Sorry to Keep You Waiting

Triskaidekaphobia by ~goemonsama via deviantART

Trrreet trrreeet! The sound of the biometric scanner officially logged Jean out of work. The display read 1:45 AM. She knew that she should have gone home earlier, but there was a lot of work to get done.

The guard bid her farewell as she ambled to the elevators slowly. She pressed the down button, its orange glow looking more like a hazy triangle than an arrow due to her sleepiness.

Finally, the elevator arrived. It opened with its pre-recorded greeting, “Sorry to keep you waiting.” Jean mumbled something to the effect that it always says that spiel without even sounding sincere. With a reprimanding burst of frustration, she stabbed at the button that bore the capital G.

Her ride took about a minute long, which was longer than usual considering that she was just coming from the third floor. When she realized that it was time, she glanced at the glowing orange light on the elevator panel. B3 was lit, and it was too late for her to press G.

When the door opened on the basement level with a clang, she pressed the button that ordered the elevator to go up to the ground floor. Then, she pushed the close button repeatedly but the elevator seemed to be waiting for some imaginary passenger to get on. Then, she heard a low, loud, and rumbling growl.


Fear fell on her like a cold shower. The cold sensation went down her spine, and to mark the unnaturalness of the growl, it crept back up her spine ever so slowly, raising all the hair on her nape and arms. She snapped into alertness and pressed her thumb onto the close button again. She exerted all her might to make the door close while channeling all her will to hurry it up before the thing that made the spine-tingling growl went into sight.

Luckily, the door sealed shut just before a faint but large shadow came into view.

She sighed deeply, the fear draining out with her warm breath. She closed her eyes, but then, something else happened. She felt warm, pungent breath behind her neck in between an initially soft but escalating sound.


With a ting and a “Sorry to keep you waiting,” the elevator door opened at the ground floor. It created an odd sound that’s between a burp and grinding metal as the night watchman entered the empty elevator to do his rounds in the upper floors.


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