How can this be happening to me! Amber Allen always feared getting stuck in an elevator, but she usually avoided them and took the stair, but today was a different story. She was running late, forgot her runners, and there was no way she would do the ten levels to the office in time for the 8 am meeting. Amber hated to be late; even fifteen minutes was too close for comfort, but today she took the chance, and karma got her back. Not even thirty seconds into the ride, the cart stops and the lights dim, with an alarm sounding. It had to be today; she had to be in the car by herself. She’s been claustrophobic since she was a child. She participated in hiding and seeking at the park with her best friend; she thought she had the best hiding spot until she squeezed herself inside a slide tube and got stuck. They had to call firefighters to get her out, and since then, she has avoided all things with small spaces. Now, she was living in her secluded hell with nowhere to go. Pushing the emergence button, she could hear talking, but it was so faint it was impossible to tell. All she could do is yell back into the speaker and pray they would come and find her as fast as possible. Suddenly, she realized that her cell was in her purse, and she reached in and called 911.
“911 what is your emergency?”
“Yes, hi, I’m stuck in an elevator between the fourth or fifth levels in the Mountainscape building on the twenty-first street.”
“Please stay calm, ma’am. Fire crews are at the location, but without the proper keys for the elevator, they are unable to rescue you at this time.”
“How long do they say it will be then? she asks”
“It could be up to an hour or more. Just remember you’re going to be okay. The lift is secure and unable to be moved. Firefighters are working as hard as they can, okay?”
After talking to 911, she didn’t feel any better, but worst. She hung up her phone and sat on the elevator floor with a thump. Just then, the elevator moves about two feet and scared the living shit out of Amber. So much for it being solid! After that scare and once she could breathe again, she decides to call her mother to calm her down. And like usual, mom answers on the first ring.
“Oh my, I was wondering how you were making out since the power went out downtown. Are you okay?”
“Nope, not really since I’m stuck in an elevator by myself, and it might take an hour or so for the firefighters to get me out. Some idiot forgot to put the emergence keys into the cabinet.”
“Remember, Amber; you’re in control of your emotions and the panic you feel. Don’t forget you’re always in control.”
“Thank you for the pep talk, mom, but it’s not making it any better. I’ll let you go, and I’ll call you once I’m out of this hell hole. I love you.”
“I love you too, dear, talk to you soon.”
Amber thought if she spoke to her mom that it would relax her, it made things worse yet again. Just then, she could hear noises outside the door. As she gets closer, she yells out.
“Hello? but no reply.”
Then again, the cart drops another foot making Amber fall to the floor. Curling into a ball in the farthest corner, she begins to pray. She doesn’t know how much time has passed, but the elevator cart’s continuous dropping keeps her in a state of uneasiness. All she can do is pray, cry and whole on for dear life.
Suddenly, a voice comes through the speaker of the cart.
“Ma’am, are you alright?” a strong manly voice comes through.
“As good as I can be, I guess.”
“Were working as fast as we can to get you out, but the cart isn’t sable enough to open the doors, so we were going to have to go from the top of the elevator shaft and down to the roof of the cart, okay? Do you understand?
“I don’t care what you have to do; please get me out of here. How long before you come and rescue me?
“About a half-hour. I’ll contact you again before we start so you know what’s going on. Please try to stay calm.”
For the next half hour, all Amber could do is lay on the floor looking up at the ceiling and pray that they will finally come and get her out. It must have been around lunchtime, considering her stomach started to protest, but she didn’t bring anything to eat.
Startled, she says.
“Okay, were going to start the long climb down, so you’ll probably hear us talking, and possibly the ropes hitting the elevator’s top. I don’t want you to move; please stay where you’re at and follow the direction of Sgt Levi Arnold. He’ll be there in no time.”
“Okay, please hurry.”
As they make their way, knowing the cart is unstable, they slow their movements not to jolt it from its place. Sgt Arnold is the first to make it to the elevator and slowly opens the emergency hatch.
“Miss Allen, I’m Sgt Arnold, and I’m here to rescue you.”
“Please get me out of here.”
She gets up from her position on the floor, and that’s when the cart makes the farthest fall. Thankfully the Sgt didn’t unhook from his harness and was able to stop himself from fall with the cart. Once again, he moves down to the cart, but he yells to Amber to stay in place. There isn’t much room to fall next time, and it could be a disaster.
“Let’s try this again.”
He lowers a safety rope to her and explains what the next step will be. Once she is connected, he pulls her through the hatch. Just as she cleared the hatch, the elevator does it’s final drop to the first floor, and with a cloud of dust, she dangles by the rope attached to Sgt Arnold. She was safe and alive.
“Can we please get down. I’m scared of heights,” says Amber
With that, he brings both of them down to the safety of the ground.
“I’ll never take another elevator for the rest of my life!” Once she calms down, EMT’s check Amber out of injuries that she might have got during the elevator ride from hell. Once she received a clean bill of health, she started toward her boss when the power came on. She marched up to him and with the most powerful voice.
“Sir, I quit!”