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   Getting caught is not fun. At least I don’t think it is. I can’t say it’s ever happened to me before this one time, but
this was not fun. I had just gotten caught in the act of stealing what was evidently a very important item. It just looked
like a shiny rock to me.
   “Get her, she’s running!” screamed a castle guard from behind me. Well, no shit, I was running. Running is the usual
course of action when you get caught stealing from the king. At least I think it would be. I don’t really know, this was,
after all, my first time getting caught. I pretty much had to make it all up as I went along, and running seemed the best
path at the time.
   The direction in which I chose to run was, however, not such a good choice. Well, if I went the other way, I’d run
into the guards, obviously, but that was the way I came in, and the way I knew how to get out. After about five or so
minutes of being chased by castle guards (who get slowed down by all that armor), I decided that I’d never get
anywhere this way, considering they knew the castle better than I did.
   I ducked into the first door I could find. As I did so, I heard a scream of “She’s going into the kitchen!” See? I told
you they knew the place better than I did.
   It was quite a kitchen. I jumped over a counter in the middle of the room, figuring that if a half-dozen armed men
were to be charging in after me, I should get behind something. I grabbed a skillet and a butcher knife; for what, I don’
t know, but it seemed like the natural thing to do. I stayed ducked behind the counter for several seconds, then stood
up. Of course, as soon as I stood up, the guards rushed in. Timing is everything.
   “Get her!” screamed the head guard. Nice diction he had there. But what I said next wasn’t much better.
   “Eep.”
   That being said, I threw the knife. What happened next was kind of funny. The head guard was about to scream
something else when a six inch blade went into his mouth and out the back of his throat. That had to hurt. The other
five guards went around the counter on both sides to cut off any escape route I would have. It was at that point that I
noticed the window. I struck one of the guards in the head with the skillet, and leapt through the window.
   During the fall after this leap, a few things came to me: the fact that the window was closed, the fact that I was going
to be picking shards of glass out of myself for hours, and, most importantly, the fact that I was about three stories up
when I jumped out that window. This was not the most intelligent thing I’d ever done.
   As soon as I had resigned myself to a painful death on the ground due to a cracked spine, I landed. Lets just say
that I’m incredibly lucky that King Deadstone is so fond of ridiculous cliches. I landed in what I could only suppose
was a moat.
   After several minutes of what can’t be called swimming, but perhaps “not drowning,” I pulled myself to the ground
on the side of the moat away from the castle (after figuring out which side that was). I stood up, fell down, coughed up
water and blood, and stood up again. As I stood up, I was confronted by that which is evidently kept in moats. A
long, serpentine neck rose out of the water, ten feet long if it was an inch. A smooth, reptilian head was lowered
toward me, and looked me directly in the eye, about six inches from my face.
   “Eep.” was once again the only word I could come up with. What I did next seemed perfectly natural to me. I
punched the monster in the nose and ran away.
   When I got home, I came in through the back door, and collapsed on the floor before I could reach my bedroom.

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All text 8 2004 R.