Otis stood before the escalator, staring as the machine moved, turned, whirred away. A strange creation, he thought. Something to alter the flow of time.
People didn’t behave like normal when they reached an escalator. They walked toward the steps, purposefully, driven. Then they slowed. The escalator had some kind of time distortion around it, for the people slowed, stepped on, and became frozen. They gripped the railing, stared up and ahead, and did not move until the escalator came to its end, releasing them. Time returned to normal, and people moved again.
Some escalators allowed movement, of course, while freezing feet in place. People would turn, twist, look around at this new prison of theirs, wonder where they were going, look at their watch and wonder what was taking so long. The escalator would take its own time. They should be thankful they could at least experience it.
But Otis worried about these distortions, these dilations. He liked his time. He had precious little enough of it. If time was an arrow, Otis was the apple. He had no desire to be pierced.
Turning away, Otis walked to the corner, where a small staircase was tucked away. He began to climb, thankful for every step.