100 Below - The Key

Jackson groaned to himself.

The Big Boss had come from the penthouse to the cage where Jackson and three others worked.

“I’ve come for the key to 721.”

Jackson’s skin crawled. There were looks.

He retrieved the tarnished brass key, signed the paperwork, and gave it to the Big Boss.

The Big Boss was going to hand the key to someone. That person would hand it off to someone else. Hand by hand it would go. Eventually the key would get to the right person.

When the right person had it, then all hell would break loose.

Kevin Kim said:

I feel as if there’s a pop-culture reference here that I’m just not getting. Want to offer any hints?

There is not a reference of which I am aware. Save, of course, for the old trope of some sinister thing being kept under lock & key until something bad happens.

Kevin Kim said:

Interesting. So, unlike a Seinfeldian “show about nothing,” this is a “story about anything.” The key represents some sort of catalyst for a disaster; the chain/line of people handing the key down to the final (”right”) person represents a series of human errors compounding the problem (???), and the “all hell breaking loose” could be, well, anything big and bad and massively tragic.

Now I’m thinking more of “The China Syndrome,” for some weird reason: chains of events that lead, through human error, to the potential for mega-disaster.

Indeed. This could be a story about anything.

I didn’t indend human error to be involved in this story. 721 will be intentionally unlocked by the right person. And the outcome of that action will be unpleasant in Jackson’s estimation. The scale of the unpleasantness is entirely the result of the reader’s interpretation of the story.

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