Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Key

I love finding lost keys. Doesn't matter what kind. House keys, padlock keys, desk keys, even music box keys, as long as they're lost, they call to me. And, when I find them, they tell me their stories.

All except one.

It all started the day a friend asked me to help him replace some drywall in his house. I could hear the key the moment I walked in the door. It was one of the most insistent callings I'd ever experienced, the drone so loud that I had trouble concentrating on the conversation I was trying to have. Fortunately, my friend was oblivious to both the call and my distraction. He simply handed me a hammer and pointed to a section of wall. To my immense relief, I found this to be where the noise was loudest. I struck at the wall with a ferocity that surprised both of us, but my friend simply left me to it.

Each blow widened the hole and increased the volume of the buzzing until I thought my teeth would vibrate out of my head. Then, I saw it: the faint, golden gleam of the key. I reached in, grabbing it from its hook.

Silence. I breathed a sigh and held the key, waiting for it to reveal its secrets to me, as every other lost key I'd ever found had.

It refused.

"What?" I whispered at it. "All that ruckus and now you've got nothing to say?"


I studied it. It was like no key I'd ever come across. It appeared to be pure gold and the bow was crafted of filigree so fine it seemed it would shatter at the slightest touch. The blade, on the other hand, had teeth so wickedly sharp that it appeared the key had fangs. My curiosity was piqued in a way that was entirely new to me. I squeezed the key until it bit me, but it remained stubbornly quiet. There was nothing to do except pocket it and promise myself I would unravel its mysteries at the first opportunity.

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