Pixels & Pages

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FEBRUARY 8, 2012
The Crook
The creaking floorboards gave him away. He dashed towards the exit hoping to get away. Beams of light searched the room seconds after he left. The door clicked shut. A successful get away.
 
The next day the news featured a special. Many robberies were occurring lately. The case of the red bandit was everywhere. No one knew who the red bandit was. All that was known was that he always left a red handkerchief. The latest story was that there was a break-in at a very successful museum. Three precious artifacts were gone.
 
The police were shocked. Some of the most valuable artifacts in the world were missing. The police wondered how he got them out of the top of the line security cases, got past the best security cameras, knew exactly where the real artifacts where hidden, and how the robber knew what would happen if they were all combined.
 
The artifacts were discovered five years ago. The legend said that when combined the user would be equipped with the most dangerous weapon in the world. Some even believe it could stall time.
 
The next day
 
"You are the only person who has enough experience to handle this," John, the head of the best archeology organization, explained. The artifacts quickly gained the attention of everyone, including the president. The president ordered an immediate investigation.
 
"I am on vacation! How do you expect me to get halfway across the world in an hour?" Tom, the oldest member of the organization, objected, not wanting another trip all the way to New York.
 
"Don't worry, our latest info says the next artifact is in Paris.
I want you at the security vault at six tonight. This is the last artifact remaining," John knew how to bait him into doing exactly what he wanted. The last sentence he knew would make Tom feel like he has a responsibility.
 
After a slight pause Tom replied, "I'll do it this time, but I want a full paid vacation to China then."
 
John smiled happily as he put down the receiver. Tom never failed at anything. This time, though, a lot more than a few dollars were on the line.
 
Tom found the museum with no problem. Signs for thirty miles were pointing the way. The museum had marble steps leading all the way up. A large parking lot was abandoned as the last tourist was leaving. Tom parked his car across the street, not wanting the robber to leave because someone was still there.
 
Tom silently studied the state-of-the-art technology of the vault. The thick armored door prevented any break-ins. You'd need a lot more than a few explosives to open this vault. The key pad was also one of the newest additions. It also was fool proof. Tom would've left if it were not for the fact that the robber broke into some of the secure vaults in the world.
 
Tom found a comer that was completely shadowed from another exhibit. It was four hours since he'd studied the vault. The security cameras' red light went off when he noticed a dark silhouette near the vault. He quickly took something out of his pocket. He pulled a cord from the key pad and connected it to the small devices.
 
Tom silently slid closer. The door gave a small click and opened. Tom sprang and crashed into the robber. Tom recovered slower than the robber who slipped out a small knife. Tom went to the door and tried to trap the robber inside. The door weighed a ton and moved very slowly. The robber lunged out of the vault and dove at Tom with the knife. Tom barely dropped to the floor as the robber sliced at where his head was. The robber continued after Tom as he ducked inside the vault. Tom stopped. A bright glowing was coming from a small object. The robber swung again, and the knife sliced the wall. Instantly an alarm went off. The robber's knife broke when it hit the wall.
 
The robber gave up and ran for the object. Tom saw what he was doing and went to close the door. Tom attempted to push the door shut. The robber reached the object and started to pocket it. Tom pushed harder. The robber ran for the small remaining opening. The robber was coming in fast. The door clicked shut as the security system kicked in. The large bolt clanged when the last step was done. The keypad was taken apart and didn't look good.
 
The police arrived shortly after; French police surrounded the vault and the curator opened the lock. The robber attempted to cut through the wall. He sat ready to be taken away.
 
The robber was an ex-marine. He had been relieved of duty after trying to access the most restricted files. He was a bomb diffuser and had plenty of experience on codes. The rest of the artifacts were found and relocked away. Tom was enjoying himself in China visiting everything there was to see.
 


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Categories: 2011-12Short Story/Essay Teen Publishing Project

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