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An Interesting Acquirement
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By Vanessa Cousins

It was the morning after the big job out in the neighbouring city called Toku and I had scored big. Toku was a city where rich people mostly populated it. I had acquired a beautiful ankle bracelet that was sure to get me past the small item test. I belonged to the Serpents thief gang that roamed the streets of Hai. Within their ranks I was called Chezu and was only the low rank of Snake. But of course my real name wasn’t Chezu we were all given aliases or code names. I was walking towards the town centre where I was meeting my friends. I was wearing the ankle bracelet because the best place to hide something is in plain sight. As I reached the town centre I glanced around and immediately spotted my friends lounging next to the impressive water fountain with a statue of Zerabon the god of water in it. I walked casually over to them and said “Hey guys! Where will we go today?” they all stared at me as though they had never seen me before and Marosa my best friend replied ”Um… Who are you? We don’t know you.” I was surprised and thought they were all just playing a joke on me so I said angrily “This isn’t funny guys. You know me I’m Chezu.” “No you're not! Chezu doesn’t look anything like you!” Kame said with such venom in his voice that I was shocked speechless “If you’re new in town you’d better have your papers or the guard’s will chuck you outta town before you can say ‘I like Pie’!” Tomaski who was a pie fanatic said kindly. I walked away thinking hard and didn’t notice the guard until I bumped into him. He asked for my papers and having been born, raised and was currently living here I didn’t need papers because in a town as small as this everyone knew each other. I replied “I live here” and after looking me up and down hard he said to me “I’ve never seen you before and you definitely don’t live here so stop messing around and give me your papers.” After seeing that I didn’t have any papers he took me to the Chief of the Guards. She knew everyone who lives here and everyone who was visiting, who they were visiting and why they were visiting them. It was amazing to see how easy it is to slip out of town and back in if you were a local but how hard it was if you were a visitor. “Ma’am, I found this teenager within our walls without papers. What should we do about it?” the guard asked her “Hmmm… without papers?” “Yes ma’am” “Not even fake papers?” “No ma’am” “My decision is that you should put this teenager outside the gates.” “Yes ma’am. Right away ma’am.” and with that I was promptly escorted outside the gates, by that time the sun was setting and it was getting dark. I needed to get back inside the gates if I was going to be in time for my evaluation. The ankle bracelet was starting to make my ankle sore so I took it off and put it into my pocket. I went up to the gates and because I was expecting to be turned back I was surprised when the watch guard shouted down “Hey Chezu! I didn’t see you go outside.” “You know me I’ve got ways outta here that only I know about.” I said automatically as I walked through the gates she had opened for me. I was surprised that she had known my name because everyone else had forgotten me today. I hurried towards the town centre hoping that at least one of my friends would be there when I bumped into Tomaski the pie fanatic “Where were you Chezu? Everyone’s looking for you!” he said “When you hadn’t shown up by lunch we decided to go looking for you. Where have you been?” “Oh I’ve been around. You say no-ones seen me all day?” “Yeah. Why?” Then it suddenly dawned on me. The ankle bracelet! I had to make sure my suspicions were correct “Could you stay here for a moment, I just need to check something.” I said as I slipped into a convenient alleyway. I slipped the ankle bracelet out of my pocket and onto my foot. I walked out of the alleyway and up to Tomaski. I said “Hi, where should we go next?” He looked confused as he replied “I’m sorry, you must have me mistaken for someone else.” That was



Brian Falkner Books