‘The Key’ #SoCS @LindaGHill – Linda’s Lovely site here.
I found a key, close by the door of an old boarded-up building. I thought that the key would fit the door, unlock it, and allow me to enter the boarded-up property, where I would find an old wooden chest which would contain a quantity of treasure that exceeded my imagination to imagine it.
The key did fit the door, and the door opened upon the most unlikely treasure chest location that I could think to encounter. There weren’t any floorboards remaining – due to the ravages of time – and the plaster that should have been hugging the walls was now filling the gaps between the floor joists around the edges of the room.
However, there was a large wooden chest, albeit slightly below floor level, and covered in a thick layer of dust – well, dust that had become a veritable skin for the treasure container.
I carefully walked across to where it lay and found that the lid wasn’t locked shut. It opened easily, and without the expected creak that is probably usual from badly maintained hinges.
Now, this is where thing got a little strange.
The chest was very deep. In fact, it was much deeper than theoretically possible, being to a depth of six or seven feet; and there at the bottom of the chest was just one thing, a piece of parchment the size of an old white five-pound note (they were larger than the current five-pound notes, shall we say twice the size?
I was leaning down into the chest to try and reach the ancient paper, when I was pushed by unseen hands and toppled forward. Any light was quickly removed as the lid of the chest closed upon me and , having been winded by my fall, it was a few seconds before I could gather myself. I had a torch, which I retrieved from a pocket, and I gathered up the parchment.
The words upon it, although in an ancient script, were legible,
‘East is East,
And West is West,
Now You are interred
Within this Chest!’
It took me a long time to die. It took me a very short time before that happened to curse my finding of a key to a house that, to my knowledge, had never stood on the corner of Elim Street and Douglas Avenue before.
For a short while I was a kind of a Cause Célèbre in the neighbourhood; then like my earthly body, mentions of me faded away… to nothing.