My April submission to the Storytime Bloghop!!!
Being twelve years old was hard. Being a twelve-year-old genius with nearly unlimited funds should make it easier, but really didn’t seem to.
My name is Herald F. Partridge.
You don’t know my family name. My father was rich enough to stay off the radar. He used to tell Mother that staying off the radar was what accountants were for.
If he were alive, he wouldn’t especially approve of my current project.
Tonight, I’m breaking into a museum.
Never mind which one. Knowing too much isn’t healthy…trust me. Let’s just say that security is tight, my team is full of men who could break me in half on a whim, and my reason for doing this is…complicated.
The short version is that I’m saving the world.
The longer short version is that I’m saving one girl.
Kitty Kelly. Yes, her parents actually named her Kitty. Bloody sadists. I would have arranged an accident for them if I hadn’t met her in a boarding school for elite orphans in the first place.
Kitty’s not like the rest of us. She’s…nice. That’s really the only way to describe her. She’s the kind of girl who rescues worms on the sidewalk after a rain.
The team I hired moves out. I wanted to be part of the operation, but the more competent mercenaries wouldn’t work for me if I’d insisted.
I eventually agreed to stay in the tech van. They didn’t like it, but I was the guy with the money after all.
I watched as they disabled the security, crept through to the dusty bowel of the museum. You might think that if an artifact was going to end the world, it would be on display, with armed guards. It would have been more apropos, after all. But, as my father used to say, it isn’t the things you know that will get you killed. It’s the things you don’t know.
The team moved flawlessly through the museum. I watched on a monitor, secretly glad that I was ‘safe’ inside a van. If we got caught, my guardian would have me locked up until I turned ninety so he could have full access to the money that was sitting in trust. (The accounting hijinks I’d had to pull to get the money for this operation would make my CPA pull his hair out, no doubt, but though Rufus didn’t believe that my guardian, Jeremy Winthrop was evil, he covered for me…a lot).
The object was round, no bigger than his adolescent palm. It was made of common clay and scratched with the letters of a dead language…it hardly mattered which one…he had hired renowned experts to verify. If the object simply went missing, it would have alerted them…if the museum ever mentioned that they’d misplaced such a lackluster, uninspiring bit of history.
Just to be on the safe side, I’d ordered them to replace the original with a similar piece I’d gotten off the dark web on a site that dealt with forged antiquities for private collections.
It wasn’t exactly rocket science, but the team made the switch and got out neatly, leaving no more trace than the shadows they resembled.
I really needed to hire one of them as a trainer, just so I could be ready when little things came up. One didn’t always have access to trained teams of mercenaries and six weeks to plan.
The leader handed me the medallion with a nod, and I took the invaluable chronical of one culture’s doomsday story…a record that had the power to bring that doomsday about…and dunked the thing in a pail of acid. It wouldn’t dissolve it entirely, but it should keep the artifact from releasing whatever ancient plague the high-priests of what-ever it had been had put inside the thing.
The mercenaries accepted payment, dropped me at my dorm, and I managed to slip past the sleeping guard without waking him from his slightly tipsy sleep.
I sighed as I stripped off the black jacket and hid it in the special compartment. No reason to risk issues at inspection.
I brought my computer online and clicked on the list my father had left. Seven down. Seven to go.
Then I clicked on the picture of me and Kitty from the yearbook. We were both in chess club, and I’d used seven weeks of allowance to get a copy of this picture from the committee.
I sat, looking at her, while she looked at the board, considering her next move.
I sighed, put the picture down and sent e-mails about the next artifact.
Seven to go.
If you enjoyed my story, please be sure to check out the rest of the bloghop!!!
The Big Bad Wolf and the Easter Hare by Katharina Gerlach
Cursed by Barbara Lund
A Different Kind of Raise by Amy Keeley
Night At The Museum by Vanessa Wells <<<<< YOU ARE HERE