Chapter 1

I'm an honest thief, I never lie, it is beneath me.

In my opinion, no matter how good you are at the art of lying, the web of lies you have spun won't save you when the truth comes out, and you would be sitting there, caught like a helpless fly.

And I never get caught.

I remind myself that as I strode down the clean streets of Panorama, the pockets of my black greatcoat rattling as I go.

Jade green flags flap from the roofs of marvelous mansion, as if taunting. Its rear that people like us come to this part of town but if we ever do we are constantly reminded that we are not welcome here.

The streets are busy tonight, filled with servants walking home after a long day of hard work and little pay. I blend in easily with my homemade servant's uniform and head for the silver gates that separate my village from the precious kingdom of Patch.

The only difference between us and them is that they have the power. That's wat my mother used to tell me when I was younger when she saw me stare at the silver metal gates surrounding Patch.

I have the power, I always replied.

Guards in dark uniforms with green cuffs unlock the gates as they see us approach. They eye us with disdain as we pass through. One large guard looks at me from the corner of his eye. Mouse. That's what they are probably thinking. They never say it to our faces but no matter how much they whisper behind white gloves; I always hear them.

I keep my head low as I approach the gates, bleeding into a group of woman gossiping about something they saw while cleaning some rich duchesses' room. My pockets rattle with every step.

"You, girl." A guard grabs my shoulder and separates me from the group. I'm small for my age but only a few inches away from average height but I see it as no over exaggeration when I feel fear for the big man towering above me. "I kindly ask you to empty your-

"Is this what you're looking for?" I rattle a bunch of keys in his abashed face.

The sentries' apologetic tone doesn't match the look of indifference on his face. "I'm so sorry. You must understand, there is a lot of burglary on this side of town and we are just trying to keep the streets save."

I nod, "I completely understand."

"Then I won't be keeping you any longer."

A cold breeze blows my coco-colure hair out of my face. "Enjoy your evening."

He nods me off as I poet away the keys. The metal rattles against the diamonds and rubies that lay snug in my pocket. I allow myself a thin smile as I pass the silver gates, amusement in every step.

The streets of Patch are my playground, the mansions are my toy stores and I am a tricksy little kid.