The Clemstead

A place heavy with history and screaming for new thoughts.

The Rainy Day Cabinet Key

“Did you find the key?”

“For the tenth time, no! Do you have any idea how many keys were in your mother’s junk drawer?”

“I give, too many to count? Besides some of them where my grandmom’s keys. Hey, did you notice that the screw is missing?”

“What screw?”

“The screw that holds the lock to the door, schmuck. How’s it not falling off the door?”

He walks over with a shoebox full of keys. “By the looks of it a few layers of battle ship gray paint. Mind helping out here? There has to be at least a hundred keys.” he moans, plopping down next to her on the floor.

They sit in silence sorting keys by size, age, and the amount of rust, occasionally looking at the lock and the key they have in their hands.
She looks at the mess on the floor, “Might as well dump the skeleton keys, jewelry box keys, and keys with numbers on them back in the box. I’m starting to think that we’re never going to get in this cabinet.”

“Any idea what your grandmother stored in here? It seems like a lot of secrecy for nothing.”
She starts tearing up and cries. He holds her until she’s done.

“Mom and I never knew what was in here. On rainy days grandmom would have us write stories about this cabinet and its contents, to keep us from tearing the house apart due to boredom. When grandmom passed away mom moved in. Everything grandmom had was claimed by relatives or sold at auction. The only thing that remains of her is this cabinet.”

She gets up keys in hand. “Let’s go. I’m not sure I want to do this anymore.”

“We have all afternoon besides it looks like it's going to rain. So no use trying to do anything outside.”

She gave him a weak smile. “Put all the keys on the kitchen table. I’ll try another time. Go... I’ll be there in a minute.” He shugs leaving the room with the box, as she kneels back down to peer at the lock.

"Let's get moving! It looks like a big storm." he yells from the front door.
"Coming!" she yells wiping her face and touching the cabinet door before leaving the room.

The front door to the house closes, the door lock sets as thunder strikes nearby.

The tear left behind rolls and settles into the missing screw hole. A small click emits from the lock and the door swings open, as pieces of paper scrawled on with crayon, pencil, and ink spill from the cabinet onto the floor.


Helen August 1, 2010 at 9:47 PM  

A magical Magpie ... very nicely done!

Shirley Landis VanScoyk August 1, 2010 at 10:29 PM  

Beth, you left me BREATHLESS. Damn you are good, girl!

willow August 1, 2010 at 10:44 PM  

Loved this! You're the only one who mentioned the missing screw from the lock!

Nakoah August 1, 2010 at 10:59 PM  

Helen, Thanks I'm sure it's beginner's luck.

Shirley, Thanks for showing me this blog. The writing is a change from school papers. :)

Willow, Funny it was the first thing I noticed. (guess I have to many screws missing from my door plates here.) It didn't work itself into the writing as the focal point until I got through most of the the piece and I needed to conclude some how.

kathew August 1, 2010 at 11:14 PM  

I hope they return soon...great story!

RA August 2, 2010 at 3:04 AM  

Lovely! :)

Jingle August 2, 2010 at 11:27 AM  

clever one!

Anonymous August 2, 2010 at 2:45 PM  

well done....really enjoyed it!

Anonymous August 3, 2010 at 1:17 AM  

oh i liked that very much...

Anonymous August 3, 2010 at 4:29 PM  

I love it when someone notices small elements in the picture (i.e. missing screw) and builds on it. It makes me feel like I need to pay more attention!

Great read - and love the magical ending.

Tumblewords: August 3, 2010 at 11:23 PM  

A wonderful read!!

About Me

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I come from German (Mennonite/Brethren) stock with bits of Norse, Celtic, Native American, and some mysterious unknown combination from an adopted grandparent. Not an uncommon blend for most of us who settled early in Pennsylvania. This type of diverse heritage left me ripe for the genealogical bug. I make a pilgrimage once a month and attempt to trace all the branches of my family tree. Unearthing facts that were never documented previously always brings excitement.

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