Wednesday 4 October 2017

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 24

I think I might have unraveled a world of images I want to write for when I sourced this week's image. Sarolta Ban is a Hungarian photographer and artist, and her work is just amazing. I have always loved surreal art, but these really speak to me.

I also have a thing for keys. I don't know what it is, but they just represent so many things to me - in some ways you could say they 'unlock my mind'! 😁

This week's piece came out with a nice, dark ending. I feel like I'm returning to the quality of flash I used to write before I took a 6 month flash from writing it regularly. I really liked this one. Hope you do too.

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.


When Jack opened the back door he wasn’t quite sure what to make of this morning’s delivery. It unsettled him a bit.

For the last week, his dog, Darko, had been bringing home bones and placing them on the mat at the back door. He’d been digging them up out of the vegetable patch at the end of the garden. Jack thought he’d found some kind of pet cemetery, but today’s object wasn’t a bone it was a key - a really big key.

Jack picked it up and hefted it in his hand; it had to be at least half a pound in weight, although it still had mud on it. He took it to the sink and washed it, revealing an elaborate filigree top, or ‘bow’ as he later found out. The teeth were also elaborate, with bumps and holes. The internet provided all sorts of terminology, but no indication of what kind of lock it belonged to.

Questions nagged at him: Had the key been buried alone?  Could the lock it opened be buried with it?  If so, could there be a chest buried under the vegetable patch?

Jack tried not to entertain notions of buried treasure, knowing it was unlikely, but the back of his mind kept presenting such thoughts, so he scheduled a couple of days off work and bought a new spade for the job.

Darko loved his dad being home and dug alongside him. By lunch Jack had managed to get a couple of feet down, with a hole big enough for two people to lie down in. He found nothing – except more bones. This piece of land had definitely been some kind of burial site.

Then after lunch he started digging again, going sideways rather than down, and hit something hard with the spade. The dull thud indicated wood, but he couldn’t be sure. He continued to dig and scrape discovering that it ran length ways for several feet as well.

As he ran the spade width ways across the object, he found an edge and started digging round it, until, on one of his shoves into the earth, his spade hit something hard. Looking at the tip of the spade he saw a tiny dent – whatever it was it was metal.

He got down on his knees and scraped the rest of the mud away with his hand, exposing a door handle. This was a door?

He sat back on his haunches; he hadn’t expected that. Someone had buried a door. He felt disappointed. He lent forward again and scraped the earth away from under the handle and sure enough there was the keyhole, one big enough for the key.

Jack sighed and stood up. Did he want to waste time trying to lift a door? What would he do with it, sell it? He supposed it might be worth something. At least it would make the effort worthwhile.

He scraped more earth away with his feet and then stopped. He tapped his toe on the wood. It sounded hollow underneath. How could it be?

He removed all the soil from around the edges and pulled on the handle, hoping to lift the door up. It didn’t shift. He pondered: Could it be locked?

He went back into the house to fetch the key, dismissing thoughts about his foolishness: Did he really expect it to be locked? It was just a door dumped here years ago, how could there be anything under it?

He put the key in the lock and turned it. He had expected resistance, (surely the lock was rusty inside?), but it turned smoothly and he was surprised to hear a click.

He hesitated. He had no idea what he was opening, was he making a mistake? He ignored his apprehension and pulled again. This time the door started to lift. He heard air escaping, and then smelt it; it was rank, with a rancid, acrid edge that was almost tangible.

Then Jack heard shuffling, and before he could drop the door, a hand came out and grabbed his. Then another came out and another, pulling him down, pulling him in.

Darko barked but backed up, pee running down his leg as he watched his master struggle & scream. The sound eventually cut off by the door slamming shut.

There was a faint click and the key shot up out into the air, landing at the dog’s feet. Darko whined, missing his master.


  1. Brilliant piece, love the crossover with fact and fiction. And how well researched you are.

    For anyone else reading, it relates to the Seed Vault:

    Svalbard Global Seed Vault

  2. Here's my entry: Keyhole

    I had a little fun with this one (more fun than scary).

    1. Really enjoyed that tale. Excellent stuff. Thanks for joining Kevin.

  3. See? I'm catching up. :)

    It's not a good story. But it's got the ideas that could make a good story. A much bigger one than would fit in 700 or so words.

    The Land Of Giants

    1. I loved it, I also loved how it incorporated the ideas from the other two tales. We really have no clue what might be buried under the ice, and one day they'll find remnants of our civilisation and make up ideas about our religions - cuz everything unexplained has to be a religion, right?

      Oh the tales that could come. Thanks for entering.