The Vault

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(This story is told in reverse chronological order, but can be read in chronological order backwards, sentence by sentence. Enjoy.)

The pages burned in the flame. Years of work gone in an instant.

She peered at him over her glass searchingly. The rouge from her lips stained the glass as she took the shot. One by one the gloves were stripped off as the gun stared back at him dauntingly from its perched position on the desk. Her companion stared down, glowering at the embers.

“I know what you think of me, but this is much more than you or me. This company’s power thrives not primarily from the diamonds it holds, but rather the information they sell.”

His eyes snapped up from the hourglass. Time came to a standstill as the sand drained excruciatingly slow. His eyes flickered to the roaring fire behind the desk. The fireplace crackled and spat as his companion threw another log into the flames.

“You really think this is possible?”

She smirked at him condescendingly. He stared at the hundreds of perfectly cut facets, millions of dollars reflecting back. The diamond glistened in the red light as she tossed it to him.

“There is a solution to every problem; you just have to discover it.”

She arched her perfectly groomed eyebrow at him, motioning to the painting behind him as she worked on the vault with practiced ease. He stared at the oil painting carefully. The canvas was impressive; it appeared to be an original. He narrowed his eyes. It was hard to catch, but just barely noticeable.

“Our favourite CEO always had a weakness in paying attention to detail,” she snorted, her ear pressed to the door.

“This is a definite fake. Almost impossible to detect, but no doubt expertly forged.”

He eyed the painting carefully, slowly removing it from the wall. His hands were steady, slowly removing the canvas from its perch, carefully manoeuvring around the red and green wires that would surely give them away.

“At this rate, we might as well walk out with our hands above our heads. How much longer are you going to just stand there?”

A small click was heard as the vault swung open. She peered inside and grinned. He quickly grabbed the papers from inside the vault, quickly flipping through the pages.

“Let’s go.”


He still couldn’t believe she actually succeeded.

She had managed to find the one flaw in his system. His hobby of modifying world renowned security systems collapsed due to the flaw of human nature.

The vault hallway was monitored by ten cameras and two guards; between the two of them, everywhere would be covered with each guard having five monitors a piece. In theory, his idea should have worked. Who could have guessed a simple laxative in one of the guard’s famous sandwiches could have forced a bathroom break and opened a ten second window of unsupervised monitors?

Her knowledge as a janitor was invaluable; her knowledge of office politics was even more valuable.

During the office party, Terri from finance heard the ‘rumour from a certain someone’. Her husband had apparently cheated on her with Susan from advertising, which caused a shoving match where Peter from security had to leave his post to break up the fight. The codes to the vault in Peter’s back pocket disappeared for no more than thirty seconds.

He looked on the scene with boredom; he never enjoyed attending company parties – they always seem to be filled with those who flaunted their success and those who wanted this success. He looked at her curiously.

“I’ve come to learn that it is only impossible before you find a way to make it possible. I look forward to working with you.”

She awarded him with a smirk as she sauntered toward the dancers.

“I built the system from the ground up, it is impossible! There is no way you can get into that vault undetected.”

The slow jazz song began as they swayed across the dance floor. She looked up at him solemnly.

 “I know you’ve heard whispers of them, these rumours. Your ‘charitable’ CEO is willing to sell it all to the highest bidder. It may only be ink on paper, but there is enough information in that vault to adapt your research to create horrendous bio-weapons. It will be safer to destroy them. I need to get to those papers.”

He stopped them in the middle of the dance floor bewildered, “What?”

She leaned in and whispered quietly into his ear, “I am going to steal those papers from the vault and you are going to help me.”


This was originally written as a project for my creativity class, but now that it was handed back and graded, I thought I would release it onto HitRecord in case anyone wanted to do anything with it. Whether it was in a book or a movie, I have always been interested in unconventional storytelling methods that messes with people's minds.

In this story, I attempted to try the reverse storyline; not only in the sense that the plot is told in reverse chronological order, but also in that the story can be read chronologically by reading backwards sentence by sentence. It can be read conventionally, or backwards to get the actual chronological order (This was much harder to do than I originally envisioned – I tried to right it as if it were chronological in the first part, but hopefully by the end the reader can realize it was reversed. I made the characters rather vague so the reader could have their own interpretation. I think it could make for a really interesting short film or animation, if anyone is up for the challenge.)

Do what you will with it however - have fun.


Created: Mar 02, 2012

Tags: crime, writing, short story

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