musings from Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington ... home of The Write Spot

Sunday, September 24, 2006


When you live in a 30+ year-old highrise with sunny balconies, big windows, and an expanse of parkland on two sides, there aren't likely to be many day-to-day encounters with 'the dark side'. In fact, the closest I've come to a genuinely creepy moment was visiting the windowless basement storage lockers at midnight with nobody else around.

Until this morning.

I was on my way down to the first floor, arms full of recyclables, feeling pleased that the 'good elevator'—the one with a back door that opens directly into the recycling room—had responded to my call. I pushed the button for 1R and waited.

The descent was swift and gentle. I turned to face the back door as it glided slowly open...and found myself staring not at a brightly-lit room with a row of big blue bins, but at a solid wall of concrete. There was no escape.

[cue Twilight Zone music]

Too bad I don't write in the horror genre. I could spin a spooky tale of being trapped in the Elevator of Doom...eternally damned to visit floor after floor, finding nothing but impenetrable bunkers at every stop. Parched and starving, I'd search in vain through the items in my blue box... surely there'd be one bottle with a few drops of water, a tin with a scrap of salmon—or even a morsel of cat food—still clinging to the lid...

[fade to black with my own screams echoing in the pit]

Okay. So maybe that explains why I don't write horror.

(Edit: In the real world, I stared at the blank wall of concrete for a couple of heartbeats, then turned, pushed 1F, and waited while the elevator rose to the main floor and let me off in the lobby. Why it originally dropped to the basement, and why the back door mechanism activated there, remains a mystery.)

That's all for now. Move along. Nothing more to see here.


At 11:25 pm, Anonymous Susan McNicoll said...

You see, your last sentence has the beginnings of a mystery novel. Forget horror. You and I both love mysteries. Go for it!

At 9:14 am, Blogger Cheryl said...

Good idea, Susan. I've always wanted to write a mystery. Of course, there will have to be a cat in it. (Right now, it's a mystery why Sam the Cat is stalking something that isn't there.)


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