Hospital Elevator

INT. ELEVATOR – DAY

A man (MICHAEL, 28) leans against the wall of an elevator, watching the numbers change as it rises. It stops at a floor, 7, the switchboard shows there are plenty more floors to go. The doors open and a woman (MARY, 33) steps on. She clicks a button and then stands in the centre of the elevator, her eyes also on the changing numbers as the elevator once more starts moving.

After a beat the elevator makes a stalling noise, shakes violently then stops. The lights dim for an instant then come back on again, but the elevator stays stationary.

Both Michael and Mary look up and around and wait. It becomes clear to them that the elevator isn’t about to start again.

Mary steps forward and clicks some of the buttons on the panel, nothing happens.

MICHAEL
There’s an emergency button, it should call through to someone.

MARY
Oh right, thanks.

Mary presses the red emergency button and waits.

A dial tone admits from the speaker beneath the button. A click and then a voice comes through the speaker.

SPEAKER
Hello, emergency assistance.

MARY
Yes, hello, umm our elevator’s stopped.

SPEAKER
Okay, and what elevator are you in.

MARY
Oh, well we’re at St. Vincent’s Hospital. Ahh, I think it’s the Daly Wing?

MICHAEL
Yeah that’s right.

SPEAKER
Okay, sit tight we’ll have a team to get you out of there shortly.

MARY
Thank you.

Mary looks at Michael and gives him a ‘I guess that’s it’ smile and sits down against the wall placing her hand bag in her lap. Michael continues to stand.

MARY (CONT’D)
I’m Mary.

MICHAEL
Michael. Hi.

MARY
You realise if this was a romantic comedy we’d be in the middle of a meet cute right now.

MICHAEL
I’m not a big rom-com guy.

MARY
Not many guys are. What are you in the hospital for?

MICHAEL
I’m visiting a friend.

MARY
Oh no. Are they alright?

MICHAEL
Well they’re not stuck in an elevator.

Mary looks up into the corner of the elevator for a moment, something glitters there. She tilts her head slightly as though listening.

MARY
I’m here visiting someone too. They’re just having some minor surgery on their ACL. Still they’re pretty scared. Is your friend scared?

MICHAEL
I don’t know, I don’t think they even know about your friends ACL.

Michael looks at his watch and then sighs. He slides down the wall until he’s sitting.

MARY
Well even though I know it’s only minor surgery I can’t help but worry about my friend.

Michael shakes his head.

MICHAEL
I get that.

MARY
You just never know what’s going to happen do you? Especially with anything concerning a hospital, it’s always one of those things that happens to someone else even though logically every one of us is going to have to visit one at some point in our lives.

MICHAEL
That’s it. And there’s no lead up to it. You expect when someone you know has to go to the hospital you will see it coming, or sense that something’s happened. You don’t expect to get a phone call out of the blue when you’re drunk with your mates.

Mary crosses the room and sits next to him.

MARY
You’re worried about your friend?

Michael rubs his eyes then looks at Mary with a sad smile.

MICHAEL
If by worried you mean in a constant state of panic? Yes.

MARY
You want to talk about it.

MICHAEL
I- it’s my Dad, I think he’s dying. He hasn’t told me this and neither have the hospital staff but he just seems to be getting worse. I don’t know what to do, I- I’m not ready to lose him.

Mary reaches out and hugs Michael pulling him down to her. After a moment he hugs her back. The hug holds for a beat and then Michael pulls back and looks at Mary with tears in his eyes.

MICHAEL (CONT’D)
Thank you.

MARY
That was perfect.

Mary stands up, and moves away from a confused Michael. She looks proudly into the corner of the elevator.

MARY (CONT’D)
I’m Mary McDonald and this has been another episode of elevator tales. We hope you’ve enjoyed it.

The elevator doors open and a bunch of people walk in. They all crowd around Mary, some touch up her make up, some complement her on a good job, one hands her a bottle of water.

Michael stands up.

MICHAEL
What, what’s going on? Is this a reality show? You’ve got to be joking.

Mary looks at him from amongst the crowd of people.

MARY
Don’t worry you were excellent.

MICHAEL
Wor-worry! Are you- You are- You are scum. You should be disgusted by yourselves.

Michael storms off the elevator.

MARY
Always get the best episodes at the hospitals.

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