Thieves: Chapter 1
“Quick, hide in here!” The man moved the solid wooden block that served as a table out of the way, revealing a trapdoor underneath. Kamber looked down into the dark space, it was nothing more than a hollow in the ground but he needed to hide and there was nowhere else to go. He jumped down and pressed himself against the dirt. The man who was hiding him shut the trap door and hastily tried to pull the table back on top.
Kamber held his breath as he heard stomping steps enter the room. A conversation started up which was all too easy to understand. The man must not have been able to move the table completely on top of the trapdoor because it should have muffled any voices. Still, he thought it would be best to listen.
“We saw him go in here!” One of the soldiers was saying.
“You must have seen wrong because no man has entered through that door but your good selves on this day.” Kamber’s new friend replied.
The other soldier spoke now. “How dare you speak so about soldiers of the King? We could have you hanged for that.” Kamber forced himself not to speak in the man’s defense.
“I’ll say what I like. We do still have freedom of speech if nothing else.” The peasant replied. “Anyways, why is the King so eager to find the Mask now? Haven’t you had many chances to find him before, but never actually looked?”
“The princess Kaisten was kidnapped last night;” The first soldier said. Kamber took a sharp breathe. “She was kidnapped by the Mask.”
Kamber had not done that. He would never harm Kaisten. Never.
He cleared his thought and brought them back to the conversation above him. There was a scraping and shuffling sound, which Kamber assumed meant that they were searching the house for him
“She was being fitted for a new dress. The seamstress came running into the great hall mere minutes after she had first entered the castle, screaming that the princess had been kidnapped.” The second soldier said with a rough voice. “After she described what had commenced and the person who had taken the princess, it was determined that it was the Mask who had done this.”
The peasant who had helped Kamber took in a deep breathe of disbelief. “I don’t believe it.” He said. “The Mask would never do anything like that. He only helps people.”
Kamber could almost hear the sneer in the soldier’s voice as he spoke next. “Do you know of any other criminal who wears a black mask that covers his entire face? No? Well that’s because there is none. It was the Mask, and He. Will. Pay!”
“What’s that?” the second soldier suddenly asked.
Kamber held his breath as the boots thumped in the direction of the table above. Then he heard the soldier speaking again, this time directly to him
“I know you’re in there Mask. You’ve heard every word haven’t you? So tell me, where have you hidden the princess?”
Kamber didn’t respond.
“So you won’t tell me, will you?” the soldier continued. “We’ll soon change that.” Now the soldier’s voice seemed to be aimed at the other soldier “Canton! Go fetch the Captain and more soldiers. Tell them we have the Mask contained.”