Katherine, a young girl, is brought to her grandmother's house with her family to look through her grandmother's things, who recently just passed. Her father finds a box with her name on it simply containing a key. Katherine must find what the key was made to open.Chapter 1: The Key.
Sometimes, I feel like a key without a lock. I try to find a place in life that I fit, but, in my seventeen years of being here on Earth, I haven’t found it yet.
When my grandmother passed, my family flocked over to her house, dragging me with them, to go through her things and distribute them amongst us. Her house had always been there, and had always existed in the same way, but its inhabitants came and went-- until today. My family were the scavengers, and the house was the carcass.
In nature, there is no proper funeral.
Leaning against the wall of the warm attic, which was desperately trying to hold its last breath, I watched my family rummaging through what remained.
“Katherine,” my dad called, pulling something out of a drawer, “I think this was for you.”
Peering over his shoulder, I lazily asked him what it was.
“I’m not sure. Why don’t you take a look at it? It has your name written on it.”
“Wait, what?” I stood up, walking over to his side, observing that, indeed, my name was carved into the small wooden box that he held in his hand.
“Here,” he said, turning to me, moving the small coffin from his rough hands, worn over decades of work, into my naive little fingers.
I tumbled the box in my hands, feeling its withered, dry skin. Other than the fact that my name was neatly carved into its cover, there was nothing really outstanding about the box; and yet, its simplicity was almost alluring, it seemed as though it had to contain something of great importance.
“...Should I open it?” I was overwhelmed by curiosity, but held back for fear of something greater than I could comprehend in that moment.
“That’s your decision to make now, Katherine. She intended that for you,” my father assured me, keeping a safe, but comforting, distance from me.
Cautiously, I unlatched the hinge on the front of it, and slowly revealed its contents. Inside was a very plain, tarnished silver key sitting on top of some insulation that crumbled as I pulled the key out.
“What does it go to?” I asked my dad, curiously.
“I honestly have no clue. I’ll let you know if we find anything.”
Slipping it into my pocket, I thanked him and told him I just needed some time alone to think. I headed down through the house, seeing its lonely bones, hearing them wheeze and creak as I walked through them. Stepping outside, I could feel the cool breeze on my face, and could see the reeds swaying in the wind, which were already beginning to reclaim what was first theirs.
I will miss this place, I thought, No, I will miss what this place once was.
I headed down the path I had followed so many times before. This final trip seemed so much more quiet than usual, as I went through the treacherous journey to the shore; balancing on floating planks of wood and guiding my way through thorn bushes. I made my way into a small little alcove of marsh grass, hidden by the reeds, and rested.
Pulling the box out of my pocket, I simply stared at it, and under the realization, I cried and held it to my heart.
KATHERINE S. LOCKHART
There is no such thing as the place where I will fit on Earth. I have the key to everything right here in my hands; I must find meaning in myself, because this world has none of the answers I am seeking.
As I was waiting in the car to leave, I looked at the skeleton that remained; and in this, I was content. I was content to know that it was never the house or the land that was valuable; but that home’s soul which would live on forever. I was content to know that a house doesn’t make it a home, but the people that inhabit it.
“Katherine, did you ever find out what that key goes to?” my father asked me from the front seat of the car.
I smiled, “Yes. Yes I did. And it goes to the most amazing thing in the universe, dad.”