Setaú úta (setauuta) wrote,
Setaú úta

The Lazy Man's Thief

So, I've done something kinda silly. I've joined musemuggers, which has a weekly writing challenge. You read the prompts, write a story on that prompt, and post it to the community. You get some feedback, and the community members vote on the best story for each week. Well, here's my inaugural entry...Bear in mind I haven't written any kind of fiction (other than my aborted NaNoWriMo attempt last November) in many a year.

Well, here I lay, at the bottom of this crevice. This is what I get for running in the dark and not paying attention to where my feet fall. If there had been just a bit more light, or if I hadn't been wearing this damn eyepatch...

Ah, well. It's a bit too late for regrets. Now, all I can do is try to ignore the pain in my ankle (landing in a ten-foot-deep hole on one ankle is unadvisable, to say the least) and contemplate how I got myself into this mess. I reach for the leather pouch hanging from my belt, making sure the jewel didn't fall out when I fell. Ah, there it is...

It's a perfect specimen of...well, I'm not sure what kind of gem it is, but it's clear that it's a beauty. It's the size of my fist, the dark blue-green of the sea, and it has a weight to it that belies its sparkling appearance. It's more than a weight, really - it seems to pull downward, making it impossible to hold it in hand and keep the hand up. I replace it carefully in my pouch. I'm sure the client would be thrilled to have it without scratches, and he can, just as soon as he gets someone to get my butt out of this place. He's got people, I'm sure - he strikes me as that kind of man.

He had a retainer retain me, for Jera's sake - he wasn't even willing to come in himself, much less snag the jewel on his own. The retainer was an older man, well-dressed and used to being served by the lowly peons who inhabit the majority of the world. As one of those peons, I automatically took a dislike to this man. The money he brought me was good, however, which raised him in my esteem immediately. His boss politely requested that he find "The Man's Thief," which is apparently my title in certain circles. It's true, I have a bit of a reputation for taking on those tasks that need to be done and that, regrettably, would cause a great deal of embarrassment for the gentles who require the tasks done. Basically, I take care of the things that will dirty the hands of the gentles - for a fairly reasonable fee, of course. There's no need for my hands to get dirty without a bit of compensation.

The job seemed straightforward enough - enter the fort, take the jewel, get the jewel back to the retainer, who would give me the remainder of my fee and get the jewel back to his employer. Or take the jewel and run, or sell it, whatever - once I've gotten my fee, I cease to care about the item, as my job is done. But somehow, things got messy this time. Entering the fort and taking the jewel took no time at all, but getting the jewel to the retainer...well, obviously it hadn't gone well, otherwise I wouldn't be lying in this chasm.

And now, suddenly, there's a growing heat from the pouch where the jewel lies...
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