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by Gavin Paul Carter













A large blue container of bottled water bubbles. A


reflection of a FIVE YEAR OLD GIRL is seen briefly in the


plastic. A shaking hand fills a plastic cup at its base.


The top row of a pair of false teeth are dropped into the


water and the liquid splashes.


SAM the cleaner is old and gnarled by time. He shakes the


cup causing the water to swirl in circles.   


KATE a young woman strides down the near empty


passageway, passing empty offices on either side of her.


She looks big business, immaculately dressed in a power


suit and beautiful made up, she oozes the confidence of a


catwalk model.   


JAMES VICKERS another man aged about thirty leans his


head around the corner, and he looks the young woman up


and down as she walks past. The woman does not even


notice him. He is dressed in a crumpled black suit, white


shirt and speckled silver tie. He opens his wallet and


looks down at the passport photographs fixed inside


amidst the collection of plastic cards. The first picture



is of SARAH CARIG a young blonde girl aged about thirty




The second picture is that of his dead brother WILLIAM,


aged five. James stares down the corridor. Kate has


reached the door of the lift and they start to slide




SARAH CRAIG is smartly dressed in a grey trouser suit and


a white blouse. She is standing in the lift’s corner, her


hands held across her stomach, her handbag held in front


of her.


Kate steps into the lift, but fails to notice Sarah. The


lift doors begin to slide shut. Sam who is seated on his


vacuum cleaner slips his teeth back into his mouth and


waves his hands frantically.




          (He shouts)

          The seventeenth!

The seventeenth!



Kate panics, and slams her palm against the buttons, the


door shudders and opens.


James waiting outside, steps aside, as the young woman


rushes back into the corridor. She and Sam make eye


contact, but they both ignore the young man.


He steps forward into the lift, and the doors slide shut.


James scans the buttons, floor 100 down to the basement.



The man presses for the ground floor, and the button for


the 85th floor lights up as the lift begins to descend.


Sarah looks the young man up and down, and reaching into


her handbag she slides out her lipstick and looks into


the mirrored wall behind her and begins to apply her


makeup. She purses her lips together, and turns around






          I wonder what that

was about?



The man does not turn around. His eyes are staring at the


buttons lighting up as they pass from floor to floor. The


lift has reached the 75th





              (He looks back at the girl)     

          Oh you mean the seventeenth?

          Now there’s a story…          




          Yeah? She looked scared.


Sarah reaches into her handbag and pulls out an asthma


inhaler and takes a puff.




          My brother suffered from





          Sorry to hear it.



She slides the inhaler back into her bag.


                   SARAH (cont’d)

          So, you going to explain?

          Long journey down, an

          entertaining tale wouldn’t




The lift continues to journey downwards. They have


reached the 67th floor and the hydraulics have started to





Sarah loses her eyes and bites her bottom lip.



                   SARAH (cont’d)

          God I hate these electronic

coffin boxes…




          Why do you say that?




          Sorry?… So tell me about the






              (Pauses for thought)

If you really want to hear…




              (Frowns and speaks


          Yes… Why not?     




          Five years ago. June seventeen,

six o’clock at night.



James looks at his watch it is six minutes to six.



                   JAMES (cont’d)

          Around about this time in fact…

              (He chuckles)

          Two new office workers, a man and

          a woman stepped into this lift.



He looks at the buttons the lift has descended to the 42nd





                   JAMES (cont’d)

          The lift stopped at the seventeenth

floor… The lights went out and the

rescue team couldn’t open the door…



Sarah looks nervous and watches the buttons as the lift


continues its slow descent. She looks back at James and


he too is watching the buttons.




          Well? That’s it?




          The lift hydraulics gave out

          and it plummeted to the basement.



The lift has reached the 30th floor…



                   JAMES (cont’d)

          The strange thing is Sarah,

that the fall didn’t kill

them. They killed each other.



He turns around and points down at the carpeted floor, to


a dark patch on the material.



                   JAMES (cont’d)                  

          That patch is where they found

the girl’s body… The stain could

never be removed.




     (Shakes her head and scowls)

That happens to be a coffee stain.

Mrs Perkins had an accident in here





              (He smiles)

          Well, maybe…




              (She narrows her eyes)

          How do you know my name?








