This Is The Key To…

keyssWhat do you think? Happiness? Success? Good health? Wealth? Eternal life? Beauty? Romance?

Nah,  forget all those metaphorical keys. One of these is your actual key to a door. But which door? Someone’s front door? Back door? Secret room? Clock case? Garden shed? Cellar? Treasure chest? Cupboard under the stairs?

Why do you need to use a key for access? Are there secrets hidden there? Bodies? Valuables? Pale children? Aliens?

Go on, your imagination is taking you off already isn’t it?

So here’s your challenge for today: Starting with a key, write a piece of fantasy fiction. You can be as bizarre as you like, make up a whole world if you want to. Fantasy can include aliens, wizards, magic, fairies, ghosts. Or that weird old woman who lives at the end of the lane and makes a racket when she moves as the keys on the chain around her waist rattle.

Which reminds me of the nun who was headmistress at my senior school – we could always hear her coming because of the noise from the big bunch of keys on her belt. Oh, and the rosary beads.

Turn your fantasy idea into a short story. Introduce some quirky characters, a situation (something needs to happen!) and any responses to it. Have fun with 2,000 words. If you really take to this, you might end up with a whole new world to write about and a series of novels to publish, who knows?

Meanwhile, there’s a row of hooks in my house where keys seem to multiply. Most of the keys there are useful and open doors and cars, but every now and then we’ll find a key no-one claims to know about. How did it get there? When? What does it open? I feel a story coming on…

*This is the 67th new creative writing prompt in a series which began in March 2020 as a Lockdown project for my creative writing group friends. Every Wednesday at 5pm (Dublin time) I present an idea to kick-start new writing: short stories, flash fiction, poetry, memoir and creative non-fiction. Originally, I created 42 daily prompts and exercises, with a nod to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. It began here. I now post the prompts weekly.