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Thursday, 13 December 2012

The Gateway to Another World

Note: I'm not the author of this story. I've translated it from original Japanese into English. Please do NOT copy and paste it somewhere else on the web without my permission. Thank you for your cooperation.

Apparently, according to the Building Standard Act or something you have to install an elevator in the building of five stories or more (maybe it was six stories or more. I forgot).

So the apartment block along the highway where I used to live also had an elevator.
I lived on the 6th floor and almost never used the stairs. Well, everyone on my floor did the same, I think.
I was totally dependent on the elevator. The stairs are fine when you are going down but no good when you are going up.

But these days, although I know walking up the stairs is hard, I use the stairs only.

One weekday around noon I had no classes at college,  so I thought I would go out and buy a lunch at the nearest convinience store.
Like always, I was going to use the elevator to get down.
The elevator at the time was stopping on the 8th floor and I guessed someone else must be getting off or in.

I pressed the button and waited for it to come down.
When the door opened I saw one middle-aged woman inside. I often saw her around so she must have been a resident on the 8th floor.
I gave her a small bow and got in. The 1st-floor button had already been pressed.

The elevator stopped again on the 4th floor, and a delivery man got in. It looked like we were all going down to the 1st floor.

But.

The elevator suddenly jolted and stopped between the 3rd and the 2nd floor. For a moment I felt gravity weighing down on me.
All three of us looked at one another.

What's happening? Broken? Not a power failure. There was nothing wrong with the lights inside the elevator.

"What...do you think has happened?"
I mumbled. The woman and the delivery man were both looking as puzzled as I was. We waited for a while but the elevator showed no sign of moving.

The delivery man was the first to spring into action. He pressed the button for the emergency phone. But we got no responses.
He sighed.

"I wonder what on earth is happening?"
He echoed my question.

We all fell silent. If we had a mind to measure the time the silence lasted, it wouldn't have been more than three minutes; but it was long enough to make us feel nervous and agitated.

All of us were beginning to fidget again when all of a sudden the elevator started working again.
The woman gasped in surprise. It was a bit of a shock to me too, because it just started moivng without a warning.

However.
Even though the only button that had been pressed was the 1st-floor button, somehow it was not going down. It was going up.
It went past the 4th floor, then the 5th, and then the 6th....

Finally it stopped on the 7th floor and the door opened. I eyed the opening with suspicion.
Really, what the hell is happening?

"I think it's unstable."
The woman said, as she stepped off the elevator.

"Yeah. It definitely is unstable. We'd better use the stairs to get down. You never know what might happen next."
The delivery man agreed and he too got off.

"That might be the best option." 
I agreed with them wholeheartedly. We were able to get out now but we might not be so lucky the next time. We could get stuck inside for a long time, or worse still get injured as a result of the malfunction.
That wouldn't be very pleasant.
I felt I could no longer trust it to take me safely down and I almost made up my mind to follow them.

But, wait.
Something is wrong.

The scenery I saw was familiar enough; the 7th floor of the apartment that looked pretty much the same as the floor where I lived.
But it was too dark. Not one light was on. No source of illumination whatsoever.  I could barely see to the end of the corridor.
So is it a power failure after all? I thought, and turned around. But the elevator itself was aglow with lights, making it look out of place with the rest of the surrounding.

Of course. The elevator was malfunctioning but it was still moving. We couldn't be having a power failure. I don't know what, but something is wrong.

With an unsettling feeling inside, I next shifted my eyes to the scenery outside of the apartment.

What the hell...?

The sky was red. It looked like the sky either at dawn or dusk. But it wasn't the time of day for either of those. I also saw no sun or clouds.
The vivid crimson red somehow made my skin crawl.

Next I looked at the highway. It was dark... no, all black. I saw only black buildings and black highway silhouetted against the sky.
Like inside of the apartment there was no source of light to be seen anywhere.

Not only that, but I heard no usual, loud, unpleasant sounds of cars from the highway.
Dead silence. I could hear absolutely no sounds.
I also saw no movements. I don't know how to express it, but I felt there was nothing "alive" about the scenery I was seeing.
Only the sky was vividly red. The red-and-black world.

I quickly glanced back inside the elevator once more. The elevator looked as brightly aglow as before.

I had only a few seconds to decide. The doors began to close.
Wait. Think again. Should I get off or stay inside.....?

The doors closed.
This time nothing out of ordinary happened and the elevator descended smoothly down to the 1st floor.

