In Jenny’s experience, rooftop thieves were single-handedly responsible for the average citizen’s faith in good things falling out of a clear blue sky. Fat drawstring purses did not bloom out of cobblestones, though she’d seen quite a few men pluck them up as if they had. Pearl necklaces did not vine their way around a branch on the tree beside your front door, though she’s seen quite a few women fall for that. Bread did not bake golden brown on the window ledge, but Jenny guessed you’d never know it just from biting into the sun-warmed crust.
Sighing, Jenny laid out flat on the roof, arms crossed over the edge with her chin on her wrists. She eyed the sack on the ground, half-open from the fall with an apple still rolling lazily away from it. She glanced to either side of her at the sheer faces of the buildings, trying to decide the best way to climb down and retrieve it. Glancing at the front doors, she tried to calculate how long it would be before someone tripped over it and the apples and cheese and delicious cherry tart wasn’t hers anymore.
She heard a creak, saw the line of the door swing open and she sighed again. She’d have to find another bakery that didn’t guard its cherry tarts well enough.
A brown head stepped out and walked a few feet, intent on whatever business had carried him outside. Jenny laid still, exactly as she was, waiting for him to go back inside before she started along the roof line again. She doubted he would look up, but she wanted to make sure he picked up the food before she abandoned it for good. After a second, he seemed to be finished, stopped and turned back, then paused. Jenny stuck her tongue out at him.
Picking up the sack, he peeked inside. It seemed to take him a long time to recognize what was inside, and then he slowly tilted his head back.
Jenny almost scooted away from the edge, but didn’t, half-stunned, and half-too-smart.
“Thank you,” she thought he said, quiet and relieved.
Jenny blinked, surprised. Most people didn’t do that. She considered it for half a second, then shouted down, “You’re welcome!”
She scooted back in a hurry, grinning to herself. She figured, as poor as the early morning light was, as quick as she’d moved, a rooftop thief wouldn’t look much different from a rooftop angel.
My friend, The Babbling Buzzard is a thief! She stole the first line of this piece for some fiction her blog yesterday. Be sure to check it out.