July 20, 2016-We heard another sound coming from behind us. Twigs snapped under the weight of whatever was coming our way. Grandpa motioned for me to hide so I concealed myself deep in the bushes and watched in fear as Grandpa confronted the noise.
It was the tall, thin human and Edgardo; they had found us by the light of our tiny fire. “What do you want?” Grandpa yelled as he lit the tip of a large branch on fire and used it as a torch. The tall, thin human took a step toward him but he waved the torch at her as a warning to keep her distance. “I’m here for the black cat,” she snarled, “He didn’t think that he would get away with the diamond did he?” Edgardo bared his teeth and started to growl. “He doesn’t have the diamond! It’s been turned over to the authorities and it’s only a matter of time before they find and arrest YOU!” Grandpa said. The fire that burned on the torch was no match for the anger that burned in his eyes.
I needed to do something! I lunged from the bushes and caught Edgardo completely by surprise; we grappled with each other and I bit him as hard as I could. He would not retreat so I bit him again; he yelped out in pain and finally I pinned him. I loomed over top of him, my chest heaved from the exertion of our fight and I said, “You will NEVER defeat me!” He looked into my eyes and said with a smirk, “Oh…but I already have.” I looked to Grandpa; he was lying in the dirt face down. The tall, thin human dragged him to the base of a tree and started tying him up. She bound his hands and legs and put him into a sitting position against the trunk and then grabbed the burning torch.
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.