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The Ending of The Thief
Harry, Age 10, Short Hills, NJ

This story is based on the novel The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. The story The Thief is about a pick-pocket thief who is sent with a king's advisor to steal a stone that grants the user immortality. Harry has written a "new ending" to the story. (ed.)

There was a ledge at the side of the bridge and on that bridge were, I estimated about 60 soldiers.  Using my thief of a mind which was about to go dead with fatigue and hunger, I told the magus and Sophos to wait there so that I could steal some food, water, and maybe even some blankets. “Are you crazy!?” the magus exclaimed. “You’re already wounded so you can’t fight back and besides if you try that circus stunt you will get yourself killed!”

“The gods will answer my prayers, and since when did you start caring about me? I’m a used tool that has no use to you anymore, scum from the gutter, remember?” “Gen.” he grasped me rather sharply.

“That is different now, back then we were enemies, now we are friends."

“Friends,” I spat. “As if.”

“Gen, that is different now. Gen, it will never leave my conscience if you die in my hands.”

I shrugged, even though I thought that what he said was pretty astonishing, and was amazed at my ability to conceal my own surprise. I slipped away from him in a significant amount of time and when I finally did I paused to say something like “Oh gods, shall the moon move behind the mountains so darkness may enshroud the camp and so I may creep through it.” Except shorter and less elegant, and just like that the camp was enshrouded in darkness. I started to creep through and so concentrated on my own pain that I did not hear the footsteps of the people that were following me.

 * * *

I woke up in total darkness. Had I died? Had I been buried alive? Was I in the temple under Aracthus, making myself one of the gods? I dared to say something. “Where am I?” I said.  Not sounding very confident of myself. I heard a voice that sounded like Sophos’s laugh and then I totally blacked out.

* * *

When I woke up again I saw the same thing, (darkness) and again those questions ran through my head, and again those questions overcame me. I didn’t even start to panic though until I remembered what I had heard and that of course was Sophos’s voice. I suddenly had an urge to run, I don’t know where but as I started to get up I bumped my head on what felt like a tarp and sat down immediately. “So,” said the magus “You finally woke up. For a second or rather a day there we thought that you had died.” He said it in a joking kind of voice but I didn’t think that he was even joking even in the slightest way.

“Well,” I said. Any living must be wise, by your standards, or at least know where he or she is.” I said this all in a loud girly taunting voice that I knew the magus hated.

“I am answering this only for your benefit Gen,” the magus said. “For we all know that you know absolutely nothing.”  After taunting me he started.  “As all may know we could be in no worse situation. After your mindless attempt to try to win us something in a broken coin machine those “fat hamsters in armor” also known as solders put us in a crate and have covered us with tarps so that we may die of lack of oxygen.

The magus couldn’t even hold back a stifled laugh on that one. “Okay, he said the real reason that we are here is because when you slipped away from us and the gods moved the moon behind the mountains we followed you because we knew that of all stunts that you couldn’t pull that one off, and so we followed the drops of blood, which were coming of course from your body, on the ground and finally came upon your nearly dead body. As soon as we did that we heard people coming and saw light from a lantern and someone coming to calm the camp down and light it up again so mindlessly we picked you up and slipped you under the tarp, and well here we are.”

“Wow.” I said, unenthusiastically.

“Here,” he said “try this new vocabulary word, cheese.” He tossed me a chunk of it and we all ate and laughed for the rest of the minutes lets say minutes that we were awake.

For the next, how should I say this, hours, in which we were awake I have learned many vocabulary words such as goat’s milk and trolley cart until we reached the day of so called immunity which more accurately translated into the day of mocking and sorrow. The day of immunity started with a wisecrack from the magus.

“Today Gen, we will make up for your stupidity for losing the stone by searching for it at 6:04 tonight when this trolley passes the river of which is the sight of a battle you won but in return Gen for your move we have lost the war.” It was a pathetic remark, and we all knew it because if it was anyone’s fault for losing the stone it would be the magus’s, and if anyone wasn’t involved in that fight it would be me.

