I started writing this for Microcosms, but I went off the given theme and well past the word count. Unable to reign it in for competition, I decided to love it as it is. Enjoy.
“I assure you it is not.”
“The fourteenth floor is just the real thirteenth floor. They just changed the buttons.”
“There is a thirteenth floor,” The elevator man yawned. Every summer the Grand Bohemian was inundated with wealthy guests, all bringing their miserable children with them.
“I heard at school that it’s unlucky, so they don’t even build one. But that makes no sense.”
“Young man, if there is not a floor you need me to drop you off at, I’m going to need you to get off my elevator.”
“I swiped a twenty from my mom’s purse this morning. It’s yours if you take me to the thirteenth floor. That’s probably more money than you make in a week.”
“Steer clear of the door,” Clive announced, simultaneously twisting the lever holding out his hand for the bribe. The nameless boy parked the twenty spot into the man’s glove.
The elevator man stopped the lift deftly between the twelfth and fourteenth floors and pushed the boy aside. The gate opened to a locked door. With a twist of the key from Clive’s ring, the thirteenth floor opened up to them.
The floor was completely unlike the others in hotel. Except for the support beams, the floor plan was completely open. Long rectangular wooden crates lay evenly across the floor like dominoes on a table. The boy cautiously stepped from the elevator while Clive remained inside.
“Wow, what is all of this?”
The hotel employee sniffed. The floor smelled sweet like fresh leather. “The Grant Bohemian was build atop an old grave site from influenza days. The only contingency the county gave us for this property was to relocate the remains. Irrationally, no other county wanted the diseased bodies. So this is our compromise. We simply moved all of them on the unused thirteenth floor.”
“That’s baloney,” the boy turned, his confidence wavering.
“Is it?” Clive shut the gate before the boy could stop him. After lowering the lift two floors he could no longer hear the brat screaming. He didn’t need the twenty dollars before, but it made it easier to walk out on this miserable job at the Grand Bohemian.
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