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It was a cold, stormy day in the city of sin and pine trees. Rain fell from the sky like the tears of fate. A train whistle cut the thin air. It was the kinda day that’s so perfect, you just know something’s bound to go disastrously wrong.

It didn’t take long for Lady Luck to lock the door on my plans for the afternoon. You see, I was about to leave for San Diego and had gotten a rental car for the week. This resulted in me having two sets of keys floating around my apartment — a recipe for mayhem.

I was running upstairs to grab something from the rental car. The apartment door closed behind me. And I knew instantly what had happened. Out of habit, I’d locked the door on my way out, but the keys in my hand only opened the rental car. My house keys were safely locked inside.

But there was one ray of sunlight that stormy July day. The screen door on my deck was open to air out the apartment. The only problem was the deck was seven feet off the ground.

All seemed lost. The neighbors didn’t have a ladder; the landlord’s office was closed. Our hero was sitting in his rental car in the rain, listening to the crooning of Billy Joel.

But then, in a flash of justice, Will and Lana arrived with a ladder in tow. We made haste to carry the wooden steps down to the back of the building. We had a heist to perform.

Will steadied the ladder in the mud; rain dripped down in my eyes as I scrambled up to the railing. Stealthily, I hoisted myself up onto the deck. My feet were swift and catlike. I didn’t want anyone calling the cops to report a break-in.

The door was cracked open and a fan was running inside. I stepped inside to collect my keys.

Later that evening, the three of us celebrated our successful racket over ice cream. My two sets of keys were hooked together in my pocket and we toasted fate as the rain drowned the city.

— 30 —

I’m a writer, film noir lover and key forgetter in Flagstaff, AZ. You can follow me on Twitter (@jonnyeberle) or leave your thoughts in the comments below. And don’t worry, Will now has a spare key to my apartment — just in case.

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