The Key

One time I found a key in the street and I stared at it a long time before it winked at me, but I picked it up and it was burning hot so I had to toss it between my hands. Also, there were birds flying around me and they tried to take it (being that they like shiny things and all), but I held onto that key like it was the last thing my grandmother gave me and I fought the birds off.I found the key! When I went home I looked at the key to see what it could have led to, but I didn’t know and couldn’t figure it out. So, what I did was put an ad in the paper: “found key” and that is all the information I could put because I didn’t know anything else. I didn’t know what it opened, but I wondered how anyone could lose something so important as a key. And I went to sleep that night, the key burning a hole into the countertop, but I kept waking up, so I would move the key first to the cabinet, then to the bookshelf, then to the table beside my bed and I scrubbed my hands with soap after every move. When the people lined up at my door the next morning they asked about car keys, house keys, locker keys, keys to closets, keys to drawers, keys to safe deposit boxes, each one different, each the same, but no one recognized my key and I asked myself if someone would be able to identify my house key from the millions of others out there, or were all keys equally mysterious? Or equally straightforward? And when everyone had gone and no one claimed the key I went to find my key to compare it to the one that I had found, but my key was gone and I looked down at the secrets on the counter and they were mine.

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