The village sat, climbing the cliff-face, glorious in the setting sun, huts perched like tropical birds, blue and yellow and red. She pictured the meandering paths, the day’s linen, flapping like ships’ sails, dragging the village onward. She traced the cold river’s course, into the warm stone and under the mountain. Seabirds flew back to roost in their nests, carved into the shit-stained cave-walls by the villagers – she would need to wait for the shadow-cloak of darkness.
The tide would surge, carrying her silently upward, toward the mouth of the river. The guards would change, with the tides. The keys were inside the guardhouse, and her steel would win them for her.
What matters is not the size of the dragon, but the size of its treasure.
The thief lay back, and waited for darkness.