July 4, 2016- I hung there suspended in mid air and took in my surroundings. Black Onyx cats stared back at me and something gleamed in my peripheral vision. I slowly turned my head to bring the object into focus and my eyes settled on a sparkling diamond that was as big as a golf ball. I heard Edgardo’s voice coming from the earpiece I had been fitted with; “Listen very carefully to my instructions and don’t get any good ideas-there is no escape.If you trip the alarm a massive steel cage will slam into place and you’ll be trapped. Police and animal control will be dispatched and you’ll be separated from Simba forever.” A chill ran up my spine and I shuddered at the thought. “Unhook the zip line from your vest and take ten steps to the right,” he said.
I did as he said and listened for additional instructions. I looked up at the rooftop and saw that Edgardo still had a visual on me…as soon as I was out of sight I would use the thing I had taken from the handbag and this would all soon be over. “Take the container of spray out of your vest and with the can pointing away from you, push down on the nozzle,” he said. I pressed on the top of the can and a fine mist came out; dozens of red, intersecting lines appeared that had previously been invisible.
“Don’t trip any of the lines and stay put for a second while the information is uploaded to my laptop,” Edgardo breathed. He waited a beat before continuing, “I’m going to give you explicit directions that need to be followed precisely or else it’s game over for you.” I felt my heart beat in my chest and my pulse rang in my ears-it was almost deafening. Two seconds later the red lines were back but this time without using the spray, “I’m going to disable the sensors and in a second all of the red lines will disappear,” he said. “That means you have precisely thirty seconds to grab the diamond and get back to the zip line without being caught.” My breath caught in my throat and I swallowed hard.