Sophary hobbled through the lobby of her apartment building to the gilded elevator doors. She pressed her face on the cool surface and smiled.
Just minutes away from my bed, she thought. Then I can dump these horrible shoes.
The elevator arrived with a perky ding. Sophary entered the empty car and watched through squinted eyes as the doors began to slide shut. Suddenly, the doors shuddered as if something was caught between them. The doors slid back into their pockets and stayed there. Sophary blinked at the space looking for a hand or an umbrella and the connected person, but nothing materialized. She squinted again then gasped.
The hulking specter that dogged her dreams stood, frozen, with one foot still in the lobby.
“If you’re coming,” she said, trying to see its face, “get on.”
“Are you alright, Miss Harris?” The doorman, Mr. Al, peeked into the elevator.
“My feet are killing me,” she answered.
“Must have been a great wedding!” He laughed and pressed the button for her floor. “I’ll be sure to have Tion’s bring over a nice breakfast in the morning.”
“Thanks, Mr. Al,” Sophary gave him a weak smile and leaned against the wall.
“Sure thing, Miss Harris,” he said as the doors closed on the faint figure. “Have a good night.”
“Night,” she called. As soon as the doors closed, Sophary squinted to locate her ghostly companion.
She was alone.
The elevator sailed up to her floor coming to a gentle stop. She pushed herself upright as the doors opened.
Sophary choked back a scream.
The figure stood, fully materialized, in the hallway before her.