Submitted by throwthisoneintrash t3_ys9slv in WritingPrompts

##Welcome to Follow Me Friday!

This week, we have a new starter from u/FyeNite

If you ever want to submit a story starter for FMF, send me a direct message and yours might get chosen. You can message me here, on Reddit, or on our discord server.

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##Here’s How It Works

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1. Every Friday a new post will be pinned at r/WritingPrompts with a 200-ish word starter for your story.

  • There will be a variety of themes and genres to work with. After the initial “prompt” portion of the story, it will need a “Middle” and an “Ending”. That’s where you come in.

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2. Every participant must write a 300 word “Middle”.

  • You must have a top-level reply to the post that is 100 to 300 words and continues the story without ending it. Leave room for the next writer to add their creative touch.

  • You must title your comment with the following: <2/3>.

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3. Once you have written a “Middle” you are qualified to write an “Ending”.

  • You may reply to someone else’s “Middle” section with an “Ending” to the story. It must be 100 to 300 words and finish the story.

  • Title your comment with the following: <3/3>.

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4. Comments can then be placed on the “Ending” section.

  • Non-story comments can only be placed on the stickied comment thread or after an “Ending” as a reply.

  • Top level or second level comments will be removed if they are not story sections.

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5. “Middle” comments are due by Tuesday 11:59PM CST. “Ending” comments are due by Wednesday 11:59PM CST

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​ ##Are There Winners?

​ Yes!

​ Use comments and upvotes to identify your favorite thread! Reply to the Ending comment with your feedback and that thread will be considered for “Commenter’s Choice”.

​ There will of course be my favorite thread as well: “Cheetah’s Choice”.

That makes a whole lot more sense if you join our discord and see my profile pic.

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##From Last Week’s Thread ​ ##Commentor's Choice

Middle by u/London-Roma-1980

Ending by u/Say_Im_Ugly

##Cheetah's Choice

Middle by u/Say_Im_Ugly

Ending by u/London-Roma-1980


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#This Week’s Story Starter by u/FyeNite

&#x200B; ​ Amelia watched the shiny metal doors, brows knit with concentration and mouth held in an inquisitive line. Ever since she first moved into this apartment building one month ago, every friendly neighbour just wanting to say hello, the building manager and the previous occupant all warned her against using the elevator.

"Trust me, you'll regret it."

"Never use that thing. Honestly, I need to just get rid of it."

"Worst mistake you could ever make."

Even so here she was, exhausted after a long day at work and with fifteen flights of stairs before her. The doors silently slid open, as if sensing her dilemma and she wavered, frowning.

"I really shouldn't, right?" The interior looked normal though, just like any other elevator she had used. Nothing about it looked dangerous or unsafe. There was even cheap elevator music playing softly.

She floundered on the threshold before shaking her head in annoyance and stepping in. Before she could even press the button to her floor, however, the doors quickly slid shut and the whole thing began to move.

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​ &#x200B; ​ ##Subreddit News​

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andrius-b t1_ivz8e2n wrote


Amelia giggled nervously. Someone must've called it from the upper floors, that's all. She glanced at the buttons and did a double take. Since when did the building have twenty floors?

As she was puzzling over the buttons, the elevator dinged to a stop. The doors parted, revealing a man in a tweed suit carrying a leather briefcase.

"Going up, ma'am?" he asked.

"Yeah," she murmured before her brain caught up with her eyes. Behind the man was an opulent lobby with marble columns and chandeliers, but before she could get a better look, he stepped in, and the doors closed with the same swiftness they had behind her.

She sighed and rubbed her eyes as the elevator resumed moving. Must be losing my mind. The gentleman who had boarded pulled out an honest-to-god pocket watch on a chain and checked the time. Sensing her gaze, he smiled and tipped his bowler hat to her.

She smiled back shakily. The elevator soon came to another stop, and the doors parted to an unfamiliar hallway stretching into the distance.

