York Amnesty Creative Writing Competition 2021 "Locked" — RESULTS

lock on a wooden door

The Results of the Writing Competition


The Combination ~ Barry Norris

At first, I thought I could just turn the key within her.

She said, ‘No, I do not work like that.’

I thought all locks must have weak points, and so must she.

She said, ‘Why do you keep looking for my weaknesses?’

I thought there must be at least one weakness I could find.

She said, ‘Isn’t it enough that I am strong?’

I thought I could work through all her possible combinations.

She said, ‘Trial and error is an abusive way to my truth.’

I thought I could drill down her raised points.

She said, ‘I refuse to be rendered flat and pointless by you.’

I thought I could strip her inner workings from a blueprint.

She said, ‘I am not reducible to your simple design.’

I thought I could scan her mechanism with a magnetic field.

She said, ‘I resist any attraction that might hold me in place.’

I thought I could insert a probe to get to the heart of her.

She said, ‘A key that does not reach me will never work.’

I thought I had tried every way to unravel her moving parts.

She said, ‘I am hard to pick, and reluctant to open.’

I thought it best to stop and to put down every tool.

She said, ‘I will show you how easy it is.’

She took a key, turned it within me, and the lock opened.

‘You see? That is how it works,’ she said.