|I'm a pick pocket. I guess lying was never my strongest
point. But when you're on the backstreets of Neopia, you need to figure out who
you can trust very quickly. There's no room for mistakes.
I guess you're wondering how I became a pick
pocket in the first place. I used to be a magician, still am come to think of
it. My Aisha friend Lae and myself would stand on a street corner with a small
table and a pack of cards. That's all I needed. A cap on the ground would soon
fill with spare Neopoints. It was a nice way to live, I suppose.
But soon we fell on hard times - no one cared
for a teenage magician. I guess you loose that charm as a certain age. Card
tricks are all slight of hand, and that's something I specialised in. So we
became petty thieves; stealing what we couldn't buy.
Lae's been my partner in crime since I joined
Neopets. She's a cloud Aisha, thanks to a rich donator. Lae's good with people,
she can distract anyone. She's loud and a pretty good actor, faking just about
anything to get her way. Which is good when I'm trying to take a purse or wallet.
Neither of us like it, but we can't buy a shop to try and run an honest business
until we buy a home. And we can't make any money to buy a home until we buy
So yet again, Lae and myself were situated in
Neopia central, trying to find a foolish Neopian. Once again, our stall was
set up. The sun shone on the crowded square and there was barely any breeze.
My sleeves were rolled up and jacket discarded. Today, we were trying a slightly
"Pick a card, any card!" I yelled, drawing a
small crowd around our stall. I'm not the tallest of people by any stretch,
and dressed in faded, torn jeans, a ragged shirt and torn jacket, I didn't look
Finally, a middle aged Man, about 35, stepped
forward. At his feet was a fire Lupe. By the way the Lupe's muscle's bulged
as he walked, I knew that he was finely trained. "I'll do it," the man said
"Give the man a round of applause," I said to
the quickly gathering crowds. Lae looked at me. I gave a very small nod, barely
noticeable. Show time!
I quickly shuffled the pack of cards, my mind
not concentrating on the task ahead. "Okay, pick a card," I said finally, fanning
the deck. The man picked a card, and immediately, I knew this trick would be
easy. "Show it to the crowd," I said, quickly fanning the deck again whilst
their attention was diverted. "Put the card back in the pack," I instructed.
He placed the card back in the deck and I started to shuffle it again. Lae was
still skulking around the crowd, but I could see she had got everything she
needed too. Time to end the show. I fanned the deck again and, trying to look
like it was difficult, selected the card in question.
"Is this your card?" I said triumphantly, pulling
the Ace of Diamonds from the pack. The crowd gasped and several clapped. Lae
had arrived back at the stall and was hurriedly tipping Neopoints. and notes
into my rucksack. "Thank you, thank you!" I smiled and started to pack up the
stall. The crowd dispersed and went their separate ways, ignoring me. That was
the way we liked it.
"Good haul?" I asked as we put the table into
my rucksack. It was a small fold up table and barely took any room. I rolled
up my sleeves of my shirt again. Lae nodded. "We're eating tonight then," I
smiled. "Perhaps even get a lodging somewhere."
"Great," Lae smiled warmly.
We continued to pack up in silence and slowly
mingled into the crowd. We slipped down a side street and carefully made our
way into the back streets of Neopia Central. We could follow the path out into
the countryside and then walk to the Lost Desert.
"Sari?" Lae asked eventually. I looked at her,
regret mingling with my tiredness. We hadn't made much in the last few days,
thus sleeping rough. It wasn't too bad; a lot of people had barns and such that
weren't often checked. But it had been a pretty sleepless night.
"Yeah Lae?" I replied. Lae's full name was Laeyan,
but I had not called her that in a very long time. She was Lae and I was Sari.
Sometimes, I regretted adopting Lae, teaching an Aisha to steal and break the
rules was hardly a good life for a pet of any sort. But Lae was quick and intelligent,
and had never once grumbled about our life. For that, I was ever grateful.
"When are we going to get a NeoHome?" she asked.
"I dunno Lae. We've been saving for a long time.
But…" I trailed off, guilt multiplying in my conscience. "We have barely 2000
NP Lae." I admitted.
"We can get a small house somewhere," Lae suggested.
"A one bedroom flat somewhere."
"We can't afford the rent," I replied sadly.
"They want about 2000 NP a month rent. We can't afford it."
"It's okay," Lae said eventually. She continued
to pad along the street, the shops now starting to become more spread out as
the countryside mingled with the town. We continued to walk in silence, but
it was a comfortable one. After all the time we had spent with each other, we
needed no words.
"Break," I said finally, dumping my rucksack at my feet. I jumped onto the
wall, scrabbling to stay on. It was a good four foot high, and framed the rambling
concrete lane. Lae struggled up the wall next to me, albeit more graceful than
"Do we have anything to eat?" Lae asked finally,
having reached the top of the wall. She stretched out fully, her small body
relaxing along the length of the stone wall. I nodded and jumped down from the
"Bread again Lae," I said, frowning. The bread
hadn't rose properly, and we had obtained a large quantity of this from the
Bakery. Okay, so it lacked taste but it filled us up, and that was the main
"Again?" Lae sighed as I handed her a large
chunk. However, she ate it without further complaints. "So where are we heading?"
She asked as we ate. A car drove past us, the pets staring at us. Lae stuck
her tongue out at them and we both laughed.
"I'm not sure…" I replied as the car drove off.
"How does the Lost Desert sound?"
Lae shrugged. "At least it's hot there."
"It's hot here Lae," I pointed out. "But the
Lost Desert's home to a lot of thieves. Business won't be too good there. Maybe
we should go elsewhere?"
"Where?" Lae asked. "The Faerie's are too smart,
I'm not getting chased out of Faerieland again."
"That was a one off incident," I replied hastily,
remembering our rather unfortunate incident where the Faerie caught us. "But
what about Mystery Island?"
Lae shook her head. "Let's go to the Lost Desert.
We're a good team; besides, we have a few thousand Neopoints. We can step on
the right side of the law, at least for a day."
I laughed. "Is that possible?"
"Anything's possible, when you put your mind
to it," Lae replied with a grin. I smiled and jumped down from the wall. I picked
up my rucksack, slinging it over my shoulders.
"Let's go," I said.
To be continued...
Author's Note: Neomails will be loved and worshipped. Please?