The Lift

No one at Atilia inc. knew who ‘the Author’ was but everyone knew that once you entered the lift you never came back. Delilah looked around her cubicle, taking notice of the many empty places. Her eyes scanned the room again, trying to determine if anyone else would come in before she decided it was safe enough to go to the elevators.

It was strange, the only times people came up here were when they wanted to have a meeting with her supervisor, or when someone had been called by ‘the Author’. It also seemed like no one ever got off on this floor without reason. No matter how hard she looked at any of the other elevators no one ever came out of them.

She turned away from the elevator and headed back towards where the main office was. The hallway was empty. She sighed softly and shook her head, knowing it wasn’t worth getting too worked up about it. She hadn’t even met the author yet. Maybe she was just being paranoid; after all the stories she read about those who disappeared, maybe she shouldn't be so quick to jump down the rabbit hole.

She continued walking back to her desk and was about to sit down when the phone rang.

“Hello, who is speaking please?”

“The Author requests your presence. Please use the elevator… 11th floor. Hurry up.”

She heard the line click off before she could say anything else. She cursed under her breath and ran over to the elevator. As soon as she pressed the elevator button she could hear it chugging down towards her.

As soon as she stepped in she noticed a strange overwhelming feeling of being watched. She glanced around, noticing that nobody else was in there with her.

Just her wild imagination playing tricks.

When the elevator reached its destination the doors hissed open, revealing the dark gray corridor on the other side. As soon as she exited she felt a sudden gust of wind. She closed her eyes, not sure if it was because she didn’t want to face whoever was watching her or because she wanted something to be real about what she was seeing. When she opened her eyes a figure stood near the end of the hall waiting for her.

“Come forward.” They commanded.

Delilah shuddered slightly, wondering what was going on as she walked forward. She tried to get a good look at their face, hoping to see some kind of facial expression which could help her understand what was happening. She couldn't really make out the details in their outfit and their face was covered by an unusual veil.

As she stood in front of the figure, they bowed and the guilded gold doors opened behind them. She continued forwards and found herself in a large room with a throne. In the throne sat a young man, writing in a notebook. His long silvery blonde hair tied back in a side ponytail. He wore a grey cloak and a golden crown rested on his head. His face was obscured by a mask covered in delicate silver leaves. As soon as he looked up, Delilah stopped dead in her tracks.

Glacial blue orbs pierced right through her soul.

“Please. Sit. You are Delilah. Correct?”

“Yes, I am,” Delilah replied, nervously taking a seat on the edge of the raised platform in front of the throne.


A silence fell between them as the Author stared at her intently, his lips curved into a charming smile.

“What is your role in this story?”

He asked calmly, his fingers still moving across the page.

“I, uh…” Delilah stuttered, unsure of how to respond. She had always been told that she was a background character. She had always assumed that she was destined to be written out of the narrative; however she wondered if she could ask a favour of the Author.

“Do you know who I am?”

“Of course!” His voice reverberated around room and filled her with warmth.

“Who do you think wrote this story? Of course I know who you are. Do you think I don’t care about you?” he cried, standing up and rushing to sit beside her.

He reached out and placed a comforting hand on her knee. His touch sent a shockwave up her leg and spread through her body.

“You need not worry, you will be treated very well. It is my job as author to protect the characters and ensure their happy ending. And I am willing to protect you, from what threatens us both. Please say that you will be my protagonist.”

A smile bloomed on her face as tears filled her eyes. She leaned towards him and untied the ribbon which held the mask to his face. For a moment she couldn't speak.

"I… I want to be your protagonist." She finally managed to croak out. He looked more handsome than any sculpture that she had seen. The light from the torches on the walls cast deep shadows beneath his eyes, making his glacial blue eyes stand out in contrast to his pale skin. He was beautiful.

"Wonderful!" He said, pulling her into a hug.

"Wait… do you mean you want to be my hero?" She pulled away slightly, confused.

"Of course!" He laughed, leaning towards her again.

"What do you have to protect me from?"

His eyes shifted as he looked at something above her head.

"This is a dangerous world," he whispered, "I don’t know what I would do if anything happened to you."

Delilah's eyes widened and she leaned away from the author.

"How do we know we can trust each other?"

She was met with a chuckle.

"That's quite simple. Our fates are intertwined. We will journey together until the tale is told.”

“Who could hurt me?” she said.

“The editors.”, the author paled and became quiet.

She thought back to what she read earlier, the stories about people who went missing. Some said it was the editor's doing, others said it was the publisher's. Either way, it was dangerous and she could lose her life if the author’s work didn’t get published.

And then she remembered her friends and co-workers. Did the editor’s get them too? Would she be next?

No. She wouldn't allow it.

She wouldn't let the editors control her destiny.

“Fine. Let’s work together and stop whatever these people are doing,” she said “we need a narrative with a killer plot, character’s that live and breathe and a setting to die for.”

“What should we call the story?”, the author asked notebook open and pen poised above a blank page. Delilah smiled and tucked herself under his arm.

“Let’s call it… The Lift.” she exclaimed.

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