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Boy Thief

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"Thief! Give up, we got you surrounded!"The fat detective, James Heffley McLaine, shouted at the mask figure. Loki, who was wearing a black tuxedo and equally black mask that covers the top half of his face, laugh at the threat.

"Come now, McLaine," the boy taunted, we been through this already, and yet, you've never once succeed." Detective McLaine's face grew a tomato red and he shout out a series of blistering curse word that made the officers around him winced.

"Now, now, McLaine," Loki admonished,"is that anyway for a responsible adult to speak?"

"Why you-!"

"Oops, look at the time. I got to go. Ciao!" Then the boy disappear in a puff of smoke.


It was easy to fool that fat detective and his officers. All Loki has to do is use a smoke bomb he had created himself as a distraction. Then he went back into the church using the secret hole he made sometimes ago. He waited in the church attic for some hours, when the police finally gave up their search. Loki changed his clothes in his hiding place and put them in the bag he had with him. It was almost too easy just walking out the front door and riding the bus home.

The house was dark except for a single light in the kitchen when he arrived home. Loki quietly went inside and felt his way around until he found the basement door. He didn't want to turn on the light because he worried that the harsh glare might wake up his grandmother. She is scary when someone dares to interrupt her sleep. Loki walk silently down the many steps down to the basement and turn on the light. The dark room became bright, showing off the rows of paintings lying on the floor against the wall.
Loki set down his backpack and unzip it. He pulled out a small painting, about one and a half feet in length and width. The painting shows a woman standing on top of a corpse, sword drawn. The woman face show anger, hate, and love. Her hair wild red hair emphasize those emotions.
"Ira, wrath." He muttered.
He was too busy admiring the panting that he did not notice the woman sneaking up behind him. Which was why he let out a scream before he could stop himself.
"So you're finally home," voice came from behind him. Loki spun around in surprise.
"Oh, yeah, I guess so," The boy relax when he saw that it was only his grandmother.
Sarah stare at her young grandson, one of her hand firmly resting on her hip. Then she looks behind him. "Stole another one, did you?" she inquired.
Loki grimaced at his grandmother's tone. He stuff his hand into his pocket and try to look innocent. "I have don't know what you're talking about, Grandma," he said casually.
"Castien Loki Thorne, I know you well enough to know that you are lying, so don't you dare try!" Sarah warn her grandson. She shook a finger at him threateningly.
The boy back away a step from the angry woman. Even though Loki had face many dangerous things in the past, his grandmother is the only one person that truly scares him. "Fine, I admit it, but I only took back what belongs to mother!"
Sarah face became blank but her eyes held sadness. Not that Loki could see. "She is not coming back, no matter if you think otherwise." She stated coldly.
Loki glare at his grandmother. He doesn't care how many times his grandmother told him this, he would never believe it. "She is coming back."
His grandmother looks as if she wanted to say something else. Instead, she turn around and start climbing up the basement stairs, probably heading to her room on the far side of their small, one-story, brick house. She stops on the very top step and look back at Loki. "Dinner is waiting for you in the kitchen," and with that, she left.
When Loki heard his grandmother's bedroom door slam shut, he impulsively stuck out his tongue in her direction. Loki looks back at the seven paintings he had collected so far. Gula, Fornicatio, Avaritia, Superbia, Acedia, Vanagloria, they are all the paintings he had gather so far. Now all Loki is missing is Tristitia, sorrow, to complete the deadly sins.
"One more, mom, and I'll finally know." Then he turn and head for the kitchen where a cold dinner awaits him.

The next morning, Loki woke up early and headed out. He rode the bus to the center of New York city, where the Angelus Gabriel cathedral was located. He knew that the last piece was located inside a church, like the other seven, the problem was where. New York has over six thousands churches and counting. With that in his mind, Loki thought he might as well start from the very center and work out.
By noon, Loki had visited over thirty churches, each one more colossal than the last. He could barely walk when the clocks hit twelve and the city became a choir of bells and chimes. Loki decided to visit one more church before he gives up for the day.
With strain steps, he stagger to the next church on his list. "Last one and I'm going home," he mumble, "After all, Rome wasn't built in one day."
Angelus Gabriel wasn't extremely difficult to find. The cathedral was humongous and could be seen from miles away, even though it was in New York, where grandiloquent skyscrapers blocks the view of the sky.
"This one is going to kill me," Loki groaned to himself when he stood outside the church's fate, craning his neck to see the whole cathedral.

Inhaling, he walked through the double doors of the church. The place was magnificent. Candles burn from every walls and pillars, chandeliers made of crystals hanged twenty feet up in the air. This, is by far, the grandest church he been to all day. Tristitia must be in here.
As if in a daze, Loki began walking from one room to another, gasping at the wall murals and touching everything he could get his hand on. The tiredness he had felt earlier now forgotten. Before he knew it, Loki was in the church sanctuary again. He sat down on one of the pews and relax.
"Hey, I see you enjoy yourself." a low, husky voice came from behind him. Loki turns around to see a smart-looking man sitting one pew behind him.The man smile but Loki could see that the smile was fake, it didn't reaches his eyes.
"Yes, this place is breath taking." Loki responded.
The man offer a hand and Loki accepted, shaking the man's hand. He notice it was rough with callused.

"James Lawson." the older male introduce himself.

"Richard MacAllister." the younger boy lied.

"So, why did you come to the church?" James ask him. Loki squint his eye in suspicion but replied.

"I'm interest in cathedrals and such. They fascinate me."

