This story is in response to a Reddit Writing Prompt.
You are a burglar that leaves valuables in the homes you burgle.
What do you leave? Why are you doing this?
“I need more diamonds … We’ll need to pick up some more from Him.”
‘The Master’, who was also my wife, walked into the bedroom dressed in all-black, from the scarf covering her head to the slippers on her feet. She was tired and in pain, yet she stood perfectly erect, looking directly into my eyes, “You’re getting addicted, again. I shouldn’t have to remind you the most important rule over and over: we only burgle one place a week – no more, no less – it’s dangerous to burgle any more than that. Pick the right house, place five diamonds, and we’re set for the rest of the week, easy. If not, we have our reserves.”
She was right. If there were too many cases of diamonds suddenly appearing on people’s nightstands, someone would notice and that would be devastating for her entire community, which relied on these burglaries for their survival. However, there has never been a media report on the sudden appearance of diamonds. Why would anyone disclose such a thing to anybody?
As I looked at her, she was walking slowly towards me with a smile on her face. She said, holding my face in her hands, “I know you worry about me, Collector, but you don’t need to. I’ve known my fate since I was a little girl, even when others didn’t; you can’t change the future, you can only do your duty.”
In the community, all Masters are assigned a Collector when their health deteriorates and they start performing their role for the organisation: stealing a part of people’s souls and sending them to their Supreme Leader. Ours was a relationship, different from that of a Master and a Collector; we were lovers first.
Arshiya, which is what she was called when I met her seven years ago, had yet to fully develop her powers. The community shunned her as an Obsolete – someone whose powers were out of date, useless – no Collector was assigned to her. It wasn’t until after our marriage that her powers were on par with the rest of them, and she started getting sick. As her hair started to fall and she grew tremendously weak, she told me everything about the Soul-saving community, and, together, we requested the Supreme Leader to make me her Collector – I didn’t want her to have to leave.
I said, “I understand, Aru, I do…But those poor souls are stuck in the bodies of humans that don’t deserve them, and with every soul you pass on, your health temporarily gets better. Remember last week? You felt strong enough for us to go out for dinner. I want you to experience these things rather than be stuck behind these four walls like a prisoner.”
She replied, after a moment’s hesitation. “I experience life through you, Saumil. We’re not a normal couple, you know that…”
Before she could try and change my mind, I decided to reveal to her why I needed those extra diamonds from the Leader.
“Aru, your community, for decades now, has been stealing the souls of those that are in need of money, as that guarantees they’ll pick up the diamonds for personal benefit. You see, none of you are entirely human and that’s probably why you never noticed, but I am, and I have: Humans will pick those diamonds up, irrespective of their economic standing, how much money they have – whether you’re lying on the street with no clothes or on a waterbed inside in a mansion, there’s not a human in this world who’ll reject free diamonds.”
Her eyes lit up, and I continued. “The richer their bodies are, the more desperate the soul will be to be freed. Tomorrow, I’m going to burgle the richest man in the city, steal his soul in exchange for a few diamonds, and I’m going to grow old with my beautiful, healthy wife.”