Saturday, April 4, 2015

Town Thief - Story Opening Excerpt



Ravenwood’s Thief

A dripping gutter masked a scraping sound on the back wall of Lord Fimblhaven’s southern-most warehouse. The warehouses were solid structures, built to be resilient against the harbor town’s abundant storms and even more abundant thieves.
Perhaps that’s what made them so enticing.
Despite being slick from the rain--more prevalent than sunshine in Ravenwood Port,--the massive stone and mortar walls were easier than a ladder to scale. It would have been simple to pause at one of the barred windows a admit oneself in out of the rain. With only a slight hesitation, the shadow on the wall passed by the window, climbing steadily higher.
Though the pattering of rain would drown the noise of a carelessly placed foot, it was only a nuisance to the wrath slipping over the edge of the gutter and onto the roof. An experienced shadow never suffered from careless footing, but wet clothes were more irritating than perhaps they should’ve been, for one who grew up sleeping with owls in haylofts and eating whatever could be snatched from the food carts. Admittedly, the selection of easily accessible food had gained variety over the years, together with the ability to acquire them. Despite the increased richness in food, the small body seemed to have suffered permanent damage from lack of food early in its development, keeping it small and scrawny even approaching adulthood.
Not that this shadow cared.
He’d wedged his head between fence rails to watch the broad muscular bodies of the knights from the edge of the practice field, and decided those bodies would have been an inconvenience to squeeze through the spaces he frequented.
At the peak of the warehouse the shadow paused, not to survey the surroundings which he could have waltzed through blindfolded, or study the sentries walking the grounds whom he knew by name, but to try and wring the wet spot from his tunic. Little else was as irritating as the feel of wet clothing, clinging until the skin underneath became wrinkled and clammy. The hooded cloak he wore effectively shielded most of the rain’s damp—it had been a happy day when he’d lifted that from a merchant’s naive hands—but he had yet to scamper over a gutter without earning a big wet spot on his stomach. He cursed mentally when he let go and his wet shirt fell back to cling on him.
He could go wherever or get whatever he wanted with enough persistence, yet somehow controlling the weather still evaded him. Or maybe, just scampering over rushing gutters without getting wet. He made a mental note to work on that skill as he slipped down to the front face of the building and squinted through the rain. Two acre’s away—meticulously tidy acres hemmed by an unfriendly sized wall—lights shone from Lord Fimblhaven’s room. Electric lights, the first in Ravenwood port.
They would go out soon, and the shadow would be ready.

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