Being inspired, maybe – 48

A picture paints ... well, as many words as you like.  For instance:

And, then, the words:

It was just a door to a lift.

That's what Joe told himself, over and over, and there was no denying the truth.

After all, he had stepped through that door more than once, in fact, it had been several times each time he stayed at the hotel, and nothing had happened.

The elevator had gone up to his room, on whatever floor it was on, and back down to the ground floor.  Up and down, sometimes stopping in between for other guests staying at the hotel.

It was just a door to a lift.

A lift that went up and down, servicing each of the seven floors in the hotel.


This morning he checked in after talking the train, and walking up from the station, just like he did every other day.  He called the lift, waited a few minutes, and it arrived, the door slowly opening.

Slower than usual, but it was not the first time it had happened.

He stepped in, pressed the button for his floor, 4, and stepped to the back of the car.  It wasn't very big so it was not much of a step.

The door closed, there was a brief moment where it seemed the elevator was not going to work, then the motor kicked in and the car began its ascent.

There were no stops on the way up, and then the car slowed and stopped.  It was a minute before the door opened.  Joe had a slight panic attack, thinking he might be trapped in a small, confined space, but then the doors opened.

Outside in the foyer, it looked the same as it had before.  He stepped out, waited for the door to close, though he couldn't say why, and headed towards his room.

Along the passage, when he turned the corner where the sign on the wall pointed towards his room location, he saw two other guests coming towards him.

Nothing unusual, except they were dressed in clothes that belonged to a different era.

A fancy dress ball, perhaps.

They nodded as they went past, and he nodded back, then continued up the small staircase to the next corridor, turning right this time.

Another man came out of a room three doors up, also similarly dressed like the other two.

Joe had to ask, as the man passed his doorway, "Is there a fancy dress ball on tonight?"

The man stopped and looked at Joe with a degree of curiosity.  "No, sir, not that I'm aware of."

"Oh," Joe muttered, then another thought came, one so outlandish he nearly didn't ask.  "I know this sounds rather odd, but it's been one of those days.  What year is it?"

"Odd indeed sir, but I have a sense of humour.  It is 1924."  With a little shake of his head, he continued on leaving Joe somewhat baffled.

At the end of the passage in the other direction was a window, one Joe knew would overlook the road below.  He put his case inside the door to his room and walked slowly towards the window.

It wasn't possible.  The man had to be joking.

Then he looked out the window.

© Charles Heath 2019


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