The door thudded with heavy security, but the boy on the other side of the bars still shivered as he faced me. I rammed my shoulder into the thick wood one more time, more for the satisfaction of the motion and the way the boy jumped and closed his hand around the hilt of his sword, than for any progress it made. I gripped the bars in the little square window, and gave them one last tug as I turned away.
I took three steps and my shoulder brushed the far wall.
“You know,” I called to him. Rocking back on my heels, I looked up at the stone ceiling then glanced at the shadows in the corners. “From the looks of it, you don’t actually have to stand there. These four walls are holding me just fine.” I put my shoulders to the wall and slid down. I intended to sit, but half way, I just stopped, settling into a rough crouch. Rest suddenly didn’t seem appealing when I came that close to it.
I waited a moment, but the boy outside stayed quiet.
“Are you under orders not to talk to me?” I asked.
There was a rustle and a clink in the hall, maybe him shifting on his feet. “I don’t believe so,” he said.
“Believe so?” I asked. “It’s been a while since I took orders, but as I remember, they were always pretty clear.”
A pause, and I thought it might turn into another silence, but the boy shifted again. “I’m allowed to talk to you.”
“Good,” I said. “Because I’m bored. What do they expect people to do all day in these little boxes?”
“Sit,” the boy said dryly.
I laughed quietly. It was a bold word, bolder tone, for someone shaking in their armor. “You ever been in one of these?”
“No,” he said.
“Then I expect you would be amazed how quickly sitting around falls to the bottom of the list of pleasant things to do. It doesn’t even get boring, it just starts to hurt your backside after a certain number of hours.”
Another long, silent moment.
I bounced on my heels, rubbed my hands over my knees. “So, what are my other options? Sit, stand, lie flat, run very small circles?”
“Wait,” the boy offered.
I brought my head up a little. “For what?” I asked, slow. “Do you think they’ll let me out of here one day?”
“Oh,” I said. “You’re thinking it’s just going to be a short stay.” Leaning back, I let out a long breath. “If it helps, I do too.” I rolled my shoulders back, pressed them flat to the stone. The cold felt good through my shirt, but warmed up quickly. After a moment, I rolled forward again, and bounced on my heels.
“Really?” the boy asked, sharp, and fast.
I looked up quickly.
“You’re the one who’s supposed to be able to walk through walls and this is how you do it?” he demanded.
I eased myself back to my feet. Taking two slow steps, I bent forward to look at him through the window again. He was just where I’d left him in the hall, back a few inches off the wall, hand still locked over the hilt of his sword. But his eyebrows had crunched together, while his eyes went wide under them.
Slowly, I grinned.
I’m a thief! Today, I – and all my other friends – robbed the Kid. The first line of this piece actually belongs to her. Be sure to stop by her blog tomorrow to see what the boy was afraid of in her original piece of fiction.