Wow, the response on my latest poll about whether or not I should hold said poll was amazing. If you’re one of the one readers that participated in the poll, then you already know that you chose (overwhelmingly) for me to write another Stevan the Barbarian post, so let us tarry no longer.
Deep in the dark bowels of a mystical labyrinth of shopping centers and department stores, a small group of suit-clad schemers plotted. Sheltered from the dark of the outside world by the locked gates to the shopping complex, the four figures weaved plans for the labyrinth’s destiny.
“Sales have been dropping,” spat out the first. “We must focus on more advertising.”
“Silence!” The second and largest of the four figures stood at the helm of their conversation, commanding the attention of the other three with even the slightest breath. “Advertising is not the solution to our problems. We all know what must be done, and there is but only to do it.”
The third, a timid creature with tie in disarray and eyes darting in constant panic, spoke up. “But manager, we have a signed contract with that store for a full year longer. They have a copy in their own possession, even.”
“Do you think I don’t know that, Hubert!” The evident leader barked in reply. “That is why Mr. Snorf is with us this evening.”
At the mention of his name, the fourth member of the small group, silent until now, made his presence known. “I see… Then, having already covered the topic of payment, I shall do what is needed.”
Mr. Snorf slipped out of the small, illuminated room and into the deep shadows of the mall.
Behind a curtain of clothes that hung upon a rack in a dark, warm department store, Stevan slept. Sprawled on a pile of clearance winter coats in his small lair, it was nearing the time when he should awake.
Having found shelter from the elements in this “Department Store,” Stevan had made a home for himself among the clothes racks, where he could remain concealed whilst asleep during the day and roam freely amongst the night whence he awoke. Like all of his homes, this was a temporary shelter for the restless nomadic barbarian.
A patch of light flickered across the carpeted flooring near Stevan’s hovel. His barbarian instincts fully activated and his eyes flashed open. Utilizing his extraordinary barbarian senses, he heard the light footsteps of an intruder. A short peak through the curtain of women’s dresses revealed a bright light leading a nimble and quick-footed man towards the back of the store.
Already completely awakened, Stevan chose to follow the mysterious individual. Crowned with a slim metal strip formerly purposed to hang clothes and wielding a fearsome club of the golf variety, the barbarian crept.
“After all,” thought Stevan, “if whatever this room holds appeals to this thief-in-the-night, it shall certainly appeal to me as well.”
The light led the shadowy figure who led the stealthy barbarian to the far end of the store, what Stevan knew to be “the offices.” Within these offices the two men continued to the locked door of a small room.
“This is Snorf,” the figure spoke into the night. “Did you de-activate the security system?”
Stevan clutched his weapon tightly, awaiting the appearance of another party.
“Good,” Snorf said. “I’ll be back shortly.” he placed a small object into his pocket and set to work picking the door’s lock.
With no more words, Snorf soon had the door open and entered a room barely large enough to contain the large metal box against the far wall. Snorf immediately set to turning a knob on the box whilst holding his ear to it.
“Excellent,” thought the nomadic creature of the night. “While he toils I shall wait. And once the prize is free from it’s container, I will strike.”
An expert in his craft, Snorf soon had the box open and searched through to find what he was looking for.
Stevan watched from the doorway as the shadowy form turned around holding a single sheet of paper. The thin, self-satisfied smirk across Snorf’s face was immediately replaced by a look of horror as his light revealed the chiseled details of this barbaric giant blocking his path.