James nodded his head, as if to agree with him. Then he ask, "Is that why you were at Old Saints last night?" The younger boy eyes widen in shock but then regain his composure.

"Yes, I been visiting every churches in New York. What were you doing there?"

The older male wave his hand casually. "Same as you, I been visiting churches in the area." Loki knew immediately that he was lying though. Not that James face was easy to read or anything like that, Loki was just an expert in lying himself.

"Well, I'm off to explore some more. I hope we meet again," Loki stood up and started walking away. He was gone in a flash.



James saw the boy hurried off and he knew his suspicion has been confirmed. "I got you now, thief."



Loki had went home right after the meeting, making sure to take the long way home in case anyone decided to follow him.

He went back two days later to the same church. Loki had a feeling that the painting would be in the old cathedral and he was right. The fifth time he return, a Bishop had offer to give the boy a tour of the church. Loki readily agreed. During the tour, he found Tristitia hanging in the Bishop's study. Now all he has to do is set his plan in motion.



One month later, Loki was ready.

He walked to the church, wearing his oversize backpack. It was pack with the usual items, smoke bombs, lock picks and such. It was night time and despite the busy street, the cathedral was queerly silent.

Loki enter the church using a side door. The church felt oddly vast in the night. Luckily for him, there were lit candles to lead the way.

With nimble steps, Loki found his way to the Bishop's study. When he open the door, the hinges squeak loudly, making him freeze. Inside the study, he walked on the tip of his toes, trying to make as little sound as possible.

Tristitia hanged above the Bishop's desk, between two windows. It took a little effort to get the painting down and stuff it into his bag. He was about to leave when suddenly the lights turn on. Sirens could be heard from outside the church.

"Bravo! That was a marvelous job you did, my boy,'' Detective Lawson stepped from behind his hiding place as the lights turns on. James clapped his hands in admiration for the boy. Even though the kid looks to be quite young, he had the skills of a master thief.
Loki glare at the man before him and mutter a curse word. "How the hell did you know I'll be here."
"You're a rude one, aren't you, Castien." the Detective laugh at the boy's shock face,"yes, I know your name, and everything else there is to know about you."
"How?''
"I been following you of course," the Detective laugh once again.

"What made you think the thief was me?" Loki ask James curiously. Behind his mask, Loki was growing agitated.

The detective smirk. " It just took some extra thinking, really," James told the boy, " after we figure out that the thief was only targeting certain things, paintings to be exact. At first, the police thought you were just another art thief, but then we found something quite interesting. The paintings were all from the same artist who gone missing some years ago. One thing lead to another, and we come to you, Castien." James smile at the boy, though it was the same fake smile from before.

"So the police force still have some smarts left. I would've never thought," was Loki replied.

" I'll take that as a compliment. Anyway, are you going to turn yourself in?" the man questioned.

Loki pretended to think, tilting his head to one side and chew the inside of his mouth."Hmm, sorry, that's not going to happen." Then fast as lightning, Loki kick the window he was standing in front and jumped out. He landed on sharp glass but it didn't stop him. He got up and started running as quick as his feet can take him.

When Loki reach the church's gate, he found police cars waiting for him outside. The officers were all standing in a straight line in front of the gate's entrance, waiting for James or Loki to come out.

"How stupid, like I'll use the entrance." he laughed. Loki quietly walk away from the entrance to the side of the church where some vines grew. He grab onto one vines and started climbing until he was standing on top of the gate.

"Castien! You can't run!" Loki saw James running toward him, follow by McLaine and others.

Loki grin mischievously and shout, "Watch me!" Then he threw a smoke bomb at the approaching men. The bomb set off when it touches the ground. immediately covering everything in green gas. Though unlike his last smoke bomb, this time, he had add itching powder. The detective was going to have a scratchy night.

"And once again, you have fail!" Loki laughed and was about to rush off when he thought of something. "By the way, my name's not Castien, its Loki!" Then he hurried away.


Loki head home with giddy steps, knowing that he have his mother's final piece in his bag. Sarah was surprised when Loki return early and humming a silly tune.
"So you finally got the last painting?" Sarah guessed, unable to hide the hopeful tone from her voice.

Loki, who was jubilant, notice but didn't said anything about it, instead he headed down to the basement. Sarah follow closely behind, dropping the knitting she was doing. Loki open his backpack and got out the painting and set it along with the others. He haven't felt so much joy when he look at the paintings laying side by side on the basement floor.

"Here, use this," Sarah handed Loki a large brush and a bucket of pain water, "Paint over them with this." Loki look at his grandmother as if she had gone crazy but obey.

With every swept of the brush, words appear on the paintings. Soon, Gula, Fornicatio, Avaritia, Superbia, Acedia, Vanagloria, and Tristitia were each cover in letters. He stopped and stare at them.

"Loki, I am sorry I have to leave you so urgently. Mommy has been working for bad people. She have been doing a lot of bad things and need to make amends. Mommy will be gone for a while, but she will come back for you. I love you, Loki. Tell your grandma I-" Sarah couldn't read any farther. It hurts too much. She saw her grandson's shoulder starts to shake. There were tears forming in her eyes as well.

The boy turn around to see his grandmother crying silently. "Grandma?"

"Yes?'' Sarah spoke softly, her voice barely audible.

"I'm going to find mother."

Normally, Sarah would start ranting angrily at those words, but now, all she said was, " I will help you." As if being pull by an invisible force, the two came together in a tight hugged, both holding on for dear life. Neither of then knew how long they stood there, but when Loki finally let go of his grandmother, they were fill with new resolves. Resolve to find Loki's mother and bring her home.



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