Hunted

by joetwo

Fred was a pickpocket, mugger and general robber of some renown in the dirty old city. Many an unfortunate soul had had their possessions seized by his quick hands on a busy street and should there be resistance, well Fred had to eat, and he was there were few around who could best him in a scrap.

One night, Fred was loitering around, watching the world go by when he spotted a likely target in the corner of his eye. She was far too well dressed to be out in this part of the street this late at night. There was a full purse in her hand. “That money will not be long in her hand” Fred said softly to himself as he slid into the shadows “She’d might as well give it to me.”

The woman was ambling through the streets picking her way through the cobbles, avoiding horse dung and foul-smelling puddles. Fred kept at least ten paces from her. Waiting for them to get out of sight of the assorted street-walkers and drunks frequenting the streets.

Fred thought his luck had come in when the woman turned off the street into a side street. Fred knew the place well, The Yard in front of Dark Entry seldom had people there, it would be perfect place to make his move.

The woman walked down the empty street, her white dress fading to black as she passed through the shadows. Fred picked up his pace, boots treading silently on the street. He got closer and closer. Ten paces became eight, six, four then he was within striking range, his hand flying out to grab the purse.

Like lightning, before he even touched the leather purse, there was a hand, vice-like, holding his wrist. The woman turned and looked straight at him, looked at Fred with eyes that bored into his head, eyes that weren’t quite human.

Fred was about to learn, had he lived of course, that there is a good reason that certain women can walk the street at anytime without being molested, that it is they, not petty criminals like Fred who rule the shadows, and, most importantly, that they are not after money, or jewelry, but that most precious possession, life itself.

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Image Credit: Thomas Marlow
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Written for The Light and Shade Challenge of Monday 29th September 2014

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