Hey there, you good looking person. Thanks for taking a look at this. As for what this is, it is a story to a book I wrote that is now published at several electronic book stores such as:Kindle, Smashwords, Nook, Itunes and much more. I'm uploading parts of the book here to let other people know about it. Let me know what you think! I would love to hear your guy's critiques. If you are interested in seeing more of my story, I will provide a link to the stores after this chapter. Thanks again for taking a look at this and happy reading!
Some say luck saves kingdoms. Others say it is the reason for famine and disease. To me, luck is the reason why I'm still alive. You could say the way things started out for me in my life was rather unfortunate but common enough in Ireland that not many people took notice of me. Though I suppose you're curious as to what happened. Fair enough.
My life started out how any normal thief's would have started. My father abandoned me at the age of three for unknown reasons. He left me standing there in front of a building in the rain with a note and a necklace in my hand. Told me to stay put and have the people inside take care of me. Knocked on the door and ran. An elderly woman opened the door and stepped outside to confront me.
"What do you want from me?" she yelled in a husky voice.
Paralyzed with fear I didn't respond. All I did was lift my arm to her with the note and necklace in my hand. She yanked the paper and necklace out of my hand and opened the neatly folded paper. After carefully reading it she lowered her eyes onto me and pointed her finger toward the open door that led into the building.
"Get in!" she yelled again.
I obeyed and walked into the building. My first sight upon entering was of all the other children. I would soon learn that many had a similar story to my own.
The elderly women slammed the door and continued with the same tone of voice. "Welcome to the Dublin orphanage, where your life ends and hell begins."
And so it did begin.
I stayed in that orphanage for ten years being abused, bullied, and harassed until my 13th birthday, at which time I decided to run away. It wasn't hard really. The door was open and I walked out while making a snatch for my necklace that was locked in a chest that possessed all the other items that the other children had brought with them, when they too were left on the very same doorstep. Lock-picking I found was rather easy—I just got a knife from the kitchen, a small piece of warped metal and opened the antique chest within a minute. I quickly grabbed the necklace and strolled out, without fear of being chased. Later, I found out that the individuals who ran the orphanage never bothered searching for me, which was just fine. I never did find out what the note my father gave to me said that fateful day, many years before. The lady quickly burned it before explaining what was on it. But whatever he wrote down, he convinced the orphanage to take me in, even if it wasn't under the most comfortable of circumstances.
The first three years of living on the streets weren't easy, but I quickly adapted. I found out the best way to get food or money was living the thief life. Yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking—but hear me out: I was just trying to survive; I always took what I needed, without regard for rules. I was notorious amongst the kids for sneaking into the kitchen and snatching loaves of bread nearly every day. They even gave me a nickname "The Red Fox", a nod to my dark red hair. So using the skills I already had, I was able to survive. But just barely.
Out on my own on the street, I got by daily by implementing different tricks and trades that I had picked up through the years. I did everything from simple pickpocketing of unsuspecting individuals, to elaborate breaking and entering into the homes of the wealthy British officers who lived like kings. It's what I did until I was 16, but of course you don't go about the criminal activity without being noticed.
One day, a member of a criminal gang known as "The Lords of the Trinity" confronted me when I was running from an angry shopkeeper who'd caught me trying to make a quick snatch of his coin purse, swinging a meat cleaver at the table inches away from my fingertips. I tried to outrun him by slipping into an alleyway where I was stopped by a tall hooded man wearing a dark black cloak. Underneath, he wore a black leather shirt with pockets tied around it, and black trousers which seemed to be made of the same material as the shirt. The pants were equipped with extra pockets around the thighs, as well as a belt that seemed to have endless pockets. It was obvious by this man's attire that it was commonplace for him to carry many items while being invisible in the darkness.
"Now where do you think you're going?" he asked.
I analyzed his expression before answering in a rushed, sarcastic tone. "I was just taking a leisurely stroll when a madman began chasing me with a meat cleaver. It gave me motivation to get some exercise."
The man in the black robe gave me an uneasy, halfhearted laugh. "Well if you don't mind I would like to change that motivation to something different." He shrugged me to the side and continued to walk forward toward the entrance of the alley to greet the angry shopkeeper.
When the shopkeeper caught sight of me, he barked, "Out of the way buddy, I'm after the thief that made off with me coin purse."
The mysterious cloaked man smiled. "Ah yes, about that—I have already dealt with the thief and have retrieved your coin purse for you," he said in a calm collected voice while reaching for a coin purse attached to his belt. "Here you go good sir." Tossing the coin purse to the now confused shopkeeper, he added, "and may luck be with you."
