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Another Terrible Tale as Told by a Tapeworm

Neither hither nor quite that far thither would a lad have to walk to find a door left unlocked in which to slip himself quietly with the simplest of chores on hand. Why, it was a thief’s duty to lighten the wallet on his way through appraising every pretty painting on the wall, weigh every urn on every end table and even address the elephant in the room and though that sculpture was well sculpted; its ceramic trunk was no doubt to break when he fled with haste with all the fine jewels of the jewelry store.

But stayed by chaste when his thieving hand crept too near a strange painting on the wall behind the glass display case already swiftly emptied of every necklace made of pearl and gold, every diamond ring and emerald bracelet; though he couldn’t break open that old iron till for all its beaten chime. Halfway through the whole wall of paintings on his way over to some golden cigarette holder he stopped at one in particular of a hat and a butler’s top half, though there was no face to this painting.

Strange thought a thief that didn’t have the time to be thinking strange things about medium-strange paintings on the red, red wall of a jewelry store they rumored to be a witch’s own! For those elvish ears of his oftened keened to the rumors of what goes on beneath the floor and tile of K. Jewelers, he could gossip with the rest and all the best down at the Glass House. Gelbet’s premier, transparent inn where even the worst of the rich could put on a pretty face for the eyes that pry. And a thief richer off sparkling things as well as strange things would think himself a thief as doubly rich.

And who could blame him?

Certainly not the dog watching from the shadows as he took the painting in both his thieving hands and was instead devoured whole to nothing, but his boots left dancing on the floor to entertain that dog and wag that dog’s tail. And for a moment, the bleeding painting wore his face; a thieving face with a brackish kind of smile and a dastardly tone of cut to his jib. But like any other face it might wear-

It was in the end; just a strange, faceless painting.

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