As some of you already know, Smithereens came up with a very fun collaborative ghost story project for the weeks leading up to Halloween and I volunteered to write a chapter. For the full story, please find Smithereens’ spooky Chapter 1 here and Stefanie’s spine-tingling Chapter 2 here.
And here is Chapter 3
After what seemed like a very long time, the elevator bell dinged. I relaxed a little, finally I could get out of here. The elevator doors slid open…
…and the elevator man took hold of my elbow, pushing me forward. “Last stop, everyone out.”
I was too stunned to react and in any case, he stepped backward without a sound and the elevator doors closed immediately. I looked left and then right. This was certainly not the basement. At least I had once gone down to the basement to deliver a set of keys to the building janitor and, from what I remember, it was an ordinary basement. Nothing like this.
Just in front of me was a long, dimly lit corridor with a line of doors on either side. About halfway down, one of the doors was open and a green light spilled out into the hall. Above the sound of my hammering heartbeat, I could hear the faint sound of music. A high, tinny melody that seemed to go round in circles.
I turned around to call the elevator back and leave, but the elevator doors were now gone. I was staring at a seamless marble wall. When I ran a panicked hand across the stone, it was cold and clammy.
Okay, I told myself, this is not normal, but just march into that room down there and ask for the way out. I started walking, relieved I had decided to wear comfortable flats today. I was nearly silent.
The first door on the right had a strange white sign – Returns. The next door, on the left, had a similar sign, only it read, No Returns. After that the signs became more and more curious: Halfways, Splits, Long Losts, Undecideds. I hurried past the rest of the signs without looking, feeling a little cheered by the prospect of entering the open door in the middle of the hallway, meeting a normal human being and getting myself home.
The hallway was much longer than it had appeared from the elevator. But eventually the open door was just a few steps away. The music had changed while I walked, and it was now a loud, crashing symphony. Only the instruments were all playing off-key. I shivered.
I gathered my courage and peeped into the open door. To my relief, it was an ordinary office, with four clusters of cubicles, much like the office plan on my own floor. No, I realized with a start, not just like the office plan of my own floor, it was my own floor. The entire floor. This was no small room after all. And all of my colleagues were there, heads bent over their desks or staring at their computer screens. Only the light from the computers was a sickly green. And the light was so sharp and thick, it filled the room and turned everyone’s skin the same awful color. The music grew louder and everyone began typing more quickly. That’s when I noticed the thin gold chains around everyone’s necks. The chains were attached to the ceiling.
I backed carefully out of the room and looked at the sign: Repeats.
This would not do.
Across the hall another door opened. Slowly, and a triangle of fresh, white light landed at my feet. A voice called, “Hurry up, get in here!”
I stepped forward…
The next chapter will be written by Mr. Smithereens!