“This pen must be worth a fortune!”
Ben thought to himself.
He stole the pen from an older gentleman, who was riding the subway.
The pen was of average size, but coated in gold, and engraved with a tree on it.
The pen itself was rather heavy, leaving Ben to wonder about how was the old gentleman able to write with such a heavy pen.
As Ben was doing his weekly routine of pickpocketing, and listening for interesting news in crowded areas, he heard something interesting.
“Have you heard the news about Professor Merlin?”
An individual said while shopping in mall.
“About his request and bounty for something he lost?”
The first individual’s friend asked.
“Yes! Yes! He lost a family heirloom, a world tree golden pen he called it.
Can you believe it? He will pay a hundred thousand dollars for anyone who finds it, and brings it back!”
The first individual said.
And they continued to chatter, Ben picking up similar conversations in the mall, and later on, on the subway as he headed home.
“Seemingly, I caught a big fish.”
He said, after arriving home, while looking at the golden pen, he carefully hid.
But things don’t always go as planned.
He tried to sell the pen, but he found no buyer.
After months of struggling, he tried to sell it to certain collectors, but again he had no luck.
Furthermore, he had to move from city to city, as mercenaries were always notified when he tried to sell the pen, quickly coming after him.
“I shouldn’t have taken this goddamn pen!”
He complained, while trekking through sewage waste.
“I will just let the pen here, rot in this waste.”
He exclaimed angrily, throwing the pen further inside, before leaving the sewers.
Two weeks after that, he started to have a normal life once more.
Besides rarely pickpocketing, he was hired as a waiter at a local restaurant.
He rented a cheap apartment, not like there were any expensive ones in this small town he found as a sanctuary.
Everything seemed to be on the right track, until one day, someone knocked on his door.
He wearily went and opened the door.
“What is it?”
He asked, in his straightforward manner.
“Well, hello there, Mr. Ben, I’ve been looking for you.”
An elderly gentleman, with 2 bodyguards behind him greeted Ben.
Ben stuttered, and retreated shakingly into his apartment.
Professor Merlin slowly walked in with the 2 bodyguards, before closing the door.
“You see, it was quite an unfortunate event for you to steal my heirloom.”
Professor Merlin said, slowly, accentuating each word.
“T-t-t-the pen is not with me!”
Ben shouted, falling to the ground.
“Oh, I know, I retrieved it already.”
Professor Merlin said, taking out the pen.
Ben was flabbergasted.
“Quite rude of you to be frank Mr. Ben, to throw it into the sewer, as I consider myself a rather clean individual.”
Professor Merlin said, as the pen slowly transformed into a staff.
Ben stuttered, while even the 2 bodyguards gasped.
“This pen is made of the sap of the Tree of Life, not some measly gold. It has inherent alchemic properties, so don’t be so surprised by its shapeshifting ability.”
Professor Merlin explained.
Ben was cornered.
Professor Merlin slightly touched Ben’s forehead with the staff, and Ben froze.
One of the bodyguards said.
The professor said nothing, but waited, and behold, Ben slowly transformed into a pure quality 10 kilogram golden brick.
“Hmm, seems he was rather sickly, only 10 kilograms worth of gold. That’s your and your boss’s payment, take it.
Have a good day lads.”
Professor Merlin said leaving.
Poor Ben became the very thing he always chased: wealth.
The Golden Pen
“This pen must be worth a fortune!”