Ten stairs left.
He leaned against the wall. It hurt to breathe each step was agony. "Stop, Just take a moment to rest. Sit down and close your eyes." That voice wasn't helping.
Nine stairs left.
(more) "Why are you doing this?" the voice again. The outer edges of his vision started growing dark. "...because I can" he said aloud.
Eight Stairs left.
No voice this time, no words. He took a deep breath, swallowing the pain.
He could smell the fresh air, it helped him forget where he was. He fought against all instinct to turn around.
"I'm almost there" He took the step with more confidence, he hadn't noticed how his pants clung to his leg.
His legs grew heavy, he felt weak. "No!" he pressed on, forcing his body to respond.
"You thought I left... Didn't you?" The voice again, it made the hair on his neck raise. "You thought you were going to make it." He ground his teeth together. Trying to focus on the smells of the outside, the light that shone through the cracks in the door.
"You're tired, you're slow." The voice was right. He was getting tired, barely able to make it up the stairs. No. He had to stop thinking like that.
Two stairs left.
Free. He was Free. A moment of euphoria washed over him, he felt no pain. He even smiled.
His arms reached for the door, he pressed hard against it. "NO.." The door wouldn't budge. He pressed again, and again. "No..no.." he started to sob, he slouched against the door. Tears streamed down his cheeks as darkness washed over him. He finally noticed his injuries, and worse he finally noticed her.
I walked, so slowly up. I took each stair one at a time and would ensure that both feet came to rest upon each step before proceeding. At the top I began again to descend, not knowing the angle. Each step, one by one.
Without thought, I realized that my life had(more) been a series of such steps and that I had resigned myself to the fate stretching out before me. Mountains of stairs, each step higher than the previous, or lower as the case may be.
And so I continued, step by step until I was quite nearly face to face with an myself coming from the opposite direction, I up, he down. We tacitly acknowledged each other with a slight nod of our identical heads and passed through to the other side, like ghosts without corporeality.
He was now going down, when before it had been up and I was lost in between, unable to decide which way to go.
Take the stairs! I am never going in that elevator again . Why what happened ?? You know I live on the 23rd. floor, well I got in the elevator it was empty. I pushed 23 and it started up , it stopped between the 10th and 11th floor and the lights(more) went out. I was standing in the dark, thinking I'll just wait things will get fixed. Then I started to put it mildly freak out. I knew their was an emergency button, but I couldn't see a dam think it was pitch dark.
My mind was creating all kinds of thoughts like falling 11
floors, starving , going insane, the building collapsing and
for sure I had to urinate. I slid around the walls till I felt
the button panel I pushed them all. Nothing! My dead
cell phone rang, it was my wife ,the elevator started and stopped on my floor people were waiting to get on. I asked
how long are you waiting . They said about 2 minutes. MY
wife said "Wow your early for a change."(less)
With every step I take, descending lower into the darkness, the crooked wooden boards squeal under my feet. My open eyes are blinded by the dark and my heartbeat accelerates as my footsteps hesitate their descent down the hallow staircase. The only sound is my heavy breath, the squeak(more) of the stairs, and movement of something at the bottom of the staircase. (less)
The door was already barely open and with a slight touch it swung open. The swinging door was like a search light exposing what the darkness was trying to hide. Even with the new found light the place was dark and in an old wooden chair sat an old(more) wooden man. The table next to him held nothing but deep scar as if a mirror to the man soul. Imprinted were names and drawn pictures by the bored.
"Take the stairs. What you're looking for starts there. Where it ends,.... my friend I ask again. My friend lets pretend it ends.....Take the stairs. What you're looking for starts there. Where it ends,....my friend I ask again......" he ramble on trapped. His stare had no purpose. His words no help.
The stairs in front of me, grand. My hands trembled . The carpet that ran down the stairs held a sour smell of mold warning me of what awaits with each step. Each step was a step with no return. The man ramble grew in franticness. Half way up the stairs staring over the dark stained grained railing a new detail presented itself to me from below written across the table.
