I’m on the internet guys! No, not this blog. (That’s a bit obvious really isn’t it?)
I was a runner-up for that fabulous competition being run by IGGY & Litro, and I’m so excited to have had the wonderful chance to have been shortlisted for it. So my story is on their website now; it’s called “My Children Are All Monsters”. Check it out! (https://www.iggy.net/writingprize/rianna-davis.php)
Anyway. Back to the title.
How, you ask, does ‘The Sound of Music’ relate to being trapped in an elevator? (Or a lift as us boring Brits call it…) Well, in the lift today I had to hum that song ‘My favourite things’ in my head, because I think I was going to have a breakdown. Sorry. Let me start from the beginning.
So, the award ceremony was at the Shard, and obviously, YES the Shard is as fancy as it sounds. I’ve never been there before, and needless to say I was gushing over EVERYTHING. (By the way, the view from the floor we were on was amazing! We could see Tower Bridge and the Tower of London and… Sorry, I’m getting carried away). But anyway, they have these really fancy lifts. Like, there aren’t any numbered buttons inside the lift, you press the number of the floor that you want from OUTSIDE the lifts on these really fancy keypad things, and then once you’re in the lift, you can’t change your destination. At first, I thought this was really cool.
Then I got stuck in it.
There was a bunch of us, probably around 7 or 8 people – my mum, dad, older and younger sisters and brother, my aunt and uncle and my English teacher – and we had just left the ceremony. We rushed to get into one of the closing lifts, and just about made it… But as fancy as these lifts were, they were TINY. Regardless, we’re just going down in the lift, and it opens up on the third floor, so we’re all a bit like, “hmm, don’t think this is the right floor”, (It was of course, but we didn’t know this yet), and remain in the lift.
The lift was possessed.
It goes up. It keeps going up to the 27th floor, it eventually stops but the doors don’t open. Then it goes down to the 7th floor. Then it stops. The doors remain firmly shut. It goes back up again, at which point everyone is wondering what is happening. Is some sick person sitting in the ‘control room’ moving the lift up and down just for the banter?
I start laughing. Very loudly and very hysterically. Everyone looks at me and says, “Why are you laughing?” And my response is the generic one.
“Because it’s funny.”
NO. I lied. I was not laughing because it was funny, because there is NOTHING funny about being in a possessed lift in such close proximity with people that you could virtually see up their nostrils. I laughed because that is what I do when I become emotionally overwhelmed and don’t know what else to do but laugh. It was terrifying.
At which point I started to sing the words I remembered from that tune in ‘The Sound of Music’, which isn’t very many. All I remembered was:”Dah dah dah dah dah… dah dah dah ROSES… dah dah dah dah something NOSES. Brown paper packages tied up in string, these are a few of my favourite things…” And then of course the chorus.
We survived. We did. We got out of the lift the next time it opened on the third floor – we didn’t make the same mistake twice. We all… I sprinted out of the lift and onto the landing and took some dramatic heavy breaths. No, really when you’re in a lift with so many people, everybody kind of uses up all the oxygen. I had to take some very deep breaths to regain all that oxygen that I had lost the chance to inhale before. (I’m not sure where the Science in this is, but I’m pretty sure I’m getting this wrong).
Needless to say, it was an eventful day, and I learnt a lot of things. First of all, I learnt NEVER TRUST THE LIFTS AT THE SHARD, because next time, we might not even be lucky enough to get out. We could be going up and down and up and down and up and down and up and down for ALL OF ETERNITY. We narrowly escaped the eternal hellfire. And I promise you, everyone says that nothing is worse than hell, but I’m pretty sure being trapped in an elevator for the rest of your life is worse.
It felt like the rest of my life. I was sure that when I came out of the lift that the dates for my exams would have gone past. (I’m slightly disappointed that this wasn’t the case but, oh well, at least I’m alive to tell the tale).
Second of all, I learnt that life is too short. When I came across this competition, I was just like “ah, why not, may as well enter it.” I do not regret my decision at all. When I wrote my short story, I thought, “Should I enter it? Will it get anywhere?” and the answer to both questions was yes. Yes, yes, 100% yes. There is no point in living and being scared of doing something, of saying something, of writing or drawing something. As somebody put it succinctly today, “Failure is a springboard for improvement.” Success is not final and failure never fatal. We live and learn from our mistakes and we become better as a result of them, but life is far too short for us to NOT do something because we are scared of failure.
Don’t be scared of failure. Embrace it. Let it teach you what it has to and then let it go. And never forget to thank it for teaching you something that success never could. (Oh, that was a bit inspirational. You can totally quote me.)
So yes, I am proud of my achievement today. No, I am not disheartened that I did not win. Yes, I am happy for all my personal cheerleaders, who came with me and were also unable to come, who supported me. No, I am not upset that I didn’t get to taste those delicious looking chocolate brownie things because I was wearing my retainer. (That’s a lie, I totally am). Yes, I am thankful to God that I didn’t asphyxiate in the lift. No, I am not going to be visiting those lifts anytime soon.
I think that’s all from me tonight. I’m supposed to be going on an Ice-Cream date tomorrow (Ooh, how exciting!) and hopefully I’ll go to the gym or at least clock some time running or something.
Stay strong guys.
Love your super excited Queen Rianna
p.s. I found an apple! There was one left, it was hiding in the fruit bowl under the oranges and it was delicious! (Now there are none left. Now I am sad).