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Mohammad Salman


Everyone was happy when the Thief died. It was the postman who had found her, sitting in her armchair behind the unlatched main door, eyes closed as if asleep. In that peaceful tableau, a reign of terror had come to an end. For sixty years, the Thief held sway over Bijliya, a little hamlet of barely a hundred houses. Over the greater part of three generations, shopkeepers learned to put locks on their cashboxes, dhaba owners chained their plates and tumblers to the tables, watchmen prowled the orchards and families took care to not let on that they had money and valuables to spare. This was not easy. Firstly, the Thief operated in broad daylight, her identity known to all. Secondly, you couldn’t keep her out. In a place as tiny as Bijliya, she was practically family. Her name was not Thief-like. Shehzadi. Princess. Unless you remembered that it was…