Keeper

Keys. One brown, one silver, one gold.
She saw them in her mind’s eye. Three metal pieces on a loop tossed carelessly up and down and up again. So much salvation to hold in one hand.
They jangled as he walked down the hallway. Each ring bringing him a step closer to her. He was singing that Neil Diamond song under his breath again. The only one everyone seems to remember.
Was in the spring,
Then spring became summer..
He had a good voice and she hated him for it. Aside from everything else he’d done. It didn’t match his face which was thin and baby-smooth. When he put his glasses on, he looked more like a boring science professor than an amateur baritone.
Who’d have believed you’d come along?

Two raps on the door signaled his arrival before he put the key in the lock. She wasn’t ever sure which key he used but the lock was silver so her bets were highest on that one. He always knocked before he entered. Like courtesy mattered in a prison. Like she’d be able to deny him entry.
Hands, touching hands.
His fingers were long and delicate. Looking at them you’d think he’d never worked a day in his life.
Reaching out,
They were tracing her face.
Touching me, touching you.

Shivering, she started to sing with him.
Sweet Caroline,
Good times never seemed so good..
Tears were rolling down her cheeks and her voice was shaking but she didn’t care.
I’ve been inclined to believe they never would
.
He’d stopped moving and sat staring at her. His right hand still cupping her cheek.
She looked away at the empty doorway. If she ran right now she might make it. Down the hallway and then a right, up the stairs, out of the house and into the street. And then what? Knock on the neighbors’ houses until someone answered? Run down the road and try to make it to the station? “Officer, I’ve been kidnapped. I’ve been locked up in a basement for months.” Had it been months? She had no idea where she was. Were there even houses next to this one?
Stop.
His eyes were such a light blue that they reminded her of glass. Sharp and cutting.
Abruptly he stood and walked out of the room. A scraping and turning of the key in the lock signaled the end of their meeting.
Her breaths were heaving and came in waves. Fear was a vice-grip around her neck. When had she started sobbing?
Tomorrow. Tomorrow again. Tomorrow again for sure.

______________
For The Daily Post’s daily prompt: Jangle
Photo by Farrel Nobel on Unsplash
Sweet Caroline by Dale Sutton on Spotify

10 thoughts on “Keeper

  1. This is amazingly powerful and extremely well written. I believe the truest sign of a good piece of art is whether or not it stirs emotion in its recipient (reader, listener, viewer, etc). I am left feeling both rattled and changed after reading this piece. Impressive!

    Liked by 1 person

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