October 16, 2017- I stood there frozen for a split second before I sprang into action.
“Just do what I tell you to do!” I shouted at the rodent-type creature behind me as we raced up the stairs to Amelia’s room.
The door to Amelia’s bedroom was flung open, and there was a larger human standing in the doorway. I motioned for the rodent to hide and I did the same as we listened to the conversation that was taking place mere feet away from us.
“Amelia! What in the world were you thinking? You CANNOT and MUST NOT let stray animals or wildlife into the house! These animals could bite you or worse!”
Excellent, I thought to myself, scare the small human into letting her captives go! Why didn’t I think of that…Oh, yeah-because I can’t communicate with the humans in their language.
“But MOOOOOMMMMM the kitty and the mouse didn’t bite me-they’re my friends!” Amelia shrieked and stomped her foot.
I watched as Simba shook his head furiously in disagreement about being friends with her. He’d naturally been subjected to another costume change and was wearing a princess’ dress and a bedazzled tiara. Of all the times to be without my phone, this was one of the worst; I was missing a tremendous opportunity to blackmail him.
“Amelia Marie, that is absolutely NOT acceptable or allowed. I’m not going to tell you this again! NO ANIMALS IN THE HOUSE!” the mother reprimanded her.
Amelia began to cry as the woman picked up Simba very carefully. She acted as if he were about to explode. She freed him from the princess’ dress and the crown and also freed the rodent’s friend from a clear cage.
“Now SHOO!” the woman commanded as she guided Simba and the rodent to the back patio door and granted them their escape.
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.