Locked Drawer

Reads: 59  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 4

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium
A short story inspired by the Imaginarium House one word prompt -- key.

Submitted: July 02, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 02, 2017

A A A

A A A


Locked Drawer.

 

There’s something about a locked drawer that inspires curiosity. Just because someone has gone to the trouble to turn a key, the idea is there that the drawer must hold something.....secret. And that’s just how I felt when I inherited the desk that had belonged to my grandfather.

 

It was a wooden desk, but not dark, oppressive. No, this one was made from some type of wood that was almost honey-colored. There was a good chance that it was quite valuable, but I wasn’t interested in finding out; its sentimental value was more than enough for me.

 

Out of all of my family, I was the one that wrote things down. Of course, using a computer, I did not really have much need for all the drawers that were under one half of the desktop. But they would be handy for my note-books, my pen drives, bits and pieces such as that. There was still a lingering scent of cigarette smoke from years previously, which reminded me of visits made when I was much younger.

 

I had placed the desk beneath my bedroom window so that I could glance out at the garden whenever I felt the urge. My laptop was in position, and I had arranged a couple of photo frames, one or two favourite ornaments on there to. And my open notebook – that was right there beside my laptop, pen tossed haphazardly beside it. Once I was happy with the arrangement of the desk top, I started on the drawers and it was then I found that the top one would not budge.

 

I did not have a key to it. Or did I? Nobody had been through the drawers. Everything was just where my grandfather had left it. I pulled open the second drawer down and looked inside. There were all sorts of bits and pieces in there; old pens, ink bottles that were mostly empty, boxes full of this and that. Just on the off chance I stuck my hand inside this drawer and felt the underneath of the one above. I’d almost given up hope when my finger touched something metal. A small key had been taped in place; it had to be the right one!

 

Unable to see what I was doing, I moved my fingers around, trying to remove the tape that held the key firmly in place. Several scarped knuckles later I was rewarded by that tiny piece of metal dropping down in to the palm of my hand. I drew it out, looked at it, then fitted it snugly into the lock.

 

I’d never really thought of him as a secretive person, my grandfather. He rarely went out but was always happy to see his family. He had worked for years as an office clerk and when he retired he missed his job. I guess that was why this desk had meant so much to him, and why he had begun to fill up notebooks with all sorts of odd bits of information. I’d never thought of him writing much that was personal though; maybe I was about to find out how wrong I’d been.

 

I took a deep breath, turned the key, and pulled open that drawer. And what did I see? Bills! Piles and piles of old bills, all neatly sorted and clipped together. Nothing secret at all! Even though I’d not known what to expect I could not help but feel a bit disappointed. The very idea that my grandfather would be hiding some kind of secret correspondence was absurd.

 

I shrugged, laughed silently at my over-active imagination, then went back to sorting through the drawers. Nothing unusual, just paper, pens, a few unused old stamps. There was nothing that would have been out of place in any desk belonging to someone of his generation.

 

The last drawer now, the nearest to the floor, and.....what was that? A box, shoe-size but maybe not a shoe box. A pile of letters inside, not tied with ribbon but held together with a carefully tied piece of string. From the faded writing, the aged paper, it was obvious that they were old. And the writing, it looked nothing like my grandmothers.

 

There were photos too, of a man and a woman. Very old, black and white; the man could very well have been my grandfather when he was much younger. But the woman could not have been my grandmother. She was too tall, as tall as him in the photographs, whereas my grandmother is much shorter, even when she wears heels.

 

So he did have some secrets after all. But instead of keeping them under lock and key, he had kept them hidden in open view. Crafty! Very, very crafty. Now it was up to me what I did with the contents of the box. Not certain; but I rather think I’ll read the letters, look at the photos, then put them back, keeping his secrets safe.


© Copyright 2017 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

Comments

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

More Literary Fiction Short Stories