Recap: Part one: Tyla was exploring an old mansion to figure out why it was abandoned, and witnessed a burglar looting the silver spoons from a display case in the parlor.
Part two: Zayn tried to “undo” his looting, but Tyla was still not happy, took his sack, found items that she didn’t expect to see, and told Zayn that he’s going to help her figure out what happened in the mansion years ago.
Tyla knew that she shouldn’t be offering any sort of deal or dangling any hope of leniency for the burglar, but she felt that it was one of the only options that she had to convince him to stay and help her, and he too looked confused at what had come out of her mouth, but he mulled it over for a moment, met her gaze, and then shrugged and said, “If you promise to not send the guards after me, and I go free at the end, then sure, why not?”
Once she nodded in agreement, he efficiently retrieved his treasures, and tackled the task of replacing each of them, though his fingers often lingered on the items before he turned his attention to returning the next one, as if he were mesmerized by the wealth that they would have brought him; and with each item back where it was when the owners left, Tyla felt the ghost of the past gazing down at her ever more expectantly, ready to fustigate her for failing to officially solve the mystery of what had happened.
“Have you gleaned a better understanding of what happened now?” the burglar asked once the final item, a delicately woven tapestry, was again hanging in the master bedroom, and his eyes darted between her and the view from the front window, clearly asking if he was free to go.
Tyla paced the room, avoiding answering the question, and recounted all of the facts that she knew for certain: the family that had lived here were wealthy and of high social standing; the family had gradually become more withdrawn, attending only the most important events of each season before they disappeared, leaving former friends eventually wondering where they had gone; they had taken only essential items with them when they left, leaving behind even expensive items with no practical use; the magical barrier preventing entry to the property had dissolved a month ago; and that by being somewhere that she wasn’t supposed to be, she had overheard a conversation that strongly suggested that the family had been coerced into leaving the country by one of the king’s advisors, a fact that she was currently struggling to prove with valid evidence that wasn’t unscrupulously gathered.
She also knew that there was a particular item in the mansion that the crooked advisor had desperately wanted found before she or another historian was sent by the king to investigate the mystery, something made of silver, that held an invaluable secret, and Tyla had been observing the burglar to see if there was any connection between him and the advisor, but she couldn’t say what his willingness to cooperate with her indicated.
She studied the burglar for a moment, watching him shift uneasily under her gaze, and asked, “How did you learn about this mansion to decide to loot it – did someone suggest, or even ask, that you to come here?”
This story is continued here.
I challenged myself to include these prompts:
GirlieOnTheEdge’s Six Sentence Story challenge – season
Pensitivity101’s Three Things Challenge – delicate, ghost, mesmerizing
Word of the Day Challenge – treasure
Fandango’s One-Word Challenge – tackle
Ragtag Daily Prompt – glean
Your Daily Word Prompt – fustigate