All The World’s A Lift Or So It Seemed


To be fair, ‘the powers that be’, wherever they are, recognised that the message would be of universal importance and thus issued it on all social media platforms to ensure the widest readership. The message was brief but to the point. “We apologise for any inconvenience but we have grown bored with our experiment. The planet you are living on will become uninhabitable in approximately three hours. No packing for the afterlife is necessary”. Existence , despite the best efforts of a number of largely ignored soothsayers, prophets and visionaries is never fair. Time zones being what they are, some people would vanish into the void without the chance to pack their reputation while others would be more fortunate, if you see awareness as something to celebrate.

Whatever else was happening, for two people in a lift when the power supply went off, the news was less than welcome. One was buying a present for his sister’s birthday, and the other one was a floor manager in the store the lift was in. .He was  on the way to give some underling the roasting of a lifetime. He enjoyed giving roastings,  and had worked up a portfolio of cutting and diminishing phrases sometime before the interview. Now he was to be robbed of this enjoyment. It was irritating.

His ill humour was compounded by the fact that the man he was stuck with seemed to be an unhinged and shrieking  hysteric on the edge of tearing at his own shirt. “Is there any chance you could lower your voice a little. You are in danger of giving me a headache”. he warned him.

“A headache”. Can’t you read. We’re going to die. DIE you cold-hearted robot”. The sight of the sun being turned off and setting for the last time would reveal the most beautiful skyscape you could imagine. Something anyone might treasure until they died, which was  going to be in about two hours and twenty minutes. Sadly for our titans in the lift, no windows had been provided for their added entertainment. Instead a small advertisement opposite the door offered the best in new central heating with payments spread over three years. A bargain in any eventuality, although possibly not this one.

It appears that raising his eyebrows at the Hysteric was a gesture too far. The man lunged forward in a manner likely to damage his wardrobe. Given that the manager was known domestically as the ‘Master of the Ironing Board’ this could not happen. He was also a brown belt at Judo: a skill he had gathered during his time with the Human Resources department, as part of their arbitration training. The poor hysteric, now pinned to the floor and faced with spending some of his last and precious moments peering at his image in the polished base of the lift, resorted to a curious range of whimpering and shrieking in an a language unfortunately not known to the author. “A little quiet would be appreciated jerk” said Mr Manager.

All of a sudden the emergency lighting was replaced by the normal glare. Mobiles pinged and a strange non regional voice spoke over the tannoy. “Earthlings. We have enjoyed your displays of callow shallowness, cowardice and hysteria to such an extent that we have decided to rescind our decision. Life will continue as normal, but with added catastrophes.  After a short period, because we are enjoying ourselves, you will all experience partial amnesia and forget this happened. Keep crying. Thank you for entertaining us.” Somewhere at the back of the transmission a slightly less cultured voice could be heard exclaiming “They’re really very silly aren’t they” and then being told to shut up.

The Liftonians rose to their feet and resumed normal standards of etiquette. That is standing as far apart as possible and admiring the walls. The hysterics eyebrows rose for a moment. Suddenly that nifty central heating offer seemed worth investigating.

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About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, creative writing, Environment, faith, Fiction, humour, Uncategorized, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to All The World’s A Lift Or So It Seemed

  1. abbiefoxton says:

    Nice & Nutty – I love stories about extraterrestrials, especially when they are written by one…you are from another planet surely? lol

    Like

  2. Caroline says:

    Wonderful. You had me captivated from the beginning to the end! I shall never be able to stand in a lift again without giggling!!

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  3. Rosie Amber says:

    That brought a smile to my face!

    Like

  4. catterel says:

    Your little gems (and I don’t mean lettuce) get better and better – some wonderful phrases, and so true to life. I’m getting addicted to your stories 😀

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  5. Love it! Wouldn’t that be just so annoying – being stuck in a lift while the world ended!

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  6. What brilliant language use in here. Especially love “The Liftonians rose to their feet and resumed normal standards of etiquette. That is standing as far apart as possible and admiring the walls.” That’s the etiquette indeed!

