(Continued) Halfway between the two flagmen, a single car that now had the right of way was coming towards them. Rather than hit the breaks, to avid the car directly in their path, the man swerved to the right. Their car’s tires left the roadbed, and were immediately guided by a rut on the muddy shoulder. Franticly the man fought the steering wheel. Unable to steer the car, the vehicle slid on the mud towards the embankment. He turned the wheel sharply to the left; tires grasping for traction. The sudden abrupt drop off into the lake loamed closer.
It must have been a miracle, the tires must have caught grip at the last second. They found themselves back on the road. Wiping the sweet from his forehead, the man pounded the steering wheel, and, in unison, they yelled obscenities at the other driver. Clearly the other person should have given them room to pass.
The rest of the drive to the airport was uneventful. At least until they reached the parking area. It was a Saturday and the place was packed.
“What is it with people; why can’t the SOB’s stay home and screw with their pet cats.” He hated cats. When he was six, he started finding pleasure in dishing out pain to the neighborhood pets. She was no different; at age eight she set fire to the living room couch because her father wanted to nap and not to take her to the park. They both progressed to more avid acts of cruelty and eventually to full sadistic lifestyles. Meeting one night at a party, the two became ‘lovers,’ if you remove the devotion and caring. It was in reality mutual sex consisting of masochistic and sadistic role reversal games. In their personal lives, they did not exhibit any sentimentality, tenderness, nor caring. And religion was for losers. Murder was just a progression in two dark lives.
Finally they found a parking space at the far end of the six level garage.
She looked around, “OK, dumb shit which way do we go?”
“That way,” pointing towards their left, “I see the sign for the elevator to the Terminal.”
Halfway there, they pass a pregnant woman struggling to load her bags into the trunk of a car. No sympathy, “Heavy aren’t they,” he calls over his shoulder back to the woman. They both laugh. Reminds him of the time a blind man asked directions to the subway. He told the guy it was just around the corner, “I’ll buy your ticket from the machine for you.” “Thanks mister.” “Sure.” He pocketed the blind man’s money and walked away.
The ride down was very fast.
When the elevator door finally opened, they stared into an empty, unadorned, dim hallway. At the far end a glow of light from some unseen flickering source played on what appeared to be the end of the hall. He could only guess the hall doglegged to the right.
She pushed his shoulder, “Where the hell did we just stop at?”
“Well push the up button, dumb shit; obviously we missed Ticketing.”
He looked at the control panel and realized there were no buttons; something he had totally missed when they had gotten on. “This is probably one of those automatic jobs…the kind that senses weight and goes up or down automatically.”
“Well, with all your extra weight I’m sure it must have overloaded itself.”
“Why do you always have to be such a shit?”
“Takes one to know one.”
“I think we need to get off and then get back on, so the damn thing senses us and then goes up.”
She’s not sure this is a good idea; what if the doors shut on them.
A voice, emanating from a speaker on the control panel interrupts their ‘discussion,’ “Problem?”
He involuntarily leans closer to the speaker, “Yes. It seems this damn elevator missed our stop, and how the F’en do we get it to go up?”
“This is your stop.”
She yells across his shoulders, “The ‘F’ it is; where the hell is Ticketing!”
“You don’t need a ticket.”
They look at each other. Two, three, five seconds pass. Finally the man leans closer to the speaker, “Look shit head, we need to get to Ticketing!”
“You don’t need one, as this is a free trip.” Voice suddenly commanding, “Step off the elevator and start your trip!”
For the first time they are truly concerned.
He looks at her, she at him; and he, quite meeker asks, “Where’s the Terminal?”
“Terminal, what Terminal?”
He responds, “The Terminal asswipe; you know, the big sign ‘Elevator to Terminal.’ So, if there’s no Terminal, where the hell are we?”
“You’re here.” Startled they turn. A man, ramrod straight, at least six foot seven, sneers, “You took the right elevator, and it’s time to step out of the car.”
“Here!” Chilling laugh, “and the sign reads ‘Terminal Elevator.’”
It was then the two noticed their bodies and clothes were soaking wet.
(The Elevator is a work of fiction, © Steven S. Walsky, 2011.)
Note: The Elevator is a repost from March 2013. As mentioned in a Building Block, this dark and edgy flash fiction story started forming when I thought, ‘air travel has gone to hell’; and crystallized when the image of the outdoor elevator ‘island’ structure I pass when I park on the upper deck at the airport started revisiting my brain.