The doors opened and I saw the usual scenery. People walking, cars driving. The sounds of life. It was noon outside. Just an ordinary, everyday life scenery.

I sighed with relief. I'm safe now ― that was the immediate thought which darted across my mind. I got off.

When I had sufficiently calmed down I began to worry about the other two.
I waited for them at the bottom of the stairs.
But no matter how long I waited they didn't show up.

I waited for a good 15 minutes but no one was coming down. They couldn't have taken that long to come down the stairs.

I got completely freaked out. I sprinted to the outside. I didn't want to stay there any longer.


Ever since that day I have develped a phobia for elevators.
Now I've moved to a different apartment and I use the stairs whenever I need to go up or down the floors.
The stairs are "continuous with the ground" so I won't have to worry about suddenly finding myself transported to another world without noticing it.
But the elevator is different. That thing is a gateway to another world. At least that's what I think.

I'll never, ever get into an elevator again.



33 comments:

tom nash said...

i'm quickly growing an interest in elevators.

Bpy6 said...

Wow. Thanks for a great moody story.

The picture of the world on the other side, this red sky with blackness on the ground reminded me of comics by Kazuo Umezu I read a couple of years ago.

Now I think the curiosity would take the upper hand in me and I'd try going outside to explore, but who knows what I would've actually done if this really happened to me :)

Now I like elevators even more ^^

PS, sorry if my comments double, I have a trouble logging in from work :/

assassinwarrior said...

that only thing that my curiousity would kill for; what happened to the other two?

ian wili said...

I want to see that world!

is this the world that awaits you if you did the elevator ritual thing(the earlier post which is also about elevators)?

if there are locals...I hope they aren't hostile to visitors and share their own knowledge and culture to us
or I might trigger the first extra-dimensional war (imagine groups of armed soldiers going on large elevators)

cerisecherry said...

I personally think that stairs are more scary than elevators. and you never know,the stairs could lead you to other worlds too.

ryuu said...

this sounds like the "how to go to another world by using the elevator ritual" but there are only eight floors right? hmm.. i wonder maybe the old lady was trying the ritual and the delivery man might not be human after all...creepy...

the author had a good idea at the end but what do you do if the building for example is 30 floors and you need to go to the 29th?XD

Hartje-Cupcake said...

Whoah that's creepy. I think it's always better to take the stairs, cause you can run. An elevator has to take you somewhere so that's quite dangerous ;-;

Dethyl said...

Thanks for sharing this, Saya. I really enjoyed these sort of stories.

Hikage said...

Right now in college, it's the last rush before the end of the semester. Classes are over but I still go to school everyday to work on my assignments and complete them. When I get off the bus and arrive in the building, I'm on floor 0 and the computer lab is on the fifth floor. I usually ALWAYS use the stairs but when I gotta go up to the fifth floor, I use the elevator because I'm not really in shape and I easily get out of breath (which is a shame, I'm only 22 xD)!

WELL I'M NEVER USING IT AGAIN NOW.

Francis Walter_97 said...

dang!!!
i'm reading this story at 12:06..
i bet that i'll have a nightmare...
>.<

leafboi said...

Yeah, I agree with the narrator...

You know how watches/clocks sometimes loses time?

Here's my crazy theory: I always had the idea where the elevator is a portal into a parallel universe (everything is same, save for a minor unnoticeable difference), it's not that our watches loses time, but rather we are transported into a parallel universe with slower/faster time than the one we were previously from!

From time to time, when I look at my off-by-a-minute watch and ponder... Am I in the same world I started out in the morning?

I have been taking the stairs more often nowadays, better safe than sorry.

But hey, even if my theory was proven to be false, it would simply mean I get to exercise my legs more ^^ Haha...

Thanks for translating the story Saya-san :)

Dest said...

Funny thing is after reading this i saw thai video (about 1 day latter)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rDeIZpfq30&list=PL7648D951C859857B&index=4

@ryuu: That's what I thought, but now reading it made me come up with the idea of escalators. I vote for that!

@ Hikage: I'm the same way! Sadder is that I get that way with my house stairs, and I'm 19! (could be because I used to smoke and I have asthma???) I just finished my last final at 10pm today, so only a job for me until Jan. 14th.


I do agree with everyone else (now back to my comment, not giving reply's/ inputs)that this made me thing of the "other-world" elevator thing.

♡Princess Pon♡ said...

Oh I'm a little dissapointed he/she didn't say what happened to the other two. Did they ever come back? Were they reported missing? Did the delivery man ever deliver what he had to deliver (if he had something to deliver)?
I guess we won't ever know (。Ő,Ő。)

Diogo said...

