One paragraph story... July 18 edition

The key fit the lock. The twenty year search for the door the key in his Mother’s jewellery box was about to come to an end. This door, set into the wall the Patricia Hotel on Hastings had been bricked over, before he was even born, he figured. Thanks to a photograph he found in a long since out of business Victoria tabloid paper showing his Mother with a man who was definitely not his Father, being arrested outside the very door, he may not have ever thought to look here. Some said it was a door to a basement Speak Easy, others said it was an entry way to the vast underground hallways that linked many of the business in East Van and Gastown, and all the way underneath the Post Office. The tumblers moved with the energy of a shaggy dog on a July afternoon. Could he hear the faint din of music? Why did his mother keep a key to this stoned up door for more than thirty years? And why would people cover it up in the first place? The woman working in the city planning department had no idea, but that was because the plans for the Patricia Hotel were missing from the registry office. Fact was all the drawing for the buildings on that block were mysteriously gone. When the bright light gleamed out form the crack of the opening door, he was sure he heard a woman laugh like his mother had before his father left them. A woman strong, and happy. He missed that laugh. The laugh brought him back to his childhood when she would sit on his bed and tell him stories and ask him to help by naming characters, and choosing the ending. They would laugh until he couldn't keep his eyes open any longer. And when his father left her, and the whole family for a younger woman, the laughing stopped. Could his Mother’s soul be living here? Reliving some moment in her past before all the badness happened? When the door was fully ajar, and his eyes adjusted to the bright light he, too, began to laugh.

James C.