It’s been a long day, so Hans and Shmil welcomed the call to supper.

“Are you done with the knitting?” Clara, the self-appointed quartermaster of the group, used the tone that meant if the answer is ‘no’, I’ll be very angry. Again.

Hans unrolled the sleeping bag and sat down next to the fire, Shmil sitting next to him, crossing his legs. They both shared the responsibility to this sleeping bag, the bandits didn’t have enough to go around. Hans and Shmil even had to sleep in it together. That, they didn’t mind.

“The tent will hold.” Shmil mumbled at Clara, who was tending the flame. Around them, the rest of the bandits started settling down, waiting for Cook to bring out the beet soup.

“How come you two are always the first to sit down, when I call to supper.” Clara growled, fixing her eyes on the two, from the other side of the fire pit. “Always huddling to the side, disappearing into the woods for hours.”

Hans averted his eyes from her stare, and Shmil coughed. “We’re just, erm..”

“Lazy.” Clara sneered the word with some spit.

“That, lazy.” Shmil nodded. Hans’s hand tightened on his, behind their backs.

The other bandits started crowding around the fire. Cook announced, from behind the tents, that the beets are almost all chopped, he’s even going use some of the garlic and pheasants they took from that market stall lady.

“Last night before we relocate, shame to leave any supplies behind!” Cook called out, and the bandits cheered.

“Tomorrow morning, I want everyone packed up and ready by sunrise.” Clara was speaking to the gathering gang. “Trash everything you can’t carry.”

Hans leaned toward Shmil, whispering. “We’ll leave after supper, then. You already decided what you’re taking from the loot?”

Shmil smiled at him, leaning back. “That silver bowl with the ladle. Can’t be worth much, but I remember you liked it.”

Something heavy moved in the bushes behind the tents. Clara turned her attention at the noise, with a sigh. “Beatrice, go help Cook with the pot, it’s clearly too heavy for the old man.”

The young girl made her way toward the tents, as the rest of the gang returned to the chatter.

“Cook, Clara sent me to–” She stopped.

It wasn’t Cook.

(some explanation)

We are ad-free, and most of our funding comes from Patreon supporters. If you enjoy our work and think it’s good, please consider paying a monthly $1 or more for it, via our Patreon page.
All other funding comes from our small RPG products, available here.