1st person fiction fantasy. The amazing events of a little boy who finds a key.
Playing Where We Should Not Be
Sometimes a locked door is not to protect the contents within, but to contain and separate them from the stumbling of ignorance and harm. Yet, what would a lock be without a key, and who would place a door where a wall or window is better suited. As each serves their architect, one can assume that a locked door has also the purpose of being unlocked. For each lock there is a key to it’s opening and, for each door there is a need for the opening of it.
But what happens when by chance, the innocent find both a hidden door and the key to match? In such a situation the secured contents may become a test of their character. I can attest to such a situation, with the lessons learned worth the sharing.
Once, while a young boy I occasioned to find in the depths of my grandfather’s cellar one such door. In appearance it was ordinary with nothing to distinguish it from any other in the house except its size and location. Truly it was chance I even fell upon it.
I remember the day well, playing where I should not be at the dare of my dear cousins. It started as a simple game of hide-and-seek, yet found us standing at the descending mismatched stone entrance that lead to the depth of the cellar we were told never to enter. This warning was given many times for it was not a place for child hood frolicking, but what boy when teased by his older female cousins allows such needless rules to sway their decisions? Not the boy that bore this man.
So there I, with head held high in my sincerest attempt to feign courage, broke the threshold of that place I should not be and slipped past the sunlight spilling on the floor. It was cool in spite of the noon time mid July weather, with the smell of moisture and dirt that reminded me more of a new dew covered morning. I remember the decision to carry on with the challenge as my eyes adjusted to the darkness. It was quite simple. I was to explore the depths and report back my findings. Looking back I am sure I could of fabricated the details of it’s contents. As none of us had ever ventured there before, none would contest my report but, I was an honest child and at that time it never crossed my thoughts.
The entrance opened up into a fairly large irregularly shaped stone sided room which matched the entrance, but with a dirt floor. All sides were fortified with shelves and bins each placed in a purposeful order. No space seemed unused and even the middle of the room contained more shelving running just short of the opposite side.
I took to the left of the center and slowly made my way. I did not take the time to study the contents of shelf or bin and with adjusting eyes, nor did I take the time to secure each foot placement. This was made evident as I tried to round the end of the center shelving. I tripped on a piece old tarp and, my lost feet combined with my hurried movement put me on a collision course with a bin of last year’s turnips. I flung out my hands only to upend the bin, and with a terrible impact loose my breath. The commotion was enough so that my cousin’s curiosity swept away their caution, as one by one their heads broke the plane of the entrance.
“Are you OK?” the oldest whispered,
But in my current state I had no breath to answer, though I struggled to find it. We all know and believe that time is relative to the observer. I truly believe in this instance the short silence afforded by my condition, was experienced by all observers to be much more relevant than the noise of the process. It wasn’t till my second step and my first real breath that I could reply.
“I am fine, just a little bump” I said with an unsteady voice.
The delay was enough that my cousins had committed to joining me in my investigation for with their heads crossing into the darkness there too their bodies came until they were both standing next to me assessing the trouble we were all in. I remember thinking at that moment that I was grateful that my little sister was not there that day. She would have alerted the parental figures way before we could have reconstructed the proper order. But she was not and we began to work out a plan as to how to fix the issue and not be punished.
Our assessment was interrupted by the discovery of an oddity. One that we should have missed in the dim light, and would never of seen if the bin had not overturned and fell to the floor beside where I then stood. It would of hidden what appeared to be a tiny door frame and 2 hinges that disappeared behind a small wooden shelf.
“Such an odd place for a door” I remember remarking out loud.
My cousins agreed with word and nod, and without even discussing it we begin to work together to clear the turnips as well as the shelving which obscured our view. There we stood, the three of us peering in the semi darkness at what was a rather small door no more than two feet tall and one foot wide. It had two rusty hinges on the left side with what appeared to be a door knob except it was no larger than the size of my favorite shooter marble with a tiny little keyhole.
Instinctively I reached out to open it; there was a door, one must open it for that is the natural order of things. It was locked but not broken, for in my assessment it had the action of a knob that functioned, turning ever so slightly to reach a point of no admittance.
“Such a small lock, I have never seen one so small?” I said as my words were echoed by my middle cousin.
We discussed in hushed voices what we should do and it was decided that we could not explore anymore and with the speed of youth, we put the cellar back in order. Once complete, it was to the surface and the summer sun. The door was forgotten quickly as we played and ran all over the countryside. I can remember we had no cares in those summer days. What now I know to be a short season felt like a lifetime then. But as happens, the days soon turned cold and the trees changed to all the wonderful colors of fall.