The only fault in this entire mission made by the magus was telling me exactly when we were going to pass the spot of the battle of the stone. He may not have known this but I was not really a part of this little “team” thing anymore.  In fact, I was almost like a rebel and I wanted the stone for myself or at least to get the stone away from the king of Sounis in which was whose kingdom we were headed for judging by the fact that there were five sets of hoof prints wherever we went engraved in the rich soil. (They were of course Ambaides’s Pol’s the magus’s Sophos’s and mine.)

At approximately 6:00 I peaked out from under the tarp and was blinded even in the small source of light. (Thank goodness that I didn’t look out in the morning I though or I would be mourning over how I was blind.)

As soon as I had regained my vision I looked in front of the trolley and saw a river coming up. I hope that we haven’t passed the right river or I have sacrificed everything for nothing before I even had a chance to grab the wrong stone and sacrifice my loyalty in the river. There was normal stuff in the river we passed over, there were pebbles and carcasses of dead dried out plants. I observed this and then I knew that if I jumped into the river I would not drown because of the speed that it flowed at.

I suddenly saw a larger stone and was almost on top of the trolley cart before I realized that I should inspect the stone from a distance before risking everything. Of course the stone wasn’t the right one and all the other stones weren’t that I saw weren’t the right ones finally I was sick of not seeing the right one so I ducked under the tarp I put a hunk of cheese and a quart of goat’s milk into my pockets I climbed on top of the tarp, and then at the first sign of the right size stone, I jumped.

After I hit the riverbed which hurt a lot I may add, I stretched out my hands and I grabbed what I hoped was the stone that bared Hephestia’s symbol which was about one-thousand to fifty right before I was pulled under by the soft current.

* * *

I woke up at the first sign of pain.  I had been drifting down a river I supposed and I was hitting the high rocks in the river. That would have been true if the extreme pain did not subside and as I looked down I saw that my clothes had almost disintegrated completely. “Acid rain!” I exclaimed as I was almost sucked up by the naturally polluted stream, but my three days of repeated death had paid off and I swam to the riverbank before my death.

I was hit on the head again as if I had not been hit enough on the head yet by another river stone. “I never want to see these things again.” I mourned.

“Sorry, but you will be thankful.” I heard an all powerful voice say, and just as quickly as it came it was gone. I turned away and was walking backward when I slipped and fell over the smooth face of a common river stone and was about to walk on when I saw a blue glow and let out a scream of delight. I had found Hephestia’s long lost gift.

The outside layer of the cheese was hard but the inside was the taste of what a king tasted on a two-million dollar vacation. Unluckily though the cap of the milk had popped off and I had none of it left. I decided to set across the dypstopia in search of the queen of Eddis.

* * *

It took about a month but I finally reached the palace gates and this is where my real choice began. Should I surrender myself to her will or should I boast and annoy her and starve but not of course to death since I had the stone.

I finally decided that I should work for her since I was never going back to Sounis and still be loyal to the king that ruled it. I do not know how I came up with that idea but I know that if I wasn’t half crazed from my lack of hunger I would have put that on one of my last things as a drunk man to do list. (Later in my life though I may have been a healthy man and still done that because there are many, many, pros to be had as a king or queen’s thief.)

As soon as the guards had turned around and had almost left their posts I slipped in the door right under their noses and approached the throne aware but not caring of all the rude remarks that I had absorbed. “Dear queen of Eddis I grant you with Hephestia’s gift and therefore spare me I yelled over the court room and the last thing I could remember was untying the band around my hair and handing the stone over to he majesty.

* * *

As soon as I learned that I was now king’s (or rather queen’s) thief I ordered a house to be built next to the castle for me to live in. I said that I did that because I do not like big houses but it is really because every time a traveler that can spare some time passes by I give him a meal and tell him about my adventures of how I steal things. I know that it isn’t smart and that the queen would not allow it but it is something to do and they can not prevent my theft.

So if you want something to talk about just come by me, I live in the little house next to the palace in Eddis.

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