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01 November 2010 @ 09:34 am
[Fic] Sherlock (BBC) - Between Floors  
Title: Between Floors
Author: [personal profile] autumndynasty
Fandom: Sherlock (BBC)
Characters: Sherlock
Rating/Warnings: PG-13, claustrophobia, allusions to self-mutilation and suicide, mild insanity.
Wordcount: 590
Summary: When you were ten years old, you were trapped between floors. Every night, you return.
Notes: Written for [profile] thegameison_sh for the second round challenge 'dark!fic'.

It can’t all be blamed on that weekend spent in that metal box when you were ten. That would be too easy.

To put it bluntly, you’re brilliant. Since the day you were born. Not as brilliant as Mycroft, no, but you excel at accepting facts for what they are. That weekend in May didn’t make you, nor did it break you. You weren’t traumatised; that would imply something needed to be fixed. Instead, something was twisted.

Please, imagine, if you will.

You are ten years old, trapped in a broken-down lift where you will stay for thirty-six hours. Perfectly normal, perfectly boring. It becomes a personal hell.

At first, it’s not so bad. Mildly irritating, perhaps. You stab at the alarm button occasionally and pace listlessly, around and around in the three-by-two-by-two space. Your mind is elsewhere, considering and planning and analysing more important things.

After three hours, you’ve long given up on the alarm button. There was little point in shouting. Someone will need the lift and find it broken eventually, you know. It’s just so painfully dull. There’s nothing stimulating about a three by two metal box. You lie on the floor and stare at the ceiling bulbs until your retinas burn.

Ten hours. You’ve slept, you’ve developed a new theorem for that maths ‘problem’ Mother set yesterday, you’ve recited ‘Atkin’s Physical Chemistry; 4th Ed.’. Bored, bored, bored and your fingers tap, tap, tap on the metal walls.

You progress to scratching. Covering the walls in numbers and letters to contain the world in three by two. With you. You really should have visited Father’s office during opening hours. But that’s rather beside the point, you think. Blood and nail-grit trace fifteen, twenty.

Twenty-five in a three-by-two, which you know is four large steps by one and you don’t need to do it to know the hand spans and fingertip lengths and foot-lengths and arm-widths. You know it’s not getting smaller. It really isn’t. No more wall space but that’s alright. The lights flicker on and off and on again. Brilliant; blink-patterns next.

Only six hundred rivets; that can’t be safe. Four people have died, two hundred and sixty-six injured in a year. God, it’s all there, but it bears stating. Need some sound in here. Twenty-eight hours, or a hundred thousand, eight hundred seconds. Who cares about the minutes? They dribble by and no one notices them but you. Not even Mycroft notices these.

You check again at thirty hours. On-and-off-and-on-again lights snapshot arm-widths and hand spans across two-by-two. Three-by-two. That’s right.

And it’s then you decide; enough. You know there’s a way out of the box. And though the box keeps changing size and your fingers leave wet trails on your eyelids, you can’t beat your head hard enough against the scratches to stop the lights flickering.

Now the lights are blinking more than ever. Your eyelids are gummy. And you dig and you pull at your wrists and arms and eyes. To clean them. That’s right. Gold star but there’s enough light already. That’s the problem. And teeth fix any problems the fingers can’t.

Just imagine six hours more. There’s even more light. And you’re free. About time, you think. It’s three-by-two, for certain. You know you will forever live at the top of a flight of stairs in a building with no lift. And though your brother mocks you for the leg work, you’ll always take the stairs.

When you were ten years old, you were trapped between floors. Every night, you return.

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