This was a dream I had maybe a year ago, a little less, a little more...but it stuck with me and is starting to feel somehow prophetic.
So I'm in this tall office building and something is wrong with it - it's collapsing, or on fire, or something vaguely catastrophic but undetermined. I'm in the elevator, and headed for the top floor (for some reason the top floor is where it's safe. Hey, it's a dream...).
When the doors open, it's not quit at the top floor - it's stopped short, so that the floor is about shoulder-high, and I'd need to climb out. I'm not sure I can hoist myself up, but James Earl Jones (dream, remember...) is there reaching out his hand, offering to pull me up.
I am thinking about grabbing his hand, but I'm afraid the elevator will fall when I'm halfway out, or something, so I don't reach for it. After a few moments, during which I think I could have made it, the elevator starts to drop. James Earl Jones watches me descend with a kind of disappointment in his eyes, and I start to feel a sense of dread.
The elevator starts to fall faster.
As it falls, I know I'm headed to a bad end. Below is all the fear I have ever felt, all the demons and horror I've ever imagined. I don't know how I know, but I know - that's what's waiting below.
I'm falling a long time.
The elevator hits the bottom. The doors open. I'm alive, unhurt. But I'm in what I can only call "Not Quite Hell."
It's some kind of basement, kinda dark but not too dark to see. I hear something coming, but I don't see it yet. I know that whatever it is it wants to cause me agony - it wants me to hurt, to bleed, to scream, weep, and sob. Forever.
I also know that it is possible to get out. The elevator is destroyed, but there are stairs, passages, ramps...mazes, hallways...I could find my way back up. But I was falling for a long, long time. It is indescribably far to the surface, and it will take an achingly long time, with a very high chance of failure, to make the journey.
As I'm nearing despair contemplating the nearly interminable ascent through Not Quite Hell, I hear the thing approaching.
I think I might have seen it just before I woke up, but I'm not sure.