The Little Thief
By: Stijn De Smet
This story was originally submitted to Mythic!
Bresker knew from the start that there was something wrong with the plan. But, until the Reiksguard threw him into the dungeons, he never realised how wrong it really was.
Bresker was a small-time kid in the great city of Altdorf, known for its great towers and schools of magic. But Bresker could only dream of the wealth that some people in Altdorf possessed.
He was the son of servants for the emperor Karl-Franz. Being a servant of the emperor was a great honour for the middle-class, and his parents did everything to uphold that honour. At first, they didn't have any problems with Bresker. He would always stay in the living quarters of the servants. There he would always have some candy and cookies from the older maids. But, as he grew older, he didn't want cookies and candy anymore. He had met some friends outside the palace, a couple of thugs whose parents didn't want them anymore. So, often he would sneak out of the palace and meet up with his friends. They would together go out and steal from market stalls, whistle at young girls and harass old beggars.
Bresker liked being together with the other kids that were his age, but it would get him into trouble. After being a member of the gang for a couple of months, they dared him to pick the pocket from a rich noblemen. Bresker didn't want to do that - he knew that he would be severely punished. But he was easily convinced by Burric, whom Bresker thought was his best friend.
"It's easy," Burric said with a smile. "You just take the big wallet that is hanging out of his pocket and run away as fast as you can." Burric then pointed at a obese character in fancy red robes. He was decorated by jewelry and necklaces. Bresker could see his wallet hanging out of his back-pocket. "Go for it!" Burric yelled.
Bresker gathered all of his courage and made his move. He ran as swiftly as he could between the crowd and approached the nobleman from behind. The nobleman was talking to a old lady who didn't seem to notice Bresker. Bresker felt a rush of adrenaline in his mind and fingers. He quickly grabbed the wallet, turned and started to run as fast as he could. He could hear the nobleman yell: "Hey! That kid stole my wallet! Guards!" Bresker didn't look back and kept on running. He escaped from the market and was planning to run into one of the many alleys, untill he felt a strong hand on his shoulder. It pushed him forward and Bresker fell on the floor. He had hurt his knee and let out a cry of pain. When he turned around he saw the man that pushed him. It was a guard of Altdorf, he pointed his sword towards Bresker. "Just a kid..." He mumbled. "You're coming with me." His strong hands grabbed the wrists of Bresker and he was dragged away.
When his parents heard the news, they were angry and ashamed of Bresker. "You have greatly shamed us. You're lucky they let you out! Do you know how much you embarrassed us?" His father, a long and thin man with a strict face, looked down on Bresker.
"I am sorry, I won't do it again. I swear." Bresker said with his crying voice.
His father shook his head. "I can't allow that, son, if you pull a stunt like that again, they will put you in the prison! You know what that means? Therefore you must stay in the living quarters all the time. Caithlyn will be keeping an eye of you." His father turned around and exited the room.
Bresker could feel the tears rolling down his face. He hated his parents for what they had done and he wouldn't spend his time with the old hag Caithlyn. Bresker angrily crawled in his bed and tried to catch some sleep.
It was then that he heard Burric. "Psst! Hey, Bresker."
Bresker jumped out of his bed and opened his window, and looked to where the sound was coming from. He saw the shady figure of Burric. "Hi!" Burric said, friendly, as if nothing had happened.
"This is not the time, Burric, my parents are angry at me, I'm not allowed to go outside the living quarters!"
Burric lauged silently. "No worries, i have a plan. If it works, you won't have to stay here anymore."
"What are you talking about?"
Burric crawled in Bresker's room and sat on his bed. "Let me explain. You have access to the palace, right? In the main hall there is a jewel; you must have seen it before. The big red one." Bresker nodded. "If you go get it, we can sneak out of here and sell it somewhere else. Wouldn't that be great? Just you, me and the others, doing what we want. No parents that tell us what to do."
To a child, that was something like heaven. Bresker grinned at the suggestion and felt the same adrenaline he'd felt when stealing from the nobleman. "Okay, Burric, I'll do it!" he said with excitement.
Burric put his finger on his lips. "Go get it, Bresker, I'll wait here."
Bresker snuck outside his room and walked around the halls of the palace. Some guards frowned when they saw him, but then continued patrolling the halls. When Bresker had reached the main hall, he couldn't see any guards. There was only him, and the red diamond shining in the dark. As quietly as possible, Bresker tiptoed towards the showcase where the diamond was displayed. It was was behind a thick glass door that could easily be opened.
Bresker opened it and held the diamond in his hand. The diamond fitted perfectly in his hand. But, when he turned around with a smile, he saw two guards standing before him. They had the same look in their eyes as his dad. "You're coming with us, you little thief." The guards grabbed Bresker's armed and pulled him away. He would never see Burric again.