Friday, May 6, 2016

Free Fiction: Wandering Keys

This was the beginning to what would have been a story including a haunting, as well as a romance. I may yet get back to it, but for the moment, it has been abandoned. (How perfect is that? A ghost story, and an abandoned tale....)

The first night spent in his new apartment, Baeyer Thalin, slept on a thin sleeping bag and did not gain much appreciation for the hard wood floors. He also spent the entire night dreaming he’d lost his key to the new apartment and circled around and around the house endlessly searching for it.

In the thin light of early morning, the mostly empty apartment did not yet feel anything like home and Baeyer wondered if he’d made a mistake signing the lease. He’d needed a home, and quickly, and the rent was reasonable. It had seemed like a lucky break. With his joints uncharacteristically creaky and feeling more tired than rested from dreams of endlessly searching, he wondered if perhaps he’d been too hasty.

He shifted his limbs, sore and aching, and shuffled to his feet. His things were still in storage and he didn’t even have his coffee pot. If he wanted something this early, a gas station squatted only a couple blocks away, otherwise he would have to make due until the weekend when he could borrow a truck and transfer his belongings. Or he could wait until the coffee shops opened in the mall. Then he could consume all the coffee he wanted, though at exorbitant mall prices.

He made his way into the bathroom and ran the shower until the water turned warm. His small travel kit contained soap, shampoo, dental floss, a toothbrush, and a mostly empty tube of toothpaste that gave up a pea-sized amount after a demanding squeeze. Baeyer showered and took care of the remaining ablutions as quickly as he could, waking up sufficiently in the process.

His work clothes were folded neatly in his small suitcase, although there were a few new wrinkles. Baeyer’s iron and stand were in storage, so he shook out his uniform as well as he could and then put it on. He had to crane his neck to see all of himself in the bathroom half mirror, but he looked presentable, so he left his apartment, locking the door behind.

The smell of freshly brewed coffee teased him as he exited. Someone in one of the other apartments must also be a coffee junkie. Baeyer studied the outside line of the house, trying to figure out which unit, but old, large Victorians like this one were far too convoluted to give up even simple secrets. At a minimum, he guessed there were a total of four apartments, although he didn’t think they were equally endowed with space and amenities. His apartment had a very small kitchenette. One of the other apartments had obviously been partitioned with the real, original kitchen.

He’d figure it out as he met the other occupants and made friends. Eventually, he’d get a peek inside the other living spaces.

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