The New Key

Writing Challenge: September 25, 2018

Prompt Inspiration: One day you notice a new key on your key chain


There are many keys on my key chain. Keys to my car, my apartment, and my mailbox. My sister’s spare key, my grandparents’, and the storage unit. There are keys I never use, and one or two that open doors that have long-ago changed locks. I have many keys on my key chain- but I know which doors they unlock- except for one.

I don’t know when the key first showed up, but I remember the first time I noticed it. The key was small and gold- not brass like some of my other keys, but bright gold- but wasn’t malleable like gold. It was brighter, stronger, almost other worldly. It was like no other metal I had ever seen before. It was smooth, flawless, with small, rigid teeth. It looked neither modern nor antique- somehow it was both. I stared at the key for a moment, trying to remember how I obtained it, but came up with nothing. I would have remembered someone giving me such a perfect key.

It was the day I noticed the key that I noticed the door.

I passed that wall outside my apartment every day. I parked my car next to it. I walked around it on my daily walks. I leaned against it while talking on the phone. I had spent hours on this wall over the last three years, and there had never been a door before. The handle was the same mysterious gold-metal as the key, as was the lock above the handle. The door itself looked like cherry wood. I lay my hand against the surface. It was a cold and smooth as stone- petrified and beautiful.

Did I dare to fit the key into the lock? Did I dare to see where the door led? I knew what lay on the other side of the wall itself, but I couldn’t imagine what lay on the other side of the door. I looked around me. Somehow, I had to know if anyone else could see it. I was alone.

Hands shaking, I took out the key. It was cool to the touch, but pulsed between my fingers as if it were alive. The metal gleamed in the sunlight as I fit the key into the lock. It was a perfect fit. Slowly, I turned the key. I heard a small “click”. Right hand still holding the key to the lock, my left hand reached for the shinning handle. It fit perfectly in the palm of my hand. I twisted and pushed.

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