Flash Fiction – The Key

Not the most original title but I’ve been out, unwillingly shopping all day and I’m too tired to think anymore. Last week during the meeting of the writing group I’ve been going to (and loving) someone suggested we all write a short story using the picture prompt above.

**Update: The picture has been removed at the request of the photographer.**

Normally I suck at this. Not the writing part, the coming up with an idea based on a picture part. This time was different, eventually. In the middle of my adventures I stopped for lunch and wrote the following story.

The Key

Victoria walked through the last hallway on the highest floor of the abandoned castle. Her feet were the first to disturb the dust in years. The bottom or her dress was covered in it. As she reached the end of the corridor she stopped in front of the only closed door in the place. Like the rest of the building, it was covered in old spider webs.

She’d been warned not to go near this room but she couldn’t resist when she found the key still in the lock. With breath held, she turned it, but met resistance so she tried again. It moved but not enough. Using all her strength she twisted the stubborn key until she heard a satisfying click. Her hands were covered in the cobwebs she’d gathered in her attempts. She wiped them on her already dirty gown and turned the knob and opened the door.

The room was empty. Sighing, she closed the door and locked it, leaving the key as she found it. Disappointed and a little relieved she went back the way she came.

Inside the keyhole the mother spider comforted her children as they cried over the loss of their webs. They all gave their best effort to stop the key from turning and ripping apart their home but failed.

“Don’t worry, we can rebuild.”

They got to work, starting with thousands upon thousands of webs around the key to make sure it could never turn again.


It’s always interesting when I end up with a story I didn’t know I had in me. The first time I saw the picture prompt I had no clue what I would write. I only knew I wanted a twist. When I stopped for lunch this afternoon I looked at it again and this story was born. It’s longer than I wanted it to be but it’s shorter than most of the flash fiction I write so I’m not complaining!


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