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The Theft

Excepts from The Theft in the anthology Beneath The Twin Suns

AGNE STOOD BEFORE the door of her shop, the clatter of horse hooves and din of passersby washing over her. She reached into the pocket of her skirts for her keys, but she did not need them. The door swung open. Her heart skipped. 

Tightness wound her jaw shut and clenched her stomach. She stepped in, the earthy scent of wool intertwined with pine. Her gaze swept over her shop, and her breath lodged in her throat. 

There was no one. 

A held breath eased from her lips. 

A few clusters of threads from her loom swayed in the breeze from the opened door. Agne frowned, strode to her loom, and crouched in front of it. Four weaving stones were missing. 

Choice words left her mouth. A shadow crept across the floor, barring the light from the doorway. 

A startled Agne spun around. 

“What’s wrong?” Galeti’s husky voice filled the room. 

"I’ve been robbed.” The words scratched the back of her throat. 

Galeti strode towards her. “What did they take?” 

“The weaving stones.” Each word was attached to a string that tugged her heart. “I’ll never get it done in time.” Her finger trailed over the fine-wool baby’s blanket. 

“Your sister’s not close to her time.” 
 
“Both she and our mother were early. And Lilith’s first was early too.” Her finger traced the unfinished pattern, the one thing she could give as a gift. Emotions thickened her throat. 

Galeti’s distinct scent of mortar and sage teased her nostrils. “Is there anything else missing?” 

She whirled around to inspect the rest of her shop. The warmth of his touch disappeared, leaving behind spots colder than glaciers. Her gaze skipped over her simple table to the place where she usually placed her basket with her lunch. Her frown deepened into a scowl at the empty spot on the table. 

“What’d they take?” Galeti followed her to the table and peered over her shoulder.  

***


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