Ruby specks glittered in the burning lichen light. They emerged on tiny legs from the balled silver thread, gemstone spiderlings bursting from their tinny egg pouch.
Ahvia turned the earring over under her fingers with a sour expression. The rough settings caught her skin. Cheap and ugly. She pocketed them all the same, along with a web-motif bracelet and two spiderleg rings. Say what they would about her people, Ahvia thought with a soft exit of breath, but we can commit to a theme.
The acolyte dormitories were completely empty, the fifth sacrifice cycle was upon them and no sane priestess would miss the ceremonies lest they become part of the sixth cycle. It was the perfect time for the faithless and opportunistic to help the acolytes free up space in their trunks.
With full pockets Ahvia padded towards the exit. Her skirts ruffled awkwardly over her pointed boots. The web embroidered garment didn’t fit right, made for someone taller than she, and the added weight had the fabric slipping off her narrow hips.
Her steps made no sound against the stone hallway. So when clicking footfalls echoed from around the corner Ahvia froze and clutched her skirts to keep them from falling off. A half-naked priestess in the corridors might elicit a pause.
The small pack of lithe acolytes eyed her badly tailored robes as they passed her on their way into the dormitories. Most made no comment except to giggle and arch eyebrows but one tall acolyte paused, letting the others go ahead.
“Those–are my skirts.” The acolyte leaned forward, fingers twitching to what Ahvia could guess was a knife.
“Are you blind? These are mine.” Ahvia crossed her arms over her chest and looked up haughtily, gambling that the stolen skirts would not fall off and turn this deadly situation into an embarrassing one.
The acolyte’s crimson eyes narrowed. “No, the web motif–”
Ahvia spoke up again before her opponent could settle entirely on the conclusion. “What? Every tablecloth, curtain, and dress here is covered in them. You’d think any want-to-be priestess of the spider goddess would have noticed that.”
Ahvia whirled, knowing full well that a turned back invited daggers. Though her spine itched with the acolyte’s glare, no attack came and Ahvia made it to the steps of the temple. She looked back once with a blooming grin and then hitched up her falling skirts and hurried away.
Thievery abounds, and all thanks to More than 1/2 Mad and her Legal Theft Challenge this week. Another pull from my Dungeons and Dragons game and my character there.