The Key Reader

The Key Reader

A Story by NoteFred

The first chapter of a short story I started writing a while ago, but never got around to finish.


“And when will this be delivered?”
The man was squatting, nervously fumbling to find a test tube with a transparent liquid in a black, simple box. He flinched when I abruptly tore off a piece of paper and started scribbling on it. I took the pencil behind my ear and noted down 3 words: Chemistry, Morgue and Key. These would become evidently crucial later on.

  The man stretched, and sighed as he kicked the box into its place under a rigid shelf next to a drawing board, on which fifteen separate collections of different keys were carefully placed in order of size, color and shape.
“Depends on..” he started walking around the table, and sat down behind the drawing board, his face almost desaturated by the strong board lamp directed right into his hollow eyes.

  He squinted behind the thick glasses covering most of his face and he widened his eyes. He was almost blind. Although staring into my face, his gaze was unable to reckon mine. I scrutinized him, as he continued.
“Considering the short time you're giving me, and for the price you're offering me, I'd say...” he seemed to calculate something in his head.
“... 4 days. Tops.”
Chagrin was displayed on his face when I sighed.
“That's my final offer, sir. If you want it done faster, you are going to have to pay more, considering the circumstances”. He stared at me now. I could feel the intensity in this attempt to evaluate my reaction. They say people that have lost one sense increase the potential of another. This man seemed to have developed another.

   After a moment of silence, I tentatively reached for a key on the table. As I was about to clench it between my thumb and index finger, the man lashed out, and grabbed my arm.
I turned around and contemplated his eyes. I was sure he could see me now.
“What's the matter, old man?” I asked, with a trace of surprised sarcasm in my voice. His fist was almost spasmodically gripped around my arm, and his gaze was remote.
He took a rattled breath, which seemed to cause him a great deal of pain.
“Have you come to unlock me?”

I closed the page of my dad's journal and buried my face in my big, gray sweater. The tears streamed down my cheeks as I put the book back on the shelf over my bed. I reached for my cell phone, and turned it back on. The screen displayed “Unlock SIM. Enter pin code”. I snorted, amused. It was the key to unlock the phone. It was almost as ridiculous as a credit card. You buy something for money you don't even see. Yet, I guess the key to open this phone is right there, in my head. Strange.
   I started dialing the number to dad's old retirement home. The first tone pierced the silence in my head. Three tones passed, and I became wary. What was I supposed to say?
  Then, a pleasant female voice answered.
I sat quietly for a second, listening to her soothing voice, as she enlightened me about where I had called, and to whom I was speaking. I tried to reply, but my voice cracked before it even left my mouth and it made me feel pathetic. There was an awkward, uneasy episode of intense silence.
Tears started dripping down and leave small, wet patches on my sleeve.
“Excuse me...? Is anybody there?”
   I hung up, and chucked the phone against the wall. It was 3.56 AM, on a Monday. I sat down on the side of the bed, frustrated at myself for losing my temper, again. Poor lady. It's not the first time I had called, only to find myself unable to speak. It was a miracle my phone was still intact, after all the tantrums and fits I had pulled since I'd found dad's old journal in one of the moving boxes.
I reached for the key resting on the nightstand, and started playing with it between my fingers in rapid, smooth movements.
“Unlock me..” I murmured to myself, and laughed a simple, unamused laugh.

© 2010 NoteFred

Author's Note

I know, this isn't exactly brilliant, but it was how I wanted the story to start.
And ignore the language. Read profile for details.

My Review

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Ooo! What a good story! Please keep writing!

Posted 14 Years Ago

There are some minor spelling errors, which I would suggest microsoft word for spelling corrections. Overall, This piece is of great interest to me (The spelling errors were easy to over look) and I must honestly say I wanted to keep reading more and more. I am exteremly interested in reading from you. There will be more right?

Posted 14 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on June 22, 2010
Last Updated on June 22, 2010




Okay, so, I'm Fredric aka Fred. Swedish, but in love with the English language. Love writing about mostly everything that involves the critial thinking of man, and fiction. My writing will be mos.. more..