Writing Prompt: Trapped in the Lift

The lift in my office building is a tiny, square box that can fit four people if they huddle together. It’s not sound-proof and I have often heard conversations from within as I stood waiting for it on the top floor. There is a mirror at waist level that reaches the top of the lift and a number pad where you need to enter a code to go to various floors. It’s a slow lift but that doesn’t bother me too much because that minute and a half it takes to get from the bottom floor to the top affords me the opportunity to check my lipstick before I reach the top. This lift is old. It has broken down on several occasions with people in it and once while frozen mid-floor, four people were trapped for over an hour. Fortunately, none were particularly claustrophobic and having come back from lunch, were armed with sandwiches and water bottles.

I’ve often wondered what would happen if the lift stopped when people were in the middle of an argument, if someone was afraid of closed spaces, if it was over night, if one person has said something controversial to the other or any number of scenarios where people might let their guard down and say something when they think no one else is listening.

Try this, trap two people in the lift. Start with a line of dialogue just before they go in and have the conversation continue once they realise they’re not going anywhere for a few hours. What kind of conflict can you produce in such a confined space?

Describe the size and interior of the lift. Has anyone left anything in it? How big is it? It is the type that has seats? What building is it in, an office, hotel, residential block?

Have fun.

Writing Prompt: Trapped in the lift

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