Story 1 – The Missing Amulet

To start off, I thought I should just dig through my old files on the computer. I came across this mystery story that I wrote a few years ago. Please comment and let me know what you think!

Toronto, Ontario
Westin Hotel – Crestview Rd
Room 344
Monday, August 10th, 2006
9:09 pm

Drew sat on the plush mattress of the bed in the Westin hotel. He was a bit overweight, but surprisingly agile and had jet-black hair that grew in a slightly ragged fashion on his head.
He had just come from London, England and was quite tired. He was about to fall asleep when-
He sifted through his olive-green messenger bag until he finally found his Nokia phone. Without checking the caller ID, he answered the phone.
“Hi, is that Drew?” An unfamiliar female voice asked. How does she know my name?
Drew felt like hanging up – it was a stranger, probably selling or advertising some strange product that he would not buy, so he replied politely, “I think you might have the wrong number.”
The person seemed quite certain when she replied, “No, I don’t.”
This is weird. “Uh…what can I do for you?” He said, not knowing what else to say.
“You know what the amulet of Aphrodite is.”
“What? No, I don’t,” Drew replied in shock. Curious, he added, “Who are you anyways?”
She hesitated on the other end of the line, which Drew found slightly surprising. Finally, she said, “…It doesn’t matter who I am.” She had this mysterious kind of voice that made Drew shiver. “And I know that you’re a fan of Ancient Greek things and that you know what the Amulet of Aphrodite is and you would like to have it.”
She’s right. I do like Ancient Greek things, and I would like to see the amulet – maybe even take it out of the glass case just to hold it in my hands.
After getting the information on where the museum was located, Drew hung up.
Toronto, Ontario
Toronto International Airport
Tuesday, August 11th, 2006
2:56 pm

Mr. Jacques Beaufort, who had just come from Paris, arrived in Toronto with his colleague, Mr. Hector Cousteau.
“What do you think of Toronto?” Mr. Cousteau asked his colleague in a heavily accented voice.
“It is fine, I suppose,” replied Mr. Beaufort. In a whisper, he added, “It’s the perfect place for sight-seeing.”

Toronto, Ontario
O’ Connor St
Wednesday August 12th, 2006
1:25 pm

It was the middle of August, and the sun was blazing on my back as I walked to the museum. My friend from the museum, Alicia was at my side. I was glad that it was a hot day, for I was longing to go to my job as a receptionist because of the cool air-conditioning that always cooled me down on a warm summers’ day.
We both worked as receptionists, and somehow we managed to get a shift together at 1:30. However, we were still two blocks away from the museum, so we would have to hurry if we wanted to get there on time.
“Don’t you just want to cool off?” I asked Alicia, swiping the sweat on my face away with my palm.
“Yes,” she replied, taking a long drink from her water bottle, (making my mouth water even more, for I’d forgotten to bring one) “I can’t wait.”
Little did we know that someone else couldn’t wait as well…

Toronto, Ontario
Toronto National Museum – Bradley Pkwy
Entrance Room for Employees
Wednesday, August 12th, 2006
1:33 pm

“What excuse do you two have to defend yourselves this time?” Our boss, Jared barked into our ears. We usually weren’t late to work – this was our fifth time in a year. However, Jared was very picky about everything (as you can see) and couldn’t really tolerate late people and people who didn’t do their job well. Alicia and I knew that those two things were his pet peeves.
“Uh…” I faltered, wishing that I hadn’t even started speaking.
“There was a lot of traffic when I came over to Joanne’s place to get ready to come here, so…”
“…So we were late here to begin with,” I finished, hoping Jared would buy our mangy excuse of a story.
Jared towered over both of us in his 6’1 and slightly bulky frame, with brown hair and mysterious olive green eyes. Me, being only 5’4 and stocky with blonde hair, and Alicia who was quite tall at 5’6 with long black hair and a pretty complexion, (but still not as tall as Jared) gave us the impression that Jared was intimidating (which he could very well be when he wanted to).
“Fine,” he finally said. “Just don’t do it again.”
Before we could say “OK, Jared, we won’t”, Hadley, the main tour guide at the museum, came bursting into the room. She was short at 5’2 with long brown wavy hair that she almost always wore in a bun. Everyone who worked at the museum knew that Hadley was Jared’s pet, probably because she had been working here the longest and almost never questioned him or was ever late to work.
“What is it, Hadley?” Jared asked kindly but with an anxious look on his face.
“I was wondering if Joanne could be a tour guide,” she replied, her eyes shifting from Jared to me and back again.
Me? A tour guide? Does she really think that I could be a tour guide? I can’t believe this. Why does she want me to be a tour guide, anyway? Will Jared say yes? Why can’t Alicia be a tour guide? Why me?
I was shocked at what Hadley thought I’d be up to do, but in truth, I’d rather sit around helping people and directing them to places as well as saying “Welcome to the Toronto National Museum” in a kindly (but fake) voice and feeling the cool breeze of the air-conditioner rather than walking around the whole afternoon. Plus, it meant a lot of talking, and I knew that I wasn’t up for that.
Jared looked bewildered as well – he couldn’t speak for a few moments. Finally, he said:
“Why do you want Joanne –”He gestured at me like I was some wet dog “– to be a tour guide?”
Hadley seemed to have expected this, because I could tell that she had a reply already formulated in her brain.
“Well,” she began, nervously pushing a lock of brown hair that had escaped from her bun aside, “I think that Joanne would make an excellent tour guide. She’s smart, helpful, mostly reliable, and she’s been working here for four years. Alicia, on the other hand, has only been working here for two, so I think that it’s time that she gets a little bit of a change in her career here at the museum. I really do think that she’s up for the task. What do you say, Jared?”
“I don’t know…” He said, eyeing me thoughtfully after Hadley’s speech. It seemed like he was looking at me in a new light. I could thank Hadley for that.
“She’ll show you that she’s up for the job – right, Joanne?” Hadley questioned, turning to me. It irritated me when she used that too-perky voice of hers and I flinched at the sound.
“Yes, I will,” I announced, turning to Jared. Maybe it won’t be bad after all. It means a raise and a higher status here. Why not? “I will,” I stated again for effect.
Sighing, Jared turned from looking at Hadley and Alicia to me. “Meet me in my office at exactly 3:30 pm for an interview,” he said. “If you pass, you can be a tour guide. If you don’t meet the requirements, well…” he paused, obviously to create a dramatic effect. “…Then I guess you’ll stay a receptionist.”
He then turned to Hadley. “You may leave now. Thank you for your suggestion.”
I was surprised. You don’t normally have to get an interview if you want to be a tour guide, I thought. If you already have a job here, you can just become one if you’ve been here for long enough. Then it hit me: he was just trying to give me a hard time. He had something against Alicia and I…I could just feel it. I knew that the owner of the museum, Claire, wouldn’t like it one bit. But what could I do?
I’d meet him at 3:30 and show him what a real tour guide was like.

