Kellie Elmore has challenged us with a new Free Write Friday Time & Place Scenario
You find yourself in an elevator. The door closes and you see only five buttons. A sign hangs above them that reads: “Find Happiness.” Each button is a different color. Red, blue, green, orange and yellow. There are no other instructions and you must push one to get the elevator to move. Which color do you choose and why? Where does it take you?
Here’s my story:
She stood dead still, hardly breathing. The entrance was right in front of her and all she had to do was step forward. But her feet would not move. Tendrils of doubt were pulling her back. Back towards her old life. Back towards certainty. No! The steel doors hissed with impatience. She looked at the desk, where the clerk was watching her. His eyes tried to burn their way through her spine, but she ignored the pressure.
The hallway was huge. A cold draft twirled through the many layers of her consciousness. Loneliness struck hard. There was nothing for her here. Upstairs would be people. And coffee! Squaring her shoulders, she stepped forward, straight into the gaping maw of the elevator. With an impatient snap, the doors closed and absorbed her. Like a birth canal.
Eighth floor, the instruction said. The intricate carvings on the elevator wall entangled her thoughts with Celtic patterns. She traced the lines with her index finger until she came upon the control panel. Five buttons. The bright colors clashed with the wooden interior in the diffused light. Only five? Impossible! When she looked closer, she discovered an inscription that said ‘Find happiness’.
Find happiness? Was this some kind of joke? She thought of her parents, who had been so worried when she told them about her plans to find work in the city. Moving out. She could still feel the tears in her father’s farewell hug.
Happiness, she could use a bit of that. She would give anything for a moment of wellness. The gray of the past weeks was too overwhelming, was shutting her emotions down until only despair remained. Her bank account was almost empty; there was only enough left for one month’s rent. Now focus, you need this job! Five colors for happiness.
The warm red glowed under her fingers, pulsing to the beat of the blood in her veins. Cool blue, calming her troubled mind. Nature’s green, reminding her of the woods where she used to walk with her dad. The fruity orange of the orchard. A sunny glow of bright yellow. Her heart responded. She had missed the colors in her life so much of late. But which button should she choose? Why couldn’t there be a simple 8?
Suddenly a myriad of lights melted together into one flame, that burned the darkness away. It was as if a shroud of doubts was lifted. One color was missing in these rainbow buttons! The one hue that colored her mother’s eyes. The one color that created her own name. She turned her back on the bright panel and blindly grabbed for the button that would release her from this prison. The one she simply knew would be there. It was the purple button that opened the only door back to happiness. To herself.
Violet went home.