A Heroine's Heist: Part Four
Weary and wet, Cassie clung on to the top of Coltzan’s Shrine.
The Elephantes took their eyes off the daring young Kyrii. One said, “Come on, guys. I think we should leave this one alone.” As the guards turned to leave, the one Elephante glared over his shoulder and said, “for now.”
The guards began to leave, but as one was passing Stan, he bumped the thief on the arm. Mumbling in anger, Stan rubbed his arm and walked towards the Shrine.
“It’s safe now, Cassie,” the older Kyrii called up. “They’re gone.”
Cassie grabbed hold and slid down the golden tower. Her cousin ran over to greet her.
“What were you thinking? You could have gotten us killed!”
Cassie remembered he had said that when she first came over. She brushed herself off and retorted, “You didn’t have to follow me, you know.” She calmed down her voice and continued, “I was trying to get the guards away from you. I knew they would follow me and forget about you. I was almost convinced you were dead. But now I realized,” Cassie looked up, “we can’t abandon each other like that. That’s what cousins are for, right?”
The older Kyrii managed a smile. “Yeah. I guess you’re right. Come on, Cassie.” He turned and began to walk away. His cousin followed, but stopped when she saw the two knocked-out guards lying on the sand. “Um, Stan?” Cassie shuddered. “What are we going to do about them?”
“Just leave them there,” her cousin replied, without even turning around. “They’ll wake up in a little while.”
Cassie hesitantly followed, not wanting to look back.
Once back at the hideout, all the torches were lit, although it was night time, and Cassie had gotten her cousin to sit with his back leaning against one of the hideout’s walls. It was an awkward position, because the walls were curved. Meanwhile, Cassie was digging through the potato sack (which was now off her waist and on the floor) searching for a puntec fruit. She had been taught that the juice from a puntec fruit was good for cuts and scars. When Cassie finally found one, she carefully broke it in half and rubbed the juice over Stan’s wound. It stung when it was put on, and when he was asleep, but in the morning, Stan said he had never felt better.
That morning, Cassie counted up the fruit that they had stolen the day before. “Let’s see here... 1, 2, 3...”
Stan was pacing at the other side of the room, trying to think of a plan today.
“... 7, 8, 9, 10, 11! There are eleven fruits! Hooray!” Cassie was overjoyed. “Okay, there are seven ummagines, one puntec fruit, and three tchea fru--”
“Cassie! Will you please stop talking! I’m trying to think.” Frustrated, Stan shook his head and continued pacing.
Disappointed, Cassie took three of the seven ummagines, then took the three tchea fruits. She picked up a tchea fruit and began munching.
Stan snapped his fingers. “I got it!” he said. “I can... wait, no, with all the townspeople running around, it’s not going to work...”
Cassie looked up from the fruit she was eating. “You know, you might be able to concentrate better if you had a bite to eat.”
“Fine.” Stan walked over and began to count what Cassie left for him. He scooped it up and took the fruit to the other side of the room where he was pacing. He did not start eating, however; he just took a bite out of an ummagine, placed it on the ground, and started pacing again. Cassie rolled her eyes and continued to eat.
Around an hour later, Stan had devised a plan and explained it to Cassie word for word and made sure to include every last detail. Although bored, Cassie listened to her cousin’s “speech” and understood it. So, the two thieves headed off to the marketplace for another robbery, but Cassie didn’t see the point in doing that because they had all that food still waiting at the hideout (Cassie hadn’t quite finished hers and Stan had barely started). As soon as the cousins were both in position, the well-known Kyrii thief struck.
Stan was supposed to snatch a couple of ummagines from one of the merchant’s carts. He did just that, all while drawing the attention of several Elephante guards. Cassie, using her quick skills and smarts, went over to distract the guards by doing daring and bold manoeuvres, such as climbing up their uniform, tugging at their trunks, and bouncing off their heads. Cassie was very good at this, and for her, it was fun, too!
