There is a single overhead bulb burning in the centre of the room. It looks to be 60 watts, maximum. Not too bright and sickly yellow.
It casts a shadow like a rug on the floorboards. The detritus. Something is taped to its underside, and when I get right under it and reach out both hands it burns my fingers.
The bulb has been burning for a long time.
The adhesive is melted to the glass and when I pull on it gently it almost wrenches the bulb out its socket. I have to ignore the burning and press my fingers firmly onto the hot glass to hold it in place.
It is a Yale key. Wadded inside the masking tape like a piece of spent gum.
I sit down on an upturned packing case and turn it this way and that. It is nothing special. There is only one door leading into the room, and that is hanging from its hinges. There is nothing else in here which looks designed to hide a secret. A lot of crap and soggy cardboard.
I reach in my pockets and dig out a cigarette. I hesitate briefly before dropping the match, but everything is too damp to catch a flame. It smells of mildew and the elderly. Tumors and fungus. Water drips from a broken sink in the far corner.
I push the hair back out my face and examine the key. What a waste of fucking time.
I have not the faintest idea what it might unlock, and even if I did, what good would it do me ?
I hate puzzles.
It\’s like a dead battery on Christmas morning. A dog wagging its tail and running circles and a cupboard full of junk.