Flash Fiction – Acquisition without Permission (From the Archives)

First posted in 2016. || Image Credit: Photo by Alice Hampson on Unsplash

Ellya sat in her supervisor’s chair and surveyed the desk in front of her.

It was the chaotic mess that she had grown to expect from Sir Petral. There were two, no three half drunk coffee cups scattered over the table, propping up various pieces of paperwork that were balanced between the coffee cups and the various textbooks that took up the remaining space on the desk.

If I was Sir Petral, Ellya thought to herself, where would I hide it?

It wouldn’t be large, Ellya knew that. Anyone as careful as Sir Petral knew that to keep their treason hidden they would have to bury it deep. Deep enough to ensure that no one would find it.

However, that didn’t mean it was truly hidden. Ellya knew that, because it hadto be here. If she found this journal, and exposed her supervisor, then her benefactors would pay her handsomely to allow her to get through another year in this god-forsaken rich city.

Ellya lent down so that her eyes were level with the desk top. From here, the books seemed like mountains, with the paper balanced on top like vast natural roofs that covered the canyons below them. The writing was blurry from this distance, Ellya knew that she had to go to the doctors to get some new glasses, but glasses cost money. Money that Ellya didn’t have. It would cost almost 6 Keys worth to get a decent pair of glasses, which was true thievery. Back in her hometown of Machepi, the same glasses would have cost a mere Key, possibly even just 2 or 3 chains worth. That was half the price.

Now this? Searching through her supervisors room whilst they were out on lunch? This wasn’t thievery in the true sense. Ellya had always thought that Sir Petral was into some dodgey dealings, and now she had been approached by some benefactors that had worn the Crown Rings, those that linked them to the Parliament themselves, it had only cemented her feelings further.

Hurry up, Ellya thought, pushing herself back into the seat. It was a comfy seat, far comfier than anything Ellya normally had the pleasure of sitting in.

Where would I hide it? She thought.

There wouldn’t be any secret hidey holes in the building, Ellya had already checked the plans. The Teachers Building was 1st Grade, so old that it had been put under special protector spells to retrain its structural integrity and to stop anyone tampering with the structure. It was supposed to be preserved for all eternity, so that the future generations would be able to experience the architecture of the past.

Sadly, Sir Petral wanted to ensure that no future generations saw anything. If what she had been told was even remotely true, he was involved in a plot to destroy most of the civilised world with a weapon as powerful as those used in the Before Times, when humanity had destroyed the world.

You’re not in the right place, Ellya thought. Her eyes stopped over a copy of The Magics and Sciences of the Past – true or untrue? by Leitra Megrui. It was a boring book, one Sir Petral had assigned to her in her very first term under the blasted man. However, it was also in the wrong place, Sir Petral had a habit of droning on to Ellya that no book should ever be situated in the School Libraries that were not in alphabetical order.

And I know my clouding alphabet, Ellya thought, pushing herself out of the chair and walking over to the bookshelf. It was why she had been accepted into the School at only twenty two instead of the normal twenty five. She knew a lotmore than just her alphabet.

Ellya reached up to the top shelf, having to stand on her tiptoes to grab the book. Her petite frame meant that a lot of people ignored or dismissed Ellya, which worked perfectly fine for her because it was one of the reasons that she was able to pull off this little piece of acquisition without permission.

Ellya hefted the book from the shelf, surprised at its lightness. When she had read the book, it had been a heaving volume of hundreds of dry and boring pages that she had been forced to carry around in her bag for weeks on end. This copy was considerably lighter, and even the leather cover was nowhere near as battered as it should have been considering the last print run of the book had been nigh on one hundred years previously.

The door handle turned.

Ellya froze in fright as the noise caught her unawares.

He’s supposed to be at the lunch until one! Ellya thought to herself. However, Sir Petral must have returned early, as she could see the corner of his traditional golden robes peeking out from the door as it slowly begun to open.

Ellya’s mind worked fast. There was only one door and one window in the study, it was built in the traditional Eelta style that was common with the first Post-Humans who had struggled to survive in the nuclear wasteland that their forefathers had made for them.

Only one escape then, Ellya thought. She dove for the window, as she felt Petral create the offensive spell that was far higher than any grade he should know. She crossed the room in a few swift steps, hand held out as she muttered the basic momentum spell that forced the window to swing open on its latches.

She leapt for the window just as the spell caught her leg. The pain was so brilliant that she screamed in agony as she flew, limbs crashing into window frame.

Then she fell, plummeting towards the street below. In the pain infused haze, Ellya couldn’t help but laugh.

I’ve done it! She thought.

Enjoy this flash fiction? Check out some of my other short stories below!

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