top of page

Catching Patchwork

I’m surprised you found me. Clever little thing. How long you been rushin’ your feet in Kelna? That long? I’m impressed, you got moxie kid. You want to know why I’m here? Well, I guess you can stay. Here, rest your kickers, and you can have some of that bread, too. I’m stuffed, and you’re looking a little scrappy. I remember what it’s like.

You see, I’m here because I’ve found the perfect perch, like those predator birds that wait outside the gates for squashed rodents. Not that I’m hovering so I can dive in and snag a prize, it’s just a good place to contemplate. It’s sheltered from weather—though I don’t mind a drizzle when it’s warm—and prying eyes. I can comfortably sit or lay, and best of all, I can clearly see down into the Nightthorns’ nest for some inane entertainment.

Go ahead and crack some teeth, those bilks are always good for a sniggle. You might think I’m here to spy, which is a perfectly reasonable assumption, but my only purpose tonight is to watch the mindless antics and hide from the seigneur of my guild. This is the last place he would look for me. Hate’s a rather powerful ally when one is trying to avoid something, remember that. Really, my spectral presence is for the best unless a Nightthorn member ventures to look up, which I doubt would happen. They’ve never been overly concerned about keeping their location secret. I never did understand why they chose a nest with windows in the roof. It’s a lark that Kelna’s guards can’t find ‘em. Why do they hate me? I’m a Silverhand. You still don’t know? Well, the Nightthorns don’t really care for the members of my guild and vice versa, though, it’s a bunch of pettifoggery to me. I’ve had plenty of beastly run-ins with members of the Nightthorns, but there’s one line I will never cross, and that’s rookin’ the peach. I won’t be turnin’ over their location because it’s the thieves code. We steal things and hate rival guilds, but we’re still an honorable lot. I don’t care what lies you’ve overheard from those gowks that supposedly protect our citadel.

Not that the code would do anything to protect me if I was caught by one of those Nightthorn bilks. The only reason I’m here now is because I needed a break from my seigneur, Miles, and his seemingly unpredictable temper tantrums. Let him worry about where I went for a while, it’s his punishment for being so faddish. What did he do to deserve my wrath? The gink threw a gilded pitcher across the room, damaging its delicate gold shape and sending the thumb-sized jewels skipping across the dusty floor of our nest. It was by far the most beautiful thing I’ve stolen, but he still complained twasn’t enough to prove myself as a worthy thief. Monstrous! If he’d known what I went through to get that particular item, he would not have said such a thing. Trust me, if you’d met him you’d understand why I’m upset.

You wanna know why I’m here? I told you. Oh, you mean here specifically. Well, like I said, Miles won’t look for me here, and he deserves to simmer in his anxiety after his stunt. I’m his favorite thief, though he won’t outright say it, and I deserve a little more respect. Sometimes I think that’s why he’s so wavering in his praises and admonishments. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the only one to get the lash of his tongue, but I seem to get it more than most and I’m tired of it. Why don’t I leave? The Silverhands are a good thieves’ guild, which is why I agreed to join, but they’re a fickle lot. It was the first thing I noticed. The majority of them rushed the streets as kids, but they’ve been comfortable for too long and don’t remember what it’s like to live without staples. Livin’ without the staples, that’s not something I’ll ever forget. If you ask me, they could all use a refresher. I rushed these streets for fifteen years before the Silverhands convinced me to throw in my lot with them. Fendin’ for yourself doesn’t lend to being dicky. Miles could be a little more heavy-handed in my opinion. Bread is bread, right? How you likin’ that sourdough? Good? I swiped it from the baker on my way here.

Anyway, I’m here for the night ‘cause when I do return, I’ll be the golden child and in my seigneur’s gracious favor—until he decides to be fitful again. I’ve had enough of his asinine behavior. Fool me once and all that. The destruction of the golden ewer was the ending stroke as they say. Miles is going to regret pissing me off. You think I’m being fickle? Maybe. If I am, it's ‘cause I’m surrounded by it all the time. I’ve considered abandoning the Silverhands and starting my own guild, that would show ‘em. Why don’t I? Well, I’m not sure I have the clout. Haha. Just you and me, patchwork? Think we could make it on our own? The idea is temptin’…

Nah, I’m not going to abandon him, I like being in the Silverhands, but if I did create my own guild I would be impulsive just like my seigneur and I don’t want to be like that, plus I’d bring a squall down on my head. I’m just not gonna let him control me any longer. I still like Miles, but I’ve got my pride, too.

Oh, now you think I should take over the guild, become the seigneur myself? You got mind readin’? Being up here on the roof helped me to come to that very decision. I’m going to cabbage the Silverhands right out from under Miles. You think me crazy? That’s fair, it’ll likely take me years, but I’ll make it happen. I want to be the one holding the purse strings of my life, not some desultory like Miles. When you’re a little older, you come find me and I’ll have a place for you in the Silverhands. You want to come with me now? Sorry patchwork, you got a few more lessons to learn rushin’ the streets before you can be a good thief in the guild, but I’ll keep my eyes on you, make sure you’re alright. You want me to swear it? I told you, thieves are an honorable lot despite our lawlessness. If I say I’ll do something, I’ll do it.

Before you go, I gotta know if you’re gonna snitch on me. How can I trust you not to go waggin’ your tongue to Miles? You don’t want anything to do with him? Can’t say I blame you, and you’re a mouthy little thing, no need to talk to me like that, but I still like you. Come find me every once in a while and I’ll teach you a thieving trick, thataway you’ll be ready for the Silverhands when it’s time. Yeah, patchwork, it was nice to meet you, too.

Photo by Raul Cacho Oses on Unsplash

bottom of page