Hi everyone,

My name is Littlewood and I'm the author of this book. I'm really grateful that you've bought this book. You see, my wife and I are off to Geneva this weekend and we need the money that the sales of this book will generate. Last night we spent a couple of hours pouring over the computer looking for train prices, cheap accommodation, things to do places to eat, and a hundred and one other things you have to check out before leaving on a trip. After a lot of searching and discussion we just about had everything worked out. We'd leave on Friday morning take the car to Geneva where we'd spend the afternoon visiting the old city, and its wonderful, historic buildings. We would stay in a cheap motel just across the border in France and just 10 miles from the city itself. We could use public transport to get into Geneva, so all we had to do was find somewhere to park the car. Well! That's the reason I'm decided to write another book. One look at the car park prices sent us into doom and gloom. We stayed there for about an hour, before figuring something had to be done. So I'm writing my first book. I figure if I sell about ten copies of this, then we can just about cover the cost of parking our car. So, dear reader, before you stifle another yawn and wonder, what on earth motivated you to read this dribble, please think of the two of us on our romantic weekend in Geneva. You, in your kindness, are contributing to this.

So, I'm going to write a book. That's how I'm going to raise the money. But writing a book is easily said; actually doing it is not so easy. It requires a lot of time and thought. It's not to be just dashed off on the spur of the moment, event if that's precisely what I'm doing right now, hoping inspiration will come from somewhere. If I write a book, then it has to be about something. You all want to hear a story. Now I love story telling, and I'm not that bad at inventing stories. So why not try a book of stories. Sounds like a good idea to me. You see, a long, thought-out, well-planned novel with plots, sub-plots, characterisation, mood, themes - the kind of stuff that makes up real novels - that's all too difficult for me. I'm not there yet. But stories! That's another matter. So stories it is. I'm going to write a book of stories about... about what?

That's when fortune stepped in. Just as I was thinking what to write about, the doorbell rang. Of course, you don't always recognise fortune when it comes, and I wasn't exactly pleased at the interruption. As it happened, the interruption was to be short-lived. You see, it was just my friend Halden coming round to leave us the key to his apartment. Halden and I had spent 3 years together at university. We were inseparable in those days, and both found jobs in the same city. Even after our respective marriages we kept in touch regularly and our wives soon became good friends. Halden was off to Denmark for the week. His mother was half Danish had lived in Denmark until her marriage. She had gone back there following the death of Halden's father. Halden and Jennifer tried to visit her twice a year, as she had no other children. I'd promised to drive them to the airport the next morning, but he was, saying that would no longer be necessary. A colleague was off for a week's holiday to Spain, and they were driving to the airport and leaving their car at a relative's who lived close by. Halden and Jennifer would drive with them. So we shared a nice drop of brandy together - probably the true reason for the visit, since he could have said what he had to say on the phone - and Halden returned.

I rejoined Margaret in the living room. She was watching some tear-jerker on TV and I once again fell into thinking what on earth I could write about. It took a particularly corny advertisement on the TV for the penny to drop.

"Cornupia - your key to success," it ran.

Key, of course, I'd write about keys; Halden's keys. You see Halden had the most amazing collection of keys you'd ever seen. He'd been collecting them ever since he was a boy and he must have hundreds of the things by now. I remembered with what pride he'd opened up his box and shown me those first keys he had garnered here and there. We'd been together at university for a few weeks and he'd asked me down to the country for the weekend. His collection was still quite small at the time, but the light in his eyes showed how precious it was.

Then one day, the local antique dealer knowing his interest in keys, left him a small collection he'd found inside a piece of furniture he'd just taken possession of. That was when the collecting began in earnest, and before long Halden was scouring antique dealers and bric-a-brac merchants in the hope of finding more keys.

"Every key has a story." How often had he claimed that. It was his reason for collecting. Well, it was time to prove him right. If every key had a story, then I was the one to write those stories. I saw myself pouring over the collection. The car key with which the collection had begun; the key to the wine cellar of a famous chateau; the key to the door he'd received at 21; the cutout in the shape of a key, revealing, so it claimed, the key to a long life; the key to a chastity belt - now that would provide scope for the imagination. The list goes on and on... Hundreds of keys, hundreds of stories hundreds of flights of imagination. The difficulty would be knowing when to stop.

So before continuing with your reading, how about pouring yourself a drop of brandy and raising your glass to my friend Halden, without whom none of this would be possible. Happy reading!


Somehow I had this habit of conjuring up stories about lost keys when I was younger. Each key has a story to tell.

2 November 2007 at 10:23  

Newer Post Older Post Home

Blogger Template by Blogcrowds