An Important Notice to Readers...
Although this fiction blog is illustrated with photos of dolls, and dollhouse miniatures, the language and content of the storyline is intended for an adult audience. Please be advised.
|Welcome to Boston|
No one was happier to see the city limits of Boston than Fr. Kevin. The two hour ride had felt more like six, and by the time the train pulled into the South Station at Summer Street and Atlantic Avenue, he was more than ready to get off. To his horror, he had discovered that Roxanne was the world's biggest "chit chatter", enjoying on going conversations with any human being that made the unfortunate mistake of sitting near them. At first, he thought she was just being polite to the busy body old woman, and her long suffering husband. But the couple had left the train at the Plymouth stop, and were replaced by three woman heading to Boston for a shopping day. They had barely settled into their seats, before Roxie pounced on them with a million casual questions, which, to his amazement, they seemed more than happy to expound on. In the last hour, he had heard possibly every suggestion for getting stains out polyester blends, and was now an expert on avoiding calluses in summer sandals.
It was a side of Roxanne he had never seen. She seemed to soak up information like a tiny brunette sponge, dragging quotes, comments and ideas from even the most common of encounters.
His companion had even managed to get the mono-syllabic Morty to share his mother's secret recipe for the most tender beef brisket ever, a feat his pushy wife had to this day been unable to discover on her own. Rox had this quiet way of pushing you to reveal things you had no intention of sharing, and that ability made Fr. Kevin nervous for a whole lot of reasons.
"But Kev...we can't give up now. There are still four banks we haven't checked yet. We can easily still get to them before the last train home leaves at 6."
"Look Rox. I know this is fun for you. Honest, I do. And I've tried to be a good sport. But this is like chasing a needle in a haystack. More than likely, this key doesn't belong to any of the other banks either. And there's nothing saying that even if we find the safety deposit box, there's going to be anything of value in it. I say we call it a day. Find someplace nice for dinner, and have a good laugh over our adventure."
The petite woman stopped dead in her tracks, and folded her arms over her chest. "I never figured you for a quitter, Kevin O'Kenney. The Kevin I knew would've never given up so easily. You've gotten soft in your collar, Father. Too wrapped up in humdrum paperwork and policy. I feel bad for you."
He knew she was just goading him. Maureen did it to him all the time. But somehow, coming from Roxanne, it made him agitated. "That's not fair, Roxanne. I love my vocation...and I'm good at what I do. It matters. So I resent when you imply that it's just routine for me. That's not true...and you know it."
She dropped her arms, and looked up at him, big brown eyes shiny with unshed tears. "I'm sorry, Kevin. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. Truly I didn't. But...we're so close. I can feel it! It's like this key has a mind of its own. It wants us to find the box." Seeing his face, she added, "Okay...I realize that sounds totally weird. But I think it's important that we see this through. It's only four more.
Please? And if it's not in one of those, I'll give up. For good. I promise."
There was no doubt in Fr. Kevin's mind that he was being played like a wind up toy. Not a single doubt. But if he was to be honest with himself, he had to admit that he felt the same way about the key. Had felt its pull the moment he laid eyes on it. And maybe, it was because of that unnatural draw that he wanted to give up and go home. With the appearance of Brian in his life nearly a year ago, he knew better than anyone that there were a lot of strange things in the world. Unexplained things he had no answers for. The mysterious key had the same feel to it. That it belonged to another place or time, one he had no business being part of. If he gave up now...went home without at least giving it his best shot...it would drive him to distraction. He wished that Brian were here now to offer up some advice. But unfortunately, it had been months since he had last come around, and that in itself, was worrisome.
Fr. Kevin sighed with additional exaggeration. "Alright, Roxanne. You win. We'll check out the last four banks. Under one condition. That you promise to drop this whole search if the box that goes with this key is not here in Boston. Agreed?"
Satisfaction curled the corners of her mouth. "I agree, Kevin. You have my word. These will be the last four places we check. I promise!"
He should have known it would be the last bank on the list. It fit the plot sequence for every mystery novel he'd ever read, and every TV drama that caught his attention. They had arrived at First National Bank of Boston a few minutes before 5:00 PM, and been sent back to see a certain Mr. Walter Pikes. An elderly gent with curved spine, and a full grey beard, he peered at them from behind small round spectacles. Upon seeing the key in question, he looked at them oddly.
"And just how did you happen to come to have this key in the first place?"
Roxanne looked at Kevin, and gave him a nudge. "We found it among some old parish records.
Holy Family Church in Dollyville. I'm...the Pastor."
The little man narrowed his eyes, making him look like a bearded mole. "You? Pastor? A Roman Catholic priest?" He looked at Roxanne, and gave her the once over. "I'm afraid I'm going to need to see some identification...solid identification...multiple pieces." He folded his hands on the desk, and waited.
Fr. Kevin removed his wallet, and began to lay the various cards on the man's desk. Despite the blast of air conditioning beating down from the vents overhead, he could feel sweat gather at his hairline. There was something creepy about this exchange of words, and the bearded mole man set him on edge. He looked over at Roxanne, who seemed to have lost some of her usual exuberance, and seemed decidedly flushed herself.
The man held each piece of identification up, and examined it carefully. When he was finished, he handed them back to the priest, and stood abruptly up. "Follow me." He led them toward the back of the building, past rows and rows of metal boxes, and down a long staircase. Using a digital code punched into the panel on the wall, metal doors slid open revealing a large wood paneled room. There were books lined around shelves, and on one wall to the left, more metal boxes, much older and more ornate than the ones they had previously passed. Searching among them, Mr. Mole pulled down the box that matched the number on their key, and laid it on a large oak table with legs carved into the shapes of mystical beasts.
He turned to them, and spoke in a low voice. "Here is what you seek. I would imagine that you are prepared for what you find?"
Not knowing what to say to such a question, Fr. Kevin nodded his agreement.
For the first time since meeting him, the man smiled. "Then God be with you both." He turned back towards the metal door, and before leaving, advised. "Press the button here on the wall when you are finished. I will come retrieve you." And with that, the metal doors slid shut, leaving them alone in the strange room.
Kevin swung the key on his finger. "I don't know about you, Rox. But I'm freaked out to the max. This too weird."
Roxanne wrapped her arms around herself, in a soothing hug. "I know what you mean."
"We could just call him to come back. Not even bother to look."
She shook her head. "No...we came this far. We have to see this through. It's probably nothing. We're just letting our imagination run away with us. Go ahead...open it."
A shiver ran down his spine, as he set the key into the lock. With a slight twist, the lid popped open, revealing the odd contents inside.
Copyright Victoria T. Rocus 2014
All Rights Reserved