Kätlin Vainola. “Lift”

Reading sample

The building here is quite new. It has six storeys.

Lift works in the building. Lift is also new and very happy. He does the job that he likes best. He carries the residents up and down.

Brring! rings the bell. Someone is calling Lift.

Lift looks at his screen. The screen says ‘1st storey’. This means he does not actually have to go anywhere, because he is already on the first storey. Lift turns on some nice music and opens his doors.

Mrs. Octopus walks in. She lives on the first storey. She has a nice apartment with a pool in it.

Mrs. Octopus is on her way to the roof. A bucket full of clean laundry is hanging from each one of her legs.

Mrs. Octopus did the laundry in the morning. Now, she is going to hang it up to dry. Their building has a place for drying clothes on the roof.

Mrs. Octopus pushes the button. Lift closes his doors and heads upwards. Mrs. Octopus looks in the mirror to check if her hat is on straight. It sure is, Lift nods.

Brring! Lift is called to the second storey. It is the chipper little squirrel girls, who are going to play in the park.

They always laugh, giggle, and have a nut-war. As long as they clean up the nuts afterward, Lift does not become cross. But when his floor is full of trash, then Lift rings his little red bell.

When they hear this, the squirrel girls start giggling even louder, and pick up all of the shells like good little girls.

When he has taken the girls downstairs, brring! sounds again. Now, Lift is being called to the third storey.

Lift whooshes up busily and opens his doors.

Long-necked Mr. Giraffe is already apologising and blushing. It takes him a very long time to wedge himself into Lift because of his long neck.

Mr. Giraffe has been brought up very well. He is embarrassed when anyone has to wait for him. He is still rolling his neck up when Lift is already closing the doors. And so, they bump into him. The doors close and open.

Finally, Mr. Giraffe is in Lift and whooshing downwards. His job in the park awaits him. Mr. Giraffe is one of the city’s gardeners. He trims trees that have grown too tall.

Mr. Giraffe works his way out of Lift nice and easy, and the bell is already ringing. Lift is being called to the fourth storey.

The famous marathon runner Kangaroo is going to the woods to exercise. Kangaroo, who is wearing his work-out clothes, is impatient and already wants to start training in Lift.

Lift shakes and shudders when he carries Kangaroo down, because Kangaroo is jumping, bouncing, and boxing. Before long, Lift becomes very angry. You really must behave politely in Lift.

Kangaroo jumps an especially big jump, leaping so high that his head almost hits the ceiling. That’s enough, Lift decides. He comes to a halt with a loud screech.

Kangaroo startles. He realises that he has gone too far. He apologises to Lift and promises to travel calmly from now on.

When Kangaroo has been taken downstairs and sent outside, Lift is called upstairs again.

Hedgehog has pushed the call button on the fifth storey. Hedgehog is cool. He has a stylish haircut and is wearing headphones. He likes to listen to music.

Hedgehog steps briskly into Lift and presses the button. He is going to work. Hedgehog is a reporter. He writes newspaper articles on what is going on in the world.

Lift likes how Hedgehog nods his head along to the beat of the music. Hedgehog’s reflection in the mirror nods along, too.

Hedgehog steps outside and waves to Lift. Brring! sounds again. The sixth storey is the building’s top floor.

A couple in love step into Lift. They are two white doves from the attic storey. They are very cute together. They reflect from Lift’s walls so nicely that Lift is completely filled with love.

Mr. Dove is going to the post office. He works as a postal-dove. He enjoys delivering love letters more than anything else in the world.

Mrs. Dove goes to a café every day. She flies to the big city square and sits at her usual table. The other dove-girls are already waiting for her. They will start eating pastries together.

And so, Lift is content. All of the building’s residents have been taken where they need to go. It is time to rest a little. Soon enough, they will be coming back, and then Lift can start whooshing up and down again.

Lift is so satisfied with life that he dozes off. Lift dreams that more floors are built on top of his building. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. . . Lift counts the storeys.

Brring! The dream is soon over. Someone is already calling Lift!

Translated by Adam Cullen