          You called me Sarah…


I never told you my name…




          You must have done…




          No I didn’t…



Sarah reaches into her handbag and slides out her inhaler


again and takes another puff.



                   SARAH (cont’d)

          You’re making me nervous…





          I’m sorry. I’m just waiting

for floor seventeen.



The lift has reached the 25th floor.



                   JAMES (cont’d)

          I know your name, because I

work for the company… I deliver

packages here.




          Right… But you can’t guess what

          I look like… You obviously know

my face…




          I do… Yes I do… I have a friend

          in the building, who got me your





          I’m not sure I like the sound of




The lights flicker, and the hydraulics begin to creak


loudly as a red substance trickles through a crack in the






          The girl that died in the lift

          was called Sarah Jameson.




          So? So what? If it’s actually





          And every year her ghost reappears

          along with that of the man, and a

little boy…

     (He looks over at the girl)

How long have you been working here?




Five days. I’m new…

     (She licks her drying lips)

Who was the little boy?




My six year old brother…



The lift has reached 19th floor, the red liquid is


dripping down to the carpet, and splashes upon the brown


stain on the carpet.



                   JAMES (cont’d)

          So close now…

              (He closes his eyes and sighs)

          My brother died on June seventeenth. 

He had an asthma attack in this lift…

     (Sniffs and sighs)

He was my twin brother, I was too

young to help him…




     (Face turns ashen)

Your twin?… No…

     (Shaking her head in disbelief)  

You’re playing mind games with me…

     (She pauses)

My twin sister died aged five… She

drowned in a river…

     (Tears in her eyes)

I stood and watched…

     (Whispers to herself)

Cathy what could I do?…




Well I guess we’ve both been living

in Purgatory ever since…


This lift’s haunted, that’s why I’m

here. Every year they come back…

     (Takes a deep breath)

I need to see him again, to know

that there is an afterlife… 




Everything you’ve said is pure

coincidence. If it’s actually true

at all…



The lift blinks through floor eighteen, and descends.


James looks at his watch. The minute hand approaches six






          It’s more than that… Sarah Jameson

          married a week before her death.

          The man she married was Peter Craig.



The light flickers and blinks on floor seventeen. The


hydraulics creaks the light flicks on and off.



          JAMES (cont’d)

     The odd thing is that my mothers maiden

          name was Craig, and the man that died in

the lift that day, had my name, James Vickers…   



The lift shudders and comes to a halt and the liquid is


dripping steadily to the floor…




          The lift stopped.

              (She looks worried)

          Press the alarm button.


Sarah sees the dripping liquid for the first time.


James looks fascinated. Sarah looks shocked.



                   SARAH (cont’d)

          I think its blood.  



James steps forward and slowly reaches his fingers into


the red substance. He allows it to trickle between his


fingers. He rubs it beneath his nose.




              (Sounding disappointed)

          It’s rust…

              (Looks down at the stain)

          Not Mrs Perkins coffee spill.

It’s a rust stain…

              (Looks up and smiles)

          Hydraulics like last time… Just

          before the fall…



Sarah puffs on her inhaler, her breathing is erratic.




          Will you stop with your…

              (Almost swearing)  

          Prophesy… And press the alarm!



She rushes forward and slams her hand on the button for


Floor sixteen. She lowers her hand to press the alarm


button, but James grabs her by the wrist and yanks it


away. He spins her around to face him.





          No alarm… We wait…





          Let go…                



Sarah glares at James but he simple releases her wrist


and shoves her roughly into the opposite corner of the




The lights, begin to flicker and fade.




     They’re coming…



The lights go down, and James and Sarah are blanketed in




There is a flash of flame, from a lighter as it sparks


up. Sarah’s frightened eyes stare through the flame.





          Press the alarm…



A MAN in a black suit is seated head bowed in the corner


of the lift. His body is shuddering oddly.



                   SARAH (cont’d)

          (She whispers nervously)




The bowed head of the figure begins to lift slowly…










Sarah moves her lighter and finds James standing up and


facing the dimly glowing panel of numbers. The young


woman flashes the light back to the corner but the seated


figure has gone…


Sarah drops the lighter as it burns her finger.





          He’s in here… He’s in here!



James switches on a small torch, and shines it around the


lift, he gasps when he catches his own reflection in the


wall mirror.




          There’s nothing here.