The man made to get off before exclaiming. "This isn't the Sunrise Hotel!"

"This isn't my apartment building either," Amelia said with trepidation.

The man whirled around and jabbed the top button, but the elevator didn't budge. Amelia tried the emergency call to no effect. They stared at each other.

"Amelia," she said, extending her hand.

The man clasped it. "Frank. Frank Walsted."

She eyed the hallway and swallowed. "For better or worse, this seems to be our stop. Shall we?"

"I suppose we must," he said, lifting his briefcase like a shield. "You better stay behind me, just in case."

Amelia usually had little patience for chivalry, but she was willing to make an exception. "Lead the way, Frank."


bookworm271 t1_ivzjcdg wrote


Remaining level headed for the moment, Amelia decided to push the button for the 15th floor, to direct the elevator to her level. Her heart sank as she saw the control panel however, because instead of a neat array of buttons, there was only one, glowing softly with a yellow light.

"Here goes," Amelia said to herself. While the elevator appeared to be going in an upward motion, she was already regretting her decision to take it, and was wanting off, regardless of how many stairs she would need to climb. She pushed the button.

The elevator shuttered to a stop. Amelia let a sigh of relief, and waited for the doors to open. However, the panels in front of her remained closed. Instead, the back of the elevator, which she had been certain wasn't a door, slid away.

"Impossible," Amelia whispered starting at the dim hallway before her. The elevator shaft ran along the outer wall of the building. There shouldn't be a hallway.

Debating whether to stay or get off the elevator, Amelia noticed a figure of someone appear in the hallway ahead. Making a decision, she stepped off. Immediately the door snapped shut behind her.

Amelia took a shaky breath, and then called out to the figure down the hall. As they drew closer, Amelia realized they wore the same distinctive coat as her neighbor Todd from floor 9. 'Thank goodness,' Amelia thought, figuring perhaps she mistook the building's layout in her tiredness. As their face became visible, however, she noticed it was not Todd. She wasn't even sure it was human.

WC: 265


wannawritesometimes t1_iw7k2zs wrote


Amelia's palms slickened as she stared. Instead of a nose, it had a gaping hole in the center of its face. Its eyes glowed yellow.

Swallowing hard, she searched for the call button. She pressed it over and over as the creature moved closer, but the cursed device stayed sealed. Then, the not-Todd opened its cavernous mouth with its rows of fangs. Amelia screamed.

The woman bolted toward the nearest door. Miraculously, it opened. She flung herself through. Amelia slammed the door, squeezed her eyes shut, and fought for breath.

Silence broken by a growl, Amelia's eyes shot open as she spun around. She was back in the hallway, on the opposite end. Now, the creature stood between her and the elevator. The contraption mocked her with its now-open doors.

The monster sprang. Amelia yanked on the door she'd come through, but it didn't budge. Heart in her throat, she hurled herself through a different door. Again, she was in the same passageway with the creature blocking the elevator.

It charged. Amelia clenched her fists, set her jaw, and flew headlong toward her attacker. Slamming into its shoulder, she went tumbling. The creature's claws snagged her shirt. Amelia leapt up and swung her fist in a wide arc. A pair of claws grazed Amelia's forearm, but as her fist connected with flesh, the thing lurched backwards. Sprinting away, she dove into the elevator and its doors sealed behind her.

Moments later, the front of the elevator opened and the woman stepped into the lobby. As the events faded like she'd awoken from a nightmare, Amelia squinted curiously at the two bloody streaks that marked her forearm. She shivered. Despite the sudden amnesia, she knew she'd never step foot in that elevator again.


armageddon_20xx t1_ivzmuko wrote


"Calculating," said a cold woman's voice over a dreary Mariah Carey song as she could feel the rapidly moving elevator dropping far into the Earth, well beyond the ground.

"Destination found," the voice said as the elevator stopped.

Her stomach jumped into her throat. Why do I always do this? I always have to be the curious one.

