“I can believe you sneaked us in here.”
He smiled as he held his girlfriend’s hands, pulling her through the basement window.
She dusted herself as she adjusted the beanie on her head. “How did you know the basement window wasn’t wired or locked?”
He grinned. “I have good intel.”
She looked at him and poked him in the ribs. “Fine. Don’t tell me.”
As she moved to walk away, he held onto her wrist and brought her close to him. “Wilson works here in the day. He told me to enter through here. And… he passed me the keys.”
Holding one key in hand, he let the others fall, showing her the key ring he took from Wilson. She clapped her hands excitedly and was about to run off when he stopped her again.
“Babe.” He said. “We can’t just run up onto the floors. This place has high security. Let me switch off the alarm for the night.”
“Wait. Are you telling me that they don’t use any security guards?” She said.
He nodded. “It’s what the rich snobs call cost effective and what I call a lame ass excuse. They just don’t want anybody touching the stuff in the night.”
He tried the different keys with a small metal box that was mounted on the left side of the wall. He was on his third key when the box clicked open. Without hesitating, he reached in and turned the knob of five switches the other way. About a few seconds later, they heard the humming sound stop.
“Are you ready to visit the House of Wonders?” He asked.
She grinned. “You know it.”
~ * ~
The two entered the first floor where they were greeted by the different rare art pieces that lined the room. They came in the form of paintings, structures and sculptures.
“This place is amazing.” She said. “I can’t believe we’re in here.”
He walked to where his girlfriend stood. “Well, we gotta hurry. We’ve only got an hour before the second alarm kicks into place.”
“I thought you switched them all off?” She asked.
“I did. But these snobs are always extra careful.” He replied.
She nodded, taking in what her boyfriend said as they walked round the room.
“Hey babe… I’m gonna go upstairs, ok?” He said.
She merely nodded and waved him off.
“We’ll meet back in the basement.” He added.
Assuming she heard him, he kissed the side of her head before moving towards the stairs to the second floor.
45 minutes later, he felt his phone vibrate. He had set an alarm on his phone to remind him not to overstay their welcome. He made his way down the stairs and looked around, hoping to catch his girlfriend. But, the first floor was empty. With a shrug, he made his way downstairs, back to the basement.
“Babe? You down here?” He asked.
He looked around in the basement – she wasn’t there either. It was impossible for her to have slipped past him in anyway since the only way out was through the small basement window. Maybe, she already left and was waiting outside for him. He wanted to give her a call on her phone but the signal bar read ‘no reception’.
He looked at the time on his phone and realized it was closing in on the one hour. He walked over to the box and switched on the manual alarms so as to make sure he left things the way they were. With one last look, he pushed himself up and through the basement window.
As he made his way back to the car, he looked back at his phone where the signal bar started rising. Not seeing his girlfriend by his car, he dialed her number. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to get through to her. Worried, he called Wilson.
~ * ~
Wilson arrived 15 minutes later and found his friend sitting on the hood of his car.
“Hey.” Wilson greeted. “What’s the matter?”
“Cassidy’s still inside.” He said.
“How do you know?” Wilson asked.
“I’m not getting through to her phone. There isn’t any reception inside so she must still be inside. I’m her only ride out.” He replied.
“I can’t go in just like that, man.. I need authorization.” Wilson said.
He got off the hood of his car. “Then call in the authorization. I’ll take the blame.”
Seeing his friend in distress, Wilson nodded.
~ * ~
The front door of the art house opened and he walked in first, with Wilson behind him.
“CASSIDY?” He yelled. “Babe! If you’re here, we’re here to get you out.”
He turned to Wilson. “You take the left wing, I’ll take the right.”
The two guys split up on a search to find Cassidy. Wilson entered the left wing and came up with nothing. He was about to make a turn when he realized there was something different about the new exhibit that was brought in. When he was working in the day, the exhibit, which looked like a box, had been opened. Now, it was closed.
Wilson moved towards the exhibit and slowly pulled the handle to open. As it slowly cracked open, a tinge of blond hair fell out. And as the crack grew bigger, Wilson watched Cassidy’s body fall out onto the ground.
He stepped back in shock and couldn’t find the words to call out to his friend. Almost like an instant gut feeling, Wilson looked up. Staring right at him in big bold black letters was the name of the art piece.