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The Museum Raider

A Twisted Tale

By Natasja RosePublished 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago 4 min read

This started thanks to a Tumblr prompt requesting a kind of "reverse Indiana Jones" action movie, where the protagonist steals sacred cultural artefacts from museums and returns them to the original owners. (Preferred casting for the lead: Lupita Nyong'0)

Anyone who has read my published work will know that such prompts are my kryptonite.

I've got writers block with the climax of the story right now, and I'm hoping that posting here will help break it. Or at least get me past to the point where I can finish the book.

By Raph Howald on Unsplash

Adetokunbo, better known as Addy in the interest of avoiding the creative mispronunciations common to anyone in possession of a non-Anglo first or last name, lowered herself through a conveniently-placed skylight and down the rope with the grace of a professional acrobat.

An acrobat dressed in a skin-tight, face-concealing outfit of midnight blue, with an audience of priceless artefacts rather than people, and an atmosphere of dead silence, but an acrobat nonetheless. Beneath the scarf that concealed her features, Addy smiled; she would have to mention the comparison to Jaci and Maiara when this was over. If Addy timed the delivery right, she might even win a burst of Jaci’s all-too-rare unbridled laughter.

The smile dropped. Blast, whoever designed this place knew what they were doing; the artifact she sought was several inches too low for her rope to reach. Just enough of an obstacle to deter most thieves, and small enough to pass without being noticed by anyone casing the museum. Even someone studying blueprints might well dismiss the discrepency as a typo.

But Addy was not most thieves, and comparing herself to an acrobat had not been inaccurate, or an idle boast. Wrapping one leg securely around the rope, and extending the other for balance, Addy lowered herself until she hung upside down. The position meant that she would need to work faster, if she wanted to get back out before the blood-rush made her pass out, but she could do it.

Even in the darkness, the artefact seemed to glow with a soft green light.

Seriously, how had no-one noticed that there waas more to this amulet than just clay and inscriptions?

Jaci had already turned off the laser grid, and fixed the security camera on a loop. Addy ran a diamond-edged cutter along the seam, sliding the top of the case off just enough to reach inside and pull out the amulet. She replaced it again, and twisted herself back upright, closing her eyes against a brief spate of dizziness, and quickly climbed back up.

A quick text to Jaci, and Addy was climbing down roofs and leaping through the trees that lined the walkway to the museum.

Purely to avoid the cameras, of course

The average city didn't offer many opportunities for Aboreal Parkour, after all, and Addy wasn't one to miss a chance when one presented itself on a metaphorical silver platter.

By Raissa Lara Lütolf (-Fasel) on Unsplash

Even among security guards, people rarely looked up, but Addy didn’t care. It made her job that much easier. The reverse side of the scarf that concealed Addy’s face was a brightly-coloured shawl, and she made sure to switch between the two functions before passing any security cameras. She waited very obviously outside the museum before Jaci picked her up in a nondescript Uber car, a pattern they had established over a few weeks.

Driving at exactly the speed limit, like any other car that wanted to get home after a long shift, the two women exchanged conspiratorial grins.

Home, and a celebratory dinner of pizza before they booked flights and planned their convoluted trip to one of the many South American temple ruins, awaited them.

Getting the artefact back to the temple without being pulled over by customs (rare, thanks to the realities of existing while black), and correspondence with the traditional owners about what kind of traps they would have to avoid in the temple itself, was going to be even harder then the heist itself.

Honestly, Addy's life would have been much easier if the colonisers of several centuries ago had managed to grasp the fact that things kept behind traps in a heavily guarded temple were usually there for a reason.

By Andreas Brunn on Unsplash

I could really use feedback on this, especially from people of colour. I have faced discrimination before (Queer, disabled, female...), but in ways that are different to institutionalised racism.

Finding sensetivity readers has also been a struggle, so while I'm doing my best, I'm not arrogant enough to think that I'm above making mistakes, no matter how unintentional they may be.

Read Part Two here...


About the Creator

Natasja Rose

I've been writing since I learned how, but those have been lost and will never see daylight (I hope).

I'm an Indie Author, with 30+ books published.

I live in Sydney, Australia

Follow me on Facebook or Medium if you like my work!

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