longer than expected, and I was very eager to get off this fucking thing, but it just kept rattling as it went further and further down. The floor indicator read '12'. How was that possible? The elevator was obviously broken, and suddenly, I feared it would drop.

Suddenly, the lights flickered out and died, leaving me in complete darkness. The air was getting noticeably heavier, and the smell of decaying fruit filled my nose and mouth. It was almost too much to bear. I began to cough and gag. I needed to escape. I began banging on the walls, shouting and screaming for help, but to no avail. There was no reply; it was if the metal casing had taken me somewhere else.

The elevator suddenly bounced and lurched to a stop, the sound of its shrieking brakes echoing through the shaft. The indicator displayed a bright red "G", the only light I could see. How long had it taken? It didn't matter; at least I was about to get out.

The doors shuddered and crept open. There was barely any light in what looked like the lobby, but I could make out something wet coating the walls: a red, spongy fungus. There were no people in sight, only a few discarded items of clothing, bags, and groceries. I could just about make out a large black hole in the center of the large hall. Emanating from the gaping maw was the heavy sound of something... breathing?

I slowly ventured out into this dark room, the floor squishing beneath my steps. I felt a slight breeze coming from just ahead, so I inched forward to discover the source.

Something behind me clinked. I spun around to see a mug rolling on a table and what looked like a pale foot disappear into a doorway. Quiet tapping echoed all around me.

Wherever I am, I am not alone.

Original author unknown

Originally uploaded on November 17th, 2010