“Did you know that if you’re right handed you’ll chew your food on the right side, too?” said Dean.
Scott chortled in disbelief.
“Where’d you come up with that?” asked Yousef.
“I read it online. It’s scientific,” said Dean.
“Scientific and online. There’s an oxymoron,” said Scott.
The three walked through the lobby of the office building and approached the elevator. Yousef pressed the ‘up’ button and stared at the glowing numbers above the door.
“I’ll see you up in the office,” said Scott as he moved toward the stairwell.
“I didn’t know Scott was an exercise freak,” said Dean.
“He’s not. He’s an elephobe,” said Yousef.
Dean looked quizzically at Yousef.
“Elephobe. Someone with a fear of elevators,” said Yousef.
“Get out. Really?” said Dean. He called over to Scott. “Scottie. C’mere. Seriously? You’re afraid of elevators? C’mon. The best way to deal with fear is confront it.”
Scott glared at Dean. “I don’t think so.”
“It’s okay. It’ll be fine. I promise,” said Dean.
“You’re gonna mess with me.”
“Come on. Trust me. Trust me,” said Dean. He practically dragged Scott to the elevator.
The doors opened. The elevator was empty. Yousef got in, followed by Dean. Scott stood at the door and carefully looked inside.
“Trust me,” said Dean.
Scott cautiously stepped inside. He flinched when the doors closed behind him.
“See? It’s not so bad, eh?” said Dean.
Scott moved to the center of the elevator.
As they ascended, Dean knocked on the elevator door.
“Don’t do that,” said Scott.
“What? It’s good. Look, I can even open the inside doors,” said Dean. He wedged his fingers between the doors and pried them apart.
“Stop that,” said Scott.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” said Yousef.
Through the widening gap the three could see the building whiz past.
“Amazing, eh?” said Dean.
Suddenly, the elevator jolted to a stop. An alarm echoed in their ears.
Scott and Yousef stared at Dean.
Yousef shrugged and turned to the number panel. “I’ll call for help.”
Scott’s face went beet red. “You idiot! You trapped us here on purpose!” He jumped on Dean’s back.
“No, wait. It was an accident,” said Dean before Scott started choking him from behind.
Dean started spinning around and around. Scott’s legs repeatedly hit Yousef, knocking him into a corner.
“Wait,” (thud) “guys.” (smack) “The door’s still open.” (whack) “I think I can,” (crack) “oof,” stammered Yousef.
Meanwhile, Dean fought with Scott. “Can’t breathe,” he said after wrestling Scott’s hands from his larynx.
Yousef braced himself in the corner and looked intently at the door. He noticed a switch between the inner and outer elevator doors. He lunged forward and flipped the switch. Dean’s legs buckled causing he and Scott to collapse to the floor.
The outer door opened to the 22nd floor. Several people were standing in the hall, watching the desperate struggle in the elevator.
“Psychopath,” yelled Scott.
“Elephobe,” yelled Dean.
Yousef tumbled into the hallway and fell at the feet of two business women. He grabbed one of their ankles and looked at them with panic stricken eyes. “Help me,” he whispered.
The two women looked at each other.
“Wanna take the stairs?” asked one.