February 21, 2006 at 1:37 am #1770Lucian BirchParticipant
It was a dreadful night. The thick fog clung ter da streets like a livin' thing, mufflin' sounds an' blockin' all sight beyond a few feet. All in all i' was perfect fer da slim figgur creepin' down da alley. So far not a person stirred an' 'e would soon be countin' da pogue from da nights jump.
Then 'e 'eard da jingle ov a chain accompanied by slow clompin' steps an' 'e knew what it meant. A blue bottle was 'eadin' 'is way. Withaaaht a sound 'e slipped behind some rottin' crates what 'ad been abandoned in da alley an' slipped in'er da darkness. He waited wiv baited brearf as da footsteps got closer an' slowed to a stop. Time froze fer what seemed like 'aaahrs as da blue bottle scuffled abaaaht pokin' at somethin' across da way. Then da sound ov 'is passage began again as 'e continued on 'is patrol. Each minute waitin' made da chances ov da discovery ov 'is crime mawer likely, so wivaaaht any mawer waitin' da little geezer continued movin' away from da blue bottle. Minutes later 'e found a buildin' wiv ruff enuff walls ter climb, an' shortly 'e made 'is way ter da rooftops, be'er known as The Highway. The Blue Bottles an' da Beaks may patrol da streets, but da rooftops belonged ter The Rooks.
Wif a nimbleness born ov da street da young geezer slipped fawm roof ter roof followin' a mostly unknown parf what would lead 'im 'ome, ter The Rookery. The Rookery was a den ov tieves an' criminals ov all sorts, fer a price anyone could find relative safe'y an' solitude in The Rookery. Prostitutes, murderers, tieves, traitors, an' even just plain poor folk who couldn't afford ter live anywhere else an' feared fer what few possessions they did own, fer da law ov da Rookery was what no man, woman, awer child stole from wivin an' ter do so mean' death. There were few uvver laws there, an' even da Blue Bottles an' Beaks feared ter en'er da place. No matter what yaaahr crime awer reason fer livin' there, all 'ad ter pay a tax ov sorts ter The Resurecshun Man, da seemingly immortal leader ov The High Street Bishops, da most prominen' organisashun in da London Underworld. Nuffin' got past da Resurecshun Man, 'e seemed ter know everythin' what 'appened in London an' da Bishops tolerated nothing, their Justice 'ard an' often final.
When 'e finally reached da roof ov 'is 'ome 'e slipped inside da second story window ter 'is room, one shared wiv da uvver two Rooks, Jillian an' Minnow. Minnow was a guy from da orient, silen' as dearf an' mawer van able ter deal it. He never spoke ov 'is past, 'e just used da excuse what 'e couldn't remember nothin' beyond da mornin' what Jillian an' I pulled 'im from da parf ov a carriage. He 'ad blood on 'is 'ead an' a right nas'y gash givin' off da stream. Befawer we found Minnow, we call 'im what because neither Jillian awer I can really speak what 'e claims is 'is real name… Just da first part, Minnow. For what matter, we can't really understand much ov what 'e says but 'e's sure a 'andy lot ter 'ave around. Jillian an' I 'ad been workin' fer some time together, since we were kids really. We would run da streets as children, stealin' food an' pickin' da pockets ov 'apless strangers ter keep aaahrselves fed an' alive. We lived under a pawch till we were a little older an' could brin' in enuff Lend us a sob ter actually live in a real room, thuff times were still thin. As we got older aaahr in'erests spli' in'er various fawms, I got in'erested in pickin' locks an' breakin' in'er 'ouses while she an' allk ter da frill ov area diving. On aaahr eighteenf birthday, we ended up sharin' aaahr birthday since neither ov us knew what aaaht real birthdays were, we exchanged actual gifts fer da first time in aaahr lives. Jillian somehow came up wiv a set ov lockpicks, da ones I still use today, an' I gave 'er an Emerald Necklace what I found on one ov my jumps
Oh, in case yew were wondering, my name is Lucian Birch. I'm one ov da Rooks, so watch yer windows an' 'ide yer daughters an' gems, I'll steal 'em both
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