November 9, 2013

The Promise of Gold, Pt. II

 "I hate to break up your shifty conversation," she blubbered, "But we've got company."
"Black Market dealings, eh?" A stout watchman caught the head of a club in his opposite palm, "And by no better than brutes! Ye're all comin' with me!" Ginelle drew a breath and turned slowly, pawing at her pistols. Ivy and Sharp had melted into the shadows right away, something Ginelle wasn't quite capable of. Stepping up to the cop, Ginelle quickly sized him up to be a brawn-over-brain type officer who had risen to his position in means of an accident, based on the scuffmarks on his shoes in comparison to the gleam of his badge.
"You're no officer," Ginelle snickered, using a pistol as leverage to knock the club from the corgi's paws.
Shocked and unsure of what to do, the officer waved his paws in front of himself and slowly backed away, turning and running after a few paces. As he ran, panting and blubbering to himself, a mess of tangled vines grew over a nearby barrel, wrapping its tendrils around his ankles. A thick, pink mist was released from red flowers that bloomed on the spot. As the watchman officer stood, he shook his head in confusion, as if shaking away the memory, Ginelle observed. He felt for his club on his belt, and when not finding it, disappeared down the next alley.
"Boo," Sharp announced dryly, stepping out of the darkness behind Ginelle. Ivy had ducked behind barrels just ahead, and joined her comrades after they had walked for a few minutes. She stunk of the pungent aroma emitted by the poisonous flowers whose spores grew when thrown.
"That's enough for one day," she decided, "Sharp, to a tavern. Or somewhere."
"I told you," Ian sighed, "The tavern's full. Here, I know of a place that nobody disturbs." Picking his pace up, Sharp began jogging through the town, excited to show Ivy and Ginelle a few of his latest finds.
"The meat shop," Ivy groaned, unconvinced, "Is where you're taking us?"
"Lighten up," Sharp countered, "At least I keep it clean. You know, I am sacrificing precious sleep hours in order to get you guys here. How much gold is in it for --"
"Enough," Ivy growled. Ginelle put her hand on her friend's shoulder, holding her back a little. If Ivy struck at Sharp too soon, things had a good possibility of ending badly.
"Sheesh," Sharp ended the conversation abruptly, pulling down a ladder. He climbed the worn-down rungs and lit a candle in the corner of the room created by the rafters. "Anyhow, what's mine is yours, for a night. I'll be in town, anyways." Sharp caught himself before saying too much, "Just to attend to." Ivy shook her head and sighed, leaning on the ladder.
"Well, in theory," Ginelle stammered, "And only to make ends meet, perhaps Ivy and I could actually get things done tonight. We won't need your place, and the reward will come faster, won't it?" Ivy scowled.
"No," she said, folding her arms, "We'll need the extra day for planning, and -" Ivy paused as the first few drops of an oncoming storm hit the windows of the shop. "And perhaps we'll be better off in the dry, anyways." Ginelle shrugged, climbing the ladder. Sharp climbed down and dusted his arms off.
"I'll be in town, as I said," he reported, "Keep the place clean."
"Yes, sir," Ivy groaned, watching the chameleon-like smuggler slink out of the shop. She walked up the ladder, drawing it back in as the storekeeper returned to his post. It didn't seem to mind, for all Ivy saw. Taking a seat near the collapsed ladder, Ivy crossed her legs, counting the seconds between thunder crashes as Ginelle fell asleep.
"Four hours," Ivy whispered to herself, "Four hours ought to be enough." Reaching into her coat, Ivy retrieved three things: A hairtie, a mask covering her eyes, and a crude headband with two floppy bits of cloth attached. Close, Ivy retorted mentally, Close will have to do. Pinning a bit of cloth wrapped around a wire to the back of her coat, Ivy escaped the shop through a nearby window, a burlap sack over her shoulder. Seconds after recovering from the landing, Ivy took off into the streets, her shadow resembling that of a cat burglar's. Ivy smiled at this; Sometimes, it was fun being who one wasn't.
Side-stepping out of the caringly-lit Admiral Benbow tavern, as Ivy would have described him to others, was a scruffy fellow by fur that stunk of traded jewelry and satin. He meandered through the streets, perhaps to show off a new trinket to passerby. Ivy walked in the shadows, glancing towards the dog's jingling coinpurse. In a short, swift movement, Ivy clamped onto the bag with her hand, stopping the sounds of the coins, and pulled it back. Within minutes, Ivy had collected a substantial amount of money and tokens, much of it just by inspecting the backs of warehouses.
"Someone's eating fancy, tonight," Sharp laughed, taking the rare opportunity to catch Ivy by surprise. "Heading to the Warehouse? I would have expected as much." Ivy set the bag down.
"If you are so interested in knowing," she sighed, "Then why don't you deliver this to the orphanage? Ginelle and I will get to the Warehouse at dawn and take the rest for the Island. Easy trade." Sharp shrugged, shaking his head.
"I may be a thief, smuggler, and alleyway escort," he said, "But never a liar. I never promised not to do anything that I do now." Ivy scoffed, tossing the idea.
"Learn to bluff," she said dismissively, "It's easier." Picking the sack up, she continued on her way towards the orphanage. Sharp leaned on the corner, swinging the taverncrawler's coinpurse back and forth.

"Suit yourself," he snickered, sinking into the night.

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