"Welcome to Cavern 517, it's the place you've always dreamed of!" the voice uttered as the doors flew open.

Torches lit a hallway of red stones, on which there were carved ornate diagrams and what appeared to be hieroglyphics of some sort. Curious, she stepped forward onto the floor, wiping the sweat from her brow as a wave of hot air blasted her from the far recess of the blackness in front of her. The elevator door closed with a thud.

She looked behind, seeing that there was no button to call for it. Great, how am I supposed to get out of here?

"Hello?" she screamed into the nothingness.

"We have visitors. Yes, many visitors! Hooray! At last, it's been so long!" the voices chattered from afar, accompanied by the pitter-patter of little claws hitting the stone. She braced herself, fearing the worst when she saw what appeared to be small red furry creatures hopping towards her.

They almost looked like rabbits, except for the lack of ears, the blood-red fur, and the intelligence to speak. She braced her back against the elevator door as dozens approached.

"Welcome to Resort 517!" the one in the front said. "Here you will find the finest hospitality in all of the Caverns!"


bookworm271 t1_iw84hdo wrote


"Come, we'll show you your lodgings!" one of the creatures said.

Amelia considered. "If you insist, but I'll need to leave soon."

"You may leave whenever you like. "

Amelia is led through the winding passages to a door marked 15. The room was massive and ornately decorated. "I guess I could do one night, " Amelia agreed.

That evening she enjoyed a delicious meal delivered to her room and one of the best night's sleep of her life.

When she awoke, she asked for directions back to her apartment. Her host looked crestfallen. "You may leave whenever you like, but we'd hoped you'd stay longer. Have you tried our spa?"

"I'd love to, but my job -"

"Our concierge service produces doctor's notes."

Amelia grinned, "in that case..."

And so she stayed one night, and another. After a week, she was having difficulty recalling details of her apartment.

One morning a rabbit appeared at her door, saying payment was due. His fur was pale pink. Before Amelia could explain she was unaware of charges, the rabbit bit into her arm, drinking blood, and memories of the elevator flooded back.

The rabbit stepped back, its fur now a deep red. "Payment accepted."

"I want to go home!"

"You can leave whenever you'd like, but perhaps you'd like a last visit to the spa first?"

Amelia's head felt fuzzy. Why was her arm bloody? She smiled, "Alright."

The next night Amelia had an odd dream. She was in an apartment lobby, and a new resident was moving in. With horror, Amelia recognized the place. She rushed forward, "Don't take the elevator!" she warned the newcomer.

Amelia awoke fightened. A nightmare! About an elevator and...she shook her head, and rang for room service to bring breakfast. Resort 517 was home.

WC: 295


armageddon_20xx t1_iw93bvm wrote

I LOVE this! I had no idea how anyone would end it, but this is just awesome. Definitely got “Hotel California” vibes.


bookworm271 t1_iw9dfuy wrote

Thank you! You had a great middle. I didn't think of Hotel California, but I saw "resort" and "blood red fur" in your middle and knew I could work with that.


oracleofaal t1_iw4yar9 wrote


The elevator seemed to move at a speed that belied its age. Amelia wondered why she hadn’t been using the elevator every day. Her trip would be but a minute at this rate. But then, she heard a deep male voice that seemed to come from every direction.

“Hello, Amelia. I’ve been waiting for you.”

“No, no, no, no. Waiting for me? What do you mean waiting for me?” she squeaked out as her head swiveled around trying to determine the origins of the voice.

“I mean you’ve lived in this building for well over a month and you have not once stepped into the elevator. That is how long I’ve been waiting,” the voice responded evenly before adding, “and I don’t like to wait,” with a hint of a growl.

After a moment of panic, she recovered enough of her wits to shout, “Let me out, let me out right now!” and bang her fists on the doors of the elevator.

“I don’t think you want me to do that, Amelia,” the elevator responded as though it was trying to calm a wild animal.

