Day 185: Write a story using four L words: lipstick, lust, loss and locked.


She puckered her lips, clad in their armour of bright red. She’d need to reapply her lipstick after this, the picks she was holding between her teeth must have been rubbing some of it off. Whoever had locked the safe had done a damn good job of it, with three separate locks. One key, one combination and then a pressure lever, hidden in the handle. The safe builder was good, but she was better.

She moved the tension wrench clockwise, feeling the resistance as she manoeuvred the pick into the gap. The first pick she tried was too large, unable to feel for the fine pins hiding inside the mechanism. Thankfully, she managed to remove it without damaging it, drawing it carefully through the gap. The second pick was ideal, moving each pin up above the threshold of the lock. She got the final click and made the turn.

She loved this part. Casting a quick eye back towards the door, making sure the coast was clear, then she returned to her work. Before her was the final challenge, having already conquered the handle and the lock. The combination dial. The only thing between her and the object of her lust and something, thankfully, easily defeated.

She took the dial in her gloved fingers, then placed a thin sheet of latex across the face of the safe. No way she was leaving an ear print. That’s how Joe had got caught, over in Juniper. So, not anymore. She tucked her short bob behind her ear, another crime-committing act. Short hair is far less likely to get caught in things.

She turned the dial clockwise until she heard the first click. The valet downstairs had, after being given half of her money, told her the secret. The numbers changed every day, so nobody apart from Gorn could ever know the combination. Thankfully, one thing never changed. The direction.

Any skilled safecracker could get in. A safecracker like her.

Clockwise, 63. Anticlockwise, 8. Clockwise, 17. Clockwise, 23. Anticlockwise, 15. There it was, the final click. She was in. She grabbed the handle, one finger on each of the small pressure plates, then turned and pulled.

The door swung open silently. She felt her heart begin to race at the anticipation of taking what was inside. That and the look she’d get to see on Gorn’s face when he realised that it was gone. The grin died in the making as the door opened fully.

All that awaited inside was a letter with her name written across the envelope. She ripped it open and began to read.


Nobody was more damaged than I by the loss of Akita. He was a good man and a friend. But I cannot let you waste your life on a misguided attempt at revenge. I will not let you waste it. The artefact is gone and you will never see it or me again. I ask for no forgiveness.

May you find peace with your enemies, God and yourself.


She screamed then, a piercing howl that cut through all the weeks of preparation. She turned to the room and started sweeping everything off the desk, the mantle, just causing destruction. Now wonder there had only been a skeleton security staff tonight.


The Idiot in Tin Foil

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