Amongst Thieves - Act One

  • Amongst Thieves - A Night To Remember

    *Act one*

    Suddenly the candle was lit and the shadow which concealed her vanished, the thief stood there, blinking, caught. She was young, pretty, with a fox like grace, but dirty; wearing a loose set of rugged black clothes that were surely very fancy a week ago when she stole them from one of the city’s best tailors. The look of surprise that at first had shown on her face swiftly slid away into a casual blank expression as she placed the gold back on the table.


    “What are you doing here?” The man with the candle asked, stepping from the shadows.


    “Thats a stupid question” The girl retorted, frowning. “Im robbing you”


    “Since nothing of mine is actually missing” The man smiled, glancing at the gold on the table. “I would say that you're not robbing me, attempting to perhaps. My question to you is why? You know who I am, I assume. You didn't exactly walk through an unlocked door.”


    “I’ve stolen from everyone else. I’ve taken spellbooks from the college, stolen gold from a beggar, cheated an archbishop of Julianus… I even pickpocketed the emperor Titus Mede II at his coronation. I only thought it fair to be your turn.”


    “I’m flattered” The man nodded. "Now that your ambition has been thwarted, what will you do? Flee? Perhaps retire?"


    “Teach me,” The girl replied, flashing a sharp toothed grin. “ I picked all your locks, evaded every trap, solved all your puzzles… You designed them, you know how hard that was for someone without training. I didn’t come here for your stupid gold. I came here to prove myself. Make me your student.”


    The master of stealth and deceit looked at the little girl burglar. “Your skill is in no need of training. Your planning is adapt, but I can help you master that. What is without hope is your motivation. You are far beyond stealing for your livelihood. Now you steal for pleasure, for the challenge. That is a personality trait that is unsolvable, one that will lead you to an early grave.”


    "Haven't you ever wanted to steal that which cannot be stolen?" the girl asked. "Something that would make your name known forever?"   


    The master did not answer: he only frowned.     


    "Clearly I was fooled by your reputation," she shrugged, and opened a window. "I thought you might want a willing accomplice on some great act of thievery which would go down in history. Like you said, my skill at planning is only adapt. I didn't have in mind an escape route, but this will have to do."    

    The girl thief slipped down the sheer wall, dashed across the shadowy courtyard, and within a few minutes was back at her room in the run-down tavern. The master was waiting for her there, in the dark.


    “I didn’t see you go past me,” she gasped.


    "You turned on the street when you heard the owl call," he replied. "The most important tool in the thieves' repertoire is distraction, either planned or improvised. I suppose your lessons have begun."


    "And what is the final test?" the girl smiled. When he told her, she could only stare. She had, it seemed, not misunderstood his reputation for daring. Not at all.


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