There is a Key that is a Knife that is an Invitation. It gleams in the moonlight, silversharp and waiting. You forged this Key, with straightforward paradox and enigmatic simplicity, with scraps of legend and the heat of your heart’s blood and a whispered sigh of longing. Your wishes, your hopes, your desires shimmer across it’s edge. It is time to begin.
You pick it up, breathing slow and deep. So many choices- to Do, to Feel, to Fly, to Run, to See, to Know. It is a Key fit for many Locks, one that will open many Doors. For some it will only ever be used once; for others, it will be used again and again. The Price varies with the person. No telling what it is until it is used.
The Choice is not yours to make, though you may plead and beg and cajole and sweet-talk to your heart’s content. You can only trust in the Keymaster, and hope. The Keymaster chooses the Door and the Price. No one knows what, if anything, influences the decision. It may be your pleading, or the phase of the moon, or the state of the tides on this day in the year 3049. No one knows, for the Keymaster doesn’t speak of reasons why. One may as well try to bend a tsunami to their will as force the Keymaster into explanation.
You offer it to the Keymaster, this razor-edged Key, who picks it up, inspecting it minutely. With a slow nod, it is deemed worthy. (A good thing, for some must reforge it again and again, a lifetime’s worth of work. Some are never accepted at all.)
The moonlight grips you in bands stronger than steel and softer than cloud. You are immobile, at the mercy of the Keymaster and the Knife The Opens. Struggle is futile, though a token wiggle is almost as traditional as the Key Itself. The tip ghosts over skin as bare as the day you were born, leaving goosebumps in its wake. To Do, to Feel, to Fly, to Run, to See, to Know……. and to Choose.
The Keymaster’s grin is sudden, frightening, and the Choice blooms your mind, filling it with dread. You know what it means.
With shocking swiftness, the Keymaster stabs the Knife that is a Key that is a Way into your skull, directly between your eyes. The KnifeKey feels like white-hot flame, like a dagger of ice, like pure pain carved into the shape of a Key. You cry out like an animal in the throes of death. You pray for death’s release from this torture.
Why, why, why did you ever want this?
Through the pain that blinds you, you see the grin change into something almost warm, almost kind.
With infinite care, the Keymaster turns the Key in it’s Lock, and Opens the Door.