She held her breath and counted to three.
Slowly, she uncurled her legs, placing them softly on the ground to avoid the echoing of her footfalls. She slowly unhooked herself from the line, making sure to keep the hook connected to her waistband as the rope retreated back to the pulley on the glass roof.
She went over the sequence in her mind quickly, making sure not even a second was wasted. Sidestepping to the left, she jumped approximately an inch above the ground. The moment her bejeweled boots touched the floor, she dropped into a plank position. After holding it for two seconds, she fell to the ground, narrowly avoiding the laser beam that sliced cleanly through the air above her. She held her breath; a second passed and then two. Cheryl gently rose up and dusted her vucana sheep clothing, a material that had cost her father a fortune. She brought her head down and jumped over two square tiles. Taking two steps forward, she dropped to the ground and rolled the rest of the way.
In no time, she had arrived at her target. She removed her bag from her back and placed it gently on the ground. First, she took out her headlight and then grabbed a screwdriver from her bag. Unlike the other museums, the curator of this one was smart. He had installed the off switch for the sensors and beams on the pedestal upon which Cheryl’s target sat. The only other way to switch off the beams was by using the remote he kept in his top left drawer. However, Cheryl didn’t have that much time to go searching for it.
She placed the headlight on her head as she balanced herself precariously on one knee. Taking her time, she unscrewed the device in which the security code would have been punched. The device swung to the left, still functioning. Gathering the screws in one hand, she started working on disabling the device to turn off the sensors. All that time hanging out in the IT department of her mother’s company definitely paid off. A tiny screw slipped through her fingers. It was about a centimetre and a half from the ground before she realised it. Thanks to her great reflexes, she quickly swiped it just as a beam passed that area. She placed the screws on the ledge for safe keeping. She finished disabling the device, smiling to herself as the beams disappeared, no longer circling the room. She took a second tool and cut out a large circle in the glass casing. Careful not to make any noise, she placed it on the ground.
Cheryl reached in and picked up the diamond, admiring the way it gleamed in the soft glow of the headlight. It would fit in beautifully with the other jewels in her collection. Though it was identical to one that she had, same cut and weight, she thought it wouldn’t hurt to have a second piece. She had wanted it since she had first step foot in the museum and evidently, stopped at nothing to get it. She placed the diamond in a tiny pouch and slipped it into her bag. Cheryl picked up a glue gun and sealed the glass back in place. She started to fix the device that would enable the motion sensors. The device was soon in place, the sensors up and running; it was only left for it to be screwed. However, this time, Cheryl was not so lucky. She was only aware of the screw that had rolled of the edge the moment it hit the ground, cutting through the path of a beam on its way.
Sirens blared throughout the whole museum and red lights flashed in the room. It was like a scene out of your typical action movie. Cheryl was frozen; she had never been caught before. The loud crashing at the door brought her back to her senses. She was cornered by two armed guards, the barrel of two guns pointed at her. There was nothing she could do to remedy the situation. One guard swept up her bag and escorted her out of the room, her hands above her head. Cheryl was not bothered, she knew her parents could afford any bail placed on her. Suddenly, she remembered their last conversation and was not so certain. He had found out about her extracurricular activities and was less than pleased.
“Why do you steal?” he had asked, running a hand through his greying hair. He did not understand his daughter.
Cheryl had shrugged. “I want more, I guess.”
“After all your mother and I have provided you with, you still want more?” he had asked, shock evident in his tone.
The look he had given her was on that she had never received. It was one of pure disgust, disgust at his daughter’s rapacity.
Her eyes widened in realisation, he may not come to bail her. Not wanting to go to jail, she stopped, causing the guard behind her to bump into her. The other guard had left to return the diamond. The one behind her nudged her, urging her to move forward. She stepped on his foot, grabbed his arm and twisted it, causing the guard to crumble to the ground as he let out a cry of pain. Cheryl took off down the long hallway, not once glancing back to look at him.
Behind, the guard shouted, “Stop!”
Cheryl paid no heed and continued, pushing her muscles.
“Stop or I’ll have to shoot,” he shouted, rising and starting to chase her.
Cheryl ignored his warning. Hope rose in her chest as she saw the door that led to the outside, her freedom. A few paces from the door, Cheryl felt a sharp pain shoot up her spine , causing her to arch her back before she fell down, face first. And as she bled onto the recently waxed porcelain tiles, all she could think about was how great an addition the diamond could have been to her collection.