“The Key” by Noah Ghiselli

The video stopped and in the screen Grandpa remained motionless. His Will had brought everybody to tears, including Derek. Derek’s Grandpa took him out to a Yankee’s game once in a while and he always knew how to have a good time. Derek’s Grandpa was one of the best people he knew and now Derek sat there staring at the screen. People started to shuffle out of the room, sniffling, crying, or stone faced. The Will had been long and boring. Each word stabbed Derek in the stomach. His Grandpa had only talked about how he was leaving his house to Derek’s Aunt, but he had left Derek his Lou Gehrig signed baseball. Derek realized he was the only one in the room. That’s when Grandpa started to speak again. 

“Derek, I hope you are the last one in the room,” he whispered.

“Nobody else can have the key. You have to get the key. I trust you.”

The screen faded to black. What was the key? Should he tell his Mother? Would she even believe him? Question after question came into his brain. He made the key sound so important. Derek didn't want to let him down but how was a 13 year old going to figure this out? After a lot of thought Derek decided to think about it tomorrow. 

Derek woke up the next morning doubting what had happened. Maybe it had been a dream. But it was all too real. Derek did not want to let his Grandpa down. The more he thought about it, the more his heart sank. How was he going to find the key? With dread in his heart, Derek climbed in the car as it drove off toward the funeral home.

When they arrived almost everyone was already there. Derek joined the group in the funeral home as they were saying their goodbyes, even though they were not burying the coffin until tomorrow. A man in a suit walked up to Derek. “Take this,” the man whispered and handed Derek a letter. Derek looked at the letter in his hands and then looked up to ask a question but the man was already gone.

The ceremony had ended and Derek was back at his house staring at the baseball his Grandpa had left him.  He slowly opened the note the man had given him.

Open the coffin. 
From Grandpa.

How was he going to open the coffin?  Didn’t they lock them? Then it hit him, maybe the key Grandpa was talking about will open the coffin. But why should he open the coffin? Wouldn’t there just be a dead body?  He took the baseball off the shelf and opened the protective acrylic case. As Derek picked up the baseball, the bottom half fell completely off. Derek’s heart raced. He had just broken one of his Grandpa's most prized possessions. On the floor were two things, the bottom half of the baseball and a key. Derek stared in awe. 

Derek was at the funeral home staring at the coffin, key in his pocket. The funeral preparers were working on the coffin but he couldn't see what they were doing. Then they walked out of the room. They would be back in a few minutes to take the coffin to the cemetery where the funeral was about to begin. Derek pulled the key from his pocket and slid it into the lock. It fit perfectly. He carefully turned the key and “CLICK” the top came up. But there was no body in the coffin, just a jar of ashes and a gold watch. He slowly picked up the watch. He closely examined the watch. He noticed it was stuck on the time 4:45 P.M. There was also a note in the coffin; it looked like half of it had been torn off. Derek quickly shoved both in his pocket and shut the coffin. He then swiftly walked out to what was soon to be his Grandfather’s grave.

Nothing interesting happened at the funeral but emotionally it was a rocket ship. It started out unmoving but then slowly blasted off until it reached space. When he got home he read the note.

Meet my friend outside the Times Square Museum 8/30/14 .The watch will help you with the time. 

From Grandpa.

There was some more writing on the back but it was all gibberish, it didn't make sense.

“August 30 is tomorrow,” Derek said to no one.

The one thing that he didn't know was the time he was supposed to be there. The watch was broken. The only time it could tell was the time it was stuck on 4:45 P.M. Now it made perfect sense. Everything was coming together. Derek would be there at 4:45; this was when he was going to find out what was going on. 

Derek had walked a mile from his house to get to the museum and now sat on the pearly white steps. A kid sat down beside him.

“Hey, what’s your name?” Derek asked trying to be friendly. 

“Thomas,” The kid looked up and said.

“What's wrong?” Derek impulsively asked.

“Well, my Grandpa just passed away,” Thomas said shyly.

“Me too,” Derek added. That’s when he noticed Thomas’s watch; it was identical to his own.

“Where did you get that watch?” Derek implied.

“My Grandpa gave it to me,” Thomas answered. Then Derek pulled out his own watch. Then they both pulled out the note their Grandpa had given them. They were exactly the same.

“We have the same Grandpa,” Thomas said in utter confusion.

They each flipped over their notes to the backside and put the torn ends together. This is what it read:

Dear Thomas and Derek,

I have brought you both here because I have passed away and I still hold one last secret but I couldn't keep it from you, you needed to know. Derek and Thomas you are both brothers. 

Your Grandfather.

© Noah Ghiselli, Platt Middle School, Boulder, CO


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