Holding Lori’s hand, Nat pulled her into the empty hotel elevator,pushing the button for the sixth floor. Smiling up at him, Lori slipped her arm around his waist. The the doors slid shut, the elevator lurched and began to rise. The bell tinged as it passed each floor, counting off the numbers, then stopping at the sixth floor, but the doors didn’t open.
“Nat why aren’t the doors opening?”
“I don’t know.” He pushed the open door button, but nothing happened. He began to randomly push buttons.
“Are we stuck?”
“Maybe, but maintenece will get us out.” Nat reassured her. He stepped closer to the control box and pushed the phone button, there was no connection. They were trapped until someone was contacted.
“Well, since we’re waiting and we’re alone…” Nat pulled Lori close to him, pressing her against his chest, but just as their lips met, the elevator groaned, lurched and began to descend.
“Great, we’re going back down. I guess maintenence found us.”
“Uh, Nat, we just passed the lobby floor.”
“Maybe the elevator is going to maintenece.”
“I’m beginning to get the heebie jeebies. When this thing stops, I’m getting off and I’m taking the stairs.”
Before Nat could reply, the elevator stopped and the door slid open. A damp, musty smell assaulted their noses.Lori wrinkled her nose and looked around.
“Nat, where are we?”
“Looks like we ended up in the basement.”
“Let’s get out of here, now.”
Grabbing her hand again, Nat hurried away from the elevator into the dimly lit basement, looking for the stairs. Going to the opposite side of the elevator, he saw they had run under the indoor pool.
“What the…?” Nat said, peering into the pool.
“Wow we can see into the pool and the people swimming. I wonder if the can see us?”
“Let’s see.” Nat watched the swimmers until a man swam toward them underwater, and he smashed his face against the side and began to wave. The man did not aknowledge Nat’s presence.
“Well I guess that’s a no.”
Nat scanned around the room again. There were no doors, or stairs.
“I guess the only way out is the elevator.”
“I guess you’re right, but I wish we didn’t have to.”
They ran back around to the elevator, but just as they reached the doors, they slid closed and the whirring of the motor told Nat that the elevator was rising. He felt just a pang of fear.
“Nat what do we do now?!” Lori cried out, grabbing his arm.
Nat puplled out his cell phone, but there was no service this far down. Then he began to push the buttons on the control panel, but after fifteen minutes there was no sign of the elevator returning. Lori was beginning to panic.
Suddenly both of them heard clattering of chains against the concrete floor. Nat whirled around and looking for what was making the sound. Lori sidled up behind him, holding on to his shirt crumpled up in her hand.
The clanking continued around the corner, the air around them suddenly became cooler. Nat and Lori clung to each other as the rattling became more intense and was suddenly surrounding them. A chilling cold enveloped them and then a greenish light appeared before them and materialized into two transparent bodies, hovering above the floor, chains encircling their forms.
Nat held Lori’s trembling body close.
“What do you want? Who are you?” he finally asked, but before he got an answer, one of the forms leaped forward and slid into Lori’s body. Nat pulled back staring in shock at her. Then a gravely voice replaced her soft alto voice.
“Our host bodies drowned in the pool a few days ago. These chains get us tethered here until we could find new host bodies so we can leave here. Your two were perfect. Young and healthy.”
“No! We don’t want to be replaced by you! Leave us alone!” Nat shouted, panicked, but without warning, Nat felt cold slice through his body. He closed his eyes for a moment and when he opened them he saw his beloved Norma. She smiled and he took her hands.
“Shall we go to our room?” he asked as the elevator descended once more, the doors sliding open at their floor.
“Oh, yes Henry, oh yes.” She answered as they stepped into the waiting elevator.