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Exercise 13 was definitely out of my comfort zone and I struggled to find a decent hook within 1000 words. I used Gabriella Santinero, the character I’d created in exercise 12 which helped a little. I did make it but I feel I could easily drag this out into a much larger, more punchy story. this was also tough as this isn’t the type of story I usually write so it was very interesting trying to make sure I articulated my thoughts in the right way.
Well, that’s my feelings. about my final assignment. Have a read and let me know your thoughts in the comments. 🙂
Gabriella was nervous enough that her winking eye was back, she could always tell but it was an involuntary reflex she hated with a passion. The alarm was raised and her team appeared to have scarpered, leaving her dangling close to the high ceiling of a room in a mansion with two security guards running around looking for intruders. Lucky for her, the penknife Duncan had dropped from the ceiling had bounced across the floor and come to rest underneath a sofa. Also lucky was that the two idiots below her never looked up. If they had, the police would be here by now.
They left the room and Gabriella breathed. A few seconds later she heard a beep that told her the alarm was reset. ‘I may be alone but I might as well get what I came for!’ She checked the rope and connections, then slowly released herself down towards the ground.
Stopping about four foot from the ground, she was now at the same level as the object she was after. A marvel of technological mastery, the device she was about to steal was a beautifully crafted atomic wristwatch. The first of its kind to be created. To the right buyer, this small wonder is worth billions. Gabriella was literally staring at her ultimate payday.
She reached around her side, pulling out her bag of tricks. This wasn’t going to be easy. She’d disabled the security cage so she knew she wouldn’t get trapped. But there was still the knock-out gas to contend with should she trigger the wrong mechanism. She just hoped the instructions she’d ‘acquired’ were correct. The next five minutes will be crucial.
The watch was encased in clear aluminium so glass cutters wouldn’t work. The triangular box tower it sat on had three panels. One disabled the gas, the second disabled the internal alarm system and the third raised the case, allowing the watch to be taken out. Get the order wrong at any stage and a second canister of sleeping gas would be released and it was night night Gabriella.
‘Ok, which one first.’ Looking at her instructions she had an idea but wasn’t certain. ‘None have discernible marks to easily identify th… Oh hello. What’s that?’ Gabriella was feeling around the fine edge of each opening and noticed there was tiny etchings in each. ‘It couldn’t be that easy could it?’ Each panel had roman numerals etched in order, I, II and III. Quickly deciding that someone did this on purpose, she quickly worked her way through the three security panels.
The third panel clicked and the clear aluminium lifted to reveal the wristwatch. “psst, psst.” It came from above. Looking up, she spotted Duncan looking down. He gave her a thumbs up as if to silently congratulate her. Gabriella gave him a black look in return and carried on. She picked up the wristwatch and set the time to 10:10, then placed it back in its cage. As soon as it was in place, she heard a click release. A drawer opened to reveal the real atomic wristwatch. Now there were two. Not knowing if there was a double-bluff with these watches, she took both then signalled to be pulled up through the roof.
The alarm sounded just as Gabriella reached her ‘colleague’. He closed the opening and helped her pack up the equipment. They made their way to the roof where they met Constance waiting with their parachutes. They put them on and base-jumped off the high tower.
Landing three blocks away they packed up the parachutes just as James arrived with the van. They all jumped in and drove away.
They eventually arrived at Gabriella’s workshop. She pulled out both watches to check which was real. To her astonishment they both were. ‘this changes the game a bit’.
“nothing on the news!” James said flicking the channels. Duncan and Constance were preparing dinner to Gabriella’s perfect OCD recipe. Under pressure, they knew Gabriella had zero tolerance for mistakes, especially when it came to cooking.
“There won’t be anything on the news James.”
“I know Ms Santinero. I just wanted to check. This is the most thrilling thing I’ve ever done.”
‘And probably your last’. “it won’t be on the news because we didn’t steal them. We retrieved them. This job was for the company that made them.”
Before James could ask any of the questions going around his head, Constance called from the kitchen, “Dinner’s on the table.”
They sat down on plastic chairs around the small wooden table and ate. As they ate, a canister smashed through the window, landing close to the table. This was Duncan’s que and he went to work on Constance and James with a concealed weapon, knocking them unconscious where they sat. He aimed for Gabriella but she was too quick. Jumping onto the table, she kicked the weapon out of his hand then kicked him in the face, knocking him cold. “Nobody steals my glory”. Quickly, she strapped the watches to her wrist and put her defence plan into action. Climbing to the ceiling she pulled out a gas mask and night vision goggles from a small cubby hole in the roof. Putting them on, she released knock-out gas of her own. The goggles told her six people had entered. All were passed out on the floor with her team. She heard something on the roof above her. Gabriella dropped to the floor and lifted a rug in the front room to reveal her hidden escape route. Quickly, she lifted the hatch, jumped in and closed it just in time as the next wave of attackers entered the building.
She reached the other end of the tunnel, about a quarter mile away from the house, where she’d parked an electric car for a silent getaway. Glancing back as she drove off, she watched her workshop go up in flames.