The Chest

The wood chest was nondescript measuring 38 inches wide, 22 inches tall and 19 inches deep. It was nondescript and I suspect that it liked it that way.

Back in 1979 my father purchased the locked chest at an estate sale and promptly put it in the corner of his garage. My father never opened the chest, in fact I don’t think he ever gave it a second look once it was committed to storage.

It’s what the chest wanted.

After my father’s death in 1998 I came into possession of the chest and history would once again repeat itself.

The chest was placed in a back corner of our garage and immediately forgotten.

Looking back I find it incredible that I never pried open the lock or considered the contents.

It’s what the chest wanted.

Last August I had a dream, more of a nightmare really.

I dreamt I was huddled alone in a dark empty room. The stone walls were cold and wet against my bare skin. Orange light flickered from the small window in the door creating mad shadows on the walls.

The smell of smoke filled my nostils and distant screams filled my ears.

Sitting naked in the darkness with my hands pressed against my ears I rocked back and forth paralyzed with fear.

I remember thinking in my dream that if I had the key everything would be alright.

Slowly I stood and started to make my way to the door.

The fire was closer now and the dampness was quickly being replaced by scorching heat.

Sitting in front of the door was the wood chest.

Confusion set in because the chest had not been there, the room had been empty.

It took all my strength to open the chest and it took all my courage to look inside.

The only thing in the chest was a small silver key.
Then I woke up.

It was about 4am and I got out of bed and went to the garage. Using a crowbar I pryed the lock off the chest and opened the top.

There was no small silver key but rather hundreds of documents and photographs. The chest also contained an assortment of items such as blueprints, books and film canisters.

After reviewing all of the items the most telling item was a journal kept by Dr. Arthur Corman.

The journal explained it all.

The journal was the key.

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