Untold Stories from the World of Myrrah: Ty in Sardinia – Part 2
By the end of those four days, Ty knew his way through the bazaar. At least all but a few places Via warned him to avoid. Just like every town, the market hosted all sorts of commerce, including ones that ran from pickpocketing to slavery. Ty listened to Via and kept to the paths and stores that were safe, returning each day to the complex where Via lived.
Via had given him a room along with some money to buy clothes, telling Ty he could earn the money back by carrying bundles to the various stores throughout Sardinia. Ty didn’t mind. He enjoyed seeing the market as much as earning some money. There were stores selling items Ty never considered purchasing, or even had existed. Everything from food to carpets, silk to leather shoes. If he had the money, he could buy a boat or have one made. Or simply buy all the pieces to make a boat. There was more in the market than he had seen in the six months he’d spend sailing on the Gypsy Empress to ports across Myrrah. More than he had seen growing up in a family of merchant sailors.
“There is a man who stole something from me. You’ve seen that Sardinia is not as bad, well not all of it, as is said. But there is no authority here, no one to settle disputes like this. So we have to take care of it ourselves,” Via said.
Via’s expression was sincere, but the request crawled across his skin. “What do you want me to do?” Ty asked.
Via huffed a laugh. “Nothing as bad as the look on your face would make out. I just need you to sneak in and unlock the door for us. No one will be home and we’re just gonna get back what he stole. Fair is fair.”
Ty didn’t like it, but the request didn’t seem unreasonable. “Sure,” he agreed.
“Good. Be ready at midnight. I’ll come get you,” Via said.
Via left with a friendly slap to Ty’s shoulder. Ty spent the remainder of the day trying not to think about sneaking into a house during the early morning hours. It was simply to retrieve something taken from Via. Via had been good to him. The request might not feel right, but there were no soldiers or guards in Sardinia other than those personally hired. He had seen that much in his four days. This was the only way to get what was stolen back. The thoughts chased each other.
By midnight, Ty had a headache. Hoping that by getting the favor done he would be able to stop thinking about it, Ty eagerly took the rope Via offered after leading him and four other men through the quiet streets of Sardinia. They stood in a narrow alley which blocked the moonlight. The darkness between the close set buildings obscured everything below the first floor.
“What do you want me to do?” Ty asked Via in a low whisper. Even so, he cringed at the sound as he spoke. Ty had no idea why he was holding a rope.
“Can you make it up to that balcony?” Via asked, nodding to a narrow ledge adorned with a railing that was three stories up along the side of the building.
Now Ty understood why Via had asked him for help. It wasn’t just the height that was imposing, or the narrow balcony that was the goal, but that getting to it meant either shimmying up the rope for three stories or a careful walk across the top edge of a narrow wall to then clamber up a final story to the balcony.
“Yah,” Ty answered, planning the route in his mind. The mast on the Gypsy Empress had been taller, and the yard for the top sail had been narrower than the wall. And neither the wall nor the balcony were swaying in the wind on a storm tossed boat. “Then what?”
Via blinked at him and then grinned. “Won’t be locked, but I’ll start teaching you lock picking… in case we ever have this problem again. Just go in, come downstairs, and open the door for us. No one is home, but stay quiet just in case.”
“That’s it?” Ty asked.
The comment about lock picking aside, the task seemed nearly too easy, at least to match the pleased glee in Via’s expression. Whatever the man had taken must have been valuable for Via to be nearly dancing.
“Yup, we’ll find what he stole. You’ll wait outside to keep watch in case they come home. Up to it then,” Via said, waving Ty onward.
Ty slipped the coil of rope across his shoulder before walking to where the wall lining the alley met the far building. The angle wasn’t smooth as if the wall or the building had been built at different times. The uneven stones provided small finger holds. Ty kicked off his shoes before feeling his way up the rough junction. When he got to the top two stories up, he regretted having left his shoes behind.
The top of the wall was studded with broken glass mortared into the stonework. A glance down at Via’s upturned, and very pleased, face kept Ty from navigating the uneven notch back down to look for another way. Careful of his knees, hands, and feet, Ty hauled himself onto the narrow tip and began a delicate walk across the top. Each step had to be carefully planned. Losing his balance and needing to catch himself would cost a bad cut or puncture. Not something Ty wanted, especially two stories above a stone street.
The embedded glass shards next to the building Via wanted to enter was broken flat, making Ty think he wasn’t the first to make his way to the top of the wall. He wondered what had happened to the ones who’d come before. That sent his gaze up to the balcony, guessing that the door had to be locked. But closer now he could see in the moonlight that the door was ajar to let in the evening air. Ty just didn’t know if it had been opened and forgotten, or if that meant someone was home. He didn’t want to meet the owners on his own after sneaking into their house. He could imagine what’d they’d think. Which was not much different from what he was doing.
“Hurry, boy,” Via hissed from below.