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
Stevan wasted no time. Snorf’s face, now contorted with fear, became locked in the vice-like grip of the barbarian’s might hand. His feet levitated off the ground momentarily. When they landed, they were quickly followed by a crumpled body.
Immediately the barbarian scoured his felled opponent for the treasures he knew must be near, glancing briefly at the slip of paper before tossing it out of his way. Within one of Snorf’s pockets, Stevan discovered the object Snorf had spoken into earlier. Upon close inspection, he determined that it too was worthless.
Peering into the blackness of the safe with his uncanny wilderness senses, he was dismayed to discover a complete lack of worthwhile treasure. Apparently this box had only served to contain the paper that Snorf had wasted his life trying to retrieve. Stevan crouched near the fallen thief to more closely inspect the parchment.
A sudden buzzing launched the mighty figure back on his feet, club at the ready. A noticeable light emitted from the box that had come from Snorf’s pocket. Stevan picked up the small device, trying to interpret its words. With the accidental press of a button, he suddenly found the words much easier to understand.
“Mr. Snorf, have you retrieved the contract? Your reward is still waiting, as are we… Mr. Snorf? … Quiet Hubert! I am well aware of reception problems with cellular devices!
“… Mr. Snorf, if you can hear me, we will be waiting in the designated area: beneath the palm tree next to Lorman’s. You will receive your payment when we receive the paper.”
Stevan was familiar with the palm tree next to Lorman’s. He had often passed it during his nightly travels around the mall. He did not hesitate before picking up the paper and setting out for his reward; formerly Mr. Snorf’s reward.
Quiet as a panther, Stevan stole close to the tree, watching to perceive any potential threats. Noticing nothing en route to the tree, he proceeded to a hiding spot among the hall’s many shadows.
Before the sound of voices reached the shadowed savage he was aware of the approaching men. His keen senses seeing and hearing their every movement.
Arriving under the palm branches, a trio of men paced and peered into the darkness, watching and waiting.
“He should be here by now,” hissed a violent and bitter voice.
“What if something’s happened?” quivered a second.
“Quiet you fools! He will arrive just as planned… Ah! Here he comes now.”
Aware that his sight far surpassed these “civilized” men in the surrounding blackness, Stevan did not correct Snorf’s employers.
“Have you brought the contract, Mr. Snorf?”
“I have. Tell me, what payment did we discuss?”
“Why, the usual fee of course. Are you quite alright Mr. Snorf?”
“I am. Here is the contract.”
“Ah, excellent… and here is the–aha! Grab him!”
Wrongly counting on the superiority of his own physique, the trio’s leader grabbed Stevan by the wrist while reaching for the contract. It was his final mistake, as soon evidenced by the divot Stevan’s mighty club formed in his skull.
A powerful blast cracked through the air as Stevan saw a flash of light emitting from one of the remaining men and felt a fierce burning across the side of his chest. With a second stroke of his powerful weapon, the barbarian leaped towards the shooter and smashed the club into his chest. The man’s ribs cracked as his breast sunk inward and he fell to the floor.
With evident and burning rage in his eyes, Stevan turned towards the third man, quivering in a pool of tears under the hanging palm branches.
“Where is my reward?” spake Stevan.
The sniveling body choked back it’s sobs. “Don’t kill me, Mr. Snorf! The money is in the briefcase!”
The barbarian checked and, finding this to be a true statement, grunted, kicked the slip of paper Mr. Snorf had recovered towards the pitiful creature and walked away.