By Tim Sevenhuysen
Posted April 18, 2012
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While Milly kept the blaster trained on the sniffling thief, Haglyn rolled her GyroCart a few feet away and began gathering small pebbles and bits of gravel off the pavement.
“Haglyn,” said Milly, “what are you doing?”
“Oh,” said Haglyn, pretending to hide a conspiratorial wink, “I’m collecting babies—er, I mean, pebbles.”
Milly tilted her head to the side. “Did you hit your head?”
“Nope,” said Haglyn, dumping a handful of pebbles into her lap. “Actually, I feel better than I have in a long time! These pebbles… They’re so pretty, and, uh, hard, and… they smell like… um… minerals.”
Milly was just about to tell Haglyn to stop acting so crazy when she noticed that the thief had stopped crying. Instead, the woman was staring intently at Haglyn, watching every movement of her hand, tracking the path of each and every pebble with her eyes.
Haglyn took a few pebbles and rubbed them gently on her cheek. “Oh, my pretty babies,” she crooned, peeking at the thief out of the corner of her eye.
It was just the right finishing touch. The thief scrambled to her feet, ignoring Milly and the blaster completely, and sprang on Haglyn. She frantically scooped the pebbles out of Haglyn’s lap, then fled out of the alley at top speed without looking back.
They let her go.
“Huh,” said Milly. “You’re a genius. A weird, demented, and perhaps somewhat cruel genius.”
“It’s my blessing and my curse,” grinned Haglyn. “Help me pick up these beads. And chuck that blaster in a dumpster or something. It’ll just get us in more trouble.”
After picking up the beads, what do they do next?
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