It was only a narrow ledge, circled around a pit that would make the bravest man piss himself. The whole rock formation designed to intimidate those stuck on it and suffice it to say it had worked on me. The girl was on a similar ledge on the other side of this arena, and all around the crowds cheers and jeers were engulfing me.
One could say that I ended up here after a series of unfortunate coincidences, but that would be severely understating the sheer stupidity of both my decisions and actions.
First, to establish some basic narrative beginnings.
I am known as Lupid, at least to myself. If I was to describe my character it would be “the best liar in the world. Others would and have described me as an con artist, pond scum or even just plain evil. I wouldn’t say I am evil, and I would take offense to it if it wasn’t true by perspective. I am just a victim of this cities poor living conditions and a horrible urge to consume food on a semi-regular basis.
This is the harsh reality for the city of Haspen, where the one percent steals from the wages of the rest, then proceeds to use that money hire thugs to steal from each other. If you aren’t born wealthy or willing to work under them, you choose to either starve or leave.
So i steal to live, in the hopes that i can scrounge enough scratch to take the train to the next city. Its not easy to accrue wealth when you have nowhere to put it when you get it, so i do my best to hide things around. Usually a small time thief such as myself draws the line well before murder or bodily harm, we have standards after all and its not worth causing that kind of trouble for food.
But remember how I said I was the best liar in the the world? You can’t really trust a single thing I have said, especially about the lengths i would go for a warm meal.
So i was congealed on a park bench, starving after having not eaten for several days, watching the local amateur fight league* when i saw an easy looking mark staring absentmindedly up at the sky. The man was well dressed, wearing a suit and struggling to carry a large duffel bag. I don’t care much for the bag, but the man’s pockets looked pretty unprotected while he carried that thing. I got up and saddled my way behind him, trying to seem uninterested in him. When i got close he quickly turned around and thrust the bag at me, and ran as if his pants were full of fire ants.
I stood, confused and bewildered as a mans tooth flew past me from the nearby brawl. This was my first and only instance of reverse thievery. The bag was heavy almost non-proportional to the size of the bag. So it being so heavy I wanted to just drop it and leave, but being an entrepreneur I couldn’t pass up the chance that this thing was valuable. I dragged myself to a nearby dodgy looking crevice (I know them all!) so i could inspect what was forcibly received. I put it down next to a dumpster and was immediately filled with joy at the weight lifted from my shoulders.
As i put the bag down… it squirmed?
I opened it up and stared, aghast, into the face of a human girl bound and gagged.
*The amateur fight league (the AFL) originates from a charitable occurrence that used happens outside the courthouse every Wednesday. They used to give out free food as a way of pleasing the masses. This tended to result in larger and larger crowds, and as the food wasn’t unlimited, it resulted in brawls and fights that escalated every week. Eventually this was seen as an opportunity for the more corrupt in this city, and it was monetized. Now unless you are in a fighting union you tend to just have the one fight, and are later found at the bottom of a lake.
Edward Leeming 3/12/2017
Will continue this story tomorrow!
The girl was well dressed, most likely royalty or of noble standing based on her attire, but if I were to base my impressions on her form of transport then i would have to guess a diplomat. Diplomats in this city don’t last known and kidnapping is just par for the course for them.
Having now established the terms of ownership for this bag and human child, the first priority was to consider how much money could be gotten from this turn of events. While I have never delved into the sale of humans i can’t imagine it would be difficult in this corrupt and disgusting city. Even without going to such lengths, the clothes on her back, the jewelry around her neck would be enough to cash to live easy for at least six months.
The smallest part of me was wondering why she was being carried around in a duffle bag, and a slight desire to see her safe lulled its way to the surface of my mind, but this was interrupted by my stomach trying to consume itself.
I went to lift the bag back up to my shoulder, but the weight almost immediately hit me and I had to put it down. How could this girl weigh so much and yet fit into this bag?
So my next option was to arouse her to wake, frankly it was surprising she had not already woken up considering her position.
I shook her shoulders and did my best to not look especially seedy*. I didn’t want to shout into her ear, the nearby residents would probably take this as an opportunity to be “concerned citizens” and take my prize for themselves.
After the first couple of shakes she did move a bit, rousing herself to wake.
“Oi….girl….. oi… wake up”
“Unnng…. are we there yet?”
On that note she closed her eyes and seemed to go back to sleep. I shook again, this time with the desired affect of waking her up. I expected this to cause a panic in her, putting myself into that situation would certainly cause me to panic. She looked around, somewhat baffled at her surroundings, her head sticking out of her bag as if she was quite content staying in there.
*Though that is especially difficult. With the amount of dirt on my face and body, and with my living outside and in the sun so frequently, it is surprising that I have yet to sprout any plant based life upon my body.
-Edward Leeming 7/12/2017
To be continued!