If you read this post, Please also read Old Prompt – Gold Key. Before or after is your call.
Warning: this is a sad story.
So, this was my first attempt at the Gold Key prompt. The ladies you’ll meet below were going to find the Gold Key in the house and discover… (No spoilers here, read near the bottom) 😉
“Grandma, we’re here,” Lily Sol said softly, gently shaking the elder lady’s elbow.
Madelyn RoBear sighed, “I know child, she replied.”
She turned to look forward through car windshield. There before them was a grand manor; four stories high and a widows-walk to top it off. Its many dormers, balconies, and porches all flowing gracefully down in ever widening levels, much like an over decorated wedding cake.
But there the likeness ends. It is black, chard, and broken down.
They sat in silence for some time, each thinking their own thoughts as they peered out at the depressing house.
“Perhaps we should go home now,” Madelyn suggest as she buzzed her seat back to its upright position. Strange contraptions cars were getting to be.
“We can’t go back now,” Lily stated firmly, but then undermined it by biting her lip. It had been two years since the accident. The fire in the night.
Her mother and great-aunt, Madelyn’s sister, had lived there alone. The original manor had been built by Madelyn’s great-grandfather after he moved into the Americas. There was another pause between them.
“Are you sure we…” Madelyn started at the same moment Lily popped open her door and jumped out.
“Grandma, we came to say goodbye and that is what I am going to do!” And Lily slammed her door shut, marching toward the half blackened front porch and splintered open door. The fire fighters had battered and chopped it open, but it had been too late to rescue the inhabitants.
Madelyn sat semi-stunned, then, as Lily pushed through the front door, she agitatedly tried to get out of her side of the car. The passenger door auto-unlock was broken so she had to pull up on the lock indicator peg. After she was free of the vehicle, she scurried after her granddaughter as fast as her old bones would allow.
When she reached the porch steps she stopped, her hand on the rail. This was the home she had grown up in, but now her happy memories were tainted by the destruction and death that fire had brought. She started forward again, but slowly, each footfall as if she was dragging a heavy weight.
For the next two hours the women wandered around the mansion, almost in a dream state, tears slipping unnoticed from their eyes and small sighs or exclamations of remembrance passing their lips.
At last they were ready to leave, standing together before the car gazing back upon dark house. Madelyn slowly reached into her pocket and extracted the silver cellular device that she had been forced to learn how to use because of the last two weeks of calls and communications from Phillip and Tony, her lawyer and the real estate agent respectively. She began to press the small buttons; beeping accompanied her actions. Lily looked over at her, and then moved closer to gently hold and hug her arm.
“Hello Phillip? I’m … I’m ready to sell.” Her voice only shook a little, “You can take care of all the details with Tony, right? Ok, thank you.”
She hung up, “it’s done Lily.”
“Yes grandma. Let’s go home now.”
Lily helped Madelyn into her side of the car before hopping behind the wheel. The crunching of the gravel faded as they left behind the old home for the last time.
(Continued from intro paragraph) … That the two ladies who lived in the mansion, both slightly eccentric artists, had a gazebo style art studio within a locked wall (thus the need for the Gold Key) within a easy maze. (think Secret Garden). The artists would have made wonderful, crazy, and personal art works for their family (the beginning of a full sized wedding portrait for Lily), but had not been ready to show them. The art was saved from the fire because of the distance from the house. The story would end with the discovery of the art and the happiness of finding it.
There. There is a leftover for you. One of many I could have chosen, but truly the most recent.