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The Elevator Man Part 1

Chapter 1:

“Is that all you remember?” The tall, hatted man asked in a calm but concerned voice. He looked down to the shaken woman across from him, examining her with cold blank eyes. He watched as she fiddled with a red retractable pen, clicking it in and out repeatedly, softly shaking in her seat.

“I-” she began to speak, but the words would not flow smoothly. Her lips and mouth quivered between her cheeks as she struggled to compose herself. She took a deep breath and muttered, “There was s-s-something else,” she paused, stuttering. “The man- he s-s-said that he knew something about me… t-t-that I killed s..s..someone…”

Her eyes wandered around the decorated office, sweeping across the fancy, expensive, and luxurious décor. Above the man’s head, she noticed a monitor showing an empty room, but something seemed strange about the room. It looked familiar.

“Did you, Merideth?” The man asked with a brief pause, waiting for her to respond. Merideth’s attention averted, and the man’s question went entirely over her head. She couldn’t shake this uneasy feeling she had. Something wasn’t right.

“Did you kill someone?” He asked again as Merideth snapped back to reality. Her heart rate quickened and sweat began to slowly crawl out of her skin, dripping down her arms, legs, and face.

“It was s-s-so many years ago…” she hesitated. “And I know that if I c-c-could go back and change what I did, I would. I am so s-s-sorry for what happened,” she stuttered less as she slowly regained her composure.

Merideth hung her head low to hide her bloodshot eyes and tear covered face. Her make-up was smeared beneath her eyes and all over her. She looked afraid, tired, and defeated.

The therapist questioned her again, but his tone had changed. It was deeper, more intense, and cold like the whisper of a ghost.

“Who did you kill, Merideth?”

She hesitated for a moment, staring down at the black carpet beneath her brown leather seat. She had buried this history deep inside of her, hoping it would never come to light again. But here she was, faced with one of her darkest secrets after enduring yet another devastating event.

“His name was Kairus…” She spoke with shame and guilt in her quivering voice. “Kairus Marks. That’s the boy we killed.” Regret and remorse plastered her disheveled face as her gaze lifted and met the hatted man’s empty dead eyes. They slowly lowered, focusing on a life-sized statue of a hare resting beneath the man’s fingers. He stroked the figure’s head softly and delicately as if it was a living creature.

“Do you think that you deserve what happened to you?” He peered back into her eyes as though he was reading her very thoughts, predicting, anticipating, and controlling them.

“I don’t know… I-” she began to cry again and shook her head several times in frustration. “I don’t think anyone deserves that. Not even me.” The tears rushed down her and collected at the tip of her chin. She quickly began to wipe them, but they kept coming. She was sobbing, shaking, and rapidly tapping her feet to the floor. The image of the rabbit burned into her brain, and she couldn’t help but feel a sense of sadness.

Just beneath her therapist’s desk, she noticed an out of place object, a metal wire tightly wrapped around a small cylinder. The object made her feel uneasy, but she couldn’t figure out why.

As she looked back up to the man, her gaze set upon a large rusty iron key barely poking out of his chest pocket. Her eyes remained fixed on this key as the man spoke once again.

“Did you learn anything from this traumatic experience?” The man pressured despite Merideth’s shattered demeanor.

“Did I learn anything?” Anger and confusion overtook her, and she stuttered again. “What is that s-s-supposed to mean?! Are you sick? I had to fight for my life f-f-for six f-f-fucking days! And you want to know if I LEARNED anything? How about you go to hell, you sick bastard!”

Merideth shot up from her chair fuming with rage. Sweat boiled on her skin as she grabbed her jacket and marched angrily to the door to leave the room, but just before she did, the therapist said one final remark.

“If you haven’t learned from this experience, Merideth, you may always learn from the next one.”

Merideth opened the door and began to step outside. “I will see you again in your next session,” he said.

“Fuck you,” Merideth slammed the door behind her and disappeared from his office. The man sat there with a smirk as he continued to stare blankly at the door for several minutes. He appeared to be waiting for her to return or for someone else to enter.

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