AT THE END OF THE GAME THE KING AND THE PAWN GO BACK TO THE SAME BOX
I turned and dredged upward. At the top of the stairs I stood. Silence held me. The wooden man was Catatonic. The door's light made him glow. The red door at the end of the hall begin to move closer to me. Before long it was in front of me. I turn the brass handle and open the door. Sitting on a chair there I was staring back at me standing in the doorway.
"I've been waiting here for years."(less)
The last part of the instructions 'Take the stairs'. I walk up to the tiny stair well and look up. Looming over me there are hundreds of stairs leading to a tiny pin prick of light at the top. "What am I doing here, there's no way I can(more) make it to the top."
At the top of the tower, that is where fate lies. If I can push my way through the pain and despair I will find my reward, one way or another.
I walked up the steps for what seemed to me like days, taking breaks as little as possible. By the end of the third flight a was out of breath. "Just keep pushing, don't stop until you're done. Finish this mad errand."
Almost to the top, I can't tell if I'm anxious, alarmed or scared. Perhaps all three. I can see the light at the top, it's so bright, it burns. Maybe I should head back, I don't think I'll be able to survive this. I push on. I will not give up.
Standing in front of me is a great wooden door with solid brass handles. The intricacies of the woodwork is impressive and had I breath left, it would have taken it away. I gingerly reach for the handle, unsure of what's to come. It's unlocked. I knew it would be. I push open the door to find a light so bright that it was like walking into a cloud.
The voice speaks to me. " I knew you would make it. Leave the box on the floor and you may leave. Never again doubt your worth, there aren't many that could have taken these stairs and survived. Go now and be free."(less)
Grey stood with Jen at the elevator waiting for it to come down. Grey could feel a pit in his stomach, twisting and turning, radiating gravity like Jupiter, pulling his body into his abdomen. He closed his eyes and tried to concentrate on what he would say to Jason(more) when he saw him. Things were different now but he felt he could always depend on Jason to be truthful with him. So why the nervous feeling?
He felt as if everyone in the lobby could see it, that they could see his body shrinking into itself. His head started spinning or was he actually spinning around his stomach? Grey took a deep breath through his nose and slowly let the air trickle out of his mouth. Jen squinted her eyes at Grey and put her hand on his shoulder. Grey was thankful that she had done that as he felt he could fall at any moment. He opened his eyes and took another deep breath.
"I don't know. I feel nervous all of sudden," Grey scratched his forehead.
"C'mon, it's Jason we're talking about. It'll be fine," Jen forced a half smile.
Grey leaned against the marble wall. The cold of the tile crept through his shirt, cooling his back. He hadn't realized how warm he was until now. The cold felt good and helped to calm his nerves. He took another deep breath.
"The hell's this elevator?" Jen pressed the 'up' button a few more times.
"I'm worried, Jen," Grey took his turn at hitting the 'up' button, "That we're headed towards fucked and there's nothing we can do about it."
An old man in a janitor's jumpsuit walked by and pointed to the door. "Elevator's out. You'll have to take the stairs.(less)
"The stairs, the stairs you bloody git!" The man yelled, frantically pointing in the the direction. "Take the damn stairs!"
The idiot didn't seem to understand that when the building is on fire you don't take the elevator, standing there staring at space. Of all the times to tune(more) him out... The man grabbed the idiot's arm, pulling him towards the EXIT sign. They raced down, the idiot finally understanding the man's actions and let himself be pulled, down the hallways full of smoke and wood and heat.
When the two got outside, panting and trying to catch their breath, the man shouted, "What on Earth were you thinking?!"
Just as the man turned to the idiot, he finally noticed what was in his left arm. Protectively, he was holding a small grey kitten. The kitten poked its head up, looking around and giving a "meow".
"Couldn't leave this little guy alone by the elevator, could we?" The idiot smiled, running a hand gently down the cat's back.(less)