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  • Writer's pictureJohn Simons

RinthCon Day 5 - Villain

“That was the last of my money,” said Ahbet. He had just paid for one of the vendor’s lunches.

Villain had escaped down a hall lined with panels and workshops, then disappeared. Hide and seek was a favorite game of hers. Ahbet and Oisin spent the entire morning trying to find where she was hiding. Then a woman dressed like Emily Bronte told them she had seen a gray dog running toward the Vendor’s room.

Lunchtime, Villain snatched unsupervised hot dogs from distracted merchants. The last vendor wouldn’t tell them which way Villain had gone until Ahbet had bought him a new lunch. Ahbet’s own stomach was growling now, and he didn’t have anything left to buy himself some food. He was not amused by Villain’s antics.

“She’s had a full day already,” said Oisin, “That volunteer who chased her around the anime contest really gave her a workout. Poor girl.”

“Poor girl!” exclaimed Ahbet, “She’s a menace!”

Oisin grinned and nodded, “An evil dog mastermind.”

Ahbet stopped. “There she is!” he said. “She’s curled up in that empty booth at the end of the aisle.” It was a stubby dead-end aisle with little traffic and the vendor appeared to have packed up early. “I’m going to sneak up on her,” said Ahbet.

“You do that.”

Ahbet crept forward as quietly as he could. Villain lay with her nose tucked under her tail. She looked like a spongy plush toy with the crystal beside her. As much as Ahbet wanted to snatch the crystal away and tell her she was a very bad dog, he also had an urge to scratch her fuzzy cheeks. “She is an evil dog,” he said to himself to keep the fires of his anger burning.

Villain did not stir, but Ahbet bumped the display table as he went around it. The dog’s head popped up and took in the sight of her stalker. She jumped to her feet and grabbed the crystal. Ahbet lunged. Villain dodged, right into the arms of Oisin, who had come through the booth’s backdrop.

Caught, Villain dropped the crystal and wagged her tail.

To Ahbet’s horror, the crystal struck the ground and broke in two.

Ahbet picked up the pieces. The broken faces of the two crystal halves seemed to be filled with infinite points of light. As he watched, the lights began to fade.

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