I sometimes take the elevator when it's past midnight, if I need to retrieve something from the car. So, if I ever stop posting comments altogether, it's probably because I got sent to another world. XD

Oscar Harris said...

it's like happened to me yesterday...
in my campus, I tried to get from basement floor 3rd, but the elevator didn't stop in floor 3rd but stop in 5th...
but I didn't get out from elevator, I'm still in elevator and quickly close the elevator, push floor 3rd and i ran away from that elevator

Niya Koroko said...

ok im a lazy person but I already had a problem with elevators, since the moment I enter a building I can sense most ..malevolant..or just clearly present entities in the buildings..aside from the rooms until i enter them, A friend of mine lives at the top of a student apartment building and like both the really rinky dink elevator with a MIRROR in it....and the staircase are scary as heck, honestly when im going up by myself in the elevator I swear someone is in there with me and im too afraid to check the mirror, when In the staircase I keep seeing things on the side of the floor doors(where you enter the main hall of a floor) then I see people crouched down(could be the same person entire time I dont know) I got used to it but I seriously try not to go on that elevator without my friends if something would happen i'd completely flip my lid.
Another interesting story though!

SAYA said...

Thank you everyone, for your comments! I'm gonna post my reply slowly, one by one...

@tom nash: Curiously ther's are many creepy stories concerning elevators! I hope to post more of them!

@Bpy6: I first read Kazuo Umezu's comic when I was small and it gave me such a trauma! Just looking at his drawings unsettles me a great deal. But I know he's a brilliant artist and has many followers. One of my friends in the past literally worshipped him (and I still can't understand how that is possible).

That's OK. I deleted your first comment, if you don't mind because it's no different from your second comment. I hope you don't get caught by your boss looking at my blog!haha :D

@assassinwarrior: wow you're assassin and warrior at the same time? You remind me of the assassin trilogy by Robin Hood which I used to love reading. lol

I guess the other two are now stuck in the other world forever.

@ian wili: oh, you don't know the saying "curiosity killed the cat"? I'd never try that ritual lol.

But I'm intending to post other rituals that supposed to be able to let you go to another world so you can try one of them!

But no, no wars please! I had a strange dream this morning where I was participating in a war as a soldier! But I'm a sworn pacifist in real life! lol

SAYA said...

@cerisecherry: yes, stairs could be dangerous too! If I find a similar sort of story pertaining to stairs I'll post it too, dear.

@ryuu: I don't think the story says how many floors it had, dear.
Yes you could be right in thinking they both were not human!
Yeah, lol. He would have to climb 29-floor sets of stairs!

@Hartje-Cupcake: I always try to take the stairs too, if I'm not too lazy XD. Yes, stairs are safer and you get fitter if you use it too!

@Dethly: I love this sort of story too! I want to post more of them! Thank you :D

SAYA said...

@Hikage: Wow you're such a hard-working student! Good luck with your assingments, dear.

Climbing up the staris is a great way of exercising! Who needs gyms when we have stairs? Yes, from now on use stairs all the time, and within a year you'll be fit enough to climb Mount Everest.

@Francis: My dear boy, don't come here before the bedtime. So many people make the same mistake as you. I wonder why? Anyway I hope you didn't have a nightmare!

SAYA said...

@leafboi: That's a scary thought! Maybe I too am sometimes transported to the other world unknowingly!

It seems like I have succeeded in encouraging my readers to take more exercise! Now I feel good! LOL

Thank you dear for your comment! :D

@Dest: Oh I've watched that one before! It's pretty neat!

Escaltors! LOL Seems to be the best solution!

I'm glad you stopped smoking, dear. Smoking ruins your complexion (and definitely bad for your asthma too)!

@Princess: I wonder! Some things are better left unsaid!

@Diogo: I hope there's another Saya in Underworld in the other world so you don't get bored, dear!

@Oscar: You don't say!? Creepy! Good thing a young lady didn't get into the elevator with you!

@Niya: I agree there's nothing that sucks like a mirror in an elevator. But oh my, your friend's living in a creepy place! Is she/he alright living there? That sort of building reminds me of Silent Hill games. You'd better be careful, dear!

Niya Koroko said...

I'll be fine, Im spiritually quite strong and I got a great guardian so i'll be ok, I hope XD

ian wili said...

well..I already heard about the "curiosity killed the cat" saying but I'm closer to the "curiosity leads to progress" saying LOL

too bad the building I work on only has 5 floors

Steeple said...

