WordPlay #11: “Night at the Museum”

Hello again! Thanks for dropping by! I realize I’ve been really lazy with fiction writing (and yes, I know my blog’s name). Somehow inspiration has decided to leave my place for a while and I haven’t found a qay of contacting her yet. Any suggestions?

Meanwhile, let’s return to my old WordPlay. The topic of #11 is “death scenes”. Great. Like I said on my original post over at Geek & Sundry, I think for death scene to have impact the reader needs some kind of emotional investment into the characters. So a short story is probably not the best format (also if you know that there’s going to be some kind of death in the story). Anyways, Nika’s prompts were “crossroads and dead ends” and “the best-laid plans”. Hope you enjoy this story! Comments welcome!

Night at the Museum

Something had gone wrong. Terribly wrong. But where? Cherry wasn’t sure.

The plan had been easy, triple-checked and approved by the Council: Red would distract the guards, Cherry would sneak in behind their backs and hack the computer. The alarm system would be switched off and then Cherry would steal the Coblet Heart. Red and Cherry would escape, deliver the Coblet Heart to the Council and then finally be able to be together. Forever.

Everything seemed to work out in the beginning: Red easily distracted the guards (model 2.5, never quite the intelligent unit) and Cherry sneaked into the building unseen. The digital map showed the way – and that was where things first went wrong. The map wasn’t correct. Instead of a computer terminal, Cherry found a room with broomsticks and an old janitor unit. Cherry tried not to panic, tried to run back to the entrance, but the museum seemed to have a will of its own. Soon, Cherry was lost in the labyrinth of crossroads and dead ends.

Leaning against the cold wall, breathing heavily, Cherry cursed the Council. Why was stealing the Coblet Heart a precondition for letting Red go? What was so impossible about their love that it had to be prevented? Cherry remembered how they first met, that snappy grin on Red’s face, those deep blue eyes, that dark voice. They had gradually fallen in love, none of them noticing until they kissed for the first time when the Nova exploded in the dark sky. All that was keeping them from being together for the rest of their lives was the stupid Council and its love for old Earth artifacts.

Outside, Red was getting nervous. Cherry should have been back hours ago, or so it seemed. Had there been another guard in the building? The Council had promised there were only the ones outside, but then you should never trust the Council.

Red thought of Cherry’s snub nose with the odd wrinkles, and the long red shining hair. Where had all that love suddenly come from? Red couldn’t remember, like so many things that had happened in the past.

Maybe that was the biggest mistake: when Red took out the Radion Gun and decided that Cherry’s life was more important than the existence of a few guard units. They had fallen like flies, but then they were never meant for battle.

Red stormed into the museum. “Cherry!”

Cherry thought someone had been screaming. “Red? I’m here, darling!”

Suddenly, the walls of the museum started to move, and Cherry shrieked and jumped away from them. With dark, screeching sounds, a new hallway opened up and in the middle of that hallway stood a glass showcase containing the Coblet Heart. At the other end of the hallway stood Red, panting and holding a gun.

They smiled at each other. Their plan had been slightly altered, but they would win. At the same pace, they walked to the showcase.

“The best-laid plans, huh?” Red smiled.

“Yeah. But we’re together now.” Cherry beamed.

“Together in death.” Red and Cherry shrieked at the metallic voice. But only Red had heard it before. So many years ago, so many universes away, that voice had already killed.

Cherry stared at Red, wanted to say something, but all that came out were spots of blood hitting the showcase between them. Another 99 bullets seemingly came out of nowhere and wiped the life of Cherry Shel’cane off the surface of the planet.

Red kneeled over what was left of Cherry, crying, asking to be killed. But the museum ignored the pleading and instead just waited for the police to do its duty.

 

PS: Did you notice that I didn’t use any personal pronouns? That was intentional. And quite a hassle.

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