The Sandwich Thief
Morning sunlight crept through the window, finding Red Kelp, a dryad named after a sea frond, eying the bread loaf as if its very existence was a soft betrayal. “The end slices. Always vexing.” She set the loaf’s heel to one side, as well as the second slice. “Accomplice,” she hissed accusingly. After a moment, “accompli-crust,” she corrected herself.
Shadowsand mustard, a slice of gold goblin, and several layers of seaweed. Add hungry mermaid — to the kitchen, not the sandwich — and brunch would be ready.
The Netherworld is a carefully unbalanced system of gives and takes bound with literal and figurative magic. It is full of adventurers and villains and monsters and heroes. Witches and wizards and warriors and rangers. And rogues. Most denizens of the Netherworld are, on some level, thieves and rogues.
Red Kelp returned the jar of spiderwebs to the pantry and discovered, when she turned back around, a mermaid-mouth sized bite missing from her lunch. Red ignored it and put the mustard back into the fridge. When she turned around a second time, fully half her sandwich was gone. At this point, a yawning Strawberry, pure, good, sashayed into the kitchen, a bubble of water conveying her. Or rather, back into the kitchen from her hiding spot around the corner. “Hello my love,” she kissed Red. “Good morning soft waves,” the dryad replied, “are you hungry?”
“I could eat,” the mermaid said innocently as she took the offered remaining half sandwich. “Thank you.”
A moment later, Red Kelp joined Strawberry at the kitchen table with a second, nearly identical sandwich — made with bread slices taken from the loaf’s treasured middle. Colloquially known as “the best slices, designed for monarchs, tastiest and most pleasant to behold.”
“Do you want to come with me to the library later?” Strawberry asked asked as she poured two glasses of black breath root beer. “I want a book about goats. Oh! Then we could read in the park and eat a snack. Should we go say hello to Margot? Lovely, it has been so long since we’ve seen her!” “It has been a week, my tidal wave.” “We should go to the museum after that, and didn’t you say you needed a…” the talkative mermaid continued while Red Kelp ate her lunch.