Chairs standing empty
Scratch marks on the wooden floor
A discarded broom
A narrative in objects:
Chairs, marks, broom and the oak chest.
The lock lays broken
Pieces of it scattered wide
The chest’s lid open
Within a velvet cushion,
A dent where something had lain.
The air inside glows.
A residue from the theft,
A trail to follow.
Three had kept vigil this night.
Which would dare such sacrilege.
Down the corridor:
Leathered soles against stone slabs.
Sounds follow the trail of light,
One fleeing, two pursuing.
The pursuers shout.
The thief wisely saves their breath,
gaining, inch by inch.
Heretic, thief, traitor, betrayer.
One who would defy the gods.
High up, the bells toll.
The thief curses, picks up speed.
Bells mean constables.
Outside all is confusion.
Narrow streets echo alarm.
They round the corner.
Arms and blades fly. The thief falls.
The new owner runs.