The still puzzled shopkeeper looked at the purse that was now safely in his hands. He shook his head, relieved to have his money back. "Err…thanks and may luck be with you too, or whatever," he muttered and quickly walked away. The mysterious man turned with a small grin on his face as he slowly started me.
The energy and power he possessed overtook me. I could not explain it, but somehow I trusted him. "Hey you know, if you would have told me to pay for my crime I would have." I quickly smiled, "Well, probably."
He let out a quick laugh and confessed, "That's the beauty of it; I didn't pay for it either. Next time he spends that coin he's going to end up in a comfy jail cell."
"How?" I asked confused.
The man shook his head, "Fake coin, pure and simple."
I grinned. It suddenly made sense. "And I suppose that's how you managed to afford that fancy armor there too?" asked, as he gave a subtle laugh. "No, no, we use fake coin to get somebody in trouble or make them think they got their money back. It's all flawless really."
I stepped back. His words replayed in my mind as I asked, "We?" in a curious voice. The man nodded. "Well yes, you can't be a successful thief without someone to watch your back"
What he said rang true. There had been many times where I could have gotten out of many difficult situations if someone had been there to watch my back. Just like the situation I was just in. "Well…what do you want with me?" I asked, still uneasy.
The caped man confessed, "I have a proposition for you. We know what you've been up for the past three years, and that you're competing with our business without even knowing it.".
"So what? Are you here to kill me? Cuz' you could have easily done that by tripping me when that psychopath was chasing me earlier!"
The man glanced at me sideways. "No," he answered matter-of-factly. "We have a different option for you. You can join me and my friends or you can stay right where you are now. I don't recommend that, seeing as though that man will find out pretty quickly that he just got swindled. So, choose carefully."
Of course, in my true nature, I did not. No thought whatsoever, just pure impulse. I had been running for a very long time, and was tired of being alone. The thought of continuing with the same line of work that I had perfected over time, but with a circle of cohorts, appealed to me. So I signed on without much hesitation. I nodded to him and let him lead me to his hideout or "secret base" as he called it. He led me down an alleyway to a dead end.
"Well here it is. What do you think?" he asked with an amused tone. I examined the alleyway and wall. "Well not as nice as the orphanage I stayed in but with a little bit of cleaning I think we can at least get rid of the rats," I said mischievously.
"Well wait till you see the inside."
"Inside?" Curiosity rose from within me. He looked at me then to the brick wall and knocked on it in a peculiar pattern: knickety-knock-clonk-clank-knock- At once a brick in the wall fell inward, and a pair of eyes appeared in the darkness. A man with a deep voice spoke in a booming voice, "What's the password?"
My mysterious tour guide spoke. "With luck or skill I shall always prevail." The man behind the wall responded with jovial recognition, "Samuel! So good to have you back." The man behind the wall, finally realizing that Samuel was not alone, bore his eyes onto me. "Who's this kid?"
Samuel laughed. "An asset for our gang, but he'll introduce himself later, Allen." Samuel said. The man behind the wall quickly dismissed me. "All right, in any case welcome back."
The brick shifted back in place and the wall was pulled open. We stepped in to see a large circular room with a bonfire directly in the middle of it. A row of beds encompassed the fire and against the wall between each bed was an open door way. Each doorway led into deep hallways with torches on the walls, alternating left to right. There were about fifteen beds in total, each with its own wooden frame. The beds didn't exactly look comfortable, but I was willing to look past that. I looked at the creaky door directly in front of me. The frame was rotted with mold and each angled edge had a rusted nail in it. Fascinated, I entered.
The room contained chairs, bolted down by cobblestone, directly around a moat, surrounded by a small ring of fire. The ring of fire sat atop a rectangle of pieced-together cobblestone that elevated it off the ground and above the water.
In the small room were about four people. A large muscular boy of about seventeen or eighteen, with white blonde hair and dressed like Samuel, was sitting on a bed sharpening his dagger with flint, causing sparks to jump off the blade and onto the wet cobblestone floor. Another boy on the opposite end of the room had an opposing appearance, seemingly scrawny and looking maybe sixteen, with short, coarse brown hair and brown eyes. He was fiddling with some coins. The man that opened the door had overgrown dark hair and brown eyes, with a slight build. The only female I could see was a teenage girl tending to the fire. She looked to be about seventeen, with incredibly silken blonde hair that looked transparent in the light, giving it a silver appearance. She had blue eyes and was almost as tall as my 6-foot height. It was soon apparent to me that the blonde boy and girl were twins.
