This story is brought to you by FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE: TIME TO CREATE A CHARACTER at Chuck Wendig’s Terrible Minds. So here’s a rough sketch of a character that has been poking around in the back of my head. Hope someone out there can use her. Peace. –FY
Claudia Artifex posses a strange artifact, a family heirloom. Passed down from mother to daughter, this necklace can open any lock in the world. As far as Claudia knows, her mother used the power sparingly, traveling to small villages in order to right injustices, but leaving her young daughter behind in the care of a family friend who raised her more than her own flesh and blood.
On her fifteenth birthday, her mother did not return, but the necklace did. There was talk of an accident, saving a school full of children, but it doesn’t matter. Claudia rebells against her mother’s teachings, becoming a high priced cat burglar, becoming a chess piece in the games of the rich and powerful.
Eventually that life catches up to her, and, with fresh scars, Claudia finds herself at twenty five, traveling from town to town all over the world, performing odd jobs, trying to do enough good to find some kind of balance in her life. It’s in one of these small towns that Claudia finds out two things: Electronic security measures fall just as easily to her skeleton key, and her mother’s death isn’t at all that it appeared to be.