The jangling of keys, hung from the janitor’s belt, echoed through the hall and entered classrooms. Stealing glances at the clock, the students wait for the bell’s final ring.

The keys jangled as they hit the blue ceramic bowl on the mantelpiece. Splash. Hole in one. Uno. The fireplace sputters to life.

The children wait, huddled together, as they hear the familiar jangle of keys and a lock turned aside. Their hollow eyes and hollow hearts beat in tandem with the discarded rooms in the apartment. The floors are strewn with bottles.

The key jangles in the confines of a glass bottle released into the sea. The current carries its load away from me and pushes it into the abyss, where its jangle is silenced at last.


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