"Everybody listen up. I know we haven't had the best luck recently…" Samuel began.
"Yeah, Thanks to my brother we got at least half of our gang in jail!" The fair-haired girl interrupted.
"I told you I was sorry! I know it was my fault," the blonde haired boy responded
She snorted out a laugh of disgust. "You better because if we don't get them out, you can bet your arse, that you are going to be sleeping in the sewer for the rest of your life if we can't save them!"
"All right enough-both of you!" Samuel interrupted. "Neither of you are making a good impression on our newest recruit," Samuel waved me over, and I slowly walked forward until my face was fully illuminated by the light of the fire. "Now if you don't mind lad, why don't you tell everyone your name?"
I hesitated for a moment. "The name be Patrick MacDougall and I'm looking forward to working with people of similar skills to mine."
The blond girl slanted her eyes. "I recognize you!" she said. "You stole the gem from that British officer!"
"You saw that?" I said in disbelief.
"Saw?" she shrieked. "Hell, I was in the same room with you when you got the gem! You're lucky the guy woke up so I couldn't talk to you…."
I saw the quizzical expressions on everyone's faces, and decided to explain. "She's talking about the time when a high ranking British officer found a very valuable gem on a wrecked French merchant ship. I didn't really think it belonged to him, so I decided to take it back and return it to a random French merchant. For a price of course."
I looked at the blonde girl, still confused. I'd had to lock-pick the door to get in and I checked every bed in the room to make sure all were asleep. For her to be in the same room with me and not even notice her, only showed her skill. It had gone pretty smoothly until the British office woke up from a nightmare and spotted me with his lantern. I quickly jumped out the open window and took off running. He almost shot me when I first landed on the ground from the two-story building, while making a dash for the alley.
Interrupting my thoughts, Samuel's words pierced the air. "Nice job introducing yourself. Let me do the others for you. The lass right there—name's Money."
"Why thank you Samuel. I didn't know you were so kind as to introduce myself for me." The girl interrupted yet again with a sarcastic tone in her voice.
"You're real charming you know that?" I responded
"All right Money, no one's asking for your life story, just introducing everyone," Samuel said. She gave a puff and a nod and went back to tending the fire
"Don't mind her." Samuel shook his head. "She's just upset that half of our team was missing."
"I'll explain later, right now let's introduce you to the rest of the gang shall we?" Samuel said as he pointed to each of the gang members.
"The lass you met of course was Money, she's our informant. She gets us information while picking up some items along the way. The blonde-haired one sharpening his knife is Connor; he's our weapons guy and also our fence as well as Money's brother."
"Weapons?" I asked.
"Well yes. Not every heist is going to go well so you may need to get a few people out of the way. But we always try to avoid it. We're not assassins; besides it's not a good reputation to have and it's actually more of a pain to cover it up. We have to bribe, hide the body…" Samuel's voiced trailed off. "It's better to avoid the fight all together."
"Sounds like you have experience with this."
"I've been doing this for more than ten years. Not everything's going to turn out great. But if you need weapons or want to sell some stuff that you acquired over the years he's the one to talk to."
"The boy standing over on the wall fiddling with the coins is Woodlocke. He gets us the fake currency, as well as being our resident lock pick expert. If you need help with getting a lock open—he's your man."
"Allen—the one that opened the front door for us—he has quite a bit of connections. If you need a specific item, he can get it. For a price of course. He also dabbles in alchemy a little bit. So if you feel brave or just dumb you can try one of his potions. Now personally, I wouldn't touch the stuff. Last time someone drank it-poor Connor spent a whole afternoon puking at the river."
"I told you it was probably something he ate before he drank the potion," Allen insistently piped in.
"Yeah right," Connor shook his head. "Because that fresh baked loaf of bread I got from the baker made me sick. Next time you make a potion; have a pig try it out!" Connor snapped.
Samuel held up his hands. "All right you two, we can argue about whether or not your potions actually work later. Right now, there's still one more that needs to be introduced."
I looked around. "Really? Isn't that all of them? I only see four guys." Money shot me an inpatient look while throwing pieces of wood into the fire.
"I mean I only see three guys and one girl," I corrected myself.
"That's better," Money replied.
"Yes, well he isn't exactly a social butterfly but I think you two will get along," Samuel said.
"Well, where is he?" I asked. Samuel pointed his finger over to the darkest spot in the room, between two beds.
"I don't see anything."
