I'm an elevator repairman. This is why you don't get off until the door is open all the way. - Chap 5
- I'm an elevator repairman. This is why you don't get off until the door is open all the way.
- Chap 5 - #Rule 5 - Don't Ride with The Devil
After Pete told me about S.U.E.R.M. and everything it stood for, I was flabbergasted. He said they were the last line of defense between hell and earth. What that meant, I had no idea.
I would find out later on all about the secret battle between good and evil that was raging between heaven and hell, earth caught in the middle, the elevators being the only mode of transportation between all three.
Not all elevators, of course. Only a chosen few.
Some are one-way only. Hellevators, for instance – those are a ride straight to the dark place itself. Then there are the ones that go up. But a rare few, can go between all of them.
S.U.E.R.M. made sure that none of the boxes were overridden, and that no elevators operated without authorization from all three parties involved. We were the representatives of earth, and kept up the maintenance of the boxes as part of our end of the bargain, Pete told me.
See, once upon a time, it was realized that the big guy upstairs needed to talk to the pointy horned dude down below every once in a while. Don’t ask me why, but there’s definitely proof of it in the book. Remember Job? Lucifer was up in heaven just walking around, and walked up to God, and said, “Hey, God, your pal Job wouldn’t like you so much if you burnt his fucking house down and killed his family, now would he?” The point is, how do you think the devil got up there? Stairs would have taken forever. He definitely took an elevator.
Anyways, the reason I’m telling you all of this is that I think one of those elevators that goes between all three realms might actually be in my own apartment building. It’s a rickety old thing, and unassuming, which makes it all the more likely to me. Ever see Indiana Jones and the Quest for the Holy Grail? Then you’ll see what I’m saying here. The dirty 1940s era elevator is a perfect disguise for something far more grand and complex.
And besides, that would explain what happened the other night.
It was about 3:30 in the morning and I was waiting for the elevator with the laundry basket clutched precariously in my arms. The door rattled across the steel track and opened to reveal a thin man in a white three piece suit and a hat, holding a polished walking stick, and looking like someone from a different era entirely.
He smiled at me with his thin lips and waved me into the box. His eyes looked black with not a hint of colour in them, I noticed as the door closed behind me, a shiver running down my spine. He never broke eye contact, just stared at me as if looking straight through me. I broke into a cold sweat as his grin grew wider.
“Hah ha, you know it,” I tried to pretend everything was okay, knowing it wasn’t.
“Gotta make a quick stop first, hope you don’t mind. Won’t be long.”
He poked the steel panel below the elevator buttons with his walking stick and it popped open revealing a secret compartment. Inside it was an additional button, which said on it “Lowest Level.”
“What the hell-“
“Oh, that’s exactly right, young man. I’ll pop down to my humble abode and then you can come back up and do your laundry. On the way down we can discuss a little business proposition.”
I looked at him, terrified, realizing with dawning apprehension who this man in the crisp white suit really was.
“You can’t be serious,” the words fell out of my mouth and I closed it before I could say anything else that might offend this thing.
“I am quite serious, in fact. Now I know you have your oaths and your list of rules with S.U.E.R.M. and all of that, but I just want you to consider for a second – just for a second – how good it would feel to have unlimited money. Not only that, but everything that comes along with it. You know chicks dig guys with cash, right? You want a girl? You want a guy? Come on, man, you can’t say no to that. I mean even Bill fucking Gates doesn’t have unlimited money for chrissake. All you have to do, is sign this.”
He was holding out a very lengthy contract with the tiniest print I had ever seen in his hand with a fountain pen in the other. Its ink was dripping dark crimson red on the floor of the elevator.
I gulped down nothing but dryness and said, “No.”
His anger was immediate, his wrath terrifying.
“You know who you’re fucking dealing with here, shit-for-brains? I can annihilate you right now and nobody would even know you were gone. I can erase you from the face of the earth so there’s no memory of you ever having existed at all. Even your parents won’t remember you. So let me ask you again, do you want to sign it? Be my repairman. You know you want to. It’s either that or… Pain.”
As I shook my head one last time, too numb to speak, I dropped my laundry basket and began to rise up into the air, defying gravity. He held up his hand and made clawing motions downward, and I felt the skin peel off of my face in long strips.
I screamed and he did it again, and again. I howled in pain and twisted away from him to no avail.
“Will you sign it now?”
My eyes suddenly felt like they were on fire. They began to pour blood and I wanted so badly to scratch them out of my head. My blood felt like it was boiling in my veins. My breath felt like fire with each agonizing inhalation. Every part of my body was suddenly made of pain. My arms and legs, chest and abdomen, everything was agony like it was being seared with a brand that would leave a lifelong scar.
“Very well,” he said, as the elevator door opened. It slid to the side to reveal absolute darkness, without sound or smell. “Maybe next time.”
He tipped his hat to me and stepped into the void, disappearing instantly. I fell down and landed in my dirty clothes, which thankfully broke my fall. My hand went up to my face to feel the damage there and felt the skin was intact. It was all just a vision the bastard had conjured up to fool me. He had left me unscathed, but utterly terrified.
I’m taking the fucking stairs in my apartment for the rest of the time I live there, I don’t care what anybody says. You guys can take the elevator. I’ll walk.