short story, story promptMyrria steals a contract from her employer, one that grants him the right to control her life for the next fifty years. However, she inadvertently ends up with a new master – the Lord of Thieves!


Myrria bit her lip and carefully jiggled the skeleton key in the chest’s lock. The shady merchant she’d bought it from had guaranteed that it would open 99% of locks.

It seemed she’d found one of the locks in the one percent that the key could not open.

Frustrated, she slipped the key out of the lock and rubbed it against her damp grey pants. The rain had been an unexpected nuisance, but at least she’d reached the house before it really set in.

A loud creak echoed through the darkened house and she ducked instinctively, hiding in the shadows behind the curtains. For a breathless few moments, she waited, listening for any other sounds that might indicate she was about to be caught.

False alarm! She breathed a sigh of relief and sidled back to the large, reinforced metal chest. She had to get into this box. Her life depended on it.

Sliding the key into the lock once again, she sent a prayer to the Lord of Thieves. It seemed unlikely he’d listen to a plea from someone usually so dedicated to the Lady’s Path of Goodness, but desperation drove her to do things she normally wouldn’t consider.

Things such as breaking into a mansion in the dead of night and trying to pick the lock of a strongbox.

Her breath caught as a tiny click sounded from inside the lock and the skeleton key turned. It’s about time! Perhaps the Thief Lord had heard her, after all.

Myrria grasped the edges of the curved lid and eased it open. Thankfully, the brute who lived here kept the hinges well-oiled. The lid lifted smoothly without even a whisper of noise. Releasing the breath she had held, she began carefully rifling through the sheaves of parchment stored inside. One of these had her name on it. One of these documents had the right to own her life and her body for the next fifty years. She wasn’t going to let anyone have that power over her.

Luckily, the brute – or at least his office lackey – was also organised. The pages were stored alphabetically and she quickly located the one with her name on it. Snatching it out, she stuffed it into the satchel she’d brought with her and lowered the lid. A quiet thud as the lid closed made her wince – it had sounded so loud in the silent house.

Anxious that she was about to get caught at any moment, Myrria tried to twist the skeleton key to re-lock the chest. Jiggling it fiercely, she muttered at it under her breath. “First you won’t open the lock, now you won’t close it!”

Another creak in the house startled her. Cursing, she left the key behind and bolted for the open window. She hadn’t wanted to leave behind any evidence of her crime. She’d hoped it would give her more time to get out of the Kingdom.

She pulled her hood up before jumping out. Rain was still falling steadily and her feet squelched on the wet grass outside the window. she made a dash for the ivy-covered stone wall, expecting to hear shouts behind her at any second. She scaled the wall and tumbled over the other side, scraping her leg as she went. She was out!

“Nicely done.”

Myrria had to stop herself from shrieking out loud as the unexpected male voice came out of the wet darkness beside her. She stumbled back a few steps, shocked. In the gloom, she could just make out a tall man leaning against the wall. He was dressed all in black, making it very hard to see him in night, and held a black umbrella over his head.

“You got what you wanted from the chest?”

“H-how did you know?” she stuttered, brushing water from her eyes. “Are you one of that man’s enforcers?”

lord of thieves

The stranger chuckled. “Not me. I’m on your side. You asked for my help, remember?”

Getting over her fright, she frowned at him. “I didn’t ask anyone for help. I made sure to keep my plans very secret. The brute has eyes and ears everywhere, I couldn’t risk him finding out.”

“You asked just a few minutes ago. It’s the first time you’ve asked me for anything and to be perfectly honest with you, I was inclined not to listen. You’re such a faithful follower of the Lady’s Path, it didn’t seem worth it, but …” He tilted his head and stared at her oddly. “You intrigue me.”

It took another moment before Myrria could fathom what the man was saying. Her mouth dropped open. “You’re trying to tell me you’re the Lord of Thieves?” She shivered and she wasn’t entirely sure if it was just because of the cold rain.

“The one and only. I was the one who opened that chest for you. I was the one who made sure the alarms weren’t triggered. I was the one who made sure the guard that walks around the inside of the wall was delayed in his route, allowing you to escape. And I was the one who helped you steal that.” He pointed at her satchel. “Not the bag, obviously,” he added. “But the item you have stashed inside it.”

After a minute, she found her voice. “Why? Why help me?”

“As I said. You interest me. I want you to become my follower. Forget the Lady’s Path. Become one of my faithful thieves.”

Myrria shook her head. “No. No way. I only stole this to save my own life. I’m taking the contract and getting out of the Kingdom. I won’t steal again and I certainly won’t do it for you.”

The Lord of Thieves let out a dramatic sigh. “Unfortunately, you don’t have a choice, my dearest Myrria. You see, when you asked for my help in obtaining that contract, you formed a contract of sorts with me. Anything you steal with my blessing becomes mine by right if I choose to claim it.” He raised an eyebrow. “You understand what I’m saying, don’t you?”

She felt like the night was spinning out of control. “You mean you’re the new owner of the Life Contract? I’m under your command?”

A slow, satisfied smile spread across his face. He held the umbrella towards her. “For the next fifty years, dear Myrria.”

Shaking her head, she wished she could deny it, but she could already feel the faint tug that linked her life to his.

The Lord of Thieves was her new master.

I love the possibilities of where this one could go! You could probably tell as it’s over 1,000 words rather than the usual 500-600 words! 🙂

Is this one of your favourite 500-word-story-starters? Click the heart to like it and it may become a fully-fledged story! –>  2

<– Day 91     #    Day 93 –>