Don't Slip Up

When Bingo finally let Taro out of the building again, Taro wanted to whoop for joy. He'd spent three days roaming around and around the corridoors, bored out of his mind and longing to get outside again. Bingo had given him several more lectures during his confinement, all telling him how thick he was and how he'd better not slip up again or he'd really pay for it. Taro had endured the lectures, albeit with difficulty, and, at last, he could get out to work again.

"But remember Taro, don't go near the house. If you get caught then if the law don't kill you first I'll throttle you with my bare hands." Bingo reminded him as Taro made a bolt

Taro rolled his eyes and raced out of the door. He immediately made a beeline for the alleyways leading to the market, his feet moving so fast over the ground he felt he was scarcely touching it. He was free, at long last he was free. No more hours spent cooped up in the smelly, derelict confines of the den and no more longwinded lectures from Bingo. Now he could get back to doing what he did best. Cutting purses.

The marketplace was busy that morning, full of people and buzzing with noise. Still with a massive grin on his face, Taro set to work. It felt good to be out again, to have the sun on his face and to be near people again. Darting under a fruit stall, Taro sat down beneath the low table and started nibbling a stolen apple, feeling very pleased with himself.

Then, all of a sudden, there came a voice booming over the hubbub of the market place, a voice bristling with fury:

"QUIET! LISTEN UP ALL OF YOU! I HAVE AN ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE DISTRICT LORD. IF YOU SEE THE MAN IN THIS PICTURE YOU ARE  TO INFORM THE AUTHORITIES IMMEDIATELY, HE IS A WANTED MAN AND THERE IS A REWARD FOR ANYONE WHO CATCHES HIM."

Taro's throat constricted, were they talking about him? No, they couldn't be, no-one knew who he was. Creeping out from under the cover of the canopy, he slipped out of the crowds to see a large poster pinned to the door of a church. When he saw the picture, Taro felt his heart plummet into his boots. Beneath the large crest of the District Lord was a  sketchy picture of a dark-skinned man in a black mask. Beneath it were words, printed in blood-red ink.

"Wanted: Taro Lightfingers. Dead, or alive."

Taro stared at the sign for a long while, then turned and ran for his life.

The End

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