The Key

If it had been any other storefront, she wouldn’t have hesitated. The key, dangling from the knob on the roof access door, sang a siren’s call. She could already half imagine the shenanigans they would get up to, two stories above the rest of their sleepy little town.

But it wasn’t any other storefront. It was THAT storefront. And because it was THAT storefront, she paused to lick at her chocolate ice cream cone and consider her options.

On the one hand were the make-out sessions and smoke breaks and giggling girls’ night hangouts that could be had. If she managed it properly, she’d have a secret hideout where she could escape parents, siblings, bullies, homework … everything.

On the other hand were the rumors. It was common knowledge that no business every stayed in this particular storefront for more than a year. Barbershop, quilting store, art gallery … even the smoke shop had bailed as soon as their lease was up. Nobody talked about it. There were always good reasons why the businesses needed to leave–a death in the family, a drop in sales, the arrival of a big competitor–but they were never good.

Ugh. Quit being such a baby, she thought to herself as she popped the tip of the cone into her mouth and wiped her fingers on her jeans. The key felt warm as she twisted it in the lock.

_ _ _ _ _

*7/8/18 prompt: a key left in the roof access door of an empty storefront

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