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The Dreams and The Four Keys
The Dreams and The Four Keys
A short story by Jerobi
My brothers and I were latchkey kids. Our mother died when we were young, and our father worked very late into the evening, so when we started school, the twins and I were each given a key to the house. I always wondered why the key was unlike any other type of key I have ever seen before. At the top of the key is the shape like a stallion but I thought it was just because our family crest was a stallion. It was only after our father died years later that we found the hidden door in the basement, the door looked like it was made out of silver and it had our family crest on it. It took a while longer after that to discover that our keys, when combined, might open the door but not without our father’s key. We never found it.
Tyler says he knows where the last key is. He says he knows how my father died. Tyler is a shadow, a figment of my imagination, he comes alive in my dreams at night and makes me feel like he is real but I know that he is just imaginary. Then again, Tyler has never been wrong. Tyler has been in my dreams since I was a young boy; he would always give me advice and would always be right about everything. He got me through a lot of tough points in my life so that makes me think. What could be behind this secret door: eternal happiness, the meaning of life, maybe even the biggest treasure in the world?
When I was at school the next day I couldn’t stop thinking about what Tyler said. I couldn’t stop thinking about what was behind that door. I thought of at least a thousand different magical and mythical ideas of what could be behind the big silver door with our family crest of a stallion. From then on I devoted all my free time to look for this key. One night I found myself up in the attic searching through all my dad’s old belongings when I found his journal, and on the first page there was a poem. It said:
“The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.
Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too,
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.
Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.”
After reading it a few times, I thought about this tree that is down by the river. It’s only a few minutes away, and I thought maybe my dad was trying to leave me a message. I ran down to the river to go to the tree as fast as I could. The tree was exactly as I remembered it. The tree looked dead, no leafs, and no color. I climbed up to the top of the tree and on one of the branches was a sentence carved into the wood. It said, “The things I gave my family have more meaning than you can imagine.” My dad left my brothers and I a miscellaneous item each and told us not to tell each other what we got until it was the right time. My dad gave me a necklace shaped as our family crest. After I ran home I told both my brothers that it was time to show each other what dad left us. One of my brothers Tom had what looked like the middle of a key. On either side of the metal object were little metal rods poking out of it that looked like it could be a connector to my stallion necklace. My other brother had something that looked like the last piece of a key. All the items could fit together. My father’s key was with us the whole time. We just didn’t know it.
We all rushed downstairs with giant smiles on our faces like it was Christmas morning. We were so exited but at the same time we didn’t know what to expect. It could be anything behind the door. We put our keys in the big silver door. All together we put dad’s key together and put it in the door. We turned the keys all at the same time and then we heard a click. It was open. The door was heavy. It made me feel like it had a story behind it. The design on our crest was beautiful. It made me feel empowered that our family was part of something inside this door. Suddenly everything went black. I couldn’t breath. My eyes opened and I gasped for air. I was in my bedroom looking at my ceiling fan. It was pitched dark outside.
Tyler said, “How was the dream?”