You want to hear stories about theft?
Deceit? Alright, it’s your funeral.

The Thief

Created by
Percy Van Ort


It doesn’t surprise me that people don’t know about the thief, not one bit. We know of lesser robbers because they don’t think through their heists: they don’t know about replacement or the delicate cleaning of a wound’s edges, or of anaesthesia and tactical cruelty. To be fair, if I hadn’t read books and listened to those wiser, or tasted the lake and the wind sour as I’ve grown older, heard crows chattering and pigeons murmuring about their pricked nerves… well, I certainly wouldn’t know about the thief, passing himself off as paradise. I would have only known that something was gone one day and I hardly would have known what it was.

But now, when skies grow grey and warm, fetid air brings ashes to my tongue – now, I know that the thief has come to town, his scissors pricking and shearing the back of my neck, leaving little scars on the bumps of my spine.

My friends do not speak of the thief. They know, but to speak of him is a joyless and useless task. Instead they share what could not be taken, what they have nourished and gathered, what joy and sorrow they have felt, stories tucked away until they were powerful enough to be shared. They are lightbringers, guardians and wards against his work.

As for me? Well, I had a small thing taken from me and it remains gone. So I warn people. I speak of the thief, his capabilities, his cunning, and craft. But I also know that he is quite stupid and sometimes, his failures are just as awful as his victories.

Some have noted that maybe the thief could have learned something about something at some point in time. I don’t know about that, but if there were some conclusions to be drawn from his actions, I’ve listed them below. But don’t think too hard about them or they’ll go soggy like bread in soup and then the soup goes cold and suddenly, you’ve got a curdled gazpacho that you can neither understand nor eat.

The Thief and the Hole: Holes, history, and compassion are never bottomless.

The Thief and the Letters: Your pride means nothing.

The Thief and the Chain: Do not make poison and rust from your words.

The Thief and the Name: You have very little control. Find wonder instead.

The Thief and the Thief: There is nothing to learn from this.

Instructions: Already, I speak too plainly: if the thief heard these words, he’d take more from me than he already has. To talk about the thief, it is necessary to distract, to cut and arrange shadows, to sing because the thief does not hear notes. I sing and he knows this, so he wrings his hands, keeps an ear to the ground for unfamiliar sounds. This is why you too should feel the dirt while you read: the clearest compositions come from my feet.

Here, I will tell you.


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