Gleefully, Cassie jumped onto the top of the cart that had just been robbed. It was a not tall cart, but there was a colourful parasol on a long pole suspended to the side of the cart. Stan had made a sneaky getaway without any of the guards realizing, and he had dropped the fruit stolen off at the hideout. He returned so that he could retrieve his young cousin.
“Cassie! Get over here!” the older thief called from a short distance away.
Cassie was jumping up and down on the parasol, dodging the guards’ flying scimitars. The Elephantes hardly noticed the older thief’s calls, but Cassie did - and she ignored them.
“Cassie! This is no time for games! Get down here!” Stan called again.
That time, the younger Kyrii did listen, jumping down from the parasol and running off with her cousin. The guards were left clueless and dumbfounded and did not have the brains to follow the thieves.
Back at the hideout, Stan had given one of the ummagines he stole to Cassie, and then had a stern talk with her. The younger thief couldn’t help remembering all the fun she had teasing the guards, but did realise she was in trouble.
“Why did you ignore me? I could clearly see you heard me, remember the plan?” Stan yelled.
“I never see you doing anything fun,” Cassie muttered.
“Well, I’m always taking care of myself. I usually don’t have to deal with some little... pest!”
“You know, Stan, I always take care of myself when I’m alone in Qasala. You hadn’t ever told me to leave before.”
The older Kyrii let this sink in. “Yeah, well...” He couldn’t think of anything.
Smirking, Cassie folded her arms across her chest. She thought to herself, I can stump my cousin all too well.
“Well, anyway, you must be hungry. Go and eat your fruit,” the older Kyrii retorted, changing the subject.
The younger cousin shrugged and went over to where her food was lying. Stan, however, still stood with his back facing his cousin. What she had said was true. She had always taken care of herself back in Qasala; why did Stan always think it was his job to look after her whenever she came over? That was another thing. The two didn’t fight very often, but when they did, he always felt so sorry in the end. Stan shook his head. No, he thought, stop thinking! This has gone on long enough!
Finally the older Kyrii sat down and began eating the pile of fruit that he never paid attention to all day. Cassie had just finished off her last ummagine and was playing around with the potato sack. Stan looked over his shoulder at his cousin. He laid down the ummagine he was eating and turned to his younger family member.
“Hey, um, Cassie?” Stan said.
The young Kyrii looked over. “Yeah?”
“You know that fight we had a few moments ago?”
“Uh-huh. What about it?”
“Um, well, I just wanted to say that I’m sorry.”
Cassie turned so her back was facing Stan. “Apologies accepted.”
“Wanna shake on it?” The older Kyrii held out his paw.
Cassie turned around again. An idea hatched in her head. “Sure,” she replied.
Cassie reached out to shake her cousin’s paw, but once she had a good grip on it, Cassie used all her strength and pulled Stan to the ground.
“What the--” Stan was bewildered at what just happened. Cassie, meanwhile, was dancing around, laughing. “Oh, it’s on, now!” Stan said, grinning. He stood up and grabbed Cassie by the scruff of the neck. She kicked and twisted around but her cousin kept a firm grip. Once she had given up struggling, Stan finally gently placed her back on the ground. With all her might, Cassie tackled Stan onto the ground again. The two of them laughed and play wrestled until Cassie had given up, now looking very dusty and scruffy. She sat with her legs straight out in front of her and her paws were between her legs. Stan, at the other side of the room, sat cross-legged with his hands on his knees.
“You know, Stan? I was thinking, although I’ve only been here for a few days, I’m going back to Qasala tomorrow,” Cassie said.
“You’re leaving already? But... why?” Stan asked.
“I’ve been thinking. I’ve caused so much trouble already, nothing good will happen if I stay any longer.”
“You’re coming back, right?”
Cassie scratched behind her ear. “Yeah, of course. Just not too soon, though, just long enough so everyone forgets.”
“Why can’t you stay longer? I mean, you don’t have to come with me to do heists...” Stan was obviously trying to take this another way.
“I already told you, I caused enough stress already.”
“Cassie, do you like me?”
“Must you ask so many questions?” his cousin inquired.
Stan hesitated. “Well... because I like you,” he said slightly quieter.
Cassie smiled. “I like you, too.”