“You’re not supposed to be able to think or talk for that matter, so how could you think about what I want?! I very much do not want to be in here anymore. Let me OUT!”

“If I must, Amelia,” came the almost exasperated response. The elevator slowly came to a stop and the doors opened. It certainly wasn’t the 15th-floor hallway or the lobby.

[WC: 250]


andrius-b t1_iwboycu wrote


It was a long mint-green corridor that evoked the feeling of a hospital. She hesitated.

"You'll regret it," the voice said gleefully.

"Piss off," she muttered before stepping out. Anywhere away from that... thing.

She started walking, her footsteps echoing down the corridor. The light fixtures above flickered. There were no doors, no windows. No way but forward.

She wasn't sure how long she walked down the seemingly endless corridor, but at some point she heard a thud ahead. She paused and squinted.


The thud repeated, and a segment of the corridor ahead plunged into darkness. Then another, the darkness reaching for her like a living thing.

Amelia squeaked and raced back. Some primal part of her knew that she mustn't find herself outside the light.

She jumped into the elevator and jabbed the button for the 15th floor.

"Look at you, Amelia," the voice jeered. "You rejected my goodwill, and where has that brought you? Back to me."

"Move, please, move!"

"Tell me you're sorry."

She cast a frantic glance at the encroaching darkness. "I'm sorry, please, get me out of here!"

"Of course, Amelia. You needed but ask."

She sobbed with relief when the doors closed, shutting off the darkness. The cheap elevator music sounded sweet.

"I did well, didn't I?" A petulant note entered the voice. "The polite thing would be to thank me."

"Thank you," she said, her pulse racing. "Thanks so much."

"That's right," the voice said, breathing heavily. "No reason we can't be friends."

She shivered and closed her eyes, feeling as if it was lurking right behind her. The elevator mercifully stopped, and the doors opened to her floor. Hardly believing her luck, she stormed out.

"I'll be seeing you soon, Amelia," the voice said.

"Over my dead body," she muttered.


oracleofaal t1_iwji1hy wrote

Ooh, fantastic. I couldn't figure out how she was going to get back in the elevator. I like it.


wannawritesometimes t1_iw5havs wrote


Amelia reached toward the button panel but paused with her arm half-extended. The red dot in the center of the "16" button was already lit. She tilted her head to the side and squinted at the red light but soon decided she was too worn out to put any more thought into it. Slumping back against the wall and closing her eyes, Amelia waited.

And waited.

... and waited...

The woman looked up toward the digital display. The numbers kept changing but not in any logical order: 4-12-8-23-7-14. As her heartbeat thumped faster, she scoured the buttons, hoping for a "call for help" or "stop elevator." There were no such options though, only more numbers. Amelia jammed her hand into her purse. Just as she grabbed hold of her cellphone, the elevator dinged and the doors slid open.

Amelia rushed into the hallway and spun around as the doors closed again. Relief – and a bit of embarrassment – swept over her and she began to laugh. The mirth quickly died away as she realized the hall was filled with the sounds of cheap elevator music. Then, right in front of her eyes, the elevator doors disappeared.

Stumbling backwards, the frightened woman turned her head to the left. For the first time, she realized that things weren't where they should be. The elevator – which should sit at the end of a short, straight hallway – had actually let her out in the center of a long, twisting corridor. She turns back toward the now-blank wall where she had arrived. Much like the elevator itself, all memory of her journey up here vanished.

A footstep sounded somewhere off to her right. Shivering, Amelia pivoted toward the noise.


London-Roma-1980 t1_iwds4p3 wrote


"Bonjour, Amelie", she heard. A man approached in a well-tailored suit and offered his hand. "I hope your stay among the living was satsifactory."

Amelia -- Amelie -- felt a rush of new memories flow through her. She could speak and understand him in French, much better than English. "Monsieur," she said, carrying on in her now-native tongue. "It was an adventure. Is it over?"

"Yes, Mademoiselle," he replied. "It is time for you to come back to your home. You know the way."