He shines the torch at Sarah, she is rummaging through


her handbag. She pulls out a large knife.



                   JAMES (cont’d)

          For God’s sake what’re you going

          to do with that? Threaten me?



He shines the torch in Sarah’s face, and she covers her


eyes beneath the blades. 


                   JAMES (cont’d)

          The alarm button won’t get pressed

          Until I chooses to press it…



Sarah starts to gasp, and breathe heavily. She pushes the


inhaler into her mouth and takes a puff.              





          Please press the alarm…


          I just want to go home…



The lift begins to creak again. The walls shudder…



                   SARAH (cont’d)

              (Whispers tearfully)

          We’re going to fall…                 

          You’re crazy, this is

your fault…



James looks up at the ceiling light, it is beginning to


flicker on and off again. The lift shudders again and


Sarah grips the rails.



                   SARAH (cont’d)

          Oh God…



The lift begins to descend rapidly. The buttons on the


wall flash quickly as the lift passes from floor to floor


at an unnatural speed.


James grabs the railing and the light inside the lift


flickers madly. He looks across at Sarah, the woman’s


head is hanging forward and she is hiding her face.


James gazes at the buttons the sound of the hydraulics


screech and echo deafeningly inside the lift. The man


closes his eyes, as the lift crashes to the basement…


There is an almighty crash, and the lights go out…   







The button for the ‘Basement’ is flashing…     


Sarah wakes up her face twitching as the red liquid


bounces off her forehead. The light above her is


flickering, and the ceiling is cracked through, and more


rusty liquid is pouring through. 


James is seated in the corner of the lift, his head






          (Calls out weakly)




The man begins to look up. She glances to her left and


sees another man standing in silhouette gazing at the




Sarah gasps, and blinks when she opens her eyes the


silhouette has vanished. James raises his head, and


attempts to stand up.





          You Ok?



Sarah stands up and holds the knife in front of her.




          I think so…



James finally approaches the buttons and presses for the


alarm. Nothing happens…




          Broken, I’m sorry…

          Journey’s end, we reached

          The basement, alive…

          Like before…




          We’re entombed…



Sarah can hear a young woman crying, and the sounds of


children giggling. She waves her knife about madly, her


eyes scanning the four walls.




          They were both alive when

          they reached the basement…




          I can hear voices…




              (Lost in his own thoughts)

          They just weren’t alive when

          the rescue team finally

          opened the doors…      



The eerie voices continue, but seem more distant.




          Can’t you hear them?…                    




          No… I can’t hear anything…




          It’s coming from behind me…




Sarah turns around and looks behind her. She sees her own


face in the dim light. Hair matted white like marble.


Eyes closed, head bowed forward, a strange sick grin upon


its face. The apparition raises her head and the eyes


flick open, they are as black as pitch.                      

Sarah screams and charges forward. James opens his arms,


but he is too slow to realise the blade of Sarah’s knife


is pointing towards him. It pierces his stomach.




              (He gasps)




Sarah steps back, still holding the blooded knife. James


looks the girl directly in the eyes.







The man slumps down in the corner and his head falls


forward. The man is dead…


Sarah screams and her legs give way, she crawls to the


opposite side of the lift and sits down hugging her knees


together she rocks back and forth, her wheezing becomes


uncontrollable, and she bows her head and stares at the


stain on the carpet just in front of her.





          Help me… God help me please…


Sarah can hear whispering voices. She looks up, and she


can see James standing in front of her, He is holding


hands with two five year old children. A GIRL, and A BOY.



                   SARAH (cont’d)

              (Smiles at the girl)

Cathy? I’m sorry I couldn’t

save you…



The words ‘Join us’ echo around the lift, they become


louder and louder, and Sarah places her hands over her


ears and sobs, then she starts to laugh.


She raises the knife and plunges it downwards into her


chest. Blood spurts in a fountain and falls into the


stain upon the carpet adding to the redness.


The blade falls from Sarah’s grip, the lights stop


flickering and a steady beam shines down upon the two


slumped bodies leaning lifelessly against the walls of


the lift.


FOUR HUMAN SHAPES in silhouette are reflected in the mirror.


TWO ADULTS and TWO CHILDREN, and they are walking away


from the scene and disappearing further into the


reflective glass. A light shines before them and the


whole scene fades into it.

















© Gavin Paul Carter 2011


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