Isaac looked around the empty lobby. There were the usual chairs and little tables and fake trees planted in baskets. There wasn’t a front desk or windows or glass doors. Instead, there were sets of metal elevator doors along the walls.
“I guess I’ll just take one of the elevators out of here,” he said. “Which one goes up?” Isaac walked to the first elevator door. There was a button with an arrow pointing up and another one with an arrow pointing down. He pushed the up button and waited. Nothing happened.
He pushed the other button. “If the elevator comes, I can still push the button to go up once I’m inside,” he said to himself. After a moment, he heard a quiet ding! and then the world turned upside down. No, actually Isaac was upside down, standing on his hands.
He kicked the up arrow button. Ding! He was standing on his feet again. Well, that wasn’t helpful. Should he try the buttons beside the next elevator? He didn’t have any better ideas.
Isaac walked over to the next elevator and pushed the up arrow button. Ding! He started to float up into the air like a balloon. Panicked, he hit the down arrow button with his knee as he floated past. Ding! He collapsed back on the floor. Ouch.
Floating up out of the cave seemed like a good idea. However, if he didn’t stop floating, he could drift up to outer space where there wasn’t any air to breathe and it was always cold. Obviously, he’d need to test and see if it wore off while he was close to the button, just in case.
Isaac dragged a big, heavy looking chair over to the elevator. He held on to the chair with one hand, and then pushed the up button. By the time he heard ding!, he was holding onto the chair with his arms and legs. He held on tightly and waited. It felt like being pushed upwards by a strong, persistent wind. Eventually, his grip started to give out. He hit the down button. Ding!
He sighed. He might as well check the other elevators. If they didn’t work, he’d have to find some rope and tie himself to the chair for a longer test. It would give him a bit of perspective on how a balloon feels. “Maybe I’ll never ask for balloons at parties anymore. It seems mean to tie them to chairs and banisters and leave them there.”
Isaac hurried to the next elevator and pushed the up button. Ding! Nothing happened. “Nope,” he said in a high squeaky voice. How funny! He pushed the down button. Ding! “Hello,” he said. His voice was normal. He pushed the down button again. “Hello?” His voice sounded deep. He pushed the down button again. Ding! “Hello.” His voice was now very deep. He laughed, but it sounded strange. He laughed harder.
Finally, he pushed the up button twice. Ding! Ding! “Hello,” he said. Normal voice. Time to go to the next elevator. This time the elevator doors moved up and down the wall, but didn’t open. Isaac walked over to the next elevator.
He pushed the up button. He started to grow. He grew taller and taller and taller. The hanging metal lamp above him hit him in the head. It hurt. He quickly leaned over and pushed the button. Unfortunately, he held the button down a bit too long. Ding! Ding! Ding!
Isaac shrunk rapidly. The room seemed to blur for a moment. When it stopped he looked up. He was probably mouse-sized at this point, far too small to reach the up button by the elevator. He needed to mark this elevator so that he could find it again, and then go hunt for something to use as a ladder.
Looking around, he saw something white under a nearby couch. The baseball! He rolled it over and looked up again. Even if he stood on it, he’d be to short. It was a start though. Maybe he could find something to pile on top of it. Did the couches have any small cushions?
He left the baseball by the elevator and started to explore the room. The couch cushions were all far too big. The tables and chairs were too heavy. But behind one of the plants he found a little door about half the size of the cupboard doors in the kitchen at home. It had a little metal sign on it that said Come In. Isaac tried to twist the doorknob, but the door was locked.
Isaac knocked on the door and waited. No one answered. He looked up at the basket beside him. Maybe they hid a spare key somewhere in the potted plant? It wouldn’t hurt to check. After all, the door said come in, so there must be a way inside. Maybe he’d find someone who knew the way out. Isaac started to climb.