The 56th Key

by Swann

There are 56 different keys to the private student dormitory I manage at the University. My predecessor showed me all the doors that went with each key, except that one key was left over. "It goes to a door in the basement that only exists sometimes," she explained, and wouldn't say anymore except "It's not here now." Oh, she did fling "Don't alarm the girls and don't lose the key" over her shoulder as she left. I thought it was a joke, but it turns out it's the truth: I've seen the door four days out of the month I've worked here. Next time it shows up, I'm opening it and will describe what happens in six sentences.

6S

Swann is not a graceful, long-necked water fowl. She's named after a character in Marcel Proust's novel "In Search of Lost Time," of which the first volume is "Swann's Way." Both Swanns are charming, erudite, and invited everywhere, from the mansions of European royalty to peasant hovels in the Andes. Both Swanns are also essentially alone. (And just in case her bio needed to be six sentences, which it doesn't, she added this one. And this one.)