Dark, Darker, Darkest

by ljc


Summary: Blair. An elevator. Darkness.

Warnings, Ratings: Spoilers for Dead Drop. PG rating for a word.

{Brackets} used to enclose quotes I read on a couple of quotations pages. I read one and had to write a story. Bet you can guess which one <g>. Info on quotes listed at the end.

Disclaimer: All characters, places, and objects from The Sentinel belong to Pet Fly Productions, UPN, and Paramount. All stories are written with the love of the show in mind. No money is being made. All stories are property of the author.


Blair yawned a jaw-popping third time as he hauled his backpack out of the Volvo. He looked up as Mr. Edelmeier stepped from the door of 852 Prospect.

“Ah, Mr. Sandburg. Burning the candle at both ends still are we?” he chuckled as he leaned on his cane.

“What can I say,” Blair chuckled, “I'm just trying to live my life to the fullest Mr. E.”

Mr. Edelmeier waved as he turned to his taxi, whose driver was waiting impatiently, “I was young once young man. I understand perfectly.”

Blair rushed over to steady him as he climbed into the backseat, “Are you heading to your daughter's for the weekend?”

“Yes, yes. She thinks I don't eat if I'm alone. Hah! I like my own cooking. Don't tell her, but I like mine better than hers. She'll make me bring home a doggy bag on Sunday. I wish I had a dog. Heh, heh. Well, good night,” and he nodded as Blair shut the door and waved a goodbye.

Blair had to chuckle as he turned to the door, his spirits lifted by the kindly man that lived on the second floor. He decided he felt like cooking after all, even though Jim was in Seattle for a conference. He headed to the corner market, returning soon with some fresh produce for a salad. He glanced at the stairs but it had been a long week so he punched the button for the elevator.

Blair woke with a groan. Not a good sign, he thought. He rubbed his hand over his face as he struggled to open his eyes. Well, he wasn't tied up, that had to be good. He wondered where he was. It certainly was dark. A Charlie Brown quote came to mind, {It always looks darkest just before it gets totally black.} Well, at least he still had his sense of humor.

Blair pushed his hands back to touch the wall he was leaning against and then felt the grocery bag on the floor next to him. He was in the elevator. What happened? He felt the back of his head and only found a small bump.

He thought back over the last moments he could remember. He'd gotten in the elevator and punched the button for the third floor. It had just arrived, he could remember the 'ding'. Then nothing. Was the elevator still on the third floor? It couldn't be ... could it? How would he have gotten the bump on his head?

Whoa. Don't panic. If the elevator had fallen three floors, four counting the basement level, he'd be hurt pretty bad. So, logically it hadn't fallen all the way. It must have only fallen a little way. Just enough to knock him off his feet and hit his head.

So ... logically ... it could still fall! Maybe he could panic a little.

He looked for the panel of buttons. There were no lights visible at all. It was {darker than the inside of a black cat}. At that thought Blair couldn't stifle a slightly hysterical giggle. Where's the big black cat when you need him! Huh Jim? Too bad Jim was in Seattle for the weekend.

In Seattle! Jim couldn't hear him in Seattle! And he wasn't due back until Sunday! Blair tried to stay calm. Mr. E. was gone for the weekend too. No one else would think twice about this rickety old elevator being on the fritz! Breathe Blair. Come on there's plenty of air in here.

He tried, but the Wilkenson Tower incident was too recent ... and too damn scary. And it was dark. The panic attack was full blown before he could stop it.

Blair woke again to darkness. Blair chuckled grimly, {weather forecast for tonight: dark}. He pulled himself into a corner and hugged his knees. He really had to get a grip. He couldn't go through that again. He could be here all weekend. Damn! He jumped up, felt for the door, and started pounding and shouting until his voice was hoarse.

Well, that did a lot of good, Sandburg. He shakily felt for the control panel again. He felt for the open door switch and the alarm switch but nothing worked. The power must be out. Was it just the elevator? He hoped it was the whole building or the block or even the whole city, at least then somebody had to be working on it or would take notice of it soon.

Wait! Where was his cell phone? He hastily searched for his pack and rifled through all the pockets. Where was it? He was starting to hyperventilate again as he upended the pack and searched the contents by feel.

Maybe it fell out when he reached for the panel. Or, he ruefully thought, when he was pounding on the door and screaming. He tried to steady his nerves. A couple of long steady breaths and he was calm enough to begin a search pattern to cover the floor. He found it in the far corner and flipped it open. No lights? There was a dial tone. No lights? His hands started to shake. No, he couldn't be blind. It was just a little bump on the head. It 'had' to be the phone. He'd dropped it, that's what. That must have damaged it. He rocked slightly as he tried to keep his breathing calm.

The phone. Call someone Sandburg! He dialed by feel. Jim didn't answer. He could be in a meeting for all he knew, or he could have gone out with someone from the seminar or something. Simon didn't answer either. Well, Daryl was due tonight. He called 911. They were busy? Hey, maybe it was a city problem. That actually made him feel better. Well, he'd have to keep trying, that's all. Although that could take a while. A citywide problem was sure to tie things up for all city services, especially, police, fire and rescue. He was safe. He was okay. He'd be fine. He would. He wouldn't be happy, but he'd be fine.

