"Payton!" Riley yelled, grabbing a tight hold of the gate, trying to force it open, but it didn't budge. "What did you do?!"
"N-Nothing..." I whispered, unable to move. At first, I thought it was just a prank, but then something cold settled into my soul.
Both Riley and Morgan were now trying to get the gate open, shouting at me in fear, but I couldn't hear them anymore.
Someone was singing right behind me.
I could feel him standing there.
The elevator suddenly jolted, letting out horrifying sounds as it began moving.
I couldn't hear the words of the song over the screeching metal, but it sent my heart racing in horror. I couldn't stop myself from turning around to see the person standing there. I saw a short glimpse of dirty boots before I remembered to close my eyes, hurrying to face away from him.
It was not until then that I realized the elevator really was moving, slowly rising. I reached out with shaky hands, trying to find the door, but when I moved, the ghost followed me.
I heard my friends hurrying up the stairs. Soon they were banging the gate at the second floor, still screaming my name. I was paralyzed. I could feel cold air brushing my cheek as the ghost leaned in to whisper the rest of his song in my ear.
Don't look at it. Whatever you do, don't look at it!
The elevator was now shaking as it pushed past all the debris in the shaft. The noise was unbelievably loud and I wanted to cover my ears, but I still couldn't get my body to move. I was seconds away from crumbling down into a horrified mess, but that one thought kept me somewhat sane.
It can't kill you if you don't look at it.
"Payton! Do something! Stop the elevator!" Morgan shouted at me, but I stayed still. I would need to open my eyes so I wouldn't accidentally lose a hand between the cage and the railings. But if I opened my eyes...
I heard more footsteps as they ran to the third floor, banging the cage every now and then. The ghost moved to my other side, and I could feel his cold touch on my back, making me whimper. I nearly lost the last of my courage. I was struggling to stay up on my feet—the floor was shaking so hard.
My panicking mind came up with excuses: a nightmare; a hallucination; some kind of weird seizure that made me experience things that weren't real. This could not be happening. Ghosts weren't real! They were not real!
But then, a sudden crash finally brought the elevator to a halt. I flew forward and slammed into the door, grabbing a hold of the iron to keep myself up on my feet. The floor was still shaking and making noises like it was trying to get past the obstacle, whatever it was.
A horrible thought occurred to me.
A second later it happened. One of the cables snapped. It was eerily silent, except for that one metallic slash. The cage dropped an inch or two, sending me onto my knees.
"Riley...!" I cried out, struggling to keep myself from reaching out of the cage in panic. If the elevator fell while my hand was between the cage and the platform...
"Hold on! We're going to get you! I promise!" Riley replied to me with a muffled voice. I could hear both of them using the last of their strength to open the door so they could pull me out to safety.
But it was too late. The second cable snapped, and it was too much for the rest of them.
For a short second, I was weightless. The song had turned into laughter that sent shivers down my spine and into my soul. The ghost was glad we were falling!
And then the loudest bang ended the fall. All the noises were gone. I couldn't even breathe after the impact. I was sure I died. The pain was too much. I was barely conscious, but I still kept my eyes shut.
He was still there...
Standing over me...
I couldn't move. All I could do was listen to the song and the fearful cries of my friends as they rushed back down. But then, something metallic was moved right next to my head, and two pairs of arms grabbed me by my shoulders, dragging me out of the elevator.
"Oh, God, Payton!"
I was out. I got out! The singing had stopped, and I couldn't feel him anymore. I opened my eyes to see my friends who were looking down at me with pale faces and quivering lips.
"We need an ambulance," Riley told Morgan.
I was safe. It couldn't get out of the elevator. I moved my head to see the rusty pile of metal that was left of the cage. There was dust flying all around and I could see a trail of blood on the ground.
I could finally breathe.
The darkness tried to get a hold of me, so I closed my eyes again and let my friends take care of me. The pain was growing more intense, but I didn't want to know why.
"You'll be fine, Payton. It's just a broken leg," Riley kept telling me with a shaky voice.
I nodded, forcing my eyes open to take a look at it myself, but then...
The song... I could hear it. I turned to look in that direction, and saw the ghost walking away, towards the front door, his heavy footsteps echoing in the empty hallway. Something cold took hold of my heart.
He was not supposed to get out.
But he did, and when he stepped out into the yard, he let out a menacing laugh.
What have we done...?
And then he was gone.
Dolly Grand writes gay romance and fantasy for young and new adults, loves rainy days because she doesn't have to come up with excuses for not leaving the house, eats way too much chocolate and believes in the power of friendship which you can often see in her work. Read more of Dolly's stories here .
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