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A Tale of Thieves (Part One)

A Magical Tale of Fate and Destiny

By Donna Fox (HKB)Published about a year ago Updated 5 months ago 12 min read

Every night at midnight, the purple clouds came out to dance with the blush sky.

I watched as the kitchen smoke stack belched the purple clouds into existence. I secretly wondered what the palace staff were having for dinner this evening. My stomach growled at the thought of a warm meal, it had been so long since I had anything worthwhile to eat. I felt a twinge of regret that I hadn’t finished the last couple of crackers in the box, back at headquarters.

But I don’t have time to think about food because the smoke is the signal that it's time to do what we came here for.

According to Gregory, this is when security is at its lowest. Shift change and dinner time.

Meaning, it’s time to get moving.

But my body remained in place for an extra moment. A bad feeling forms in my gut as the urge to run becomes overwhelming. All my good common sense is telling me to run the other way but I have no choice, I need to see this through.

So before I tell you this story, let me tell you how I got here.

It all started a week ago, about 2 days before the Festival of Magic.

“I’ve got it!” Corbin shouted, pushing the curtain door to the side as he walked in. His expression is full of glee at his presumed genius.

“Now what?” Carla muttered in an exhausted voice.

She gives a long sigh but not bothering to look up from her pile of silver dollars. As the pair of us continued counting our spoils from the latest conquest.

“I’ve got our next big heist.” He announced, smiling in triumph as he awaited our praise.

As I finished my pile, I looked up. Trying to filter my reaction, “Do we need another big one? This last small one has us in a pretty good spot.” I protested, gesturing to our many stacks of silver dollars on the table.

My eyes met his cold black ones and I let out a sigh, almost in fear of his next words.

“Is there such a thing as too many riches?” Gregory inquired, swinging in through the open window.

Which drew Corbin’s attention and broke our unpleasant tension, to my relief.

“I’m just saying, the last time we did a big heist I landed my name on the 10 most wanted in Lacigam.” I reminded them, huffing in anxiety.

“This will be our last big heist, ever. If we play our cards right we can get you off the 10 most wanted list and have enough to not worry about money ever again.” Corbin explained, licking his lips greedily.

With a ruffle of the curtain again, Jed entered.

“It’s worth hearing you out at least.” He commented. Taking a seat beside me and accidentally bumping the table, disturbing the many piles of silver dollars.

Carla’s cheeks flushed and she gave a near-silent growl.

“I’m going to kill him.” She told me telepathically.

I placed a hand on her shoulder and gave her a sympathetic look.

Refocusing on me, the colour of her cheeks went back to normal slowly before she shot Jed one last death glare.

Jed gave her a fearful look as he bit his lip in anxiety, then clumsily scooted his chair closer to mine.

I could only imagine what things she said to him through her telepathy, as I fought to stifle a giggle.

“This is our next target.” Corbin began, slapping a purple pamphlet down on the table. Over the collapsed piles of silver dollars, oblivious to the scene between Jed and Carla.

“The Festival of Magic?” Gregory asked in a confused voice. Furrowing his brow as he looked up from the pamphlet.

“Right.” Jed agreed excitedly, nodding his head eagerly.

Everyone, including Corbin, looked at him in confusion and shock.

“What do you think I’m talking about?” Corbin asked in suspicion.

“The tourists,” he began, looking dumbfounded at the rest of us. “Their easy pickings.” He explained, furrowing his brow as he looked back to Corbin for confirmation.

“Good thinking.” He praised, trying unconvincingly to give an encouraging nod.

Making Jed smile and look at everyone else in an ‘I told you so’ sort of way.

“But,” he began again, “We’re after bigger fish.” He explained, puffing his chest out as he attempted to look more important.

“As you know, this is the 100th year of the discovery of The Source and magic in Lacigam. But what you may not know is that for the Festival of Magic, The Source will be on display for all 5 days. Open to viewing by the public.” He informed us very excitedly.

Jed let out a small chuckle, “You think they’ll let us walk out with The Source in broad daylight?” He joked, looking to the others to join in on the laugh.

“Well, not exactly. That’s why we’ll have to do a little recon.” He replied, nodding towards Gregory.

“Wait. What?” Carla asked, her jaw dropped in shock.

“You aren’t serious.” She stated in disbelief, then shooting me a look of fear.

“He can’t be serious, can he?” She asked telepathically.

I gave an uncertain shrug and turned my attention back to Corbin.

“Yes. We will steal The Source, on the last day of the Festival of Magic.” He announced, looking rather pleased with himself.

He was met by stunned silence, from the rest of us.

“He’s crazy,” Carla commented in my head and I fought the urge to scoff in response.

His expression dropped, not expecting the reception he got.

“We will never have this opportunity again.” He looked at us in disbelief, astounded at our lack of shared enthusiasm.

