Stranger in a Strange Predicament

The walk back to the Denai residence was unbearable. Keli’s feet tripped him up at every loose stone. His eyes refused to focus, even though he had removed his goggles. And the only thoughts that ran through his mind were of his stolen crystal – a part of him that was now gone. It had defined him – a child of laborers, accepted into the higher echelons of society. With the crystal gone, would he sink back down into the muck? A firm hand grasped his shoulder as the flickering torchlight was eclipsed by some large shape.

“Laborer! If I ask you again you will get the baton! Who is your owner?”

The large shape was a patrolman, towering above him just an arm’s length away.

“I’m… I’m not a laborer, I’m a…”

His voice cracked before he could call himself a citizen. Through tearful sobs he named himself.

“I am Kelius Denai, apprentice to Penelus Thanner, Master Tinker. I was beaten and robbed… and my… crystal… was… stolen.”

Kelius looked to the patrolman. The other’s eyes betrayed his bewilderment.

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