Tattoo Book 6.3
Posted by harmony0stars on April 30, 2010
The room was as still as a tomb as she entered, without even the eerie breathing of the air conditioning to lighten the oppressive silence. It was done up to resemble the inside of a pyramid with faux limestone blocks decorated with reproductions of passages of the Book of the Dead along the walls at eye level. Some jokester Egyptologist responsible for the creation of the room had incorporated nonsense and dirty jokes into the hieroglyphics, not that the general public would ever know. And people thought archeologists were stuffy old fuddy-duddies. She crept past statues of gods half again as tall as herself and watched sarcophagi for even the smallest shudder of movement. The museum at night was like a haunted house, and all the statues made her feel as though she were being watched despite her invisibility.
Movement again caught her eye and this time she couldn’t make excuses. The air had cycled off a few minutes before her arrival, so she couldn‘t even assign the movement to an errant piece of paper caught in a draft. She approached a huge statue of Bast, its golden skin gleaming in the dim lighting as if it were lighted from within. Though there were track lights focused on various high profile displays throughout the room, most of the space was in shadows, no doubt to save on the electric bill after hours. Seeing as there were only two custodians, the museum was probably cleaned in sections, a different one every night. There was no sense in lighting the whole place up when no one was around to ogle the artifacts.
A shadow shifted near the statue’s base, and she cocked her head to the side in confusion. She was both relieved and bewildered as the cat turned its head to look up at her approach. The only thing that might have been more ironic to find in front of the cat goddess was maybe a dead mouse. Can it see through the tarnkappe or did it just hear some slip of my shoes? She’d purchased soft-soled shoes specifically for her foray into the museum and worked invisibility spells into them to supplement the tarnkappe. Who knew when some breeze or accidental flip of the material might reveal her feet? Of course, despite various materials and charms said to confer invisibility, there was nothing quite as effective as the tarnkappe. At best, she could infuse her shoes with a spell designed to turn the eye away. If I hadn’t been so adamant about not using magic before Lori had stole my book… Well, hindsight was always 20/20.
The spotted cat continued to stare as she approached and on a whim, she crouched and held out a hand under the cloak. It stood, stretching from its sphinx-like pose and approached cautiously, stopping while still a few inches away and craning its long neck to delicately sniff at her extended fingers. She smiled despite the apparent useless of her cloak. He could definitely see her. The more she learned about the tarnkappe, the more limited it became. It almost made her wish she’d managed to take the feathered cloak as well. There was nothing limiting about flying.
He was a large cat, one of the largest she’d ever seen while still retaining the right to be called a cat and not lynx or ocelot or some other small wild cat. There was no collar, but it was reasonable to assume he was a stray even if he was clean and muscular, his white fur gleaming through the dark spots like silver in the dim lights. There was no way anyone would let a cat roam free in a museum. Glory had no illusions about the people still in the museum. Most of the remaining security would leave when the cleaning crews were done and the museum staff in the offices below would follow, leaving one or at most two guards to watch the place until the morning. Since cats were not generally known for coming when called, a cat loose in the Museum could trip all kinds of alarms and damage valuable relics before someone caught it.
They both looked towards the entrance as footsteps approached the Egyptian room. Gently picking up the cat, Glory sat down at the foot of the statue where she would be out of the way of the approaching guard. The cat let out a soft chirp and leaned into her hand as she scratched around his ears. If not for Lori’s insane jealousies, Glory would have taken in any number of strays that had tried to befriend her over the years, but she’d always been terrified that her sister might harm them when she was out of the house. Glory had lost count of the number of houseplants Lori had destroyed before losing interest in the game. She wondered if the cat would like living with her, though she wasn’t sure if it would be safe around Edgar. Maybe if she made absolutely sure the boy knew cats were not for eating before introducing them.
As the footsteps came closer, she realized there were at least two people approaching. There was also the murmur of a female voice almost pleading. A guard appeared, dragging behind him a tiny auburn haired woman with a lanyard around her neck, an intern or administrator of the museum. Both were pale, but the woman looked frightened. A sheen of sweat glistened on her captors forehead, and he blinked just a little too much as he looked around the room. Maybe he’s on drugs? The woman waved frantically at the camera with her free hand, until her companion viciously yanked on the arm he held. She stumbled into the room as he released her, and he took that opportunity to pull out a small box that looked like a remote control and fiddle with the buttons, pointing it at the camera and then the rest of the room as if disabling the security with the touch of a button.
“Tom, I don’t know what this is about, but I know you’re a good man. If someone is blackmailing you…”
“Shut up,” he said with no more emotion than if he had asked her the time.
to Book 6, page 4