Sean entered the elevator, a crumpled piece of paper in his shaking hand. He saw his reflection as the metal doors slid shut. He forced a smile as he turned his head to the button pad. There were 20 floors to choose from, but where Sean wanted to go was not listed on the panel.
He uncrumpled the soft paper and read the instructions listed on it:
In this order he had to ride the elevator to his destination: the unknown.
He found these instruction online. The game had circulated across the occult websites as a map to a new world. No one came back from this world, and Sean didn’t care where it took him.
Sean had just graduated college. He had a degree in creative writing and after six months of no bites from the job market, he packed up his book bag with notebooks and pens to go to this brand new world.
He pushed the 10 button.
As the door slid open, he pressed the 5. He did the same for 8 and then 1. He wondered if he could hit the close button at the bottom instead of peering out of the open elevator onto each well lit hallway. He didn’t risk it. He wanted to get out of here as soon as possible and he wasn’t going to press unnecessary buttons–there were too many already!
He pressed the 6… the 7… the 9… He looked at his paper one last time. One last number. 6. He pressed it.
The elevator went to 6 and opened the doors. Nothing. It was just an empty well lit hallway. He peeked his head around. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Same wallpaper as his hotel. Same decor. He reached out to the wall lamp that hung between elevators.
It didn’t disappear. It didn’t stretch. It didn’t shout at him for being grabby. It was just a normal lamp. He looked back at the elevator and then at his watch. He had entered the elevator at midnight. It was only 10 minutes after; that sounded about right for an elevator ride such as that.
He sighed. I guess life would continue the way it was. He would just go back to his room on the 12th floor and think about what he was going to do tomorrow. He pressed the up button and waited as the elevator opened up. There was a man inside.
He wore an old elevator operator uniform. His skin was green and he stood about 3’5″ tall. His mouth looked like a toad’s, and Sean couldn’t help but cringe at the smell that came from inside.
“Which floor sir?” he asked.
Sean stared at him. “I need the 12th floor.” He hesitated, then stepped onto the elevator, trying to not make faces as he took in the odor.
“The 12th floor, eh?” said the toad man. “Not much going on 12. Are you sure about that?”
Sean paused. “Is there a floor you would recommend?”
“What are you looking for? Adventure? Horror? Romance? Comedy?”
Sean was confused. “Uh, comedy?”
“Excellent choice, sir.” He pressed the 5 button and the elevator shifted to the side instead of going down. It then went diagonally up and made a rapid descent. Sean shook as he grabbed the little toad man for support.
The elevator stopped. The door opened. “Welcome to your floor sir.”
Sean stepped out and the elevator closed behind him.