‘To Whom It May Concern’

If you are reading this letter it means that you have found my box of keys. It’s a long story and I haven’t got much time, they have said tonight will be the night they come for me. I don’t know what to do. The only thing I could think was write a short letter to warn the next unfortunate soul who finds my collection of old keys. Iron and brass, all shapes and sizes they are quite beautiful. Well that’s what I once thought.

I found a key today on my way home, it isn’t the first time this has happened. I have so many now more than fifty. It started when I was a child I can remember the first, an old brass one. It looks like a cupboard key of some kind and every year since I have found more.  Car keys, house keys, garage keys, even handcuff and safe keys.

I thought of selling them, there is quite a market for them. I couldn’t I feel so attached to them, I can’t explain it. I would hate to lose them. I bought a tin box with a lock the kind you use for cash. The one you must be looking at right now.

Don’t open it, whatever you do don’t open the box. Everything was fine until I found the last one. A simple box of keys that I would open occasionally. Look at, touch, feeling the cold metal and wonder where they were from. What stories they could tell. That was all they were until tonight, trinkets, discarded old things in a box.

Just two hours ago I heard a tapping at the window, there should be no one out there. My garden is private, enclosed. A dark garden, with high shrubs and a fence. November nights are so dark; the wind and rain are beating at my window. I thought that’s all it was, I opened the blinds.

There he was a young man maybe thirty standing staring, shouting and ranting. I had his key and he wanted it back, he didn’t move. Just his face and head screaming at me through the window. I had his key and he wanted it back. I didn’t think I should go outside; I didn’t want to invite him in.

The key was the one I had found today; it was in my hand. He saw it and it seemed to calm him. I moved it putting it back inside the box. The wailing and screaming began again, soon afterwards he was gone. Melted away into the night.

That was then, now I am sitting and waiting. It just seems too fantastic, unreal. It could be a Halloween trick but that’s been and gone. He seemed real but then again. I thought to phone the police, I know what on earth could I say had happened. I didn’t know what to think. Was he a ghost or was the key a conduit to another place in time. I don’t know all I can do is wait.

Just before he left he said he would be back, that there were many more like him. He told me that if they couldn’t have the keys then I would be taken and punished. I don’t want anyone to have my keys they are mine, my little box of treasure. I am though beginning to feel a little scared.

There it is again the tapping at the windows, doors, coming from all sides of the house. The noise the screaming it’s terrible. Now there’s the sound of breaking glass, splintering wood. A terrible noise and commotion getting closer. Whatever you do, don’t open the box don’t touch the keys!

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