Division of Infrastructure

“Elevator Shaft”

by Cheryl Anne Gardner

 

 

I was in a hurry to get up to my room. I hated business travel, but the swanky hotel bars made every trip just bearable. I shouted, “Wait,” and a slender calf in red leather pumps jutted out to stop the elevator doors from closing. I stumbled in, tripping over my bag, my open umbrella, and my own damn feet. My new oxfords hurt my feet something awful, but they looked sharp, and for this meeting later today, I had to look sharp. I looked over at the leg and said, “Thanks.” Then I shook the rain out of my hair and straightened out my tie.

 

“You’re welcome,” she said. “Name’s Jim, as in slim … cause I like a little spicy beef.”

 

I wasn’t sure I had heard her right. Maybe I had rain in my ears. They hadn’t popped since I got off the damn plane.

 

“Yeah, you heard me right,” she said while chewing on the second or third Cheeto she’d popped into her mouth. Her fingers were orange, and so was the lacy push-up bra that had pushed its way clear up to her chin. Orange like that creamsicle ice cream I used to love as a kid. She was young, very pretty in a sass-your-ass sort of way, perky tits, and I felt my face get a little hot. Even if I had had one word rattling around in my head at that moment, I wouldn’t have been able to articulate it, so I spent about five minutes admiring the carpet and the advantages of having such a busy pattern in an area that obviously saw a lot of filth. The advantages of such a thing were so many that I completely forgot what floor my room was on. She picked a floor for me, and in doing so, shifted her ass in such a way that the very short apple-green suede skirt she was wearing slid all the way up to her shoulders. I got a premium view of her in the overhead mirror. It, too, was dusted Cheeto orange.

 

She bent over a little more and wiggled herself at me. I thought I was gonna pass out. Why are elevators so hot? Maybe I have malaria.

 

“Whatta ya waiting for?” she asked, but there was no conceivably logical answer I could find that wasn’t scribbled on the inside of my boxers. I reached out with one finger and touched her. Then, she told me to go ahead and taste it, so I put my finger in my mouth, and I’ll be damned if it didn’t taste like a Cheeto. She smiled at me, so I grabbed her hips and went for it like they taught you in all those stupid business assertiveness classes. She gasped and her head hit the wall.

 

For about five minutes, the elevator pitched and bowed, swinging so wildly on its cables that I thought for sure we were gonna die. Yeah! Fuck that meeting. Fuck shitty air travel. Fuck my boss, and fuck his boss with the rolled up presentation I had in my briefcase. I just wanted to die right then and there.

 

She didn’t say a word.

 

***

 

The doors opened just as I was zipping up in a fluster. I could taste Cheeto on my tongue. I got off, no idea what fucking floor, as another suit got in, and just as the doors were closing, I could hear the crinkle of another Cheeto packet and the low whisper of her sexy sultry voice, “Name’s Jim, as in slim … cause I like a little spicy beef.”

 

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