Elevator from the Past

The idea for this post came from WordPress’s “365 Days of Writing Prompts“. The premise is to write a scene in which you are trapped in an elevator with someone from your past. I briefly imagined a situation in which I was trapped with one of the people who tormented me throughout my school years. Then I realized I could do something a lot more interesting.

There’s no mistaking the guy — I know him, and he sure as shit knows me. Neither of us will ever know how we got here to this weird confluence of space and time and random quantum fluctation, yet here we are, each sitting on the floor across from each other. Staring at each other, our legs stretched out, feet canted the same way. I know the younger me by more than just the body language — I recognize that cocky grin, the hairline I used to have, a frozen-in-time snapshot of the face that’s looked back at me in the mirror for 40-some years.

“So,” he says, in a tone that makes me want to slap the grin off his face. “Tell me about the future. How do we capitalize on this?”

Cocky motherfucker thinks that this is a temporary thing, that somehow this will all be reversed and he can get bumped back to the mid-90’s and start playing the stock market. Typical 20-something Dan, thinking that somehow everything will play out in his favor. I want to reach out and choke the fuck out of him — whether it’s the potential paradox or that I’m outmatched by youth and speed that gives me pause I cannot say for certain. I merely stare at him.

“C’mon,” he says. “Think of the potential.”

I stare, wordless. The elevator begins to move downward again.

“Man, we have no idea what’s going to happen when those doors open. You should tell me right now; give me some idea of how to make this all easier.”

I continue to stare, saying nothing, wondering if somehow it’ll cut through all the bullshit and make him take notice of the flaws.

Ding. The doors slide open and I walk into the lobby. He stands just a step past the elevator — confused? Tied to that little bump of spacetime? Maybe a hallucination? He calls after me loudly, by name.

I never look back.

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