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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 31st day of Hunting, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 79 > New Series > The Aisha Thieves

The Aisha Thieves

by stormydreamer

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 a shop.

     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 different approach.

     "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 respectable.

     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 gruffly.

     "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 I.

     "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 road.

     "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 thing.

     "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?

Previous Episodes

The Aisha Thieves: Part Two

The Aisha Thieves: Part Three

The Aisha Thieves: Part Four

The Aisha Thieves: Part Five

The Aisha Thieves: Part Six

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