The King of Thieves? Part 2

King of Thieves

Catch up with Part 1

Thadeus had left the palace. He was feeling pretty good about it. That poor sap, Menus, would be filling in for him while he’s out on an adventure. Heck, he might never go back. Let the kid enjoy being king for a while. He can’t do that bad a job, after all.

The moon was glittering high in the midnight sky. Thadeus gazed at it a long time. He had forgotten how beautiful the moon was. Why did it look different from the one he saw out his palace windows?

It’s because he was looking at the moon a free man.

He took a deep breath. The air was clear and cold. It chilled his lungs. Thadeus tightened the rough tunic around his chest as he marched down a narrow street.

There were people about. His kind of people. People that had no place to be, so they were just out in the middle of the night. People who wouldn’t be missed at jobs in the morning. People who wouldn’t mind sharing in a bit of mischief. Or a lot.

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A Small, Sad Dwarf Part 4

A small sad dwarf part 1

Catch up on the story: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3

The small sad dwarf left the old house and the burnout valley. What waits for him beyond?

The small, sad dwarf climbed up the burnt old ridge. He was right, there was grass on the other side.

In fact, the land sloped down into a bright green valley. He hadn’t seen anything so green, in such a long time. The land rolled away in rolling hills of grass. The sky was clear, with only a few traces of the marching army.

The stars faded as the sky blushed and became blue. A golden ball of bright light climbed up a far away line of mountains. The dwarf could see a long way, for the first time in a while.

Excited, he hurried down the slope into the awaiting grassland. The air smelled fresh and clean. He thought he heard the chirping of… birds? Yes, they were called birds. He looked around but couldn’t see any.

Climbing up from the ground were big, gnarly things. Small pieces of gree clung to their crooked arms. For a second, the dwarf thought they were people, frozen forever. But on closer examination, he realized there was nothing to fear. These things were supposed to be stuck in the ground.

The dwarf walked under them, enjoying the shade they provided from the rising ball of light. When the wind blew between their arms, there was a soft rustle. He liked that sound, though as a dwarf, he hadn’t grown up hearing it.

He walked for a while beneath the gnarled, greeny things. They were thick beside him. The ground, he realized, was flat and even. Very easy to walk on. It was almost as if someone places stones in a long, straight line, to make it easier to walk.

Wasn’t there a name for that? He had to think about it.

He suddenly forgot about all that when he reached a break in the gnarled things. The land spread out under the blue sky. Rising up in front of him was a great many houses.

The dwarf has reached the edge of a town.

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The King of Thieves? Part 1

King of Thieves

Thadeus, the King of Thieves, sat on his gold, ornate throne. It was a gaudy thing, his throne. But it was made of just a portion of his accumulated wealth. Gems, filigree, weapons, and even a bit of leather went into the chair. After three decades of thievery, one has a lot to show for his labors.

It was late at night and Thadeus couldn’t sleep. He stared out a window, watching the moon slowly sink behind the city skyline. The entertainers had come and gone. The women of his harem were asleep… somewhere in the palace. For his many trinkets and toys, the King of Thieves was bored.

Sitting back in his throne, he remembered the good ol’ days. The days when he was a young lad with no coin to speak of. The days when a sharp knife and a distracted mark was all he needed. He never killed his victims, just made sure their purses dropped from their belts with relative ease.

And silence. That’s the key. To be a good thief, you had to be silent.

Which was not the case for the man who was climbing into Thadeus’ throne room. He stumbled through the open window, in full view of the throne. He clanged against a pile of jewels, knocking over a bronze tray. Honestly, this boy needed to get his act together.

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A Small, Sad Dwarf Part 3

A small sad dwarf part 1

Catch up on the story: Part 1 and Part 2

A small sad dwarf found an abandoned home. What will he find inside?

The small dwarf entered the house. Creaking, the door swung shut behind him. It was dark inside, but his eyes were slowly adjusting. He thought he saw a small, bouncing ball of light, floating just outside his reach.

Floorboards creaked as he explored the house. It wasn’t very impressive. Just a single room with a pair of beds in one corner, a fireplace with a rusting cookpot, and a table in another corner. The dwarf looked at an old shelf against the wall. Strange, brown lumps were stacked side by side. He assumed they used to be books.

Everything about the house was brown and dirt-covered. Dust was kicked up into the air as he walked around. He reached the table, pulling out its one chair. It was a chair for a much taller person. A man, perhaps.

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A Small, Sad Dwarf Part 2

A small sad dwarf part 1

A small sad dwarf sat at the end of the world. He remembered his name… now what?

There, at the end of the world, a small sad dwarf stroked the flower in his coat. The world around him was bleak and dark. Smoke floated away in an army of clouds. He had remembered his name. But he remembered little else. That was a start, at least.

The ground rumbled and he remembered something happened.
The dwarf kept walking across the field of blackened, burnt earth. There was not much to see. Through a break in the clouds, he thought he saw stars. Little twinkling fires, set in an ever-changing space. It wasn’t black, as he expected. There were reds and blues, pinks and orange like fire.

He wondered if there was something out there, tucked behind those little fires. But how could he find out?

And how would he ever get there?

It seemed as if the ground was rumbling harder. Or was it he was walking toward the source of the shaking? The wind kicked up, rustling the little flower in his coat. The dwarf cupped a hand over it, protecting it from blowing away.

But the wind grew stronger. It gusted like it was angry. Angry at the dwarf? Who could say? He had to crouch over, to prevent from being bowled over. The wind kicked up dirt and dust. The dwarf squinted his eyes. He considered turning back around to where he had come.
There was nothing back there. Why should he bother?

The dwarf found a hill and climbed it. It seemed like the wind calmed down just a bit. Below, the ground was a little less burned and little less… well, dead.

Somewhere in the distance, he saw something, sticking up out of the ground. It was big, bigger than a stone or boulder. The shape was kind of boxy, with straight square walls—

They were walls! Walls of a house. The dwarf had missed it earlier, because it was almost as black as all the rest. Dust must have covered the house, but it was still standing. Could there be something inside the house? Something that could help him remember?

Could there be someone inside?

Continue reading “A Small, Sad Dwarf Part 2”