She closed the book,
placed it on the table
and finally decided
to walk through the door.
For her, a lifetime of corruptions
were then dispelled.
You were suspected.
I was an implement.
They would do nothing.
The book could encompass
what otherwise impossible thoughts
might carry the imaginer away in their dreams.
Delivering that final comeuppance,
the journey of a lifetime,
or simply to re-exist,
one need only cast their thoughts into those pages.
One of the romantic verses could revive a lost love.
And who wouldn’t pay the price?
The elevator had been serviced dozens of times,
and none could circumvent its curious course.
Some whispered a curious curse
when it arrived at the lobby with no one on-board.
All weren’t lost, indeed, many returned
after fabulous adventures or a miraculous cure.
Always there, lay the book, often a token. Hers was a baby shoe. This decision might be her last. With breath held, her trembling hand punched her date of destiny into the numbered panel. The gate slid shut and the elevator cage dropped like a rock.
No need for a doctor or Mortician. The elevator would work fine for any wishing to see if she had gone to the penthouse corridor, absorbed those pages and placed something with the other items collecting there. Photos, and rings, the detritus of loneliness, tear stained kerchiefs, calling cards, crutches, whatever came from the heart. Most knew this to be a place of sorrow and loss, for hither to, minds had long pondered the bitter cast of deaths transfiguration and how that played out. Yet, none would know whether her selection from the book was as a child longing for its parent, or the mother in search of a missing child. None could know her intent, since this excursion in the Elevator de Fantasy may have been a wish to simply depart the planet, or new-birth in another time and place, with whatever parents the shadow of the pendulum might choose.
Long before the serpentine acanthus foils and inlaid granite floors were complete, La Plaza Taress was the greatest ambition of a sorrowed father. For his inspiration served as distractions from his remembrance of her. His every heartfelt pain went into the minutest detail of the Art Nuevo murals depicting her favourite stories. Marble balusters encircled the entrance, capturing the flow of her silken hair. Enchanting chandeliers resembled her crystalline ear rings. Most importantly, his greatest design, the heart of the structure was the fantastic elevator. Gloriously the brass cage, wound in twining ivy, appearing to be lifted by doves. Clockwork gears gleamed and spun so smoothly the cables literally sung like angels. Cut glass panels cast a rainbow of light enchanting it all. So dazzling was this facet that all agreed it to be the most beautiful building in all of Paris.
But on the very first time the cage rose to the top, he would let no other inside, it fell instantly, arriving empty and intact. He could not be found. It was suspected when all that was left behind was the Book of Secret Passions, poetry he carried always, that he had been taken away by her heart and his great love for her.
Today, those with no luggage, who cross the grand lobby, aren’t questioned as to their intent. This pair of lovers or that ageing widow yearning to relive an afternoon beneath a weeping willow. Her book remains on the table, near the Elevator de Fantasy, at which sweet Taress did last recite from the book for her murderer/betrothed.