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The keyhole




Through the keyhole the boy stared, the circular point with a wedge stuck on its bottom. Through it was a white light, it revealed the contents of the next room. The boy stepped back to turn the knob, and when his hand touched the knob it was met with a sickening cold, and then a nonfeeling. He tried to step back, but the feeling traveled up his arm. An irresistible urge led him to look back through the knob. Through it he saw a coffin, and realized his fate. The cold chill reached his heart, and the skin on the tips of his fingers on the hand that first touched the knob began to degrade, decay, slough off. It never reached the ground, it disintegrated and joined the air as it fell off.

"I am the key, the skeleton key!" He realized, and he jammed his face into the knob. Surprisingly his head was met with little resistance, a bony clank against the edges of the outside of the lock. A click was heard as his head slipped into place, his nose tickling the tumblers. Arms splayed inside, he turned himself, the locking mechanism no match for his perfect combination. He remained staring forward, still turning the lock as he watched the room outside the keyhole turn on its side, his own reality upended. The clicking around him stopped, and he felt a massive resistance. He finally met the end of the mechanism. He forced himself harder and harder to the side, and slowly the springs gave way and the knob turned. From the outside, there was no longer a boy, just a knob turning on its own. There was no going back now, the boy was forfeit to the knob and whatever lay in the great beyond. With one final push he opened the door. It swung outward, into the room he had lost his humanity in. He dropped back out of the lock, and collapsed into a pile.

"No! I can't die, not like this!" The boy had forgotten that he was made purely of bones, just a skeleton, and he no longer had the muscles to walk around the opened door. Had he chosen to shimmy out the other side, he would have landed in the coffin and found eternal rest. He lay there, his consciousness dimming, dimming, never dying, for eternity.



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