The Elevator Buttons is a scary story about three kids who get trapped in a lift that seems to have a mind of its own.
When I was a child, my parents lived in an old apartment building that was 14 stories high. Like many buildings, it was built without a 13th floor. It went straight from the 12th floor to the 14th floor. However, the elevators still had a 13th button, even though it didn’t work.
There were two other kids, Terry and June, who were living in the building. We were the same age, we went to the same school and the three of us often played together in the evenings.
One day, while we were waiting for our parents to come home, we decided to explore the roof of the apartment building. We took the elevator to the 14th floor where we found the door to access the roof. After a while, we grew bored and went back downstairs in the elevator.
When we were half-way down, Junes realized that she had forgotten something. She left her coat on the roof. She hit the stop button, then pressed the button for the 14th floor.
Suddenly, the elevator ground to a halt and beeped three times. The doors slid open and we realized we were stuck between floors. Terry was about to slide out through the opening when I grabbed him and held him back. Itold him it was too dangerous. If the elevator started up again while we were getting out, we could be sliced in half.
Instead, I jabbed at the emergency button. The elevator groaned again and the doors slowly slid shut with a clang.
“What’s going on??” asked Terry.
I shook my head and replied, “I don’t know.”
As we stood there shivering, the lights in the elevator suddenly went off and we were plunged into darkness. Then, one of the buttons on the panel lit up.
It was the button for the 13th floor.
None of us had pressed that button. It simply lit up by itself. It wasn’t supposed to be able to light up. There was no 13th floor.
To our complete and utter horror, we felt the elevator slowly move upwards. June jabbed the stop button but it didn’t work. We watched as the floors passed by.
8… 9… 10… 11… 12… 13.
There was a sound of scraping metal and the elevator ground to a halt. The doors slid open and we were staring into into pitch darkness. All three of us huddled together in the elevator, too petrified to move.
Just then, we heard a faint noise in the murky blackness. It made our hair stand on end.
It was a wet and sticky noise. The kind of noise you get when you throw a wet cloth against the wall.
Squelch… Squelch… Squelch… Squelch…
It sounded like something soggy dragging itself across the floor. As we strained our ears to listen, trembling in fear, the sounds grew faster, gathering pace.
Squelch! Squelch! Squelch! Squelch!
There was a sickly, moldy smell in the air. It was like the stench of rotting meat. The sounds picked up pace, getting faster and faster.
Just when it sounded like it was almost upon us, the elevator suddenly sprang to life. The doors began to close. The stench of death and decay was unbearable.
As soon as the elevator doors shut with a clang, something smashed into them with a wet slap. The elevator creaked and began to go down. When the doors finally opened, we found ourselves on the ground floor. My father was standing there. When I saw him, I jumped up and embraced him.
I still wonder what would have happened if he hadn’t pressed the button to call the elevator at that exact moment…