The Key

The Key

My sleep was interrupted by loud noises coming from the living room. I heard my father talking loudly to my mother. “I have to go,” he was telling her. “There’s been an emergency. It looks like the culprit has escaped. I have to go catch them.”

“What is the emergency?” my mother was asking him.

“There has been a murder. You know the people who live next door. One of the people who lived there has been killed. Now the murderer has escaped. I need to catch them.” My father talked in a hurried voice.

“Fine, but be careful. Come back as soon as you can.” My mother sounded like she was extremely worried. So was I.

“I will be. I’ll come right back when I’m done.” That was the last thing that I heard before the door closed. I went to bed thinking about my father.

The next morning, when I got up, I went to the living room and found my mom there, looking devastated. “Hi, Mom.”

As soon as she saw me, she gave me a smile. “Hi.”

“Where is Dad?” I wondered how she would answer that. Would she tell me the truth?

“He left.” She was trying not to give me any details, but I knew what was going on. 

“I heard you talking to him last night. I know exactly what is going on. When will he be back home?” 

“I don’t know,” my mother said sadly. “He said that he would be back home as soon as he could. But I don’t know exactly how long it will take him to catch that horrible murderer.”

I wondered who the murderer was, too. I was so curious, but I was also worried about my father. I couldn’t wait until he came back home.

***

One evening, a few weeks later, when I was playing in the park with my friends, I looked at my watch, and saw that it was late. I told my friends goodbye and started the long walk home. When my father had lived with us, we had owned a car, but when he left, he had taken his car with him and I had to walk everywhere. My father was a police officer. He had left home a few weeks ago because a murder had taken place in our town.. The culprit had escaped, and it was his job to catch them.

As I walked down the sidewalk, I felt that I was being watched. When I turned around though, no one was there. I frowned, but kept walking. All of a sudden, I felt a pair of hands on my shoulders grabbing me and pulling me backwards. I tried to scream for help, but I could only manage a small whisper, which no one heard.

I struggled against the mysterious person, but they were way stronger and I was no match for them. I heard the person dig for something in their pocket for a while. They groaned but after a while, I felt a sharp prick in my neck. Then everything went black.

***

When I finally woke up, I found myself in a gray room. I was sitting on a small bed.

How did I get here?

I tried to remember what happened. I thought long and hard, and slowly I remembered everything. The person who grabbed me while I was walking home, the pain in my neck, and fainting.

Even though I felt a bit weak, I got out of bed. I looked at my watch. It was 8:00. Suddenly, I heard the door close and a person slipped out. It seemed like I had been placed in the room a few seconds ago. I had been sleeping the whole time I was brought here. That was when I noticed two other small beds the same size as mine. There was a boy on one bed, and a girl on the other. They both looked around the same age as me. They were sleeping soundly. But I needed to focus and get out of this place. The person who brought me here was obviously bad. I had no idea what they wanted with me, but I was determined to leave. I ran to the sturdy metal door, but of course, it was locked. I was trapped in this place.

I walked back to my bed and slumped down. How was I supposed to get out of here? I looked around. Just then, I heard a sound right next to me. The girl next to me was starting to sit up in her bed. “Where am I?” she murmured. She was just as confused as I was.

“Hello,” I said, while looking her up and down. 

“Hey,” she muttered. “I’m Rose. Who are you?”

“I’m Charlotte. I just woke up a few minutes ago and found myself here. Do you know who that boy is?” I gestured to the boy on the other bed, who was still sleeping peacefully.

She looked in the direction that I was pointing and gasped. Then she ran over to the bed. “Of course. That’s my younger brother, John. It looks like he ended up here too. This is not good.”

A few minutes later, John woke up, and was as confused as Rose and I. Rose quickly introduced me. “So, how do we get out of here?” John asked worriedly. “We can’t just relax. We need a plan. Also, our parents must be worried. Both of our parents are police officers, by the way.”

I couldn’t believe the coincidence. “Really? My dad is a police officer too.”

Just then, the door flew open. A scary looking man stood in the doorway, with a huge scowl on his face. He barged in the room and placed his hands on his hips. “Listen, kids. I’m the one who brought you here. All of your stupid parents are police officers. You know that murderer they were trying to catch? Well, that murderer is me!” He pointed to himself and laughed loudly. “Now all of your parents can’t catch me. I will make them a deal. If they don’t send me to jail, I will give them their kids back. So don’t even try to escape. Have any of you got phones?”

