My first fiction (under my own name) in a few years; a short piece, the title is, “The Thief Who Stole Time Itself,” by Jeremy Goodrich. Also, am going to be writing more fiction in the future – to ensure people do not confuse my science, my math proofs with fantasy.
License is whatever you wish – including derivatives, copies and more. Share, enjoy and marinate if you choose. Thanks in advance for reading.
Legend has it, in the rolling hills of Jefferson, there was a wind born in the South. This was not the first time a Southern wind rolled into the small, eco-centric village. However, this wind blew with a hint of change. The summer solstice was nine days ago, the third child of an old family arrived into town.
Growing up, due to his small size, he was picked on. The locals all hated outsiders, even displaying contraband flags all across their locale, in defiance of the laws of the land. A trickster had taken the mayor hostage, feeding off his magic powers for decades.
How to break the spell?
The Thief grew up crafty, for he learned to know when violence approached. Likewise, he grew up stealthy, adopting the gray cloak of mist, shrouded comfortably in the fog that wrapped the sleepy little town.
Finally, learned music, because for every point, there is a counter point. The guitarist may lead, but, without the drummer to set the tempo, there is no pattern. Through music, the Thief unlocked many other wondrous skills over time.
That fateful night, armed with these three truths, the Thief contemplated his next move against the wizard. Crafty, the old man was, and steeped in his own lore. The magic was real, even though the villagers still did not believe.
Green eyes flashing, the thief crouched lower, gesticulating wildly to the red haired giant standing next to him. The larger, stronger man was a credible threat. Rock, the man’s name was, and a rock he was.
Being small, the Thief had learned sometimes growing up, conflict was unavoidable. Even worse, despite his craftiness, he learned in a fight, somebody always cheats. Otherwise, things would never degenerate into a physical conflict at all. So, given that his blade, when it came to brute force, was a yard short of menacing the Thief pulled a clever trick to avoid conflict.
Rock would simply approach the target and smile, showing two open, empty hands at waist level. His light brown eyes would crinkle in a small smile, his breaded chin twitch. If the adversary was crafty themselves, they would see the two open hands as a threat, and defend themselves.
That’s usually the time when the Thief liked to strike home with his dagger, into the neck artery. Silent, swift and done carefully, it provided the easiest, swiftest way to neutralize an opponent. Neither Rock nor Thief enjoyed physical conflict, but, when necessary, violence was savage, epic and instant.
“I’m ready,” the Thief replied, giving a quick nod. Every idiot villager knew about the wizard’s lair, filled with gold, treasure and art from the whole world.
However, only the Thief knew the secret. The real treasure inside the wizard’s lair, the real power of magic, was the key to time itself.
Grinning, the Thief turned to his partner, and smiled fiercely.
Rock nodded, and they crept out into the mist shrouded night.