The Ornate Key

“Hey Susan, what do you make of this?”

Katie held an ancient looking key to the window to get a better look.

“Wow. How old do you think that relic is?” Susan clapped the dust off her hands.

“Probably as old as Grandma was, right?”

The key was clearly not modern but very ornate. The long shaft was gold plated with two protruding teeth at one end, and the other a handle featuring a flawless green emerald. It looked more like a work of art than a functioning key.

“You’re the older one Katie, do you ever remember Grandma using this thing? Or what door it would even belong in?” Susan asked

“No way Suze. I would remember something like this.”

“I’ll tell you what. I don’t know about you,” Susan gestured to piles of cobweb-covered boxes surrounding them, “but I could use a break. Lets hunt for the door this key goes to!”

“Come on Susan, we need to flip this house and sell it already. We are losing more and more money every day we just sit on it.” Katie explained

“Is twenty minutes really gonna make a hell of a difference? Besides, you deserve a break. You’ve been elbow deep in this garbage since Saturday. You are so covered in muck it’s hard to tell you apart from the plastic covered furniture.”

Katie gave her sister a friendly shove “Ok fine! Let’s go do you little treasure hunt.”

“Great!” She snatched the key from Katie’s hand “Let’s start from the bottom and work our way up! Oh, and while we are investigating the kitchen, mind making some sandwiches? Kay thanks!” Susan sprints down the stairs

“You’re a grown woman! Make your own damn sandwich!” Katie chases after her.

The sisters spend hours inspecting every door in the house and come up with nothing. After investigating every deadbolt and door nob lock, they start check desks, safe boxes, the cellar door outside, anything that could accept a key and ended up empty-handed.

“Suze, I think we’ve wasted enough time on this wild goose chase. We have actual work to do.”

“Yeah” A disappointed Susan sat on the floor, examining the key “Damn, was hoping this thing would lead us to Grandpa’s secret porno stash or somethin’.”

“You were hoping that?” Katie shook her head “Nevermind. Look, there are some boxes I need your help with in the attic.” She made her way upstairs without waiting for a reply

“Yeah-Yeah” Susan stowed the key away in her overalls pocket and followed her older sibling.

The attic was the worst place in the house for sure. In their grandmother’s advanced age, she hardly had the strength to venture up the stairs let alone the attic. As far as the two sisters could recall, no one had been up there in nearly 20 years.

“I’m bringing the baseball bat,” Susan stated matter of factly as they ascended the final flight of stairs

“Why? Why on earth would you need that?”

“No one has been up there in 100 years Katie. The spiders up there have to be the size of dogs by now.”

“Pretty sure that’s not how that works” Katie tugged at the drawstring in the ceiling to summon the ladder to the attic

“Pretty sure or 100% sure Katie?”

“Fine, you got me. Bring your freakin bat,” Katie gave the string a final solid tug, and the ladder came soaring down followed by a cloud of dust.

“Good God” The girls waved the dust away from their faces

*Cough* “Do you think we’ll find Ann Frank up there?” Susan asked horsely

“You deserve to choke after that one, Suze” *Cough*

After the dust clears the girls ascend the ladder and find towers of boxes coated in layers of filth older then they were. They begin their dirty work of organizing before the dust became too much for them to handle.

Katie made her way to the one window in the attic “I’m gonna open this window and let in a little fresh air.”

“Why *cough* didn’t we start with that?” Susan asked tossing a box labeled ‘fragile’ to the corner.

After fiddling with the corroded lock, Katie managed to pry the window panel free and welcomed the summer breeze on her face.

“Hog it why don’t ya?” Susan spat

“Sorry, I-” Katie bumped her head walking away from the window “Ow! What the hell is this thing?”

Allowing the light to shine on the figure she saw that it was a dream catcher. “Hey Suze, ever see this thing before?”

She stuck her head above the towering boxes around her “Huh? That a dream catcher? Why the hell would an old white, mid-western woman want one of those?”

Katie looked it over and noticed a peculiar looking lock placed in the middle the dream catchers webbing.

“Hey, bring that key over here will you?”

“Why?” Susan asked while continuing her work

“Just come over here will ya?”

“No need to be bossy about it, sheesh.” Susan joined her sister and handed her the golden key

“See that?” Katie pointed to the oddly placed lock

“What is that doing there?”

“I wonder,” Katie slid the key into the lock. It was a perfect match

“It fits.”

“Well turn it!” Susan demanded

Curious herself, Katie twisted the key.

The lock made a click, and immediately streams of blue and purple blasted out the other side of the dream catcher and onto the wall behind it like some sort of projector.

“Woh-Woh-Woh!” The girls yell in unison

“What the fuck is this thing?” Katie exclaims

“How is it doing that?” Susan waves her hand in the projections path, but the images remained unaffected.

“What kind of weird occult shit was Grandma into?”

“Wow” Susan approaches the dancing images on the wall “I kind of want to touch it.”

“What are you doing Susan? Get away from that thing!” Katie commanded

“Don’t worry” Susan showed her sister her little league slugger “I’ll use this thing.”

Before her older sister could further protest Susan stuck the bat through the projection. To her surprise, she didn’t hit the wall, the bat just continued through and seemingly into the image.

“Holy shit” Susan muttered

“What is it? Are you ok Suze?”

“Katie, I think this thing is a portal. The bat just goes right into the images.”

“That’s not possible.”

“Well, I’m watching it happen” Susan sticks her head into the portal

“Susan!” Katie screams

Her sister reemerges “Dude, you’ve got to see this!”

“No way. We don’t know what this thing is. I’m taking the key back.”

Before she can do so, Susan grabs her by the shirt and tugs her towards the portal “Just come on!” Susan jumps in with her sister in tow.

The two take a leap into the unknown and discover Grandma’s long-hidden secret.

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