The old man licked his lips. It was almost complete, almost done…
Sitting back with a certain air of smugness about him, the portly gentlemen admired his most recent handicraft. A gorgeous golden necklace inlaid with many precious stones. It was a masterpiece. It was a work of art.
It was really a shame that the owner would not be able to tell that it was a fake.
Three months later and Peter Willykins aka ‘That Kind Old Man’ was walking amiably down the streets of Nova Nona with his week’s supply of cured bacon and cheese. It was a rather enjoyable day to be out running errands. The streets had been recently swept and the sky was of that perfect blue that one often read about in books.
Peter Willykins whistled. It was a rather stretched out, shrill sound that could only be achieve by someone whistling through his teeth and having it bypass a rather well kept moustache. But it was alright. It only added to his character. After all, Peter Willykins was the kind of gentleman you would expect to whistle tunelessly while looking pleasantly cheerful about it. Bloody hell, Peter Willykins was even the kind of man you would expect to give a young lad a grandfatherly ruffle on the head. Provided, of course, that the young lad in question was no taller than five foot two.
Chuckling softly to himself as he rounded a corner into a well kept part of the city, Peter Willykins would have considered his day to be a particularly pleasant one indeed had he not noticed the innocent letter that lay inconspicuously beneath the door. Frowning, the old gentleman gave a soft grunt as he bent over to pick the rather expensive looking piece of stationary up. Sealing the letter was a wax insignia showing a three-headed serpent. Funny, it certainly did not belong to any of the guilds he knew and Peter Willykins knew a good many of them; - not all of them reputable.
Fumbling slightly for his keys, Peter Willykins opened the door and stepped inside. It was only after the old gentleman had settled himself comfortably in his living room that he opened the mysterious letter. As far as letters go, this one was rather lacking in contents; merely stating that there would be a masquerade and auction on Friday the thirteenth at the West Gates. It was not so much an invitation as a mere statement; challenging its reader to doubt its validity. Peter Willykins snorted. “Sly devils,” the old man said tossing the paper aside. Huh, so now they are finally taking notice of him as an upper class citizen and inviting him once more into high life are they? Funny, that did not seem to be the case when his father was down on his luck. In fact, Peter Willykins recalled, even their relatives had disappeared leaving his downtrodden family to manage it as best as they could.
And manage it he did. Peter Willykins was born with nimble fingers and a great gift for details and once these skills were applied appropriately, it was all a matter of finding the right customers; which was not at all hard, surprisingly. From there, business seemed to grow although the late Willykins Sr., if that was indeed Peter Willykin’s real name, was against his son’s choice of trade. Well, to each his own and his father had died a poor man while he…he had risen, both in society and notoriety- mutually exclusive of each other of course. He picked the paper up again and read the message. Old habits die hard and there was just a trace of longing left in his old heart, a longing to return to high society…
“Oh, where’s the harm,” muttered the old man.