The Theft

She was in the habit of stealing.

Seriously, how else could a prey survive without occasionally lifting food from the Hunters? And then there was the whole issue of clothing. Well, not really clothing, since they weren’t allowed any. But the material for bangles and necklaces and little strips of cloth that she wrapped around her waist didn’t grow on trees. So she learned to steal from the men in the village and in the camps.

She made her way to the village now, to one of her favorite cabins to visit. Pausing next to the cabin, she pressed her ear to the side to make sure no one was inside. Satisfied that the cabin was empty, she climbed in through the unlocked window and grinned wide as she perused the fresh stock of goods in one corner.

First, an apple was snagged, and she took a healthy bite out of it before taking a basket and setting it on the floor, planning to fill it up with all manner of goodies. Still munching on the apple, she added bananas and chocolate to the basket, then tossed in some beads. No doubt the Hunter had been planning to bribe some prey into having sex with him, because he surely couldn’t shoot.

Once the basket was loaded, she picked it up and headed back towards the window. But on the way, she spied a tube sitting on the bedside table. She leaned in close to look at it and, deciding it looked interesting, added it to her stash of stolen stuff. She then climbed through the window and hurried away to her little hiding spot among the trees.

Settling on the grass carpet, she glanced up at the limb-ed canopy that covered her “home,” the place where she hid and ate and slept. She reached into the basket, intending to put things away in the hollow of the nearest tree, when her fingers wrapped around the tube. She pulled it out and unscrewed the lid, lifting it to her nose to smell it.

“Oooh,” she moaned softly, as whatever was in the tube smelled divine. It surely must be something to eat, she thought, since it smelled like fruit and candy. She squirted some of the substance onto her fingers and then licked it off. Almost immediately afterwards, she noticed that her fingers were burning.

It wasn’t a totally unpleasant sensation, but it was definitely odd. Her brow wrinkled over it, and then she realized — her tongue was burning too! And this was most definitely unpleasant! She hurriedly drank some water, which didn’t help, then jumped up to run to the Healer’s hut. She tried to tell the Healer what was wrong, but it was hard to do with a swollen tongue.

Meanwhile, across the island in the village, a Hunter in his cabin called out to his owned prey. “Girl, have you seen that intensifying lube I used on you last night?”






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