Preparation

flat lay photography of book and teacup
Image taken by Northfolk and found on Unsplash

Ned grabbed the envelope, tipped out the special offers and opened the envelope fully, spreading it out on the dining table. “Chloe, have you got a pen?”

“What sort of pen?” Chloe stuck her head out of the kitchen. “I’m in the middle of making dinner.”

“Just a pen – one that writes.” Ned grabbed that morning’s newspaper.

“The cupboard on your left, top drawer on the right.” Chloe said. “No, your other left. I’m not coming in there. My hands are covered in onion.”

Ned pulled out the drawer and grunted. “Is this what you spend my money on?”

My money, I think, until you find a job.” Chloe shouted from the kitchen. “I’m making curry.”

Ned looked at the neatly arranged drawer with small trays separating the pens and pencils, all lined up with the stack of pretty notebooks. “What a waste of time.”

“You’re the one who wanted a pen.” Chloe shouted.

Ned ignored the chopping from the other room, grabbed a plain black biro and sat down again with the envelope and the newspaper. The trick was to pick the angle. “Chloe, have you got a ruler?”

“Second drawer down.” Chloe called from the kitchen.

Ned got back up and checked. “I can’t believe you have all this stuff. You can’t need it all.” He looked down at the layers of protractors, rulers and set squares.

“You are the one who needs a ruler right now.” Chloe said. “It’s my quilting stuff. Anyway, I don’t need a ruler to cook dinner.” Ned pretended not to hear her muttered, “Just some peace and quiet.”

Ned sat back down. Monday was the day when the deliveries were made to the bank opposite the museum. There was a huge van, full of guards and security, which made them comfortable parking right against the CCTV that covered the side door into the museum. There was always so much coming and going that slipping in unnoticed would be a breeze. Ever since he had found that they were working on some rare Iron Age finds in the prep room, including gold arm rings, and that it was stashed with some immaculate and very valuable Roman coins, he knew that if he could just get in there unnoticed, he could grab the gear, stuff it in his pockets and slip out with a nice little nest egg. If it was going to be any time, though, it had to be this week as they were moving the finds down to London by Friday. He sat down and laboured with the ruler, his memory of the street, the picture in the paper and the dregs of his maths teacher’s lessons. “I might be going into town tomorrow.”

“That’ll be nice.” Chloe stuck her head back into the dining room. “Do you want rice or chips with the curry. Anyway, at least it will be easy to park.”

“It’s never easy to park in town.” Ned said. “I was thinking of parking outside and walking in.”

“No, there’ll be loads of space.” Chloe said. “It’s a bank holiday tomorrow. Everywhere will be shut, except places like the museum, of course. I’ll make chips.” She dived back into the kitchen.

“It can’t be a bank holiday!” Ned said. “How do you know it’s a bank holiday?”

“It’s in the diary, third drawer down.” Chloe called from the kitchen. “But don’t tell me, I shouldn’t waste my time checking it” She laughed and Ned could hear her clattering the pans.

Ned pulled out the diary. He needed another plan, and this time he need to check it all.

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