Amelie followed the man through a set of large doors at one end of the corridor. She stepped into a beautiful museum, looking around and taking in surroundings at once ornate and familiar. Her instinct led her to a giant painting -- a Manet -- within one section. It was as the books had it, minus one important detail, one central figure. Her.

Amelie looked at the man with her. "What do I do now?"

"Step in," he told her with a sweeping gesture. The painting was big enough for her to walk to. She stepped forward to a large canvas and placed her hand to it.


Amelie found herself in a quiet opening. A lady was bathing in a river in the distance. But before her were two men, discussing the activities of the day. "Amelie, mon ami," one said to her. "Join us!"

Amelie walked forward, now clad in a beautiful blue dress. She sat with her friends as memories of their lives together rushed into her mind. "We missed you, Amelie," said one -- she knew to be Gustave. "Where were you?"

"I'll tell you everything," she said, finally home where she belonged. "But something doesn't feel right." She looked down at herself and began to discard her dress. "I must tell you of my adventures in America."

[WC: 300]


wannawritesometimes t1_iwdunro wrote

Ooh, that went a much different direction than I ever would have thought of. Good job! :-)

Is there a specific painting you had in mind when writing this? I'm not too familiar with Manet's work.


184rgreaterodds t1_iw0zsqz wrote


To Amelia's surprise the elevator moves neither up or down. Instead the elevator spun slowly to the left. With her back facing the way she came in, she pushes the button labeled '15'

Static crackles from a speaker on the right corner of the elevator above the buttons.

"Are we strangers?" Asks a synthetic voice from the speaker.

"I don't recognize your voice. What floor do you live on?" Amelia shakes her head, "What are you doing to the elevator."

"We're no strangers..." There is a pause in the static. The silence in the elevator absolute.

"You know the rules," the voice deepens, "and so do I."

"Rules?" Amelia drops her bag on the floor, "I just want you to take me to my floor so i can get to my apartment, have a glass of wine and a pint of ice cream."

Amelia steps forward to the panel and begins to push the buttons. The elevator rises. The static from the speaker fades away as the elevator lifts.

With a clang the elevator comes to a stop.

The synthetic voice whispers over the music, " Never gunna give you up."

Amelia begins pushing the emergency help button.

[WC: 197]


armageddon_20xx t1_iw14tnw wrote


"Never gonna let you down."

"Help?" Amelia screams and bangs on the door. "Let me out of here!"

"Never gonna run around and desert you."

"Wait, what?" she said aloud. No, it couldn't be. Absolutely not. Was I being... rickrolled? By the elevator?

"Never gonna make you cry."

At least I know when I'm getting out of here. She sunk to the floor and pulled out her phone, determined to wait out the rest of the song without panicking. Of course, there was no cellular or wi-fi signal. Sigh. At least she'd have something to tell her friends, maybe they could come back and experience this Rick Astley Trollevator together after a few glasses of wine.

"We know the game and we're gonna play it" were the last words before the song ended, the door flying open to reveal anything but the fifteenth floor, a dimly lit room with peeling blue wallpaper, the floor consisting of an arabesque beige tile. Everything was caked in dust and dirt.

"Welcome to the basement" a voice blared out from the speaker as she dared not leave the elevator.

"Uhh, I just wanted the fifteenth floor?" she said.

"Sure, but there's a catch. You've gotta sing back the entire contents of the song first. So hope you remember it."

"What kind of trick is this? I give up, you win. I just want to go back to my room!"

"So do I," he cackled, "but I'm never gonna give you up."

"Creepy," she said as she banged her phone. "Must... get... signal."

It took her hours before she got a signal through dumb luck, enough to download the lyrics and sing the song back perfectly, such that the elevator took her back to her room.

Now she tells everyone to avoid that elevator too.

[WC: 300]


184rgreaterodds t1_iw23155 wrote

Yes! That is a great ending to it. Thank you for completing it!

