The Short and Extreme Situation

October 1, 2008
By Colleen Carney, Portland, OR

“Um… any more ideas?” I asked nervously. You are probably wondering why and when I would need any more ideas than I already have. (Come on, you’re supposed to say, “You are the most awesome person in the world!”) Okay, okay, you’re right. Maybe I wouldn’t be trapped in this metal box if I had actually used my brains to their extreme. Well, what do you expect! Two eleven-year-old girls and a fancy elevator are the ingredients for trouble and something’s bound to happen!

It all started when I was sitting at home, bored. I felt like I should have been saving the world or something, but no. I had to sit on my couch with nothing to do. Suddenly, the long voice of the phone rang out as if it were calling me to it.

I sat up, excited. I knew it must be one of my imaginary agents. They are probably pleading for me to come and save them from a horrible monster or something terrific like that. Seconds after that thought I was at the phone and with trembling fingers, beginning to answer the call to duty.

“Hello, this is Colleen how may I help you?” I said in my best adult-like tone. The awaited reply was not my agent or someone asking for help. It was one of my best friends, and next-door neighbor, Madeline.
She chuckled and said, “Oh, hi Colleen!” Again, Madeline started to laugh and I frowned. This was obviously not working out the way I had hoped. Maybe I should work on my voice a little more.

Then I heard the happy voice once again, “I was calling to ask you to ‘help’ by keeping me company at a family friends house.”

I asked in my normal voice, “When would you be going?”

“In about an hour. You could walk on over and we would drive to the house.” She paused then added, “It’s in Lake Oswego. Apparently, I haven’t been there, they have a pool and the house is really big!” I smiled. This would be a great adventure.

“Alright,” I said, “I’ll go ask my mom, hold on.” I ran upstairs, my heart pounding. I couldn’t wait to get outside of this house and the only thing that could keep me back was my mother’s answer. I stumbled into the bonus room and found her working at her desk.

My mother spun around in her chair and asked, “What is it Colleen? Why are you out of breath?” I exclaimed,

“Madeline asked me if I could go to a family friends house with her today. She said we would leave in about an hour.” I waited for what seemed like a lifetime and then my mother Cindy replied,

It’s fine with me. We don’t have any plans tonight.” I thanked her and rushed back down the stairs to the phone where Madeline was waiting patiently.

“Hi, I’m back! My mom says that I can go. Thanks for inviting me and I’ll be there in about an hour.”

Madeline sweetly said good-bye and hung up. I decided I should wear something nice and get my swimsuit. While I was waiting to leave, I couldn’t help but thank Madeline over and over in my head for sending me out of boredom even if I wasn’t being a superhero at the moment!

The next thing I knew, I was walking up to Madeline’s house and feeling like I could do anything. Today was going to be so much fun! When I finally got to my friends house after the long climb up the hill, she was waiting patiently in front of the door.

“Ready? I’m glad you could make it!” She said and got her mom to come out of the house. I said thank you for inviting me and hoped in the van alongside Madeline. The car ride was long but I didn’t care. Her brother, Griffin, was with us and he wanted to watch a movie called Master of Disguise. We put it on and the car ride went a lot faster. When we got there, Madeline and I couldn’t believe our eyes. The house was like a mansion! The front yard was beautiful and the house was painted a pretty, light pink. We walked into the backyard through a gate and again were amazed. The view was of the whole city of Portland and a pool was right in front of it.
We fortunately had our swimsuits on and jumped right in after meeting the owners of the house. Madeline and I had a blast and played in the water for at least an hour. Maybe this was a little more relaxing than being a superhero. When dinner was ready, we got out and dried off.

For dinner, I sat with Madeline, her mom, and her mom’s friends. The lasagna was wonderful and I was sad when I finished it. While I was putting my plate in the sink, one of the nice young ladies asked me if Madeline and I would like to put the dirty dishes in the kitchen. Now, this was a very different house than I had ever been in and I found myself wondering why in the world the kitchen was upstairs. I told her we would love to.

To get upstairs, there were two ways. The boring way was to just use the grand stairs, but the way that Madeline and I wanted to go was the elevator. I had never been in an elevator or seen an elevator in a house, neither had Madeline. We grabbed as many plates as we dared carry and walked slowly towards the elevator.

I pressed the down button and we heard the elevator come down. I opened the normal door and almost ran into a black, metal gate. We opened it, stepped in, and closed it behind us. I was excited and almost pressed the wrong button. We heard the ding, and suddenly felt butterflies in our stomachs when the elevator began to rise. After what seemed like minutes, the elevator stopped and we stepped out.

“That was so fun!” I exclaimed. Madeline calmly nodded her head in agreement. We did the same process on the way down.

Now, the second time, Madeline and I pressed a small, round black button and a loud bell rung. We laughed and then Madeline had another idea.

“Lets press the ‘stop’ button!”

“You sure? I mean, what if we’re not supposed to?” I said, a little nervous. After a while Madeline had coaxed me into it. I gulped and then about half way up, I pressed the red stop button. The elevator came to a stop. I must admit, it was kind of fun. We both laughed and I pressed it again to keep going up.

Nothing happened.

Confused, I pressed the button again. Again, nothing happened. I kept pressing the button over and over. It didn’t work. My stomach flipped over and I felt like I was a trapped mouse. I could tell Madeline felt the same.
“Anymore ideas?” I asked nervously. So you see, that is how I got here in the first place.
We looked at each other and both of us had the same question on our faces. Would we be able to ever get out? Suddenly, Madeline thought of an idea. If we opened the gate, we would be able to reach down and turn the door handle, and then we could jump down onto the floor.

“It might work.” We did exactly that until we realized that the door would not open because the only reason it opened in the first place was because the elevator triggered a lever in the door to let it open. We had to find that lever and push it ourselves. I found it at the top of the door and pushed it. The door still wouldn’t open. I began to panic. Please, I don’t want to get stuck in an elevator when I was having such a good time! I thought to myself. Then we tried holding the lever down while opening the door. It worked! Madeline and I jumped out and almost started laughing at how stupid we were to even press that button in the first place. I told myself not to do that ever again.
That memory is something I will keep for a long time and I’m sure Madeline will too. We both were quiet on the car ride home and it turned out that no one ever noticed we were missing. I was just happy to not be trapped in a metal box!

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