"You just need to look a little bit closer," Samuel said. As I examined the room a little closer, I suddenly realized that there was a silhouette of a person sitting down back towards the wall. He then stood up and started walking towards the flames. His body soon became illuminated by the light, giving me a better look at him. His outfit was just like everybody else's, except for no hood. Didn't even look like he needed one. His hair was jet black and covered his left eye with only his piercing right eye showing. He had very pale skin, which was commonplace in Ireland. He was tall and very thin, even malnourished.
"His name's Ash; he's by far the sneakiest person I have ever seen. He seems to blend in with whatever darkness there is. It's almost like he's a part of it. But I'm probably scaring you rather than impressing…Here's an example of his prowess: he can probably walk on a creaky floor next to a paranoid sleeping man and be quieter than a mouse. Ash has also been known to pick a pocket or two. In fact, if you need improvement with that-he can help you with both."
Sensing his discomfort, Samuel excused him. "All right Ash, you can go back to doing what you're doing." Ash nodded his head and faded back into the darkness.
"Well that's about everyone. Almost everyone…so Patrick, what do you think?"
I was overwhelmed but nevertheless, intrigued. "Well you have introduced everyone except for yourself, so why don't you give me a grand introduction?"
"Ok, well as you know, my name is Samuel Bodahn, Leader of The Lords of the Trinity, a hero amongst the poor and an enemy to the rich and the government." Samuel bowed at the waist. "At your service." He stood up straight, removing his hood. His face was now entirely visible. He had sharp features with small, round, green eyes, a small nose and he had dark red hair similar to mine, but longer. His hair was rather messy, but he didn't look disheveled. He was broad shouldered and stood up straight. I glanced down and quickly compared himself to me. He definitely looked well-fed. As for myself, even though my ribs showed, I ate enough to where I had plenty of energy to obtain more food when I needed it. I'm around or what I've been told that I am six foot, and my build is athletic. I suppose if there's one thing I take pride in, it's my face, which I keep as clean as possible by going to the river to bathe regularly. I've been outside enough to where I have a slight tan, which suited me quite well.
"Pleasure to meet you Samuel. Since you led me to your little hideout and introduced me to most of your team I assume I'm in?"
"Well not just yet: you still need to prove that you can at least snatch a coin purse without being chased by an angry mob wielding pitchforks and torches."
"I don't think people would be that extreme now would they."
"Happened to me once," Money said. "The witch had eight angry teenage farm boys that weren't too happy that I stole their mother's locket. Not sure why they would get angry
"I can't imagine either," I said in a sarcastic tone.
"Anyways, to prove that you are as good as you say I have a little test for you," Samuel stated.
"Oh yeah, what is it? Do I have to rob a group of children of their candy? Because I've already done that before. Trust me you could hear them cry from a mile away."
"Wow and I thought I was bad," Connors stated.
"If you think that's bad wait until you hear about the time I stole a cane from an old man, right from under him. You should have seen him hit the pavement—I swear he lost all of his teeth." Which wasn't true but I had to impress them; I finished with a laugh and Connors gave a surprised look before returning to sharpening his knife.
"No not that, I have something more dangerous in mind. Do you think you can handle it?" Samuel said.
"Sure can, what do you need?"
"Well you remember the orphanage that you spent your childhood in?"
"How can I not remember?"
"Well you know the necklace that you stole back from them?" he said trying to look calm.
"Yes…Wait how do you know about that?"
"I have my sources. The necklace you go—it's not the same one that your dad left with you. It's fake."
"They knew you were going to take back the necklace so they decided to fake it." Samuel explained.
"Why would they go through the trouble of faking the necklace? It's not like gold was in high demand right now."
"That's what I'm trying to figure out. They probably think it had something to do with Saint Patrick. So they are probably thinking that it's holy in some way."
"It's only just for decoration."
"We'll figure out why they kept it later but right now that's your way of proving that you're a successful thief."
"All right, I'll get on it." I said in a confident voice.
"All right, may luck be with you," Samuel finished.
And with that I turned and sprinted out the door and made a turn to the right at the entrance of the alleyway. As I was running thoughts and questions were racing through my mind. How did he know about the necklace? How does he know my father abandoned me and furthermore how did he even know I had a necklace? What "sources" did he have? That witch of a woman died from a heart attack three years ago. There must something more to this man. I decided to play along just to see where this would end me up. In jail most likely, but who knows it could be fun story to tell amongst the rest of the prisoners.
End of Chapter one
So how about them characters? Am I right? Just kidding, but anyways if your intrested in the full story, just type in the name of the book "A Convergence of Luck" in google or amazon then you should be able to find it. I'll probaly upload another chapter if you you're intrested. Thanks again and may luck be with you.