From Baking to Break in
J L Rees
From Baking to Break in
Sweat dripped down the nose of a young man as he slid another batch of dough into the oven.
“Orson, Orson Stokes?” a voice from the door behind the baker asked.
“That's me,” the baker replied, turning as he said it.
“I regret to inform you that your uncle Samus has passed away. I am here to give you this, his will.”
“I don't have an uncle Samus” replied Orson, puzzled.
The man in a dark robe handed Orson a scroll. It was bound together with a wax seal. The seal was imprinted with his family insignia, a croissant with a flame underneath it. The man promptly left.
Orson looked at the scroll, turning it over in his hands and then broke the seal. He unravelled it and started to read.
This is the last will and testament of Samus Stokes. I leave my coin of shadow walking to my nephew Orson Stokes, the baker of Illindor.
The coin is worth a lot of money and dangerous in the wrong hands. Go see Dwayne Banks the thief at the old mansion.
Signed Samus Stokes.
Orson finished his baking for the day and took it to market. All day he couldn't stop thinking about what he had inherited, but he had to associate himself with a thief. That evening after a lot of uncomfortable thinking he decided to visit the thief.
Across town was a huge, old, dilapidated house. The huge wild hedge around its garden was impenetrable. The only way to get into the property was through its rusty, iron gate.
The gate screeched as Orson pushed it open and clattered shut behind him. In the windows, shadows moved, and candle lights flickered.
“So Samus has kicked the bucket at last.” said a voice from a window.
“Dwayne Banks, I presume.”
“You would be correct, and I know who you are Orson Stokes.”
From the shadows in the window a figure appeared, leapt from the window and landed just in front of Orson. Orson stared into the man's purple eyes, because that is all he could see the man before him had his entire face covered with only his eyes showing.
“Well let's get down to business, shall we? Samus left you a coin of shadow walking, problem is one of my untrustworthy associates sold it to the wizards. So, to get it back you will, well, steal it back.”
Orson's face dropped. He was against all types of deception and underhanded activities. He hated even talking to this guy and he apparently knew his uncle, an uncle he never knew. A thought came over him what if his uncle was just as underhanded as these thieves?
“Why should I care about a stupid coin?” the baker eventually asked.
“It's worth a lot of money. I mean a lot of money. Samus was a good friend of mine, even a thief like me has morals...Before you ask why I didn’t sell it.”
Orson was a good judge of character, and he was either being conned by a master con man or this guy was genuine and wanted him to have his inheritance.
“How will I get it back?” he asked, looking for some sort of guidance from the thief.
“Well, they won't just give you it back. The tower is guarded by magic, so that rules out any attempt I can make to get in. There has been a rumour that they're holding a big celebration, maybe you can use that to get in, go as an exotic dancer or something.”
Orson's eyes opened wide he had a thought.
“Ahh... you like the dancer idea ay!” The thief said nodding in agreement with the idea.
“What? No. I have an idea, I could bake a cake. A huge cake and hide in it, then jump out when I'm inside the tower.”
“Nice plan could work. If it doesn’t, they'll just turn you into a toad or something.”
“That's not helping.” Orson glared at Banks.
The next day Orson got to work making and baking his cake. A triple tiered chocolate cake built onto a wooden box, where Orson could stow himself away. It took longer than he thought it would, but he finally managed it. He then moved it to the tower at night so no one would see him. He got a local child to “deliver” the cake to the wizards. This was basically knocking the door after the baker was hidden inside it.
“What's this?” Orson heard from outside.
“It was ordered for your celebration” the child answered.
“Oh! Maybe one of the others ordered it. Very well bring it in.”
“I'm sorry sir but I'm not allowed to enter the premises. I just deliver to the front door.” the child said. The sound of footsteps on gravel got quieter and quieter, then the cake started to move.
“Bloody heavy cake,” the wizard grumbled.
When the cake had stopped moving Orson waited for what felt like a lifetime. His heart thumped in his chest, and he heard his blood rushing through his ears. Everything was quiet outside; it must be nearly midnight he thought. He placed his hands on the smaller tier above his head and with a little push it lifted up. Orson peered out; he saw that nobody was about. It was time to leave the cake he placed the top tier to the side and pulled himself up out of the cake and clambered over the side. His foot clipped the top tier and sent it crashing to the floor.
Orson darted across the room and slid under a desk. No one came to investigate. There wasn't a noise to be heard, just his heart beating as fast as a hummingbird’s wings.
“Right let's find this coin,” he whispered to himself.
He got up from under the desk and started to push papers and move jars around the desktop, desperately trying to find the coin before he got caught. A final rummage through some scrolls at the edge of the desk and he found it. The Coin.
It was black with a silver foot in its centre. He picked it up and flipped it through his fingers and noticed the back of the coin was the reverse a silver coin with a black foot in the centre.
“Who are you?” the voice demanded.
“Me?” Orson replied turning to face the voice,” I’m the cleaner.”
“No, you're not, you look nothing like Mrs Kramble.”
A purple ball of energy shot from the wizard’s wand, straight at Orson sending him crashing into a bookcase.
The wizard strode over to him.
“What do you have in your hand?” the wizard spat with ferocity.
“Nothing,” Orson answered painfully trying to catch his breath.
The wizard prised open the baker’s hand and took the contents. With a swish of his wand Orson was hovering a few feet from the ground, but unable to move. The wizard glanced to the window.
“This is what we do with pests,” the wizard said flicking his wand towards the window.
Orson flew through the air and out through the window onto the gravel outside, luckily for him he was on the ground floor. He picked himself up, brushed himself down and limped back towards the main road. In the bushes and behind a tree he saw something move, it was Dwayne.
“They caught you then?” he said sympathetically.
“Not to worry we will get your coin back, even if it's the last thing I do. Because my name is Dwayne Banks, Guild master of the thieves.”
“Shut up out there people are trying to sleep,” said a voice from the tower.
“I'm the best thief in all of Illindor,” Banks whispered.
Orson put his hand in his pocket, withdrew a coin and flipped it through his fingers.
“Oh, I got the coin,” he said with a wink.
“But? How? I was watching from the window. I saw the wizard take it from your hand.”
They both looked back towards the tower.
Through the window they could see the wizard tidying up. He sat down at the desk.
“Ah decision maker, I thought you were lost for a second.”
The wizard placed the oddly shaped dice back into a stand.
“Now where is that coin?” he said.
The blood from his face drained as he realised where it had gone. He looked out of the window, but the thieves were nowhere to be seen.