The last Monday of January and we’re ending on a lighthearted note! There is a thief running about and she wants something in particular! Will she get it? I don’t know, have to read to find out.
I want to give special thanks to the patrons who’ve supported me thus far:
Hypermice, Sean Young, and Mister Artorias
Check back Friday, it’s a big progress report! Then Monday starts February’s stories.
A Quirky Thief
Sun glistened across the vast green field, the hot piercing rays stopped only by the occasional white fluffy cloud drifting through the blue sky. The blades of grass danced in the gentle breeze that sent daisies and pollen to float through the air. The cawing and chirps of birds flapping through the sky intermixed with the buzz and rustle of wildlife through the tall grass. Hills rolled through the fields, trees scattered far apart with large bushy tops covered with white flowers.
Atop a central hill was a massive tree, made up of hundreds of interweaving branches filled with bright, green leaves. Its roots grew through much of the hill, snaking along the surface of the grass and dug deep into the core.
Stazaia dangled her boots from one of the branches, her blonde, bushy tail swaying back and forth. “So hungry,” she whined and rubbed her stomach. Her ears drooped in dismay. Golden and blue eyes looked around the expansive field. “Where would food hide?” A strong breeze nearly pushed her off the branch. Turning, she scowled at the wind, claws digging into the branch for support. Satisfied the wind had calmed down she stuck her tongue out towards it, getting ready to return to studying her surroundings again when she spotted a cloud of dust in the distance. Focusing her eyes, she could make out several large black objects moving swiftly.
“What’s their hurry?” She looked ahead of their direction in search of anything before laying eyes on a long caravan truck hovering along the field. “That’s what they’re heading for, interesting…” Stazaia grinned.
Jumping off the branch, she landed on her feet and quickly bounced up. Stazaia reached into her pocket, pulled out a single glove, and strapped it to her left hand. Wriggling her fingers in the comfort of the leather, she then twisted on her heel to face the makeshift weapon leaning against the base of the tree. The large, dull greatsword made of an assortment of scrap and a bumper seemed to gleam in her eyes. “Oh, I don’t get to use you enough!” Stazaia giggled, taking hold of the hilt and slinging the sword onto her back.
She ran her finger through her blonde hair to gather some loose strands to loop behind her ears, before pulling her green hood up. Performing a quick stretch, Stazaia yawned and pulled the green goggles up to cover her eyes. “Oh, I think I’m finally ready. Time to hunt!” She bolted down the hill, kicking up grass in her wake, gold and blue eyes locked on the truck.
“The sun is killing me!” Samuel exclaimed, trying desperately to shade his eyes from the powerful rays of light. “Come on, Jack, we got to switch. I’m dying up here!” he said, looking through the opening towards the back carriage of the moving truck.
“Nah, your turn to keep watch. Just another thirty minutes or so.” Jack called back, not moving a muscle from the chair he was seated in. His feet were kicked up on a barrel, with dozens more stacked up tightly in the long trailer.
Samuel huffed and ran a hand through his short black hair. “This is ridiculous.” He huffed, leaning forward in the small compartment he was stuck in. The sea of grass extending beyond the windshield seemed endless. He turned his face to the small fan in the corner, whining with each turn of its blades. Wiping sweat from his brow, he looked down at his watch, “Another three hours before reaching the city? Oh man, what a bad day. At least we got a good haul.” He stated looking back at the rows of barrels.
A beep brought Samuel’s attention back to the front. On the dashboard he saw the red-light blinking, sounding off another series of beeps. “We have company, Jack, get up here!”
“What is it?” Jack said, coming up to peek over Samuel’s shoulder. “Bugs?”
“Yeah, and a lot of them according to the detector,” Samuel stated, more sweat beading down his face. “I’m lowering the truck and detaching the cargo.”
“Are you nuts? This is the largest haul we’ve gotten this entire month; we can’t leave it behind!” Jack exclaimed, trying to pull Samuel back from the controls.
“We have no choice! We can’t speed up; the cargo is weighing us down!” He spat, shoving Jack back. “I’m not becoming bug fo—.”
The entire truck tilted to its side from a powerful blast of force. An ear-piercing whine filled the air as gears tried to keep the truck afloat, another bang sounded against the side. The entire truck tilted forward, the front smashing into the ground. The windshield shattered as dirt and grass seeped into the compartment.
“Damn it, they got on us fast!” Samuel spat, balancing himself on the dashboard as the truck tilted more, his hands reaching for the rifle hanging from the ceiling. “Why’d you pull me back!”
“Sorry, I didn’t know!” Jack stammered, struggling to close the door between them and the trailer as barrels shifted and rolled about.
Samuel reached past Jack’s smaller frame, taking hold of the handle and slamming the door shut as a barrel nearly crashed into them. The door was left dented.
“What now?” Jack asked, his hands gripped a panel desperately, his blond hair becoming sleek with sweat.
“We got to get out of here and make a run for it.” Samuel grimaced and turned around. He reached for the ceiling exit that was now nearly level with the floor. Turning the handle, he climbed out and rolled off the vehicle. He landed in a bed of disturbed grass.
He stood up in a rush, eyes staying focused on the five giant black beetles clawing into the trailer. Mandibles chewed away metal with ease. Reaching a hand up, he helped Jack out of the exit, “Let’s go.” he muttered.
Jack froze, pulling away from Samuel with a horrified look on his face.
Confused, Samuel turned, and his eyes widened at a sixth beetle bearing down on him.
The beetle widened its mandibles, ready to strike when it was abruptly knocked to the side, its body sliding across the dirt several yards before crashing against a boulder. Its shell made a loud crack against the stone.
Taking several deep breaths, Samuel looked down to see a strange girl with a large junk covered pole and fluffy yellow tail. “Who are you…?” he muttered.
“Hungry, damn it! Get out of my way!” the girl yelled, shoving the large muscled Samuel and Jack to the side.
“Where’d she come from?” Jack questioned.
“I have no idea,” Samuel responded, watching with surprise as the girl descended upon the other five beetles, her weapon smashed into the head of one beetle with a concussive blow. She wasted no time in dashing to the next beetle, slamming it off the truck and nearly severing it in half with her powerful strike.
The other three beetles chittered and clicked, mandibles slicing through the air at the girl who easily bounced between them all. The junk weapon smashed into a third beetle, sending it into a fourth. The fifth beetle met a swift end from an uppercut of the weapon, sending its body soaring through the air to crashland onto a distant tree.
“Score!” the girl yelled.
Walking over, Samuel kept his rifle at the ready. A shiver ran up his spine. “Who are you?”
“I’m Stazaia!” She giggled, waving nonchalantly at the two me before turning to the trailer. She dived right into the wreckage, rummaging through the ripped and destroyed barrels.
“You saved us… Is there any way we can repay you?” Jack asked, stepping to the side to try to see what Stazaia was doing.
“Yes!” she exclaimed, tossing several barrels to the side.
“Uh… So, what do you want?” Jack responded with a raised eyebrow.
“I don’t think she is listening to us anymore,” Samuel responded.
“Found one!” Stazaia exclaimed, rushing out the hole of the trailer with a barrel in her hands. The barrel was practically her size as she lifted it into the air and quickly dashed off. “Thanks for the food!”
“Did… did she just rob us?” Jack asked.
“Yea, she did,” Samuel sighed. He watched the strange thief rush off into the distance, the brown barrel high over her head containing some of the richest food in all the land. “Figures,” he said, rubbing his forehead of sweat.