Sunday, June 9, 2013

Prompt: The thief hides in plain sight

Aubrey, I asks myself, why is that man climbing out that window in the middle of the night? Ah, that’s a woman, no doubt about it. And by the weight of the satchel on her back, she’s a thief, or I’m not the sole beggar of Brighton Corner by right of heritage and combat. How’s she getting down the wall with no rope? I can’t see what her hands are holding on to? Looks like she’s just touching the wall. Ohhhh, magic, no doubt.

A thief with magic? Well, she must be guild then. No business of yourn, Aubrey. Best keep your eyes down and notice nothing. Sure don’t notice her long black hair in a thick braid swinging below her very fine behind. No, no. Don’t notice her pale skin as she turns her head before leaping to the ground. Don’t see her graceful movement, crouched on the cobbles and standing tall. Oh, don’t see those piercing blue eyes! Do they glow with magic still? Look away, Aubrey! You sure as anything don’t want to see the runes on her hood.

Runes? Not guild then? Why, that would make her a free mage. There’s been no word of one o’ them since my great-grandpappy’s time. And a woman? How could that be? No one would risk guild wrath to train her!

Aubrey, you got no business staring at her so. Ach, ye’ve done it now. She’s seen ye. You’re in it for sure.

What’s that? A soldier’s horn? She’s caught before she gets away!

Why does she smile? A gloved finger to the lips. Shhh…Who would I tell? What would I say, even if I could? Those runes on her hood, they shine like her eyes. The glow flares out around her face, her head, down her body. It shimmers with blue light, silver. She disappears!

If I could stand and reach out, would she still be there?

Soldiers march into the square at their capture pace. They pay no mind to a crippled, mute beggar sleeping in a doorway. Nothing can keep away from them for long. What about an invisible girl? A free mage thief? Who ever heard of such a thing? I swear, I haven’t had a drop!

Bootsteps fade to silence. I watch the wall where she stood. A shimmer, an outline. She fades back into sight. She lifts her finger to her lips again and smiles, bowing to me. She reaches in her bag as she crosses the square, and drops a small purse in my outstretched hand. I watch her slip away into the night. No footsteps betray her passing. Her runed hood and cloak swirl into the darkness, and she is gone.

Aubrey, you’ve been dreaming, you fool. But the purse? Ah, looks like bacon and eggs in the morning. And one of Elaine’s hot cross buns. With icing.

Dogs in house:

Time writing:
~20 minutes

June word count:


  1. Prompt: The thief hides in plain sight

    Marna looked across the crowded room. It was filled with partiers in sleek dresses and suits, thin glasses of champaign bobbing along beside lifted wrists in their antigrav cup holders. Hugh glided past the picture window, which showed a striking view of the gas giant spinning beneath them, and nodded. Marna nodded back. She grabbed her own glass of champaign, flipped its holder to 'off', and left her wristband behind next to it as she passed a convenient table.

    "Need a refill?" asked a uniformed waiter.

    "No thanks," Marna said, dodging past him. Her heart beat fast, and she wondered if she had been too brusque. Would it be noted? Remembered? Too late now. Turning back, to fix things--her constant impulse--would be far worse.

    She was just going to the ladies room and had gotten lost. That was all. _I'm looking for the ladies?_ she repeated to herself, mentally practicing the slightly helpless rise in vocal tone, as she deliberately turned left, away from the party and into the private corridors.

    But it was Grant who wandered nonchalantly by. "Can I help you?" he asked.

    "I'm looking for the ladies?" Good thing it was Grant, because it came out sounding like she was looking for the ladies to puke.

    "Back this way," Grant said, taking one hand and palming the chip into it.

    "Oh, thank you," Marna said, breathlessly. She dutifully visited the ladies, sliding the chip into her waistband, unnoticed, she hoped, by even any over-obtrusive surveillance that might be recording. She slid back into the party, accepted a new glass of champaign, and flicked her eyes to the clock on the far side of the room. She could feel the chip digging into her hipbone. Only four more hours to go.

    1. Must have been too tired last night to actually post this!