I had no idea where I would have taken the story if I had to do the end instead of the middle.


armageddon_20xx t1_iw3wa1p wrote

Thanks for the great middle! When I saw it I leaped off the couch and went straight to the computer.


J_E_Warden t1_iw36jxz wrote


It lurched upward once, then twice, as it were wedged in a shaft just too small for the car. Amelia wondered if were as simple as the cables rusting or the winches needing grease. But that would be an easy fix. Why would maintenance make such a fuss? In her exhaustion, she hadn’t thought twice about boarding from the ground floor, but as she listened to the elevator strain, she found herself wondering how deep the basement stretched below her.

After a seemingly unending moment, her conveyance reached a more natural and consistent upward motion and Amelia realized she’d been holding her breath. She allowed herself a slight chuckle. The manager is probably just tired of getting complaints about this thing. No wonder they don’t want people using it. Her relief pivoted quickly into agitation. They wouldn’t have complaints if they just fixed the damn thing. Where does my rent go, anyway?

She was in the midst of wondering what had possessed her to rent what was essentially a fifteen-story walkup as the doors dinged open to her floor. Thankfully, the elevator was situated right next to the stairwell door, so she wouldn’t need to get her bearings. Or so she thought. Ouch! She’d collided with a table in the hall just around the first corner.

What the hell? She noticed the familiar passage felt a little... off. The cheery burgundy of the wallpaper was closer to a blood-red. The warm incandescent lights that lined the ceiling where now florescent and flickering. Was it her imagination, or did the hall seem to narrow as it extended? The walls and ceiling looked smaller somehow. I must be more tired than I thought, she tried to convince herself. But at her core, she knew something wasn’t right.

(WC: 297)


London-Roma-1980 t1_iw8iqia wrote


Amelia quickly pressed the button for 16, figuring the elevator was just going up because she got on at the ground floor. Whew, problem solved, she thought. What's the big deal anyway?

The elevator continued its upward journey as Amelia relaxed. The toll of the day meant she wasn't in the mood for anything other than a period of rest. She closed her eyes and leaned against the back of the elevator, noticing with a bit of surprise that the elevator had rear doors. Well, I guess staff have cleaning areas, she rationalized.

The elevator came to an abrupt stop. Amelia stood back up, ready to get off on her level, but the floor indicator read 13. Huh, I didn't press for the 13th floor, she thought to herself. As if to make sure, she double-checked the panel. Indeed the 16 was still alight. No other buttons were indicated for stops, least of all 13. Wait, 13? Every day when she hauled herself up the stairs, she went from 12 to 14. It's not as if the 13th was inaccessible either -- it just didn't exist due to superstition! So where was she?

"Scanning," she heard from the elevator. "Please remain in the center of the elevator."

Amelia jumped back from the doors and stood, waiting. She thought she heard something run down a track from the ceiling to the floor of the elevator -- something electronic. But why scan her?

"Exhaustion levels over acceptable amount," the voice said. They know I'm tired? "Commencing 24 hour clock."

Before Amelia could ask whatever said that, a panel opened from the side and a beam of... something... hit Amelia. She felt a blast of some form of energy on her. What in the world...?

As the beam stopped, Amelia heard doors open behind her.

[WC: 300]


AutoModerator t1_ivxwrlw wrote

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184rgreaterodds t1_iw10mge wrote

I enjoyed this story starter. It immediately inspired what the 'worst mistake' would be, from a plot standpoint for my middle.

Worst because someone will end up reading it, and hate it like a good pun.


London-Roma-1980 t1_iw58yps wrote

A pro tip to those writing Beginnings for Trash... please choose a cliffhanger cutoff point where the writer has the most freedom. It's a tricky thing, but Fye nailed it here. Well done to u/FyeNite!


FyeNite t1_iw6425y wrote

Thank you! I was worried that it wasn't open enough actually. Or that I hadn't conveyed enough urgency or something. So super glad to hear you guys liked it!

And again, thank you for the praise!