The elevator scraped to a grinding stop. I tried to stand, my legs wobbled as I steadied myself against the now leaning wall of the lift.
The smell, a cross between gasoline and gunpowder, assailed my nostrils and my lungs burned with the need to draw in a full breath.
My thoughts scrambled. Lila…what were you involved in? Why hadn’t you confided in me? Why didn’t you trust me?
The woman, the Swiss Ninja with the pearly whites aka Mrs. Cold Smile was lying on the floor of the elevator. An open gash on her forehead bled profusely, quickly staining her grey blouse. Blood was smeared all over her face and neck. I wasn’t sure, but I didn’t think she was dead.
I shook my head violently trying to clear my thoughts. I needed to think, and I needed to do it quickly; my very life depended on it. The only way I would survive is to get clear off this elevator.
I tried to pry the doors open with my fingers, but it was futile. I had little strength and it was as if they were cemented shut. I looked around the elevator, but there wasn’t anything I could use that would enable me to open the tightly closed doors.
The elevator again shifted and groaned. I knew if I didn’t get out of here I would most assuredly plunge to my death.
I began to panic, a fine layer of sweat coating my skin. Looking up I spotted the escape hatch, and an idea quickly formed in my head. I began pulling each body Ms. Cold Smile had incapacitated and built an unlikely ladder. I carefully climbed on top of the the bodies piled on the floor until I was able to reach the hatch. Then I pushed on it with everything I had until it grudgingly opened.
Just then the elevator pitched and I don’t know how, but I garnered what little strength I possessed and climbed out on top. Within a matter of seconds, I’d spotted a ladder that ran the length of the elevator shaft. Without thinking, I stood back and took a running jump towards the wall. My legs flailed, as I landed with a loud grunt, but I made it and clung to the wall.
Then with a creak, and grinding of metal on metal, the elevator shifted. I entwined my arms in the ladder pulling my body closer to the wall and watched in shock as it shook again. I saw the bomb on top of the elevator and looked through he small opening and glimpsed the ninja woman’s eyes as they fluttered open. Like a deer caught in the headlights she glanced around trying to assess her situation while she pushed a body to the side, freeing her legs, but it was too late. Her eyes widened and met my own as the elevator, with one last protest, moaned as the metal cable finally gave way sending it falling seven stories, landing in a loud crash on the ground.
The last thing I saw before it fell were her eyes focused directly on my own.
I could swear I saw her smile.