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An Open Book: Part 3

Welcome to An Open Book! This is a collaborative project in which anyone can join.

Here's how it works: below, there'll be a scene. When I reach a point that seems like a good place to cut it off, I'll stop, and leave it open. From there, you get to take over. Yes, you! Leave a continuation in the comments, whether it be raw or in a google doc (make sure viewing is open!), and when the time comes for me to continue, I'll choose one of the entries, and continue with that information.

I know what you're thinking: how could anyone possibly keep up with a story like that? It's like a DnD campaign, where you have to be there the whole time! Well, this story takes place in a magical realm named Rorrimeht, where things can suddenly change--even in ways that contradict one another. So, here in Rorrimeht, you can take what you read and run with it. You can add characters, characterize pre-existing ones, worldbuild, create plotlines, anything you can think of! I'll make sure to note if there are any key aspects that you need to know for the continuation of the story, such as [approaching midpoint, create conflict].

Other than that, anything goes!

-Please try to consider proper grammar, but don't be daunted by the prospect of making things perfect. This is just for fun! I'll clean things up when I translate it into the next part.

-Do not use material from copyrighted works, let's tell an original story!

We didn't get any continuations this month, but that's okay! It'll just be little old me, for now.

Dust clapped out as he hit the ground, and he coughed so sharply that he spat out his straw. Aching, he rolled to assess what had hit him, but he only caught on quick enough to avoid being trampled by the party of knights racing down the way. He craned his neck, but he only saw a cloak snapping as the mysterious thief vanished yet again.

A kind enough young woman offered Kip a hand, and with a grunt, he accepted the boost to his feet. "Many thanks," he offered, and dusted himself off.

"You must not be from around here," she said, and tugged him off to the side. "You ought to know better than to keep your head down when you're walking."

"Never seen a big city in my life," Kip replied, and reached up to throw some of his tossled, brown lock back into place. "From the countryside across the desert. Came to see if Mennit was really here."

The young lady looked confused. "Of course it's here," she said, almost as if she was insulted, and pointed to the massive temple in the center of the city. "But they won't accept just anyone, and you've clearly got nothing to offer them."

"Huh?" Kip echoed, instinctively, while he flashed down toward his bag. Where it once sat faithfully, now there was nothing but empty space. "Damn! That thief must've swiped it right from me!" "Oh dear," said the young lady, and backed away. "The city isn't friendly to people without offers. Good luck, sir, but forget you ever saw me!"

She vanished into a little home with the slam of a wooden door, and Kip took a deep breath just to sigh it out. Great. Alone in the City of Life without his offering. To make it worse, all of his coins were in that bag, so now he'd take bed on the streets when the suns fell.

Surely a dozen knights could capture just one thief, so all he had to do was follow the sounds of their chaos and track down whoever had taken his belongings. When he got his money and his offering back, he could seek out Mennit in the Temple of Water. Easy!

Alright... Now just where did they all go? He could not actually hear anything special in the sea of busy city-life. Maybe if he got to a better position to see from, he'd be able to follow the commotion.

Between the stands and the tiny homes, Kip was certain he could get up onto the roofs.

He marched right over to one, absentmindedly, and stuck his foot onto a stand's counter.

"Hey!" shouted the merchant, who raced over, red-faced and seething. "Just what do you think you're--"

Kip boosted himself up to grasp at the overhanging rooftop, rattling the stand and nearly knocking it over.

"Get back down here! What is this madness!"

Kip hoisted himself fully up onto the roof, getting a solid hold on the slanted surface first, and then leaning back over to face the mana. "Sorry."

He scaled the slope thereafter and made his way to the next building, which was sandwiched against the one he stood on, just like all the rest of the area. This must've been some sort of mercantile slum or a space-conscious community. In either case, Kip was happy to see there was such an ease of access to the rooftops.

Once he'd gotten atop the tallest one, he peered around the city for signs of a pursuit, but he could not see anything. Maybe the culprit was already taken down. Maybe they got away.

He remained up there for a good few minutes, somewhere between disbelief and disappointment, and took a seat. It was probably safer to sleep up there tonight than on the streets. For all he knew, he'd wake up naked if he tried to do that.

Well, if he was going to get anywhere before night came upon him, he'd have to find the local jail. That was his greatest lead.

He rose and gave it one last shot to try and make something out, but again there was nothing but a busy city.

He descended from the buildings.

Defeated but not deterred, Kip kept himself square while he made his way to Main Circle, and did his best to avoid the stampeding city folk all while searching for what looked like a jail. He didn't imagine whatever they had here to look anything like the little, two-cell building back home.

"Lost?" asked someone nearby; a pretty thing with rich, sun-kissed skin, full lips, and brown eyes. Her hair was long and curly, bronze, and radiating in the sunlight.

"Looking," he said. "Need to find the jail."

"What's in the jail?"

"People, usually," Kip said. "Unless you do something different here. I need to find a criminal."

"Are you the vengeful type?"

"Not really," he said, and passed her a glance. "Bastard stole my pack. I just need it with me."

The young lady hummed. She tossed up her black hood and flashed a grin. "Did he look like this?"

Kip stared blankly for a moment, his face twisting into something that wasn't quite belief, but also wasn't fully shocked. He lurched forward and roped her up in his hands. "Listen," he said, and shook her violently. "I need my bag, you hear? I need what I've got in there!"

Dizzily, the woman swatted his hands away and stumbled back. "Aye! Aye! Come on!" She shook herself straight. "I came to give it back."

He eyed the bag in the shadow of her cloak. His hand automatically reached for it, but she stepped back.

"On one condition," she said, and raised a finger. "We see the Mennit together."

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Oct 04, 2023

(Transitional Continuation)

Kip’s arm longed for the inner coat once more. His heartbeat drowned out the woman’s condition and raced toward his palpable desire: the satchel. However eager, his pursuit fell short once more. The woman casted the shadow away with a backward step.

“Suit yourself!” She taunted in disappointment, before turning on her heels to ditch him once more.

This time, Kip was quick to the draw. He grabbed her shoulder before the woman could escape his sight again.

“Where do you get off taking things that don’t belong to you thief?” He retorted.

The woman shifted smoothly. With the clear maneuverability of a thief, Kip would not best her here. The woman grabbed Kip’s arm and bent it…

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