Times gone by (Part 3)

Turning the key over in my hands, I finally got a good look at it. I held it under my desk lamp to see the details better. A heavy brass key, it looked like something one might find in a museum. The bow was shaped like a crown topped with a small gem that rotated on top, showing the phases of the moon as it spun. Inside the crown was an hourglass, complete with sand that moved from one chamber to the other when tilted. Small faded carvings, in some long forgotten language, lined the 6-inch stem. I had no guesses as to their meaning. Maybe it was a curse to ward off would-be thieves, or a welcome message to the next owner of the box. I hoped it was the later. The key ended with a smooth pin and a worn complicated bit. I had a brief thought that this was the most intricate and beautiful key I had ever seen, and because of the nature of my work, I immediately began to calculate it’s worth. It was impossible to figure with knowing so little. Only one thing would help…opening the trunk.

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