A.J. Walker


The Keys: Old Doors/New Adventures

The Keys: Old Doors/New Adventures

It was raining. Not hard, but that soft incessant rain that seems to get you wetter than the heavy stuff. Geraldine and her little brother, Daniel, had been out in the garden trying their best to keep in the shelter of the trees and bushes. Keen to put off going inside for as long as possible. They’d covered the entirety of the house over the long wet summer and if they needed adventure they needed to be somewhere new.

Daniel was following his sister as they found themselves in the furthest part of the garden.

‘What are these flowers called?’ Daniel asked, pointing at some bright purple blooms surrounded by lush green foliage; the rain making the green leaves gleam like emeralds.

‘How should I know?’ Geraldine said, without looking. She was a girl and proud to be, but she enjoyed doing boys things. Aunt Jane called her a
Tom Boy - and this made her happy. She probably knew the plants from school and reading books all through the dour summer. But it wouldn’t do make out that she did.

Daniel shrugged. He was sure that knowing such things was supposed to be his sister’s job - and even if she didn’t want to know, he did. Sometimes he wished he had a different sister. But most the time he loved her - and was jealous of her ability to climb trees, jump over streams and swing on ropes.

He picked at the flower. Maybe he could draw it later and ask mum what it was.

‘Hey! What’s this?’ Geraldine had passed beyond the thick bush. Daniel looked around and could only see the back of her head. He ducked under a branch and squeezed past the bush.

‘Argh! Once you are fully wet how do you get wetter?’ Daniel asked. It was more a statement than a question and got the answer he was expecting: silence. When he looked up he saw what Geraldine meant. She was stood inside a greenhouse. He’d not see it before, but they’d never gone this deep into this part of the garden. But there were no paths. The area was thick with vegetation. It was a strange place to put a greenhouse. There wasn’t even much light.

When Daniel got up to Geraldine she was stood there with a big grin on her face. They’d wanted somewhere new to have an adventure and here was somewhere new; better still it had four walls and a roof.

The two of them did what they were best at in a new place: investigate. There was nothing better than finding new stuff. Unspoken they went into their methodical survey, Geraldine took the right hand side and Daniel took the left.

There were some piles of books and magazines on the shelves. There was an old oil lamp and some boxes which would require investigation. There were no old empty flower pots, no bags or tools. No soil. It was amazingly clean and tidy. Not like a greenhouse at all. At the far end was an old brown leather chair, which looked like it had been heavily used at some time.

‘It’s so dry in here. It looks ancient and yet the plants haven’t touched it and it is so, so dry. The books and magazines are in perfect condition. How strange.’ Geraldine was stood up in her questioning pose, with both hands on her hips. She made her mind to take control of the situation by sitting in the chair.

Daniel was still looking at the items on ‘his’ side of the greenhouse.

‘Do you think it is just a Glass House rather than a greenhouse? I mean someone used it as their private room for reading and getting away?’

Geraldine pulled a face and nodded. ‘Not a bad though pipsqueak.’

She tapped her feet thinking. There was a hollow noise. They both looked down and saw her feet were on a thin blue carpet. It looked like it may have been nice once. Daniel thought he could make out creatures and a map on it.

Geraldine was soon on her knees pulling back the carpet to discover a wooden door. Daniel dropped the box he’d been holding. The fall broke the box open and two ornate silver keys spilled out by his feet. They both looked from the door to the keys and back. There was a lock on the door.

They had a door and keys. They wanted an adventure. They were going to get one.

WC: 750
Mid Week Flash - February 24th 2021