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The Young Thief

by moonea123


"STOP! THIEF! Kid, get back here! Stop right there! I'm warning you!"

      Kelland ignored these cries and warnings. He heard them every day since he started his life of thievery. And had they caught him? Only once, on his first day. Besides, he was foolish then, unlike he was now. Well, that'd never happen again, that's for sure. "The Master Thief" would never be caught again. Ever.

      With a quick jump, he grabbed an apple from a young Acara's hand. The Elephante patrolman that was trailing him was closing in. I'm dead if he catches me... this isn't the first time they've nearly gotten me. Kelland slipped into a hidden alley and jumped behind a large dumpster. It probably wasn't big enough to hide him completely... but any place was good enough for him. He dared not breathe as he heard the patrolman's footsteps inspect the alley. Just a few more steps and I'm dead, thought Kelland. The Elephante took one step... and another... and another. A cry rang out far back on the main road. "MY PURSE!" a woman cried. Saved by the bell, thought Kelland. As the Elephante ran off to catch the new thief, Kelland ate his apple with joy. "Heh... I fooled them! Another point for The Master Thief!" He hushed his voice as a young Kyrii passed through the alley.

      "Man, I sure am hungry... " the Kyrii said silently. "I wish I had something to eat. Ah well. At least I have some fresh bread." He smiled and shoved his face into the bread. Many crumbs flew behind the dumpster. Kelland quickly ate a large chuck that landed on his head. It tasted sour, but was better than nothing, and filled him right up. Kelland stood up from the dumpster and brushed himself off as Psimice flew in to gather the crumbs.

      Kelland walked through the backstreets in his worn, black overcoat and ragged shirt and pants that were full of holes since he was 5 or so. His clothes were 5 years old, 5 years younger than he was. Kelland patted dust off of them. "I would like new clothes," he said to himself. But the clothes shops were well protected.

      Kelland navigated the alleyways until he found his home - an abandoned house with no roof. The roof was no trouble for him - the temperature in Altador was reasonably mild, and a roof would make it unbearably hot. With the cracked plates and tarnished silverware sitting on the rickety table, it was dinnertime: a few tomatoes and potatoes from foreign traders that he had stolen, and some rice crackers. He ran into the storage pit, where he kept the un-rotting food. With a yank, he took out some water from a large container that the old owner of the house had just so happened to leave there, and poured out the water. It tasted horrible, but it was alright for living off the day's thefts. Kelland ate so quickly that he could've been chased for longer than he ate. With a plop, he landed on a single sheet on the dirt floor of the house. It was time to sleep. There was no need to stay awake. The patrolmen were on double-duty at night. His eyes shut quickly, and Kelland was soon fast asleep. No one would find him here.

      The next morning, Kelland awoke with just six hours of sleep. That suited him fine. The early times were the best to steal - everyone was tired, including the patrolmen, so they were slower and easier to fool. He wanted a fresh piece of bread this morning. He wasn't hungry; he barely ever was. Dinner filled him up just about until lunch. He needed a light breakfast to not go hungry midday.

      With a swipe of his hand, he took a fresh slice of bread from the bread vendor, who was fast asleep and hadn't bothered to put the bread away. He swiped two more for dinner, and stuck them in his cloth bag. It was a simple, woven piece of cloth that his mother had made for him, like all his clothes. He had a small amount of money to buy a few things with, like clothes and other things he couldn't steal. But he managed.

      Silently, he gathered lunch and dashed back to return to his home - only to find that a rather large patrolman had found the alley he was using first. And he was facing Kelland. A smile grew on the patrolman's face. "Oh, good Techo sir, how much all of us patrolmen wish to get to know you better. Why don't you come with me... to your jail cell!" The Elephante drew his sword and held it to Kelland's throat. "I'll take it away if you come in peace. Come now, Techo, the others await you." The patrolman's lips curled into a devious smile. Kelland shivered in fear. How could I have been caught a second time? It's not possible! Kelland slumped to the ground as the Elephante took away his sword. "Good. Come with me." The Elephante handed him his arm. Kelland took it silently.

      They walked in silence for a minute, but, without warning, the large Elephante fell to the ground, a rock on his head. As Kelland shook his hand free, he looked around to find the rock's source - and then he saw her: a young blue Yurble, a hoard of rocks in her hand. She jumped down, and smiled at Kelland. "Thanks for saving me," said 10-year-old Kelland. "I wouldn't have lasted in a jail cell... " The blue Yurble put her hand to his mouth and beckoned him to follow her. Kelland reluctantly obeyed and trotted after her.

      They reached a large overhang, where the Yurble stopped and turned around. "Don't mention it," she said quickly. She pulled out of her pocket a tiny Minitheus and stroked it. "You know, I want to be a petpet owner someday. I want to make people happy, like my mother makes me happy. She's a real inspiration, you know." She smiled. "So, who are you?"

      "Me? I'm Kelland, the master thief around these parts. My mother hasn't been with me for a long time... but I manage." He pulled out a meepit plushie his mother had given him for his third birthday. He held it close to him. "What's your name?"

      "It's Allinia. I was named after my mom. She's Allinia too. Man, I'm hungry."

      "You want some food?"

      "Would I! It'd be a pleasure to eat something. I'm starved." She ate a slice of bread before she spoke to Kelland again. "It was nice meeting you. Be careful; the patrolman will arrest anyone these days."

      "I know. I've been on the streets for years!" he boasted. "Wait... you're going? Why? Will I see you again?"

      "My mother's probably already worried. And I may see you again. If not... goodbye, and good luck!"

      "Wait!" he called out, but it was too late. His only friend - gone. And there was nothing he could do. Kelland sulked all the way home. He ate lunch in silence and napped until dinner. Dinner was dull, and he had less to eat. After dinner, it was bedtime again.

      In his dreams, he saw himself up on a high seat of power over Altador. He was respected for doing something nice. And he saw Allinia with her own little petpet shop in the corner of Altador.

      As Kelland awoke, he reflected on his dream.

      "Like that'll ever happen."

The End

Author's Note: If you're reading this, this is my first story in the Neopian Times! Neomail me any comments!

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