All Because of a Stick

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 21:03 -- Chloie

On his way to safety

From the pursuing castle guards,

The thief found a small cottage in the forest.

It was two stories tall and hidden in a tree.

 

This gave him a bad feeling,

Knowing this forest was filled with witches,

Ghosts and Goblins.

But the guards were getting close,

So the thief wriggled himself up the tree and into the house.

 

Inside,

The house was bare.

There were no furniture, appliances, or tools,

Except for the two small beds in the far corner of the room.

Pressed together to make a makeshift large one.

They were made neatly with the blankets folded at the bottom.

 

He walked upstairs to see what else he could find.

The thief was looking for food and water,

But instead found what looked like an art gallery.

 

Colors beyond his wildest imagination,

Pictures so life-like, he swore they were moving.

Ugly beasts with fangs as long as his arm

Protruded through gaping mouths

Like a bloody sword through a body.

It was the most magnificent yet terrifying thing he had ever seen.

 

Then his vision went dark.

 

When he opened his eyes again, a woman stood before him.

He was tied to a pole in the center of the room,

On the ground with hands behind his back.

A two-by-four piece of wood was ready in her hands,

Aimed at him if he did something wrong

She had black, scraggly hair, with black glaring eyes.

She was wearing something that looked like rags for a dress,

And she smelled even worse.

 

"What is a little boy

Doing in a dangerous forest

Such as this?" the woman cackled.

"You do know that the goblins here like to eat reckless people

Such as yourself.

Maybe that doesn't scare you, then the ghosts

Of angry soldiers and vengeful women

Would make you think twice.

Or perhaps the ancient witches

Could spell you into walking into the enchanted swamp

And you could rot there for eternity."

 

Bewildered by all the dangers,

The thief sat frozen,

Eyes wide and staring at her.

After a moment, his voice let out a squeak

Involuntarily,

Then he blinked and shook his head,

Perhaps to clear the awful visions.

 

"Forgive me, but I am not a boy,

And I know how dangerous this forest is.

But let me assure you that I did not know you lived here.

I did not mean to trespass,

And I apologize for snooping,

But you did not need to whack me over the head

And tie me up like some wild animal."

He paused, thinking of a way to escape.

 

"If you let me go, I will be forever grateful,

And I swear that I will not come near ever again.

I only came because I myself,

Was truly in danger

Of being skewered and hanged.

I had just borrowed something--"

He looked around.

"Where is it?"

 

The woman cocked her head and the thief explained.

He borrowed a magical stick from the castle,

Said to be a very powerful tool to those who wield it.

He said he was going to help some of his friends,

Though, this was only half true.

The thief said that when he was finished using it, he'd give it back

And everyone would forget he even had it.

But when he woke up,

It was gone.

 

The woman considered his words for a moment,

Wondering and calculating.

The thief held his breath, hoping for the best,

But expecting the worst.

Finally,

She relented and let him go,

Telling him where she hid the stick.

 

It was a few days later when the thief was caught

Trying hopelessly to replace the stick.

He put it back in its protective case,

And ran for his life.

Once again,

He found the woman's cottage,

And stopped.

 

There was no way he was going to make it

Up the tree before the guards shot him down.

At least, not without help.

"Hey, lady! Help me by tying your sheets together and let them down!

Help me!

Help me!

Help me!"

 

Metal clanked,

Voices shouted,

Dogs barked,

And the thief's heart jumped into his throat.

He was scared out of his mind,

And he tasted his sweat as he licked his lips.

 

Then he saw a cloud of billowing white

Falling from the sky.

He scrambled to grab hold of the cotton sheets

Before he was shot.

He placed his booted feet against the tree and started climbing,

His hands fisted in the fabric.

 

Then silence filled the forest

As nothing made a move.

No leaf rustled, and no animal darted for their dens.

No guard notched an arrow,

Or threw their spear.

The thief could only hear

The beating of his thunderous heart.

 

He looked below

And beheld seventy men bowing.

When he looked up,

The woman was standing at the window

With her hands clutching the sheets similar to him.

The thief was confused.

The thief was worried.

 

Then, by some movement the woman made

Or some noise somewhere in the forest,

The men stood and waited for instruction.

The thief hurried up the tree

And stood next to the woman

To whom the men were bowing.

 

"What is going on?" he asked.

The woman merely looked at him,

Then her transformation changed.

No longer was she the woman in drabby clothes.

No longer was she someone he feared,

No longer was she someone who could possibly live in the forest.

 

Now,

She was a beautiful young girl

With the same black hair,

But clean and styled.

She had chocolate brown eyes

And a beautiful plum dress

That hugged her slim body.

 

He understood now.

Why the soldiers were bowing to her

And why she had let him go.

He did not understand why she hid

In a cottage, fifty feet in a tree,

Surrounded by dangerous creatures.

He did not understand why

She chose this life over the one she had.

 

Feeling like a child,

The thief bowed deeply to his queen.

He felt as though he was just caught

Fighting his elders.

He noticed that she smelled like roses and jasmine,

Nothing like the woman she'd been.

 

"What exactly did you use that stick for,

Young man?"

Their queen asked as the thief slowly straightened.

With a sigh of dread

And a twitch of fingers,

The thief told her.

 

"I did go help my friends,

Like I said.

But, it was not an appropriate errand.

I used the stick to give them gold

And silver.

I made their bedroom fill

With coins and jewels,

Because they told me to.

They wanted the riches

Kings and Queens have,

So I made the magic happen."

 

The queen nodded as if she understood,

But he knew that she could never understand.

She never had to rob anything in her whole life

Because she had enough money for everything.

His face contorted in anger.

 

"As punishment,

You should be skewered and hanged

For the crimes committed.

But,

Because I am just returning to my duties

After twenty years,

I will let you go with a proposition."

The thief's shoulders sagged with relief.

"Use the same magic to replace my gold,

Coins, jewels, and silvers,

And you may go free

With some gold for yourself"

He could not believe his luck.

 

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