This scene happens within in the first couple of chapters, when the staff can still believe their imaginations are running away with them. This particular incident is based on one that happened to me (Moira is fictional, her experience in the elevator is not, for the most part), while working at the hotel which serves as the inspiration for the Constellation. Again, this is a rough draft, and feedback is appreciated as always!
Moira Puddicombe stepped onto the north tower elevator and headed for her basement office, attendant room checklists in hand. Her supervisors usually did these quality room checks, but Moira enjoyed getting up onto the floors herself regularly.
The Constellation’s Executive Housekeeper had been with the hotel since she was sixteen. In the past three decades, she’d never seen anything that bordered on the paranormal, and poo-poohed her staff’s concerns about particular rooms or floors. “Don’t be foolish”, she would stay, not unkindly “Why would a lost soul stay here? Sure they’d want to go down to the new Marriot on the waterfront, where all the action happens.”
The elevator doors slid shut and she felt someone get on behind her. She turned to speak, but she was alone in the car. Smiling at her startled reflection in the stainless steel doors, she pressed “B” and leaned against the wall as the elevator started its descent. Reviewing her mental to-do list, her concentration was broken by a a faint whisper. She moved to pull her radio earpiece out—then remembered she’d left it on her desk.
The whispers grew louder, and the floor button lights seemed to slow. Moira strained to hear what the voices were saying “must be the house music system’ she muttered, not convincingly. The whispers became urgent, volume rising, but still not intelligible.
Where was that whispering coming from? What were the voices saying? A wave of anxiety rose in her tightening chest as the whispers continued, now nonstop, staccato.
She clenched her fists tightly, looked down at her hands as she willed the “B” button to light up–and then she saw it: her hands were shaking so badly, the papers she was holding were hitting the bumper rail in the elevator car. Weak-kneed with relief, she exhaled mightily—silly woman, she thought to herself, laughing at her own mind playing tricks on her. She rustled the corners of the papers on the rail; yes, those where the “whispers” she thought she’d heard. The more nervous she became, the louder the “whispering” became as her hands shook more. She stepped into the basement hall, still chuckling with relief.
The elevator doors closed behind her, and the whispers started again.