“But who's to say they will even let us in?” I inquired, “Have you seen us? We look like the street rats that we are.” I added, furrowing my brow at him in continued disbelief.

“And even if we get inside by some miracle, we probably won’t get to even see The Source. It would be a giant waste of time.” Gregory added, also still holding his expression of utter disbelief.

“That’s the beauty of this whole thing.” He began again, unfazed by our skepticism. He flipped the pamphlet over and began to read it aloud. “This year as a special treat to the public, The Source will be on display in the entrance hall of the palace for all 5 days of the Festival of Magic. Each evening, the gates will close for special presentation ceremonies. For the family and friends of those who have come of age in the last month.” He finished. Smiling to himself and then looking up, expecting us to be just as enthusiastic.

Carla was unable to stifle a scoff, “And you think they won’t be guarding it more heavily than ever?” She asked, looking at him like the idiot he is.

“Well no, but that’s why we’ll spend 3 days on recon and 1 full day planning and the last day will be the heist day.” He explained, still waiting in anticipation for everyone to get as excited as he was.

“I don’t like it.” I blurted out. “I’m not on board with this,” I added, giving my head a shake and Carla a look of anxiety.

“I’m out too.” Carla agreed.

“Fine, then before the heist I guess I’ll be collecting some reward money. For turning in one of the top 10 most wanted in Lacigam and her accomplice.” He retorted, all too casually.

Little sparks of electricity flicked from his fingertips, as he looked at me with a threatening gaze and flared nostrils.

Everyone else held their breath in fear.

“Anyone else wants to be picked up by the Justice Squad?” He asked, looking around at the rest of them.

Everyone replied by shaking their heads vigorously.

“So we will start recon before the first day of the festival. Gregory, start scoping out the grounds tonight and then the rest of us can pitch in when the gates open in a couple of days.” Corbin carried on explaining his plan.

He went on to assign everyone else, their roles for the recon.

My role was to check out the locks and see what kind of mechanisms they have. Making note of how easily I’d be able to pick them or what special tools I might need.

Over the next couple of days we gathered supplies and Gregory started his recon. Observing all movement on the grounds outside the palace. He’d seen every angle and observed all the guard's patterns, as well as taken note of everything he’d overheard from afar.

On the first day of The Festival of Magic, the five of us found ourselves dressed in our best. Cleaned to the best of our ability and as presentable for the public as possible.

Except for me, I had some well-placed dirt and a head scarf. In hopes that I will be disguised enough not to be recognized by palace guards or the Justice Squad. Since I am still on Lacigam’s 10 most wanted list.

We spread ourselves out amongst the very squishy, overwhelming crowds of people. All lined up and waiting for their chance to see The Source, something most people only see once in their lifetime at the ceremony of the bestowing of their powers.

As the day began to break, I could hear the creak of the opening gates and felt a rush of excitement.

This would be the first time I will see the source as I never attended my bestowing of powers ceremony when I came of age. My mother had passed away by then and I never knew my father, so I had to no one to present me to The Source and thusly no powers to speak of.

So it was my secret at how excited I was to see The Source, for the first time.

I passed through the gates undetected, amongst a small group of tourists.

I hardly noticed as I passed through the large wooden doors of the palace and into the entrance hall. The light was dimmer than outside and the only real source of light present came from The Source as it sat in the display case.

For a moment I forgot the mission as my heart rose into my throat. A tingly feeling worked through my body as I neared the display case. I could feel the power radiating off of it before I even laid eyes on it.

The Source looked like a large bowling ball-sized orb. With white light in the centre, radiating a purple ora as it reached the edges of its crystal clear exterior. It ebbed and pulsated in a sort of dance like waves crashing onto a beach.

It sat upon a black pillow that appeared to be velvet in texture. Balanced in a podium that was surrounded by an enchanted glass display case.

I felt awestruck as I stood before it, drawn towards the power it radiated.

Until someone from the crowd bumped me and I regained my senses, remembering my mission.

I placed a bouquet at the base of the display and took an extra second to lay eyes on the lock of the display case. I noted for myself that it was a simple, single-barring lock. Easily picked with a hairpin.

I then stood up and made my way out of the palace, pausing at the entrance’s wooden door. I plucked a finger on the lock and found it to be slightly more complicated than the one on the display case. But I could pick it with one of my handmade devices, back home. No problem.

I did my best to blend back into the crowd, keep my head low and exit the grounds. Headed back to headquarters, where I waited for everyone else to return so we could pool our findings.

Over the next few days, I stayed at headquarters. Observing the stream of people going into the palace from the safety of our rooftop.

Mine and Jed’s jobs were done until the planning phase of the heist.

Carla had the task of flirting with the guards to get as much insider information as possible. Which was easier than it ought to be, thanks to her telepathic ability after the slightest touch of their arm or muscle once their guard was down.

