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Writing Wednesday: We Can Get Out of Here

I have another excerpt from the beginning of Vampires’ Daughter, my new serial story. The first three episodes are free on Kindle Vella (US only) and international readers can subscribe to my Patreon to read them at the same time. In today’s excerpt, Heather has just finished her seventeenth birthday party, when her friend, Simon, asks if she wants to sneak out that night. But because she gets locked into her bedroom every night by her over-protective parents, she needs to learn how to get out.

Learning to Pick Locks

Lalita appeared out of the shadows, making my heart jump for a completely different reason. But she didn’t seem to react to Simon standing so close to me. She pulled out something long and narrow from her pocket.

“Time to teach you how to sneak out,” she said with a smirk.

I stared at her, then nervously glanced down the hallway to make sure none of our parents were nearby. Vampires had very good hearing. “What do you mean?” I asked. “You guys have snuck out before?”

“Just a few times,” Simon said, rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly. “We wanted to make sure it was safe before we invited you, and then I decided it would make a great birthday surprise.” He grinned at me.

My mind raced to keep up with all these revelations. Sneaking out sounded exciting, especially with Simon, but I was hurt that they’d already gone without me. Just because I was a few months younger than them, and a grade behind in school, didn’t mean they had to treat me like a baby.

But even if they claimed it was safe, sneaking out still sounded dangerous. If my parents found out, the minimum punishment would be grounding for an entire school year. It would suck if I couldn’t even go to chaperoned school events.

I pointed at the object Lalita was holding. “How does that help us sneak out? And are you sure we won’t get caught?”

Lalita unrolled a cloth pouch and showed me the needle-like metal sticks inside. “Lock picks,” she said. “Here, I’ll show you how to use them on your door.”

I went inside my bedroom with Lalita on my heels. The staff locked us inside our bedrooms every night at curfew, but if we could pick the locks, that was the first step to getting our freedom.

Simon gave me a thumbs-up, but he stayed in the hallway. “I’ll lock it from out here,” he said, gesturing to the door. “And I’ll keep a lookout. Good luck!”

The door swung shut and the lock clicked into place.

Lalita kneeled on the floor and gestured for me to join her. “We’re lucky that they haven’t upgraded to an electronic locking system or modern security,” she said. “These old locks are easy to open once you know the trick.”

She launched into an explanation of tumblers and pins. At first, nothing she said made sense to me. But once she started demonstrating how to insert the picks inside the lock and feel for the mechanism inside, I slowly began to get the hang of it.

By the time I successfully opened the lock for the first time, it was almost bedtime. Simon gave me a big smile that made me glow with pride.

Lalita got up from the floor with a grunt.

“Wait at least thirty minutes after we’re locked in before you start trying,” Lalita told me as she handed me the lock pick set. “And listen to make sure no one is around. If you can’t get it, we’ll let you out tonight. But you can keep practicing with these.”


I'm an author, a blogger, and a nerd. I read and write fantasy.