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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Up and Down (04/02/09)

TITLE: True Freedom
By Kellie Henningsen


6:15 AM and he’s already pushing my buttons! Every day it’s earlier and earlier. I watch as Henry Lane lumbers in and leans against my walls with a heavy sigh. As I take him up to the eighth floor, I wonder at what has happened to this man. He used to be so full of life. But, of course, that was before the wedding. I open my doors and watch him shuffle towards his office where he will stay until late tonight.

7:00 AM More office workers are starting to arrive so I’m keeping busy. They always hurry in toting their briefcases and talking on cell phones. I take them where they want to go and watch them scatter like mice into their cubby holes.

9:00 AM For two hours now I’ve been working non stop. I’m looking forward to a little break as most everyone is at work. However, I’m being summoned again so no rest for the weary.

My doors open and I cringe at the sight of the cynical Hazel Lane. She struts in and starts pecking at my buttons like an obsessed woodpecker. Her spiky heeled designer shoes dig into me which further increases my disdain for this woman. She realizes my button for floor eight is not working at the moment, so she pounds at it with agitation. Ha! She just broke a nail. Guess I can finally let her have her way. Just before my door closes, an older gentleman I have never seen before squeezes inside.


9:05 AM “Maintenance? Yes, this is Jennifer, from Dr. Cleaver’s office, the pediatrician on the sixth floor. Yes, it appears that the elevator is stuck. There’s a woman yelling, and she’s starting to scare the children so please hurry!”

Hmmm, I wonder what’s wrong with me. I’ve never been stuck before. I smile and relax against my cables. The old crab has no idea who she’s dealing with. Mr. Lane is the kindest, gentlest man I’ve ever had the privilege to carry, and I’m in no rush to allow her to ruin his day.

9:45 AM She’s been on the phone incessantly complaining to everyone from her limo driver, to her manicurist, to her beleaguered best friend. If she dares to dial one more time…I might have to have a sudden drop in altitude!

“Having a rough day?” the gentleman inquires from his position on the floor where he is reclining against my back wall.

Hazel slowly turns her perfectly painted face towards the unsuspecting passenger. “Bad day? Is that what you asked? How about a bad life?”

For the next forty-five minutes, she unloads on the man. I don’t know how he can take it. I almost open my doors to free him from this torture but can’t yet bring myself to do it.

10:30 AM The men are running scans on my computer systems now, but they have yet to find the glitch. Good luck with that, guys! I wonder how long before they override my systems and force me to work.

“I’m sorry things have been so rough. I’m Craig, by the way.”

Ahhh…the guy finally has a chance to speak.

“Listen, Carl..or whatever,” she spits out. “I’m not interested in making a new friend. I just want to get out of this ridiculous contraption and get on with my day. Once I get Henry to sign these divorce papers, I’ll be free…finally free!”

10:45 AM I can’t stall any longer. I make some groaning sounds, give a little lurch, and start to move up once again.

“Thank you, Jesus!” exclaims Hazel.

“Yes,” Craig quietly prays, “thank you, Lord.” Hazel looks momentarily distracted. The doors open and Craig steps out while she gathers up her things including a small piece of paper she finds on the floor.

Flipping the paper over, she reads these words, “Only I can set you free. Henry can tell you how. Talk to him. You won’t regret it. God.”

Hazel stumbles out of me now and walks slowly towards Henry who is anxiously waiting for her.

“Honey, are you ok?” he asks nervously.

“I don’t know…I feel a little…disoriented. Where’s Craig?” she asks searching the room.


“The man on the elevator. Where is he?”

“Honey, you were the only one in there.”

I smile as they start towards me but then wisely decide on the stairs instead. I can hear their voices echoing as they make their way down – down to talk about true freedom.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Bryan Ridenour04/09/09
Very creative. Nicely done!
Jan Ackerson 04/12/09
Fun POV.

It's probably just me, but this would have had more impact for me if Hazel's elevator companion had been an actual person who had somehow changed her life.

Your writing is creative and skillful, and I enjoyed reading this very much.
Glynis Becker04/12/09
Lots of fun! Creative take on the topic that I enjoyed very much.
Karlene Jacobsen04/12/09
Love the POV.
Sheri Gordon04/13/09
Very creative POV, and a fun read. I want to know more about some of the characters on the elevator. Perhaps you'll bring them back for other stories?
Charla Diehl 04/14/09
I liked this fun story. At first I thought the MC was an elevator operator--but then I realized it was the actual elevator--very creative. This could certainly expand into several short pieces in the future.