We all shook our heads slowly. “No,” we all said at the same time. 

“Good,” he replied. “I don’t want any of you calling anyone.”

I couldn’t believe it. It was not a coincidence that both of our parents were police officers. We needed to escape. But the man was already out of the door when I looked back. What on earth would we do now? 

I looked at Rose and John, but they were speechless, just like me. We were actually in the same house as a murderer. The man had been using us the whole time. I thought about my parents. They must have been so worried. They must have been thinking about me right now. I felt so bad for them. 

And the worst part of all this was that now my father would not be able to catch the murderer. Even if he did find him, he would find us too in this house. And when he would hear about the deal the man was proposing, he would be forced to not send the him to jail, because if he did, I would be kept here. The man would probably keep doing bad things, and he would keep getting away with them.

I wished there was a way to escape, but at the moment, I couldn’t think of anything. A few minutes later, I walked over to my bed. Maybe if I relaxed I would come up with something. But how could I relax? I wished so badly that I was home. Besides, my mother was already worried enough about my father coming home, and if I left too, I could only imagine how she was feeling right now. I felt guilty, even though I hadn’t done anything wrong.

I looked around myself. There were no windows in this place, so it wasn’t like I could climb out. I wondered if my father would find me. It was 8:50 now. I turned to Rose and John. I saw that they had gone to sleep. I would have to come up with a plan on my own. We couldn’t stay here forever. 

I looked around the corner of the room. It was then that I noticed something in one of the corners. I slowly moved there. I leaned in and saw that it was a key. A key! I could use it to unlock the door. The man must have left it there.

I ran to the door. I tried to jam the key into the lock, but it didn’t fit. 

Now what do I do? The key doesn’t fit!

I was so confused. There was only one key, and if it didn’t open this door, what door did it open? 

Then I looked at the wall on the side of the room. I noticed a hole in the wall. 

Could it be?

I ran over and put the key inside. It opened! I ran my hands against that wall. I noticed that it felt thinner. Then I look inside. My father was inside, fast asleep! 

Suddenly, I realized what was going on. This wall wasn’t actually a wall. It just divided the room into two parts. That was why it was thinner! I had been in the same room as my father the whole time!

Just then, the main door of the room flew open again. The same man was standing there. I instantly shoved the door of the divider closed, and put the key in one of my pockets. The man walked into the room slowly and said, “Why are you standing there?” He looked at me, suddenly looking worried. “Move away!”

He was worried I had found out about the other part of the room, the part that my own father was being kept in. 

I said nothing and moved away. I heard the man mutter something under his breath. I looked behind me and saw that Rose and John were wide awake. They were sitting in bed looking at me.

“Well, I just came in to check on you, and see if you’ve been trying to get away.” He made a huge face at us, and left the room. 

The moment he was out of sight, I told Rose and John everything. They looked shocked. “You father has literally been here the whole time?”

“Yeah,” I said. I opened the dividing wall, and pointed at my sleeping father. I ran over to him, and shook him so he would wake up. In a few seconds, he was sitting up, smiling at me. 

“You found me!” he said, while hugging me tightly. “When I left you and your mother to catch the murderer, that horrible man caught me on the second day, and brought me here. And turns out he is the murderer!”

“We know,” I said. “I came here only today. I had no idea you were here the whole time. Did he tell you about that deal he is proposing?”

“Yes,” my father said sadly. “But don’t worry. We will all get out of here.” He looked at the clock on the wall. “Oh, my! It is already 9:30!”

I then remembered that Rose and John were still standing there. I had almost forgotten all about them. I introduced them to my father.

“Don’t worry.” My father reached into his pocket and pulled out a gun. “I always have this in case of an emergency. I’m also an expert at picking locks. The only reason I haven’t escaped yet is because I have been waiting for you. The man told me that he was keeping you here. I knew you would find me, though.” He smiled at me.

He ran to the other side of the room and started to pick the lock. In about 20 minutes, he had done it. It felt like an hour, though. I was amazed. He motioned for me, Rose, and John to follow him. But the man was standing outside. 

He smirked at us, “Sneaky little–”

Suddenly my father shot the man with the gun. I quickly turned my head away from all the blood.

I looked at my father and smiled. It was already 10:00, but we were out of the room!
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