[Fic]Four Rogues: A Dramedy
Chapter the First: A Thief's Tale
"Aye, so I steal," stammered the curly, red-haired little man. "So what?
Haven't you ever pilfered a little something off your brother or sister's
plate at dinnertime? If you haven't--heh--you're either a liar or one
hungry little whelp as a child!" He clutched his belly and giggled.
Even though I enjoyed the pint-sized defendant's merry confession,
our town constable was anything but impressed.
"Pitney Lightfingers, you stand accused of stealing 1,000 pieces
of copper off of one of the night watchmen. How do you plead?"
Pitney scoffed. "Don't you already know that, Your Honor? You
caught me red-handed, you and that tall, armored brute! I was
just plying my trade. You can't expect a little runt like me to go
chopping down trees for a living, now, can you? I may be just
the right size to have a go at the trunk, but it'd take me a year!"
"I see that," seconded the constable, "and a year is what you'll
get if you don't show me a little more respect. Hard labor might
be good for you, young chap. Strengthen those arms up a little."
"You're kidding, right?" From where I sat, my wrists in chains, I
could see that the fellow looked worried. "One year for ten pieces
of silver? That's not much when you think of it. Not much to you,
anyway. Hee, hee, hee!" The thief laughed again, his face turning
red. "I mean--I only said--oh, brandy-burn! There goes my mouth!"
"Indeed," said the constable. "Since you have pled guilty, do you
have anything you wish to add before I sentence you?"
"Yes, indeed," smiled the defendant. "There once was a lad who
was terribly bad. Pitney Lightfingers was his name. But the constable
here sent him off for a year to hard labor. Now that's just a shame!
Well, the townspeople cried because poor Pitney died, and they
laid him down low in a grave. But the gods saw his strife and
brought him back to life! What a relief! Now that's a close shave!"
Despite myself, I guffawed out loud, wishing I could stifle my
laughter with my hands (which were both in heavy shackles. Akh!)
"I demand order," said the constable, "from all in court. Now, then..."