In this snippet Ashby uses a metaphorical key to unlock a metaphorical door.
Before climbing on board, Ashby paused and looked back towards the house with dull indifference, unamused by the antics of those kids all trying to impress one another. She longed for something deeper, more meaningful. She longed for an elevated experience even if she had to cheat a bit and unlock doors that were never meant to be opened. She dug into her front pocket and pulled out the bag with the keys.
The smooth wooden deck of the Serenity felt like home under her bare feet. By habit she ran her hands along the nylon ropes and inspected some of the knots. She could tell a lot about the owner by the knots he tied and she decided that the Serenity had a well intentioned but unseasoned owner. The Serenity was about 30 feet long, too big for Ashby to sail all alone but that didn’t matter, she had no intention of sailing her. All Ashby wanted was a peaceful place where she could leave the world behind and open her mind. She took a seat in the cockpit and took one of the keys from the sandwich bag. If she was going to use it now was the time and the Serenity was the ideal companion. Ashby slipped one of the keys into the lock and with an audible gulp, opened the door.
It had been shut up for a while and a stale air met her as she ducked down into the cabin. The smell triggered memories and Ashby suddenly realized how important sailing had been to her. She longed for the weekends out on San Francisco Bay with uncle Jim. The sense of longing was not an emotion that Ashby was used to and it was the first sign that the key had unlocked the right door. She found a flashlight in a predictable place and flipped it on to discover the cabin was much nicer than she had anticipated. She understood the owner a little better now, he was the kind who liked the atmosphere of being on a boat but the sailing was secondary for him.
While waiting for something to happen Ashby explored the Serenity, getting familiar with her new companion. Finding some candles in a drawer, she lit a few of them and placed them in lanterns secured to the cabin walls. On the wooden table was a beautiful hand drawn map of lake Minnetonka with all of its coves and bays. She read the names of the numerous bays out loud, “Carman Bay, Phelps Bay, Lafayette, Echo, Gideon, Cook, Priest, and Halstead Bays. Uncle Jim would like this lake. So many places to explore, so many secrets around each corner.”