Julie entered the ancient elevator, struggling out of her coat while still managing to hold onto her briefcase. She jabbed at the number six button hard. It usually stuck and maintenance hadn’t fixed it for the past two months. It slid easily this time, causing her to hit the seven button as well.
They finally got around to one complaint. Julie doubted if Mr Townsend had done anything about the heat yet. That would cost him money, something he valued far above happy tenants.
The elevator creaked and groaned, making its slow journey up to her humble abode as if on its last strand of cable. This trip seemed to take longer than usual, but the lights over the door displayed their relentless trek, moving from five before winking out completely just as the elevator jerked to a stop.
Great – another problem. A burned-out bulb would be far down the fix-it list. Julie stepped into the hallway and froze. This wasn’t her floor. At least, it didn’t look like her hallway, even though she could see the door to her apartment. Had they painted today? The color was garish.
Whatever. She pulled her keys out and went inside, thankful to be home at last. Flipping on the TV for company, Julie listened with half an ear as the newscaster related some breaking news.
“Reports just in of an accident in the old Townsend building. A cable snapped on the elevator of the eight-story apartment house. It’s not known yet if there were any injuries…”
A knock drowned out the rest of his sentence, just as the name of the building sunk in. Puzzled by the reference, Julie answered the door. A handsome man stood in front of her, his white suit stark against the newly painted red walls of the hallway.
“Julie – I thought I’d stop by and personally welcome you to the 13th floor. If there’s anything you require, just let me know, since you won’t be leaving again.”