The lift dinged and ’11’ illuminated on the panel beside the metal doors. I stepped inside, feeling quite claustrophobic. Recently I’ve been feeling quite confined in many aspects of my life, confined to my desk, confined to my own thoughts and now confined in this tiny lift.
I haven’t managed to put a decent word to paper, imagine the irony that my ‘Chasing Red’ series is currently a best seller. I’m desperately trying to start the third and final book in the series but I’m riddled with writers block and utterly idealess of Red’s next move. The thought of trying to write the follow-up novel to an already renowned series was eating me alive, along side the airy elevator silence.
The lift doors abruptly opened and perhaps if it weren’t for the high pitched squeaking of a pair of astronaut themed wellies, I wouldn’t have looked up from the ground only to see a short, little boy standing beside me. He dragged an luminous schoolbag on the floor behind him, as though it weighed a couple ton. When he caught me staring at his comical appearance, he crossed his arms and finally broke the silence. “I’m joining the circus to be a famous acrobat. I’m great at somersaults and I’ve been practicing in my bedroom, almost every night. I’m getting better and better!”
I laughed slightly at his peculiar appearance, he certainly looked like he’d fit in at a circus. A brown, furry head warmer, covered the tips of his ears and matched his gloves which appeared to be way to big for him. My motherly instincts kicked in out of nowhere, he looked young. A little boy, shouldn’t be going off, all by himself. This tempted me to ask if I could run away with him. I was swimming in the deep end with this new book. My publishers even said they’d call in a ghost writer if I didn’t have in a first draft in five weeks time, which only immensely added to the pressure.
Suddenly the elevator started shaking, up then down, snapping me back to the commotion of reality until it came to an abrupt stop. The lights went out but moments later a duller set turned on, the back up generator I presume. The boy slouched onto the cold metallic floor and I soon followed suit. I now appreciated the obnoxiously yellow, glow in the dark bag, as it was our most effective light source. I’m guessing the frustration was clear on my face because when I looked over at the boy he told me I should go to the circus because that always cheers him up.
I finally introduced myself, putting my hand forward, “I’m Frankie”, the boy shook my it and I went on to find out his name is Noah, he’s eight and three quarters and he doesn’t think his aunt, or the ‘wicked witch of the west’ as her referred to her as, will even notice he’s gone.
During our conversation, Noah leaned forward and unzipped his blindingly yellow bag, pulling out a slightly torn photograph. I examined the picture, it was Noah in the arms of a woman with strawberry blonde hair, stood beside them was a tall man with similar features to Noah. He was taunting Noah with candyfloss. Even in the frustration of being unable to reach the fluffy pink candy floss, Noah looked overcome with joy, in a moment so perfectly captured. It seemed as if time had been frozen, everyone else was like a blur in the background. “Who are they?” I pointed at the two strangers that were standing beside Noah in the picture. “That’s my Mum!” he exclaimed gesturing to the lady, “And that’s Dad!”. His eyes lit up and his nose crinkled with excitement when he talk about them. I hesitantly asked where they were, remembering that he had mentioned living with his aunt. My voice cracked in fear of upsetting him. “They’re gone” he said simply, looking up towards the ceiling of the lift. Even though, he didn’t say the exact words, I knew what he meant none the less. “When I join the circus I’l be so good at acrobatics that i’ll be able to jump into the clouds and tell them everything they’ve missed.” He didn’t really seem that upset, I guess he had come to terms with it but as he smiled at me I wondered how someone so young could be so brave. He was evidently similar to Red, from my books, seeming almost fearless in everything he does.
That was it, I was overcome with enlightenment in a mere instant, I took out my notepad and began furiously writing about Red and his adventures in Cirque Du Soleil, it felt like I couldn’t write as fast as the ideas were coming and it was such a refreshing change from the writers block that had been previously hanging over my head. After a rather intense three hours, the lights flickered on in the lift. Both Noah and I stood up in anticipation, but soon realsed it wasn’t the smartest move as the elevator jolted up words and I lost my footing and fell back to the ground with a thud. The doors opened and I jumped out without an ounce of hesitation.
Even though Noah and I, both had the same final destination of the ground floor, I decided to take the stairs. As the metallic doors closed, once again and Noah and I were separated, we smiled to each other and headed off on our new adventures.