Corbin explored every inch of the palace that the public was allowed to and began drawing up maps. Revising and making changes, each time he came back.

Gregory continued observing the ongoings within the palace grounds. Memorizing every guard's routine and listening in on all relevant conversations, that pertained to The Source itself. He did this day and night, hardly taking any breaks as he was tapped in top more importation than the rest of us combined.

His x-ray vision made it all too easy to see the ongoings within the walls of the palace after the doors had closed. Although, his super hearing was put to the test several times, as it turned out the palace walls seemed to be soundproofed a little too well in certain areas.

With only a day left of the Festival of Magic, we finished pooling our information and came up with a plan.

The best time to enact the heist would be at night when most of the people and guards were gone. The security was a third of what it was during the day. The spacing between walk-throughs was well-distanced, with approximately 10 minutes between sweeps. But at dinner time, the walk-throughs were spaced even further apart, which was just a little too convenient for us.

We ran through the plan. Gregory would keep watch over everyone. Sitting beside Carla so she could report anything he saw, via telepathy.

Corbin would sneak onto the grounds separate from Jed and myself. He would wait outside for us in case we needed help or a distraction.

After Jed and I got to the palace door, I would pick the lock and then move to the lock on the display case.

Since I am the only one with no powers, it was decided that I am the best candidate to handle The Source. Simply for the reason that I am least likely to be affected by touching it since we don’t know what might happen to the person who directly handles The Source.

So after I pick the lock, it is my job to pick up The Source and put it in Jed’s backpack before we run out of the palace grounds and disappear.

Everyone is expected to converge at headquarters at this point and we will flee the city before the Justice Squad is any wiser.

On the last day of The Festival of Magic, we all stayed home, got some extra rest and mentally prepared for the heist. Some of us packed our things in preparation for the aftermath of our heist.

Suddenly I feel a hand on my shoulder, shaking me back to the present. I found myself crouching on the rooftop alongside Jed.

“Keren, let’s go. That’s the signal.” He whispers in anxiety. Giving me another shake as I watched the last of the purple clouds disappear into the sunset and I regained my senses.

Part Two:

Young AdultSeriesFantasyAdventure

About the Creator

Donna Fox (HKB)

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Comments (17)

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  • J. S. Wade5 months ago

    Finally. I have time to read this. Love your world building and characters. Now, to Part 2. 💜

  • Dana Crandell5 months ago

    Well, I'm glad I noticed the series and started with Part 1. I like the fact that you went ahead after writing the challenge piece. I'm still considering actually writing the story I started in mine, although it's just one item on a long list I'm considering. Anyway, I'm wondeirng how I missed this during the challenge. This is really well thought out and put together, and you built the intrigue very well. I'll be reading the rest of the series. On a side note, "creek" should probably be replaced with "creak." Looking forward to reading the rest. Great job, Donna!

  • ThatWriterWoman5 months ago

    I am so hyped for this story!! I can't wait to see what's gonna happen when she touches The Source! The magical realism in this is done exceptionally!

  • Gerald Holmes5 months ago

    This is a great opening. On to part two now!

  • Oh I can’t wait for part two!! My money is on Keren getting some magical power! You did an amazing job with Corbin I kinda hope something bad happens to him in the next part lol. Really well written Donna! I enjoyed reading this so much!

  • JBaz5 months ago

    How did I miss this, I started reading part three then though t I better refresh my memory...really good fantasy, I used t read them a lot. My mind is now back in the groove. Off to #2

  • I had to come back here because I was so lost! Can you believe how bad my memory is?! I had fun rereading this again! The only thing that I strongly remembered was Carla's telepathy power. Everything else was vague but now it's all been restored! Heading to part 2 now! So glad you finally published it!

  • Andrew C McDonald5 months ago

    Nice set up for the heist and good job on the subtlety of the super powers angle. Great story. Moving to the next.

  • Oooo, I really loved the telepathic communication power that Carla has! Will you be writing the next part for this story? I would love to know if they managed to steal The Source. This was such a fantastic story!

  • Testabout a year ago

    Amazing all around. I can't wait to read your books someday x

  • ❤️

  • Nikki Lynnabout a year ago

    I loved it!! Can't wait for the sequel!!

  • Mark Gagnonabout a year ago

    Thieves with special powers, what could possibly go wrong?

  • Tina D'Angeloabout a year ago

    Waiting on part 2!

  • Novel Allenabout a year ago

    Good for you, I am not sure I understand this challenge. Magic and such things. You jumped right in. A great story too. What if the orb sets you on fire, you being power free and everything. Waiting for part 2. Hope you escape the bullies. A few misses below, check it out.

  • This comment has been deleted

  • Antoinette L Breyabout a year ago

    very interesting, want to hear what happens next

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