He settled down on the floor and tried not to dial every two minutes. {Sometimes there is no darker place than our thoughts, the moonless midnight of the mind.} Heck, he'd better stop this, he didn't need anything else to make him scared. He wondered where his sense of humor went and then he chuckled when he remembered, {It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal the neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.}

He was kind of glad Jim couldn't see him right now. Come on Sandburg, get a grip. You're just stuck in an elevator. No one's planning to blow this one up. He hoped. No. No. It was possible it could fall, but he'd already jumped up and pounded on the door and it stayed steady. So it probably wasn't going to fall.

But oh man, it was so dark. {Darkness of slumber and death, forever sinking and sinking.} His thoughts returned to the time he'd tried to help Jim when he'd lost his sight for a while and they weren't sure if it was permanent. Blair had been so scared for Jim. He felt his breaths coming faster so he tried to cling tighter to his knees, forcing shallow breaths. Please, if anyone's listening, he thought ... he really hoped he wasn't blind. He wedged himself into a corner by the door, feeling better having something tangible and solid at his back.

It was getting cold now. It had to have been more than an hour. He'd tried the phone a few times before the battery died, or it was too damaged to work right any longer. When the elevator had continued to stay steady, he figured moving around a little might help warm him up. He began the process of gathering his things into the backpack. It gave him something to keep his mind busy for a few minutes. He found a granola bar and half a bottle of water. He had that as well as the few groceries he'd picked up but he wasn't really hungry. A few sips of water was all he wanted for now. He didn't want to think about being here long enough to need food.

He'd be a lot happier if someone knew he was here. It was hard knowing that no one knew he was in trouble. That no one was searching for him. That rescue could still be hours away.

Or not.

“Sandburg. Are you all right? Answer me if you hear me.”

Simon? “SIMON! Man, where are you? Never mind. Get me OUT OF HERE!” yelled Blair.

Rescue. It felt great. It felt wonderful. He really had to do something nice for Mr. Edelmeier. Simon had explained that Mr. E had heard about the power outage in a news alert and had tried to call him. Phones were still working and when there was no answer Mr. E called a nephew in the fire department. Anyway, the message was relayed to Simon, finally. He didn't plan to tell Simon he considered him a blessed protector now too. He didn't think that would go over too well. But he was sure Simon liked him. Well, maybe tolerated him. No. Simon liked him. Simon just had an image he felt he needed to protect.

Blair had been pretty hyper when the door was finally forced open. He'd had to be pulled up a few feet to the third floor. He tried not to let on how much he was shaking, but he was sure Simon knew and understood. Blair babbled on about all the quotes he'd remembered.

Simon had his own to share, “Sandburg, {the darkest hour has only 60 minutes}. You did fine. You kept your head, even after the Galileo incident. You have nothing to be ashamed of you know. You need to thank your friend Mr. Edelmeier. He may have saved you a few hours in that elevator.”

“Man, I know it. He's a great guy. And, uh, thanks Simon. You came to get me out of there yourself. That means a lot. You must have been swamped with calls. I appreciate that,” Blair answered, flushing a bit.

Simon looked decidedly uncomfortable at the heartfelt thanks. “You do irritate the hell out of me sometimes Sandburg, but you are a friend. Don't forget that.”

Simon was trying to make him feel better. That was nice. And now Blair could finally go home. At least he didn't have far to go. There weren't many times he could remember when he'd been more glad to put his key in the lock. He asked Simon in but there were still plenty of snarl-ups to untangle in the city because of the blackout.

He was kind of glad in a way. He was still pretty shaken. He let himself into the dark apartment. Ow, ow. That's right, {Shin: Device for finding furniture in the dark.} He went around the apartment lighting all the candles he could find. He really needed the comfort of their light for a while, but luckily the lights were back on soon.

Blair was exhausted by his experience. He slowly circled the room extinguishing the candles. He thought of calling Jim but it was getting late by then. He remembered something he hadn't done though. Something he should have done immediately if he hadn't been so shaken.

“Hello. This is Blair Sandburg. I know it's kind of late but could I speak to Mr. Edelmeier? ...”




Dark, darker or darkest. It's all in your outlook! ljc

I think all the quotations came from these sites:



“It always looks darkest just before it gets totally black.”

Charlie Brown quotes

“Darker than the inside of a black cat”


“Weather forecast for tonight: dark.”

George Carlin

“Sometimes there is no darker place than our thoughts, the moonless midnight of the mind.”

Dean Koontz quotes

“It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal the neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.”

Unknown quotes

“Darkness of slumber and death, forever sinking and sinking.”

Author: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“The darkest hour has only 60 minutes.”

Morris Mandel quotes

“Shin: Device for finding furniture in the dark.”

Anonymous quotes

I couldn't find a place for this quote but I love it:

“I guess I just prefer to see the dark side of things. The glass is always half empty. And cracked. And I just cut my lip on it. And chipped a tooth.”

Janeane Garofalo