Hmm, I still prefer elevators. They're safer, actually, since they have the lowest death rate of any transporation, while one can easily fall and hurt yourself on stairs.

Besides, on an elevator you can get your back into a corner. On the stairs it's hard to get an advantageous position - too many directions to keep track of!

Kinda wish I had a spooky experience, but maybe I should be counting my blessings instead. Not even Hitori Kakurenbo did anything, haha. I wonder if it's my skepticism that protects me? Or maybe I'm secretly an exorcist! haha jk

SAYA said...

@Steeple: Just when I'm trying to get people to do more exercise, you dare to barge in and threatens to undermine my good intentions. Begone, you evil exorcist! You shall suffer the eternal hell of not-doing-enough-exercise-because-I-prefer-elevators! lol

spinning totem said...

I wonder if the delivery man and the woman are actually from the other "world". I mean, I wouldn't even dare to step out of the elevator as the environment outside seems very different.

Kuroro Meow said...

I think ''the delivery man'' and ''the woman'' isn't a human ..Human's also lives with emotions right?Most of humans lives with fear,right? to me it's unlogical for the 2 of them at the same time didn't feel any fear.. The 2 of them should notice the scenery..it's a little logic if one of them are afraid of the scenery..

i also think the scenery only happened to you..

and this one might be a crazy opinion...The 2 of them might have been lost in ''the other world'' or...=.=''' been eaten by the ''thing'' (haa you know what im talking about right? HEHE)These might be unlogic ..but it ''could'' happen..

Im sorry if my opinions is strange or might sound crazy ...and thanks for sharing this.. im interested in your story..:)

Beluga said...

Oh, I never liked elevators from the start, but after reading this I'm sure I dislike them more! 。:゚(。ノω\。)゚・。

I developed a slight phobia of elevators from my dreams - never had I ever dreamed of a stable elevator before. The doors either didn't close, or they didn't work, or they were unsafe in general. In turn, my phobia caused more nightmares about elevators. lol

The part about there being no sound was really creepy! The red sky is a little overused in horror, but it doesn't matter because in the end it was still scary.
Thanks for the translation as usual!

Tri Rahyuni said...

i always have weird feelings about any elevators, especially when i had to go all my own.
there's a time i had to go to my university library on the 5th floor. and because that time im feeling sick, i go upstairs by elevator even i have to go all by myself.
at the time the door shut, i feels a bit scared. and when it got to 3rd - 4th its going really really slow. about 2-3 minutes. i was freaked out but thanks God nothing happened. when it got 4th, its back to normal and im arrive in 5th in no time.
btw, this is my seond favorite story about time and space (the first is kisaragi station), somehow i do believe the another world is real even though i dont want to go there! :p

NeverFroze said...

I cannot express how happy I am to find this blog open again! I love this story, as well as the original one. I've read this since long ago but I'm thinking of it until now. It's just so interesting. Thank you for translating this :)

Saya Yomino said...

@Beluga: elevators make a lot of people claustrophobic. Some people in the past got trapped inside it during power failure (like when there was an earthquake) just imagine, that would be the worst nightmare!

Thank you for your comment (although this is a VERY late reply!)


@Tri Rahyuni: Wow 2-3 mins is a long time, and inside the elevator while going up that must have felt like forever. I love stories about another worlds too and hopefully I can update more of them!


@NeverFroze: Thank you very much dear! I'm glad to welcome you back too. It's my pleasure to present this story to you! ;D

babanyakayril said...

Hi Saya!

I found your blog yesterday and I just can't stop reading! The stories are all interesting, to say the least.

There are hints in the story regarding the floors from which the old lady and the delivery man entered the elevator. And also on the number of the floor where the elevator stopped.

Levels 4, 8, and 7.

Japanese have two names for 4 and 7, right? shi or yon for 4, and shichi or nana for 7.

The reason being the word 'shi' can also mean 'death'.

And 8? Well, it's 4 multiplied by 2.

Saya Yomino said...

@babanyakayril: Hi! Nice to meet you! :D Thank you for dropping by to give me a boost!

And thank you for your interesting theory!
I hope you enjoy reading all the other posts on my blog!

Take care!<3

Risfa の 星 said...

hello, Saya-san! I always love your posts and just finished read to this point (from the top/latest post) after found your blog!

did you get this from 2ch? cause maybe, this story is the one who inspired the author of Red World/Aka no Sekai, an RPG horror game, you should try to play it!

Thanks for sharing all those stories, love from Indonesia :D