Feb 05 2012

Free Writing Excercise (Conclusion) – Sheala Backstory

Posted by Mathias

Here is the conclusion to my free writing excercise.  You can read part 1 and part 2 if you like.

[Begin]

Sheala looked over the contraption more fully than she had up until now. Its complexity led her to a conclusion that she was sure was right. “It’s impossible,” she proclaimed. “It cannot be done.” Every wire attached to every trigger was so sensitive that there was no doubt in her mind of that statement.

She looked at Arias for approval. He pointed at the dummy. “It is a good lesson to learn,” he said, “that sometimes some prizes are not attainable. A good thief knows this and how to recognize that a risk is greater than the reward before getting caught. But, this is not an impossible task.” Arias stepped around her, pushing her gently to one side. With his hand he smoothly removed the purse without a single trap being sprung. “See?”

He put the pouch back onto the hooks as Sheala started to ask, “But how?”

“Practice. Now, you will try this again and you will keep trying again until you get it right. And just incase you feel that the risk is greater than the reward – ” Arias again retrieved the purse from the hooks without setting them off. He dumped the contents into his hand. Six Gold Imperials that fell out. “Get it off, without springing a single trap and you can keep these.” He returned the money to the pouch and placed it back into the mechanism.

Six Gold Imperials? That was more than a month’s pay for even a full member of the guild. And it was certainly more money than Sheala had ever seen at one time. Sheala immediately decided that she definitely wanted those coins. She collected herself and tried again. She tried to be careful, lifting the pouch slightly up and to the left, then a little more and then a little more still without any of the traps triggering. She had this she thought. It was a piece of cake as long as she paid attention. But with her next move one of the trips was set loose. Her confidence caught up with her as the metal strip cracked off her arm.

Arias was unfazed as Sheala screamed in pain, her arm hanging limply at her side. He just reset the dummy one more time and again told her the same as before, “Again.”

Sheala could not protest. She tried again. Again she set off the trigger that sent the metal whip into her leg for the second time.

“Again.” Arias set the device back to the ready.

Sheala went again for the trophy. Her fingers were light, lighter than they had been on her previous attempts. But they moved faster than before too. In a second she was holding the liberated purse in her hand and stopped. Stunned she anticipated the strength of the blow she had expected from a trap she felt certainly she should had sprung. But there was none. She had done it. Pleased with herself she quickly opened the bag and poured the contents into her hands.

But instead of six Gold Imperials there were just six simple, steel bits. Worthless. She looked up as Arias was heading out the door of the storeroom and back out into the hallway. He stopped and gave her an admonition. “And that child is your second lesson. Never, ever, trust a thief.”

Sheala was just too stunned to answer. Arias left the room.

[END]

Time: 36 minutes 13 seconds

Feb 04 2012

Free Writing Excercise (Continues) – Sheala Backstory

Posted by Mathias

Having some free time this weekend I wanted to sit down and continue my free writing excercise. You can read part one of the excercise, which I did yesterday, here.

[BEGIN]

Again, Arias tightened his grip on Sheala’s shoulders as she wanted to speak. Again she held back at his unspoken request and let him respond. “If that’s the problem,” Arias said coolly, “I will take her on as my novitiate. That means she can be paid out of my cut. Until at least she becomes a full member.”

“Fine,” Darvin shooed the two of them away, glad to be done with the whole thing. Although probably not very happy with the solution from what Sheala could tell. With a gentle pull, Arias guided Sheala away from the table, out of the room and into the hallway. Sheala heard the door close behind her as she and Arias left Darvin to his tasks as Guildmaster.

There was silence between them as the two walked down the corridor of the old, dilapidated building. Sheala let Arias guide her along the path he wanted her to take, around every corner that he led her around. Eventually they came to a small room without a door. It was a storage room but there was little of value kept here. Mostly just an assortment of junk piled up that the guild had no use for. He urged her inside. “Wait here,” Arias said, finally removing his hands from her shoulders and disappearing into the piles of trash. Sheala felt almost naked without him holding her.

She did as she was told however. Before she could draw two breaths though, he reemerged carting before him a stuffed, burlap dummy. It was mounted on a platform with rusty and misshapen wheels that creaked and shook awkwardly as it was rolled on the floor from its place in storage. Arias put it in down front of her. Sheala looked at the weird structures that protruded off to the sides, a mass of pulleys and springs and wires that seemed to have to rhyme or reason to their placement and that reached out like extra, spiderlike appendages.

Arias replied to her unspoken question. “This is your new training partner.” He proceeded to meddle with the devices and move them until Sheala heard them pop and latch one by one into new positions.

“That old thing?” Sheala asked skeptically.

“Yes – this ‘old’ thing.” With his hands on her shoulders again, Arias placed her behind it. There was a set of five hooks at what would have been waist level on a grown man. He draped the straps of a coin purse over and around them and Sheala could hear its contents jangle. Stepping back Arias told her what he wanted her to do. “Try and take that purse.”

Sheala looked at the contraption. She reached for the pouch just like she had done a hundred times before and without much thought. The second her hand touched the prize she as told to acquire she heard one of the springs pop. A flat piece of rusted metal whipped around from the side and slapped her in the leg with force enough to stagger her and leave a sizable welt. Sheala stumbled with a pronounced, “OUCH!”

Arias reached for the trap she had sprung and reset it. The spring clicked back into place. “Again,” he told her without seemingly a care for any pain she felt.

Sheala rubbed her leg where she had been struck but she did as she was told. Again she reached for the purse. Again with the slightest touch from her fingers a trap was sprung. This time a different piece of metal whapped her on the back of her hand. Again she cried out in pain. That one hurt more than the other.

Attempting to shake the hurt from her hand, Sheala watched again as Arias coolly reset the dummy once more. “Again,” he prodded yet again.

[END]

Time: 27 minutes 02 seconds