19 1/2 Reasons This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

September 15, 2011
By , Mosca, CO
A good book will catch the reader by the mind’s eye and draw them in, until they fall. Every single detail is soaked in, but still leaves the victim wanting more. God is a good author. The seasons bring a new volume that entices the onlooker to fall under its spell. Autumn is my favorite story. And as I sit here on the park bench, the will to leave this beautiful illustration was far from my power. The gold and ruby robed the dark trees. The ground is the same, littered by nature. The gentle breeze brushes against my bare legs in waves, warming them from the dropping temperature. I never wanted to leave.

The lobby of the Grand Hotel was dead. Its funeral had only a few mourners who made the event sound more like an Irish wake. My feet did their best to drag my body to the gold plated elevator doors. Rolling past my face were the double iron walls, sliding gracefully away and revealing, like a curtain in a theater, the main event. All I wanted was my bed and the monstrous window that overlooked the city.

Mirrors created hundreds of clones. I was surrounded by me, myself, and all the I’s I could possibly see before they disappeared behind the bend. My observations were interrupted by the four other people that crowded into the elevator.

“Ms. Kai,” a voice said.

I looked up to see the bright face of Howard Bell. My head lolled about and recognized two other inmates. Amanda Hayes, the mayor’s wife’s sister, and Martin Miller, the President of Publications for the community. The man in the corner was a mystery. His eyes were brooding. Why would a man, who looks like he cannot even afford lunch, be staying in a luxury hotel?

The doors closed and we were trapped with this bum. But he just stood there; menacingly. Danger was the sense that clouded the air. I didn’t know why I felt so uncomfortable with this stranger. I did when the man stepped out of the elevator only to turn around and stare at the residents left behind. We all stared back into those dark eyes.

“Sir,” Martin inquired, “are you well?”

The stranger just waited there until we were separated. A sigh of relief escaped my mouth, only to be sucked back in when the elevator suddenly stopped ascending. The lights flickered out. Heavy breathing filled my ears along with my pulse. The shaft echoed with screeches as the elevator slowly shifted its weight. A moment later, a blinding light came into view to my left. Someone was wrenching the doors open. Howard’s silhouette was seen by the light. His back and knee held the door open a couple feet wide.

“Get out!” he bellowed at us.

I was dumbstruck. My body wouldn’t move, but strong hands grabbed me by the arms and shoved me through the opening. Hardwood floors hurt when you slip on them. They hurt even worse when you drop six feet onto them. I looked up to see the elevator doors open partly with an empty shaft dominating the majority of the space. The putrid odor of the dark abyss filled my nostrils. Other bodies were dropping out and hit the ground with a loud thud. All sounds began to slur together. My vision was becoming blurred. Blood rushed to my head and weakness overwhelmed me. In the dark, I heard metal upon metal ring in my ears and the frightened scream of a man. The great story of life became a horror novel.





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