A Dark, Damp Cellar

Set in an alternate universe, Xander Hildew is a thief who finds a strange, locked box with no key. Determined and ready, he makes finding out the contents of this mysterious container his mission.

In everything that exists, everything that has been and is yet to be, there is both a purpose, and a story. The object I held in front of me therefore must have had both.

I knew neither.

A small box, with a keyhole on the front sat in my hands. I trembled slightly, turning it around and examining every inch, memorising the patterns in the panels of wood, the small scratches upon it's surface. I could hear the drips around me and the hushed crackles of flame on the torches hastily bolted to the wall, just adding to the air of mystery and danger that filled every one of my senses.

I wanted to know what was inside. Needed, even. I looked around the damp, dark cellar, but I didn't know where the key was, and it wasn't anywhere near where I had picked this box up. Trying to force it open or cutting into it was useless, the enchantment upon it was so strong that even someone as useless as me with magick could feel the power radiating from it. I needed a key. Shaking it, there were a few rattling noises and a piece of paper fell out of it. Catching it as it slowly drifted towards my soaking wet feet, I turned it around and realised it simply had an address written on it in neat, sloping handwriting. I had no idea where this place was, but it looked like an old piece of paper, slightly yellowed and curling at the edges.

Maybe the place written there was where the key was..

Putting the paper into my pocket and placing the box into my pack, I began to think again about my situation. As a professional thief, getting distracted wasn't something I had done before, but there was something about the box that had made me pick it up and look at it, like it called to me..

No! I had to get out of this house before I got caught - and once you were caught, you were gone. Dead. Executed. I knew there were three guards on the floor above me, so it would be best to see if I could get out of the basement another way. There was a window across the room but it held two problems:

One, it was high up, with no boxes, crates or barrels around it that would allow me to climb,

And two, it was a very narrow window that I didn't think I could fit my 20 years of age, male, toned body through - or my bow.

The problem with being a thief was that the muscles require to jump across buildings and houses, and be able to run from guards through the night was that it required muscles, and these made fitting through small gaps to escape very difficult. Plus, of course, my little to no magick ability made fights and hiding very hard, with no help from any conguration or spell.

Moving a box towards the window would give an obvious clue that I had been there, and I always tried to leave little evidence of my presence.

Taking a run up, I managed to climb up most of the damp, smooth wall and JUST grab the bottom of the window. Some of the wall fell away with a clunk, and I quickly caught my bow which nearly fell off my back. My fingers began the slip and I could hear guards running down the stairs to check out what had caused the noise of falling chunks of brick. Hauling my self through the window, I hastily twisted and turned till I was free, jumping up and setting off into a run, the darkness of the night shrouded my movements from the people in the cellar I had just escaped from.

Next stop? I thought about this whilst running, listing my priorities before coming up with a sure answer.

Sleep.

The End

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