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  7. This is hilarious!! Honestly,you simply get better and better! 🙂 you have brightened my Sunday and it is already a dazzling bright out there on this sunny Wimbledon final day, but that doesn’t alter the fact that I got off to a pretty gloomy start, soul- wise, that is. So thank you and keep them coming. Your sense of humour is my sense of humour 🙂

    Your stories have just got to go out there all wrapped neatly in a book 🙂

    Like

  8. araneus1 says:

    wow! I’m running out of adjectives!
    I read this to the missus and we both laughed out loud a couple of times [notice I did not say lol, still clinging to the old school way].
    I don’t care how many times I have to say it………….. i love your stuff!
    Terry

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    • I’m very pleased I managed to give your wife a laugh as well as you. Very cheering, and I always appreciate the visit

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      • araneus1 says:

        All I have to say is “countingducks has written another one” and she says ‘read it to me’. I never read it first just to make sure it is good because we both know it will be. Few things in life are certain but ‘counting ducks will never fail to entertain’, is one of them.
        Terry

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  9. nelle says:

    Har, clever!

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  10. Fun read! And love some of your phrasing… “without the chance to pack their reputation” really stood out. 🙂

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  11. babs50nfab says:

    Very entertaining! You should turn it into a movie script! I can see Sean Penn being the manager, or Alec Baldwin. Both of them seem to have anger issues.

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  12. Evolpeac says:

    Hilarious 🙂

    Like

  13. Al says:

    I’m not used to seeing a science-fiction post from you, in fact it is quite alien to me.

    Very good good reading, nonetheless.

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  14. gotham girl says:

    Oh, CD…this is so so good! You had me at…”without a chance to pack their reputation!”

    Like

  15. Jane says:

    Ray Bradbury would applaud. You are so talented and we are so honored to travel these wonderful journeys with you.
    Thanks!
    Jane

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  16. rckjones says:

    So superb. Reminiscent of Douglas Adams. Me and the rest of my planet enjoy the laugh. 😉

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    • Blimy, I’ve just had Ray Bradbury in the previous comment and here comes Douglas Adams, who I agree is a brilliant author with a lovely comic slant on life’s events. Very nice of you to comment

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  17. Very well done! Absolutely love this one!

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    • Thank you very much. It’s very good of you to pop in and comment. I appreciate it

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      • Ducks you are truly amazing … and much more tech savvy than I. I only just found the button that showed me all the comments. Many apologies for not replying sooner. I love your blog and your consummate ability to turn a phrase. Thank you for being an. Inspiration!

        Like

  18. Ah, people reveal all kinds of truths when faced with death–truths that they can’t take back when the threat of death is yanked away. Interesting exploration into the soul, Peter…

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  19. A journey best done doen whilst wearing sun glasses I fear

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  20. Rather chilling! Made me think about some of the silly things I do in my day…

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  21. Sci fi now hey? Is there any genre foreign to your talents!

    PS – Back from a wonderful holiday, away from social media and work and writing = just what I needed x

    Like

  22. Carrie Rubin says:

    Interesting take on how we would provide endless fodder for those from other worlds. I’m sure they would shake their heads in confusion but, as you point out, no doubt be amused.

    Thanks for stopping by my site. I appreciate it.

    Like

  23. This has got my day off to a great start as I love the quirky humour and the characters. 🙂

    Like

  24. Just when I’m getting all freaked out you add something like this: ” “A little quiet would be appreciated jerk”

    Smiling in Minnesota. Xxxx

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  25. Landsakes!!! Is there anything you cannot write well… (rhetorical question). Well done, going to share this with some people I think will enjoy your wit, humor and ability to captivate. Happy writing 🙂

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  26. This made me laugh – I love that voice in the background, saying: they’re really very silly!!

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  27. Christine says:

    I often wish I could live my whole life at weddings, funerals or stuck in an elevator with others. The raw intimacy is so intoxicating for me … I’m such an optimist that I forget this other side of things. Your reminder cracked me up.

    Like

    • It’s always a treat when you pop into my Blog, even if it is to witness another emergency mankind is suffering at the hands of my pen. If pens can have hands, mind you, although almost anything is possible in my odd imagination.

      Like

  28. ‘Liftonians’ 🙂 Hmmm … there is something alien about being in a lift. I don’t like the feeling of being trapped even when it’s lit and moving. Thanks for sharing another wonderful witty and thought-provoking piece, Peter. Others are right – you should think of publishing a collection of stories.

    Like

  29. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    So strange are your tales, but so mesmerising! Love the way you close – always 🙂

    Like

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