"What is this?" I stared at the dark blue smoke she puffed out from her mouth, the puff was larger than my asthma pump. Some of them looked at me, staring at the royal crest on my robes. "You knights pretend that you know nothing of this," an old man muttered in the corner, he was puffing on the thing too. It looked like the age-old insect repellant that you have to pump real hard on it. "I'm new here," I lied, I had stolen those robes from the royal laundry service and I was holding about a dozen items that weren't mine in my pockets itself. "This is Osaze, child," the old lady was kind to me, she was gray, with them wrinkles and the works. She pronounced it 'oh-sah-zeh'

"Uhh.. Osaze?" I stared at it, as she handed it to me, I was glued to my seat, they were all seated on chairs that seemed to be made out of blue soil and most of them were drinking green, yellowish tea and the sky was purple, nothing made sense to me any longer.

"Yes, child, don't say you don't know this, the court is famous for abusing this." she held it up, unscrewed the top and puffed on it once, "This beauty."

I knew the guards were coming, I wondered if the guilt might have made me glow like a lightbulb that said, 'I'm the THIEF! Come and GET ME!' I felt in my robes, I had stolen the royal eyeshadow, the king's underpants and lots of pots and pans. All in a dare, to tell Tom that I was the better thief. He knew that I wasn't from around, but I still could pull it off ten times slicker than he ever damned well could.

"Oh-kay," I said nervously, tugging on my sleeves and unscrewing the top of the pump. I imitated the way she twisted the knobs and I put it to my lips.

The feeling of having the slivery blue smoke travel up my nose, it entered my eyeballs, it colored my lenses blue and my insides red. My head felt light and I could feel my brains growing even lighter.

I wanted more. I needed more. So, I unscrewed the top and lowered it to my lips.

"Don't be stupid," a younger boy, he had a bob haircut, like his momma slapped a bowl on his forehead and lost her temper with the scissors. Sad, tragic haircut. "Why do you mean?" I hated it when people called me stupid, dumb or obnoxious. That was something that no one did. But when people HAPPEN to do it, I just get mighty pissed off at them. "You do it more than once, child, your senses will not be clear," the old sweet lady laid a hand on my shoulder and took it from me. "And you wonder why so many knights are falling from the courts?" Ugly- haircut dude was muttering to himself.

I must've looked really confused because the old guy with the eye-patch came and stared at me with his one good eye, it was kinda freaky, all brown in the outside but green on the inside and the whites were all haunted- looking. "Your brothers and sisters have no values, they are too. foolish," the old man started to rave and rant, not like I cared or anything but he just sounded so angry. "They storm about the lands, collecting Osazes like as though it is something foul but then, they go home and sniff it each day till they lose their minds. They become STUPID when they do this, I tell you STUPID!"

Oh-kay, not like I cared, seriously, it was NONE of my business, the smoke was great, true, but don't you get the same thing when you puff wheat? That you do, right?

"They have no manners, they parade like vain Urtas (their special way of saying peacocks, but don't know why they just can't say them 'colorful birds' or something) on this piece of land and they send you, a small child here to speak to us commoners, what do they take us for? Fools?" his bottom teeth were missing.
Fools? Uhh, I don't know. I was thinking more along the lines of say. insane? I don't know? Psyhco? Uh-huh. And then, they all took turns to stare at my black robes, admiring it's rich velvety feel under their fingers.

"How long did you take to earn this, my lady?" the old lady was the only one that was polite. "A while," which was true, I had swiped it from the laundrymat and ran like hell. "You must be wise to come this far," Ugly-haircut dude was being polite now. "I'm okay," I shrugged, thinking about the heavy tiara that I was lugging in my sleeves. Tom was walking on the other side of the road. He did a double-take when he saw me in the robes.

"Tom, hey, I got these," I spilled the items from my robes for the whole town to see, passer-bys stopped to take a look at my stash, most of them had their mouths hanging open. And then, I realized how stupid I must've been to do that. "Jae, where did you get these?" he gasped, holding up a string of blue pearls in his hands. "The castle, hail to this thief, Tom because I managed to clean the royal chambers dry," I said proudly, balancing the shiny tiara on my head.

I swear, I would've killed Tom if I knew he was such a fuck-up bastard. The town was tiny, just a small square with the castle about three miles away. Most people were poor, but Tom stood on King Merachazare's monument and he shouted at the top of his voice, while pointing to me.

"Hail to the thief! The great wise robber," he yelled, and most people stopped to look at me, I thought that they were all going to gasp and go 'ooh' but they didn't. "She was the one clever enough to take the knights' robes, steal the queen's jewelry and snatch the king's garments!" Tom, the asshole held it above his head. "What the hell is wrong with you, Tom?" I shouted at him, pulling at his cloak, trying to get him down. "She wants to go home, but they won't let her, so she has escaped," he continued the screaming, people were beginning to whisper and I heard a horse pull up. "What are you trying to do, Tom?" I pushed him over from the King's monument and he toppled over. "I am trying to get you jailed, Jae, that's what I'm trying to do," he said with a grin. "No, you CAN'T. How can I EVER get back to K.L then? I don't want to be stuck in this freaky land forever," I said, sighing, the guards were approaching, I could feel it.

I started to run, Tom was in front of me, he caught hold of my robes. "Hail to the thief!" he started to drum up the crowd again. "Shut the hell up, Tom!" I screamed but he didn't listen, but to me he hissed. "You can get out of here when you get into the castle, Merachezare's men will help you," he whispered into my ear. "Who the hell is Mera-whatever?" I shouted while the guards dragged me away. "The king and his magician," he was following me behind the carriage, they were carrying me off with a CARRIAGE. "Isn't he that dude?" I pointed to the monument, the guards smelt bad with their rusty armor and heavy chains, like oil and black paint. "They are one man, Jae, one man with two faces," he said. "Thanks, but NO THANKS for all your NO HELP!" I screeched at him when they tossed me into a cell.

"Screw you all!" I started kicking at the brick walls, but no one wanted to listen to me.
I didn't want to be here. He said that I was the ONLY one who could repair the king's viola player's fingers. Sure, I mend fingers but I don't get THROWN into cells because some sniveling fool challenged me to an all- out hunt. I was the best thief. And Tom knew it too. And then, from outside the dark cell, I heard his voice.

"Hail to the fool, the foolish thief that would never go home, never go home, never go home, hail to the fool, the fool that will never return to her home," he whispered outside a small hole in the cell. "I swear, I will freaking kill you, Tom," I swore at the keyhole. "How are you going to do that? I am out and you are in," he laughed. "Why are you doing this, what the heck did I EVER do to you?" I asked him angrily. "All bow to me, I am the master of thieves, Jae, you will never be as great as I am," he stood there, I wanted to knock something inside those soft brains of his.

"You think I CARE about what thief problem you got, Tom? I want to go home, don't you get it? I don't see any broken fingers, Tom. I want to go back," I begged him from the keyhole, at once I knew that stealing wasn't so hot now. "You wait, I'll bring her fingers to you. Then, they will see what you're here for," he said to me in a gentler tone now.


"Can't you just say that I'm here to HELP her? Then I can get OUT of this cell? It's DARK. And there are RATS here. Come quickly," I sounded positively desperate. "In time, you just mend her fingers as best as you can when I bring her in, Jae. I know you can," he said and then, I heard him walk away. "If you don't come soon, I'll start eating the cell, okay?" I tried to crack a joke, but it somehow didin't sound quite as funny as I thought it would.

Even my sense of humor was starting to sound stupid. Maybe I am really stupid all the time and just didn't know it? Hmm.