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The doors close leaving them alone and together.

“Oh God, I hate sharing elevators. There’s never enough oxygen.”

She nods to the homely woman in red. The woman nods and smiles back at her.

She notices the flower behind her right ear. A hibiscus. A pretty flower for a pretty–

She scratches her nose and catches the woman touching her nose in the mirror.

She wonders if she has something on her nose and again rubs her nose wishing the woman would not stare at her.

Again, the woman reaches up and touches her wide nose.

“Is she mocking me?” she wonders.

She quickly scratches her neck. The woman does the same.

“What are you doing?” she demands.

The woman does not answer.

Now, she itches everywhere– her right shin, her left palm. the sole of her left foot.

She fights to keep her hands hanging by her sides and digs her nails into her low hips.

Eventually, the itches become painful pin pricks. She wants to scrape her skin off.

She bends to scratch her shin. And, the woman does the same.

“Stop!” she yells and punches the mirror creating a crack and dent.

Now, the woman is much uglier with a distorted nose and mouth. She is becoming a creature.

The real has become monstrous.

Fearing for her life, she punches blindly all around her making more dents in the mirror and turning off the lights.

Stuck in an elevator alone with a demon, she faints.

Ann Marie’s calves hurt. Being a speed walking champion takes a toll. She just cannot manage the stairs today. She bites her lip ruefully at the guilty indulgence of using the elevator.

The elevator doors glide open displaying a lone woman with an orange red flower behind her ear and brown red, bloody fists passed out in its darkened corner.

“Oh my God!”

Ann Marie, speed walking champion, runs.

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