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The Lift

Dedicated to
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A massive huge THANK YOU to *danielleeebrownliee* for my awesome cover....... Please read and enjoy...:)

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Carl Walsh nervously pulled at the knot in the tie round his neck, his shirt already starting to become stained with perspiration. He jabbed repeatedly at the silver button on the wall with his free hand.

"Come on." He hissed, still struggling to ease the stranglehold of the tie.

A week ago, promotion had been more than welcomed by Carl but the move to the 23rd floor had been the kick in the crotch. Claustrophobia made the lift ride unbearable but the alternative of twenty-three flights of stairs made it his uncomfortable only option.

He stopped wrestling with his tie and leant against the cool metal doors, peering through the small gap to watch for the small shafts of light escaping from the approaching lift. He spotted them, he guessed about three floors down. He let his head loll from side to side, soothing his flushed cheeks on the cold metal.

Christ! Why did it have to be so hot?

Carl jumped back from the door as he heard the motor whirr into life. He tried in vain to calm his breathing in readiness for the doors to slide open and to appear normal to anyone inside. An electronic beep let Carl know it was that time of day again. Wiping away the copious amount of sweat with both hands from his face, he opened his eyes in time to see the doors uneasily slide open. A young lady's face, quite pretty, gave him a half-hearted smile.

Carl politely nodded an acknowledgement and stepped in to the metal box. Just the distinctive smell inside set his heart pounding faster.

"Going down?" The woman asked meekly, seemingly sensing his nervousness.

"Please," he croaked, his throat dry.

The woman reached forward and stabbed her finger selectively at the row of buttons. As the doors closed, he pressed himself against the wall of the compartment, his hands shakily seeking some reassurance from the wooden handrail. The lift jumped into action and started its descent.

Carl kept his eyes on the grotesquely patterned carpet, his hands roughly massaging the wooden rail. He was aware of the woman fidgeting nervously, moving further away from him.

The lift jolted to a stop once more. Carl broke his gaze off the floor and looked up at the digital display above the door.

Nineteen.

Jesus! Not even half way.

Carl heard the clunk of the doors opening. He squinted through the widening gap for an early warning of the number of people boarding. He counted them all in, every one notching up his panic and anger. Each one taking up more of his space, sucking in his precious air.

Eight!

Bastards!

Carl stared hatefully at each newcomer in turn, two corpulent men in suits taking most of the venom. His eyes returned to the floor as the lift shuddered back on its journey. The voices around him mingled into one cacophony soon drowned out by the deafening roar of the blood in his ears.

Another jolt and the lift stopped again.

Oh God, not more!

He looked up at the display again. It took some time to sink in that something was different about it. Then he clicked. The level number was continually flickering between fourteen and fifteen. They were trapped between floors.

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