Title: The Key Collective
She found the key under his bed. Not that she was looking. She didn’t even know the guy. Why would she be looking under his bed, for crying out loud. Assignations are odd like that. One minute you’re locked in the most intimate of embraces, the next you’re crawling around on his floor, ass in the air, looking for your sock. Instead you find this key. It was just a key. Nothing special about it. But when her fingers touched it she automatically grasped it, glanced over her shoulder and hid it in her fist like a child sneaking away with stolen candy.
Twenty minutes, money exchanged, and an awkward hug/cheek kiss good-bye she was finally able to get a good look at her stolen treasure. She leaned against a battered guard rail under a flickering fluorescent light in the building’s basement parking garage, and slowly unfurled her tightly clasped fist.
The weird pinkish yellow light seemed to be absorbed by the thick brass key cupped in her hand, giving it an odd greenish color. It was about three inches long, fairly freshly cut, or rather, not used much. She felt the raw edges scrape over her callused fingertips as she twisted it around and around. There weren't any distinguishing markings on it but she couldn’t seem to put it away, turning it over and over in her chilled fingers. Anoria raked her long, tangled hair out of her eyes and hunched her shoulders deeper into her threadbare navy pea coat. Idly, her fingers twisted the key around again, rubbing it between the thumb and forefinger of her left hand. What was that groove in the head? She brought the key closer to her eyes, moving directly under the unsteady light.
In the pocket of her coat her cell buzzed. Startled,she jumped and almost dropped the key on the damp pavement.
“Goddamn it!” She muttered halfheartedly, “ What the hell can you possibly want at this time of night, Braedon?”
She shoved the key deep in her pocket and wrenched the phone out, flipping it open. Text message. Sender Blocked. “What the hell…?” Curious, she hit the open key. Two words blipped onto the screen.
Look up? She looked around the dim basement parking garage.
A hazard, if you could call it that, of her job required her to be very aware of her surroundings. Consequently she had already done a quick sweep of this garage before ‘accidentally meeting’ her john in the bar. But, when she had scoped it out for exit routes earlier in the day it was, admittedly, quite a bit emptier. Now, as it was almost 1am, and presumably most sane people were in bed, it was fairly full, if the heavy smell of stale exhaust was any indication. There were a decent number of high end sports cars (posers), a few mid-range suv’s (for those that need to go off-roading in the city) and one or two beaters (Employee-mobiles).
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