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Uno and Fog: Another Key

May 20, 2019

I’m at the bank, waiting.

The lobby is spacious, dark glass windows that let muted sunlight in rise up and then overhead.  Outside I can see the traffic flow by.  I had spoken to a teller, and been sent to a bank officer that had smiled at me, looked at the key and then requested three pieces of identification.

There was no point in pretending to be other than who I was, even though I suspected I was being set up somehow.  The Fog could make a passable state license, passport, birth certificate and any number of other documents with the equipment he had down there.  I am not sure if that’s the result of a misspent youth or a well spent one.

I once asked if he had done time to learn all his skills. He told me flatly that prison was where incompetent criminals ended up.  Which wasn’t exactly an no when I think of it.

“Your relationship to the box holder?”  The teller asked directly after checking my documents.

“I’m her son.  I have the birth certificate, as well as the marriage certificate.”

The officer types for a minute, “Is she deceased?”

“Don’t know, she’s missing.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, how are you holding up?”

“It was a long time ago.”

“Really?”  She sounds surprised.  “She just paid for the box a couple months ago.”

Which tells me I’m being set up somehow, “I meant it seems like a long time ago.”  I wonder if they have security footage from then.

She shrugs, places a form in front of me, tells me to put my thumb in some black ink, then press it into a white square.  She looks at it for a moment to make sure its not smudged, then hands me a wet wipe.

I really hate giving people my fingerprints.  The only thing that makes me more concerned is my DNA.

“Well, the documents specifically list you as a person that can access the box, so follow me.”

She leads me into a private area, “Be right back.”  She leaves and after a few moments, brings back a small metal box with a simple key hole.  The number 23 is on the front and top of the box.

“If you need anything, let me know,” and she leaves me to it.

I take the key and unlock it and slide off the top.

Inside are pictures of me at various school events growing up.  News clippings from articles related to me and Norte Corporation.  Crayon drawings from before she left, the paper brittle and yellow with time.  A couple flash drives, a few disks, pamphlets from music recitals.

My mother, or whoever was playing at being my mother was apparently a stalker and had been for some time.  I don’t know if it was intended to be some kind of emotional manipulation to convince me my mother had never really stopped caring for me, or someone sadistic message that I was being watched since I was little.

Either way, it creeped me out.

There was one other thing in the box.

An onyx rosary, with a cross that looked silver, but was platinum.  I took it out and looked at it.  I had a vague memory of her having like this, which is strange because my dad was more religious than she was, or at least engaged in more religious activities.  I don’t recall ever seeing her praying, but I do remember her having this with her.

Or something like it.

Of all the things to place in the box as some kind of identifying token for my mother, whether it was real or not, this had been picked.  Why?

I felt the beads in my hand, running them through it one by one and noticed nothing.

I looked at the image of the holy mother, did it look different somehow?  Bigger?  I couldn’t tell.  Then at the crucifix.  I turned it over in my hand, checking it.

The back looked funny, I pushed against it and part of it slid forward.  There were irregular notches.  It was a key.

But a key to what?

Someone wanted me to search for my mother, that much was obvious, otherwise why put the box in her name and leave all this memorabilia about my life there.  The question was why?  She had been gone for years.

Then there was the key. They wanted me to have a key to something.  If it was my mothers, what was it a key to?  What did it open?  Why would that be important?

I empty the contents of the box, make sure there’s no false bottom and then put everything into a bag to carry out.  I wasn’t going to get the answers from the bank, although trying to discern the identity of the person that got the box was certainly going to be one lead to follow,

I would sort through all of this with The Fog.  He liked puzzles.


One Comment leave one →
  1. May 23, 2019 8:00 pm

    Hi C.J. Boock, I’ve just nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger’s Award if you’d like to take part! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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