Festival of Masks Fiction 2

Nayefa had cautiously avoided taking the first two ships that departed for Nujel’m, but the delay set her back. Dusk had fallen on the evening of the 18th when she stepped onto Nujel’m dock.

Nayefa tried to find the palace but got lost. The streets were empty and dark. She eventually found herself in front of the dock again.

A hand covered Nayefa’s mouth. The thief ripped the ruby from the hidden pocket in the hem of her dress.  He gently pushed her away and ran down the street, the gem triumphantly held up in one hand like a trophy. He turned the corner and she heard a scream.

Nayefa walked hesitantly around the corner. In front of a darkened tavern, she saw the headless body of the thief. She looked in vain for the ruby.

Nayefa went a few steps closer to the tavern, trying to see by the light of the street lamps. She heard a footstep behind her. That’s when she saw the head, its features contorted in its death scream. It was her son, Omar. She fainted, falling backwards into a pair of waiting arms.

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