Here's a response to Anonymous Legacy's photo flash fiction prompt, Visual Dare #7, Secret. I cut it down to 150 words exactly from around 180, and it took me about an hour with a short break to cuddle the progeny and ask him to please, please go to sleep. I'm enjoying reading the other entries as they appear! You can check out #VisDare on Twitter to see who's responding to this photo prompt, and while you're there you could follow me at @gardenofedits--just for the fun of it. Comments, shout-outs, and sangria recipes are always appreciated!
She found a skeleton key buried in moss near what was left of the farmhouse. “Can I keep it, Daddy?”
“Leave it,” he said sharply. She stuffed it into her pocket.
The tire swing amused her for a while, but she glanced impatiently across the lawn toward her dad’s truck. As she kicked the ground under the swing, a bit of decorative ironwork appeared. Humming, she scraped at the mud with a stick, uncovering the outline of a door. She dropped to her knees beside it and pushed the key into the muddy lock. To her surprise, the door swung upward a few inches. She tossed her stick into the opening. Nothing happened. She got down flat on her belly and stuck her nose into the mud so she could peek inside. She locked eyes with something pale and screamed.
“It’s okay,” it purred. “I have your stick right here.”