I stared at the door in front of myself, thinking. Ok. You were willing to do this Will. You volunteered! Start acting like it! You still have your pride! Honor……no. But pride! You need to walk in there as if this is what you’ve wanted to do your whole life! And, if you can’t do this, who can? You are William Vonfontenelle! Top street thief for years, never been caught! Only stopped when you couldn’t fit through the windows anymore and since then…..well, you’ve gained other skills! So, let’s get in there and…at least act competent, ok? I nod to myself and take a deep breath, then put out my hand to open the door. So….what pack of vile street scum have they picked up now? They are always here for assault. Hmm….salties….I like that….well, I should get on with it….. I open the door, fully expecting it to be full of the sort of tattooed brutes I’ve grown to know far to well over the years.
Instead, I am pleasantly surprised to find it empty and pretty dark. “Awesome. I’m the first one here.” Looking around, I saw the row of packs and decided to investigate, hoping to find a lantern or something. Wish I’d kept the ol-….no, you’re not. The money you got for that fed Theo for a week. Besides, if you need one, they will give it to….nah. They probsky won’t. I was about to open one of the packs when I sensed movement behind me.
I whirled around and reached for my knife, only to remember it went to give us this months “rent”. I prepared to meet my foe with my fists.
“What are you doing?” Said a voice slightly to the left of where I was expecting. The hand connected to that voice turned on a small light and shined it in my face.
I raised a hand to cut out some of the glare. “I was looking around. Names Will. I’m here for the games.”
She lowered the light to my waist. “No duh. I thought maybe you were a plumber.” I took this time to look at her. She didn’t look much older than me, probably younger, but probably not a very soft life. She has the look of a thief. A good look if I say so myself. She continues. “So, Will, what are you in for? Theft right? You have the right look.”
“I volunteered.” Her mouth dropped open. Any hint of comradedery gained by our mutual thieviyness was lost.
She turned away from me. “and here I thought maybe I’d get someone who wasn’t an idiot. But no, it’s just going to be those idiots who go willingly and those who beat people up. We are going to die.”
I cleared my throat. “if it helps, I am a thief too. I probably would have ended up here eventually anyway….well, probably not. I was pretty good at what I did.” I smiled with well placed arrogance.
She turns the light back on my face. “Hm…not as stupid as you could be. I’d ask why you volunteered anyway, but it can’t be good. Only make me think less of you. I guess you may have some use.”
“Better than a saltie anyway.” I said as I made my smile more plaeasant. Before she could ask what that was, the next contestant entered.