A response to Suzanne Young's "Friday Funkday" in Flashy Fiction.
While organizing the attic, I found it. It was a simple lock. For such an intricate box -- plated in gold, way heavier than its size indicated -- the lock was far too simple. Like it was asking to be opened. He wasn't home yet and besides even if he got home early from the office, which was not likely, she would hear his throaty Corvette arrive home with plenty of time for her to hide her snooping. The metal loop that interlocked with the box's clasp was thin like a willow branch and I imagined that I could break it with a single yank. Of course, it would have been obvious that she had snooped. Yet, he wouldn't have used such a simple lock if he truly wanted me to stay out of the box.
I didn't leave the box very long, just long enough to grab a bobby pin from the bathroom, but it felt heavier when I returned and placed it in my lap caressing the gold inlay. I may not have picked a lock since high school, but that didn't mean I had forgotten the technique. The lock clicked open and I discarded it without a glance. I'd know what the contents were soon. I paused before opening the lid. When I opened it, I merely found a dusty pair of golden trousers. They were filthy.
Coughing at the dust, I took the trousers downstairs to the laundry room and when I checked the pockets just before throwing them in the wash, I was surprised to find a handful of gold coins. I dropped the coins in a bowl and left them on the dining table.
When you came home that night, you shrieked from the dining room. I ran downstairs to hear you yelling, "Where did these come from?"
"The gold coins?"
"Yes." He stalked towards me a coin in his right hand.
"They were in trousers I found up in the attic."
"Gold trousers?" He was close enough to kiss me, but didn't.
"Where are they?"
"In the laundry room."
He ran to the laundry room and screamed, "They're being washed? They'll never work again." Of course, they wouldn't work until they'd been cleaned. "We're ruined." Ruined?