Title: In the Time of the Green Stone
My footsteps echoed through the empty lobby. An uneasy feeling that I was being watched held on like a limpet to a rock. I quickly pressed the up button on the elevator and tapped my foot impatiently as I waited for it to get there.
“Ten, Nine,Eight,” I said aloud.
Stop talking to yourself, Mia. You’ve already got quite the reputation around town. Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two, One. And then I took two deep breaths. I was amazed that it still worked.
It’s weird the kinds of things that stay with you. When I was five, my Grandpa taught me this little trick when I couldn’t sleep because I was convinced there were creatures out to get me anytime the light was shut off in my room.
This wasn’t exactly monsters in my closet, but it was being afraid of something that wasn’t there. The distinct ding of the elevator arriving made me jump. As soon as the doors opened I scuttled in, glad that I would soon be in my familiar doctor’s office. Just as the door was about to shut completely, a hand jutted into the small opening. I recoiled. I imagined a serial killing maniac with a butcher knife on the other side of the hand and backed up into the corner of elevator.
In the moments that it took for the elevator door to open again, my mind went into full argument mode. Part of me was telling me I was being absurd. This was an elevator ride I had taken many times before. But the other part of me was almost sure I wasn’t imagining that someone was following me. I stuck my hand into my purse wishing that I had listened to my Grandpa and carried the pepper spray he had given me as “my little girl is now in high school” gift. Instead I found my wallet, lip gloss, and a pen. I grabbed the pen, not sure what I would do with it, and held it in my purse as the door finally opened completely. Peering out of the door, I saw no one there.
This I was not imagining. Even if I wasn’t in danger, this was a bizarre situation. I could feel my entire body tense up, ready to run out of the elevator toward the front door of the lobby. At that moment,a figure came from the left of the door and entered the elevator. The girl quickly hit the door shut button and I stood there staring. She looked back at me smiling. I looked away from her and then turned back to her.
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