Out walking the dog this morning and on the ground in the rough desert land was a key. It was a key which actually looked just like my very own front door key only it was bent and covered in dust and looked as if it had resurfaced somehow after many years of having been buried and forgotten.
It just stood out because I walk that same patch of ground every day, twice a day in fact and I know that it wasn’t there yesterday. But seeing the key just lying there rendered totally useless because it is obviously damaged and not in service any more, sparked some imagination.
How could it not? That piece of metal shaped as a key can unlock wonders. Not only of how it ended up there in the desert (obviously the most plausible reasoning being someone dropped it by accident) but what it would unlock? OK, it’s a door key, it would have opened a door in its days of active service.
But then what would have been behind that door? Keys are fascinating like that because they are like some sentinels of hidden secrets. We all carry keys and not many us will know what our next door neighbour’s door key would unlock in terms of how lives are led, what foibles, what peccadilloes and quirks that would be hidden inside.
Keys are made to keep things safe. To lock things away. To protect. That is what gives them such mystery and needless to say, links them with secrets. Treasure chests, safes, that secret draw in your desk, the mystery box that’s been sitting on top of your Grandmother’s mantelpiece for as long as you can remember.
You can’t access that stuff without the key. Finding a key just lying around somewhere, you can’t help wonder who has held it in their hands and what it has kept under lock? Just imagine where fiction can go with that.
Keys. Get inspired.