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“The Şiret Mask”

Dangling from a rope two hundred feet above the rooftops of Râu Tare, I find myself questioning the decisions that have led me to this point.

 

I keep raising the bar on how long a story idea sits around before it turns into an actual story. In this case, I don’t even know how long I’ve had the concept — someone stealing an object that’s really only valuable because it has a long and glorious history of being stolen — but I’m sure it’s at least a decade. And it would have been a decade more had it not collided with two other inspirations: the character I was playing in a Pathfinder campaign (which had put me in a very rogue-friendly frame of mind), and the 1915 silent film Fillibus. I owe thanks to Sonya Taaffe for posting that link; without it, the story might never have gone anywhere.

But follow that link with caution, because it might actually spoil this short story for you. The actual plot events are completely different, but the general shape of the character has more than a few similarities to Viorica Mareşoiu, the heroine of my tale. If you’d prefer to remain unspoiled, just know that the tale involves airships and master criminals and ten pounds of caper in a five-pound sack.

My music for this consisted of the soundtracks to Casanova and Sherlock Holmes (the first Robert Downey, Jr. film), which share a certain . . . madcap quality, shall we say?

“The Şiret Mask” will appear in an upcoming issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies.