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When Martin awoke, his blankets were as warm as toast. Glowing warmly in golden sunlight the curtains fluttered gently in the breeze. Birds chirped pleasantly.

Martin did not open his eyes but pulled the blankets around his head, reluctant to let the warm snuggly slumber slip away.

He breathed in deeply. The air smelled of warmly of moist warm earth from last night’s gentle rain.

Slowly, Martin recalled that he went to bed shivering in a poorly insulated tent. He had fallen asleep inside besieged Sevastopol in the winter of 1854, rubbing his numb feet to fend off frostbite.

He smelled something else now, not the acrid stench of campfire and gunpowder smoke but the faint smell of tarnishing brass, bronze and iron slowly warming in the morning sun.

With sleep slipping away quickly now, Martin opened his eyes and recognized instantly the dimensions of the soft meringue colored walls to be that of his childhood bedroom. The windows and the honey colored curtains were exactly as he remembered they looked after the break of day on a warm summer's morning.

The room however was bare of any of his childhoods furnishings. Absent were the yellow and green hand painted little bookshelves and the little chair and desk, the painting easel, the nightstand with the electric alarm clock and the goldfish bowl. The door also, startlingly, was not his childhood door.

The door was something that altogether did not belong in a suburban bungalow. It was too large for the room, rough hewn and unplanned. It had a large tarnished brass plated key lock bolted into it.

Martin then looked down at the floor and found every inch of the floor covered several inches deep with old rusted iron skeleton keys. The sun shone warmly on the shades of brown and red rusty iron. Martin did not sit up in bed. From where he could see, the keys shared a similar state of tarnish and size and shape.

He looked up once more at the door and its obvious keyhole, foreign and hulking in his room. At this Martin understood and pulled the blankets back over his head. After all, this at least was a task which could wait just a little while longer. And the last time he remembered feeling such comfort was so long ago.

For PostcardQuest2011 using a photo provided by The Debutante. She says,

I was travelling through Morocco last year with a friend. We were in Fez, and visited a curio and carpet shop. He was negotiating for some rugs for his flat; I was taking photos of the wonders, from uncut keys to enamelled bangles. Those keys were in a huge bowl, just lying there.

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