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Man of the Night

Everyone knew of the mysterious man of the night. He supplied the small village with their wealth. Only one person had witnessed his presence, Alanna. No one believed her when she explained his black cape and hood. His luminescent blue eyes, however, was something Alanna had never told a soul.

It happened when she was a mere child of seven. Her mother called for her to come in for dinner. She disobeyed and ran deeper into the woods. Alanna spotted his black cape first and then noticed the gold chain he held in his hands. The man stopped, glanced over and saw Alanna. His blue eyes showed panic. The man dropped the chain and hurried out of the woods from the village. Alanna quickly grabbed the chain and placed it around her neck. It felt cold and heavy around her neck; even so, she left it there.

Alanna hadn’t taken the gold chain off since that night. Most people, including her parents, believed she stole it. She was determined to prove everyone wrong. Alana wanted to prove she wasn’t a cry for attention.

Alanna studied every man in her village. The head villager was too old to be frolicking through the woods. The landowner was rich, but too fat. Alanna continued to search until every man in the village was ruled out. The gardener had brown eyes, the butcher was too short, Alanna concluded. One man Alanna remained suspicious of, Aidan. He always stayed inside his hut, never coming out which is why Alanna suspected him. If he were the man of the night, nobody would know.

Alanna planned to sneak out of her hut and into the woods. She decided to wait until Saturday, the day she had seen him seven years ago.
***

When Saturday came, Alanna waited for her parents to fall asleep and changed into a black cape, similar to the one the man wore. She adjusted the chain so that it showed over the cape.

Alanna ran into the woods. She attempted to be quiet as her bare feet jumped over fallen branches and stepped on leaves. She stopped at the sound of screaming.

“Take this, don’t shoot, don’t shoot!” a woman shouted.
Alanna edged to a large tree where she could see a carriage being robbed. The man of the night held a pistol which he waved at the woman in the carriage. Alanna watched in horror as he shoved valuables into a velvet bag. The man turned around and headed back towards the woods. Alanna rushed to hide behind a large tree. Alanna watched him sit down on the opposite side of the tree she hid behind. Alanna held her breath and stayed absolutely still.

“You can come out now, I know you’re there,” the man said. Alanna remained still for a few seconds before pulling up her hood to hide her dark brown curls and pale blue eyes. She emerged from the shadows. The man pulled out the valuables from the bag.

“How could you steal? I thought you…I thought you somehow got our gold honestly,” Alanna cried, “How could I be so stupid?” She began to walk towards the village but stopped herself after remembering why she came.

“I steal because I care for our village. We used to be poor, and I only steal from the rich, who have something to give but choose not to,” he explained.

“It still isn’t right, I shouldn’t have come here.” Alanna backed away.

“No, it’s okay. I know who you are,” the man pulled down her hood. “I recognized that chain, it came from royalty.”

“Well, I don’t want it anymore,” Alanna declared. She unfastened the chain for the first time. She placed it in his hands.

Alanna covered her face with her hood as she grabbed his bag of riches from under the tree. Alanna opened the bag and took out the gold. All she could do was stare at it. Tears flowed down her face.

“Give me my bag back, please,” the man exclaimed.

“I wish I could give this back to that woman!” Alanna wailed. The man attempted to grab the gold back. Eventually, he had hold of his bag and the gold. In the process, the man’s hood fell slightly back revealing a tuft of dark hair. Alanna studied that tuft hair and his blue eyes.

The man, catching on, pushed Alanna up against a tree.
“No one can know who I am. I don’t want to hurt you.” The man covered his tuft of hair with his hood.
“Why, because then everyone would know your secret, know that you dishonestly earned our riches?”
“No, Alanna, so that I can continue helping our poor little village,” the man explained.
“I know you’re convinced that you’re helping us but we don’t need you to do this.”
“Alanna, I know people don’t believe you, about me, and that’s because they don’t want to believe that their gold is stolen,” the man’s voice grew softer, “I’m glad they didn’t believe you.”
Alanna struggled out of the man’s grasp. He fought back just enough to keep her pinned against the tree.
“Stop, let me go!” Alanna yelled. Alanna was readying to bite his hand, when she realized he wore a Claddagh ring on his finger. She studied it and noticed he wore it on his right hand, upside down. Alanna bit his hand.

The man yelped and let go of her. Alanna looked at the Claddagh ring on her right finger.

“I see you’re not married,” Alanna said.

“Yes, I guess that narrows down my identity,” the man replied. Alanna could see his eyes narrow from beneath his hood.

“I see you are also not married.”

“Don’t turn this on me, you know who I am.”

“You’re not dating,” Alanna mumbled.

“What was that?” the man asked.

“You’re not dating,” Alanna repeated.

“Alanna, stop before I have to hurt you, I don’t want to.” The man began to move towards her.

“You don’t have to do this; I just want to know who you are.”

He continued to move towards her. Alanna narrowed her eyes.

“You wouldn’t do this, either way you’re being unmasked.” The man started to run. He tackled her and as he did, Alanna pulled the hood off his head.

“I knew it was you!”




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applesauceHater said...
Mar. 11, 2012 at 3:29 am:
Are you plaaning to write more? it was good all in all. Quite pleasing to read, but if you want suspision to build in the end maybe get into the maybe's of who it might be a little more. If you want the reader to guess, make more possibilities than aiden. idk if im making sense, sorry. Though you're ending still wants me read more. I hope you write more, noticed this was your only piece for twenty months of joining. Hope you post more pieces more frequently.
 
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