It started with a simple request from my English teacher, Mrs. Boartract. She needed someone to take a projector cart upstairs to the library. I raised my hand. Not only did I want to be helpful, but I would not miss out on a chance to get out of class. Mrs. Boartract called on me, and I slipped to the front of the room. She handed me the elevator key. Sweet! A couple kids groaned as I shoved the cart out the door.
In my school, getting to take the elevator was a rare and cool experience. The only people who have ever gotten to do it were kids with broken legs and sometimes administrators. So I knew I was in for a few dirty looks when I got back to the classroom.
I inserted the key into the panel beside the elevator. The doors opened up and I pushed the cart in. There were two buttons. One labeled "1" and one labeled "2". I hit "2" and felt myself floating upwards. The elevator slowed to a stop and I pushed the cart into the library. The Librarian gave me the "Thank you" grin and I exited the library. I inserted the key into the panel again. I probably wasn't supposed to ride it back down, but it's not like anyone would know. Besides, no one told me not to, right?
I stepped in. Right when I was about to hit "1", I noticed something strange. There was one button that was duct taped off. It was peeling slightly, so I could make out a downwards-pointing arrow on the button.
I, of course, became curious. I had never seen an elevator button that looked like that. What did it do? I poked my head out of the ajar doors and looked left and right. No one was coming. I figured I'd try it. Hell, it was probably just a door close button with a misplaced symbol, right?
I hit the button.
The elevator just dropped. The lights flickered and the elevator was yanked down the shaft. I fell over as the elevator hit the bottom of the shaft with a thump.
This didn't look good. I was probably stuck in the elevator, I need to be in class, and, worst of all, I'm probably under the school. But now I'm sure of one thing: that was definitely not a door close button.
I stood up and tried pushing some buttons. No response. Not even the alarm worked. I slammed on the door. "Hello?"
Nothing. This was getting very frustrating. The school is usually quiet. Surely some of those classes are disturbed by my incessant banging.
After about five consecutive minutes of slamming and yelling, I sat down. I think I started crying at one point, but I'm not sure I recall.
I was in that damn elevator for about half an hour. Soon I got desperate and pried open the doors with my fingers. But when I looked out, I realized that I wasn't in my school anymore.
I was staring into a deep, dark, and very wide tunnel. There were two torches on either side, and the rest was pure black.
I stepped into the cave. If there was a way out, it was in here. I pried a torch off the side. I didn't feel like walking through the dark.
I walked down that tunnel for what seemed like hours. I constantly scanned the walls and ceiling for a way out. A ladder, or a door, or something.
At the end of the tunnel was a dimly lit, grey door. A way out? Possibly a trap, like the elevator? I had to find out.
I entered the room. It was a thin hall, with tinted plexiglass boxes, grey walls and another door at the end. Inside the boxes were figures that looked like monkeys. Some squatting, some laying down.
What was this? Was this a science store room for experiment monkeys? Creepy! I heard a whimpering noise from inside the box next to me. One of the figures was standing and looking at me. He started slamming his fists on the glass and screaming like Charles Manson himself was in the box with him. Then all of the figures were doing the same. Then I realized two things. One, the boxes were cages. Two, those weren't monkeys, they were humans.
I dropped the torch and ran for the door at the end of the hall. In the door was a tall staircase leading to a third wooden door. I darted up the stairs and slammed into the door, breaking it down. Next thing I knew, I was in the teacher's lounge.
How long was I in that tunnel? I read the clock. It read 3:51. School was about to let out. I stepped into the downstairs hallway. There was a cop with a large dog walking through the hallway. The dog started yelping once he saw me. He jumped and flashed his teeth at me. The cop ran towards me and grabbed my elbow tightly.
He led me to the front office, where I found my parents sitting on a bench. My mother looked like she was crying. My father started yelling at me once I stepped in.
The cop sat me down in my principal's office. My principal was sitting behind his desk with two policemen, all facing me with a slightly angered expression.
When one of the cops asked me where I had gone, I told him everything. How I got stuck in the elevator, found the tunnel, the cages with kids, everything. I soon noticed that my principal was shaking and brewing up a slight sweat. When the cop asked him if there was such a thing, he denied it, keeping a perfectly straight face.
I was punished for cutting class and lying, even though I was guilty of neither. My punishment was a pile of schoolwork, a week of full day I.S.S, and a series of lectures from Mom. I wasn't too bummed about I.S.S, but it turned out to be horrible. Why?
I.S.S. was down the tunnel.