Dear Reading Friends, today we have a new short story for you, but first—some news! The COIL Legacy Collection is now in eBook format! And soon, it will be out in paperback as well! We’ve put together the three full-length novels—Distant Contact + Distant Front + Distant Harm—into one volume! You can read more about this endeavor in this past post. Read our other news after this story. I wrote this story for a creative writing class I teach and participate in. The assignment was to write a short story about a lost key. I hope it means something to you. See you on the next page!—David Telbat
The Lost Key
by D.I. Telbat
In the basement under a naked light bulb, Brody Taylor sat down on a stool and faced an old trunk. The trunk contained his dead brother’s few possessions. Brody picked up a tattered handkerchief.
His brother had died a poor but happy man at the age of eighty-three. Jake’s warmth had never faded, even in his old age. In a family who had known so much bitterness and greed early on, Jake’s presence had always been a ray of light, especially in the latter years. He would be missed.
Before Brody had fully unwrapped the handkerchief, he knew what was hidden inside the cloth. He could feel the smooth edges of the brass key that their parents had left to their children—a sort of treasure hunt to the family fortune. A safety deposit box had remained untouched all these years. Now, Brody held the key to its riches!
Instead of delighting together over an inheritance left to them by their parents years ago, the family had turned against one another. The five siblings had been suspicious and paranoid that someone had found the key and claimed the money that had been meant for them all to share. Their parents certainly hadn’t intended to encourage such attitudes, but they’d been dead for many years now. Brody still thought of the key occasionally, sometimes wondering if it were even real. Yet, here it was. And it was his to do with as he pleased . . .
The wounds and bitterness from years of arguing were still fresh in Brody’s memory. He’d been among the most paranoid of his siblings. Hate had driven him to search for the key, hoping to find it before anyone else. He had dreamed of moving far away and spending the money on only himself.
Shame now caused him to frown. He’d wasted time caring more for a lost key than for his own family who’d been right in front of him. Two of his brothers had stopped speaking to him for a number of years since they, too, had suspected that they’d been left out of the family fortune.
Brody turned the key in his fingers. Fifty years ago, the idea of the key had held him captive to visions of wealth and riches. No one had guessed that someone in the family had actually discovered where his parents had left the key for them. Well, apparently, Jake had found it somewhere. But he hadn’t taken the money for himself?
It seemed so pointless now, looking back, that they had hated and suspected one another for finding the key and opening up the safety deposit box. Now, they were all old, about to follow Jake to the grave. What had their animosity for one another bought them?
Brody’s shoulders slumped at the thought of the key in Jake’s possession all those years. Jake had died a pauper, but that had been his sacrifice. He had preferred to die poor rather than reveal that he’d found the key—all to avoid stirring up old feelings in the family again. And maybe it was for the best, since the whole family had turned out for the funeral. Jake had always been the kind one who had drawn others together.
With that thought, Brody wrapped up the key again, and stuffed it into the trunk of Jake’s few belongings. The key would remain hidden. The family didn’t need the key or the money, not as much as they needed to heal in the shadow of Jake’s death.
Brody closed the trunk. Jake had kept the key a secret, and Brody understood that it was now his turn to protect the family. The key needed to remain lost. Understanding that, Brody thought, was more valuable than the riches that the key represented. His family was more important.
Rising from the stool, he turned out the light and climbed the basement stairs to join his siblings. In life, Jake had protected the family from its own greed. In death, Jake had brought them together again.
You can find many more D.I. Telbat short stories here.
NEWS: You can now see our new D.I. Telbat Author Page Here on Draft2Digital! Please visit and check it out. Dee is working on adding all David’s books to this new Author site. When you scroll and click on any book cover, you’ll be taken to the book description and a buy button behind which shows you all of the current retailers that are carrying that book.
MORE NEWS about The COIL Legacy Collection—we have submitted the book files to two different vendors for creating and distributing the collection in paperback. There have been issues, so it will take longer for the print book to be released for sale. We’ll keep you informed. The eBook is NOW available on Amazon and other retailers. You can see where you can find it at our new Author page here.
NOVEL UPDATE: As for The RESOLUTION Series, David has finished writing Book Four of this new novella series! We hope to have some new covers for you in the near future, but you can now read a new description on our Resolution Series page here. He is now anxious to begin writing Dawn of Oppression!
NOTE about the Reader’s Favorite Book Award Contest: A few of you wrote and let us know which book of David’s you thought we should enter into this contest. THANK YOU! We decided to enter Dawn of Affliction. Winners will be announced on Sept 1st, so we’ll let you know in our Sept 2 post.
COMING UP: Join us next time for David’s Author Reflection, “Novel Characters Hold God’s Word in High Regard.” For the following post, we’ll have “Book Focus: Thru Chaos, God’s Plan is still Intact!” which includes overviews of David’s two newest series.