[Prompt from http://daily-writing.blogspot.com/ . I’ve been playing around with this idea for some time.]
A darker grey glinted slightly amidst the dull ash. I bent down to get a better look. Brushing off remains of furniture and human flesh, I found a simple ring of keys, each made of simple iron yet were wrought into elegance.
The house had no such locks. Every door handle was crafted with the modern edged piece of metal. But the keys spoke for themselves.
I fingered each of the five keys in turn. One was longer and more slender than the others. If it wasn’t for the ends, I would have mistook it for a hairpin. I turned it over and over in my hand, successfully rubbing the dirt and grim into the ridges of my skin. Skillfully scratched into the metal near the knob were two cursive letters: R.J.
I pantomimed unlocking a door. R.J. had done just that several times in whatever time the key was made. Strange how something so small could host so many memories.
As if I was standing in front of a cave, a gust of wind assaulted me as a large box of light opened where I had turned the key in the air. The light hurt to look at, the wind stung the exposed skin of my face and hands as I tried to block it. I heard a high keening whistle all around me.
The red behind my lids vanished. My skin began to feel normal if a little wind burned. When I opened my eyes again, I saw a large expanse of pine trees and a brick mansion instead of ash and death.