Toronto, Ontario
Howe St
Wednesday, August 12th, 2006
2:25 pm

Astrid, a tourist visiting Toronto for the first time, with long brown hair and bright green eyes, was walking along Howe Street when all of a sudden something came out of nowhere and hurled itself at her.
Panting in shock, she gasped for breath. When she could finally speak, she said, “Hey, why did you d-do that?”
The long cloaked figure stood up. “You robbed the museum, didn’t you?” He ignored her questions in a rude manner. Astrid also noticed that he had a heavy French accent.
Surprised, Astrid replied, “No. But -”
“-Oh yes you did,” replied the man with a French accent, interrupting her. “I saw you.”
Astrid stood up, shaking off the dirt and grime from her t-shirt and from her knees. She was Canadian, coming from Calgary, Alberta, and didn’t know what to think of this odd man who had just accused her of robbing a museum. How dare he accuse me!
“You saw me?”
“Yes, darling,” he said. “I saw you do it.”
And, before Astrid could protest or wonder why he had called her ‘darling’, he disappeared into thin air, leaving her alone with her thoughts, doubts and secrets.
Toronto, Ontario
Toronto National Museum – Bradley Pkwy
Jared’s Office
Wednesday, August 12th, 2006
3:32 pm

“Sit down,” Jared motioned for me to sit in one of his comfortable leather-backed chairs in his brown circular office. He was quite neat – only a mug of coffee, a container of writing utensils, and an official-looking notepad lay on his desk.
When I had sat, he asked me the first question. The answer came straightaway. And then the next, and the next, and the next…and so on until:
“What qualities of a tour guide do you think you have?”
“I’m kind, honest, friendly, respectable, and courteous. I greatly enjoy working with people and I love history and working in museums, especially this one,” I finished with a smile. That went well, I thought, because Jared had told me that that was the last question.
“Thank you, Joanne,” Jared replied formally, though I could tell that he was impressed. “I will let you know later today – after consulting with Claire, of course, who is not here at the moment, but will be back soon – if you may become a tour guide.”
When he waved me off, he no longer did so like I was a wet dog, for I was a dry human now.

Toronto, Ontario
Toronto National Museum – Bradley Pkwy
Entrance Hall – Reception Desk
Wednesday, August 12th, 2006
5:46 pm

“Joanne?” Alicia said as we were waiting for some visitors to approach the desk.
“Yeah?” I replied, my heart fluttering in my chest. Was it Jared, coming to let me know if I could be a tour guide?
“It’s Jared.” Alicia stated my thoughts, pointing in the direction of Jared’s office. Jared, however, was not in it, for he was sauntering over to us.
When he arrived, he right away said, “Joanne, you’re a tour guide now.” He didn’t show any emotion, so I could tell that something was wrong.
“Thanks a lot!” I responded, and then added, “What’s wrong?”
Alicia had the same worried look on her face – as well as a mask of sadness, probably because I was becoming a tour guide and she had to stay a receptionist without me.
“Oh, nothing,” Jared said huffily. “It’s just that…THE AMULET OF APHRODITE HAS BEEN STOLEN!” he bellowed, unable to stand it any longer. Visitors to the museum stopped and stared in bewilderment, some hurriedly rushing on past the reception desk, others exiting the museum altogether for fear of a thief.
“When did this happen?” I asked.
“J-just now,” Jared replied in panic. He seemed to be more frightened than I was, as his face was panic-stricken.
Alicia looked aghast and anxious as well. For some reason, I felt calm and perfectly in control.
I asked Jared a bunch more questions, which I would need if I wanted to solve the mystery and get on Jared’s best side, just like how Hadley somehow had. (Even though he did like me more now than he might have liked me four hours ago).
Alicia cleared her throat. “What can I do to help?” She asked in the kindest voice that she could muster.
“You don’t need to do anything,” Jared said in reply. “Just stay at the reception desk and do what you usually do – however, if for some reason a customer wants to know about the thief that has stolen the amulet, tell them that it’s not a worry and that the head of the department is sorting it out, and that the museum is safe to visit.”
Happy that she could help, Alicia sauntered back over to her (not our) desk.
Suddenly, all the lights switched off. It was very eerie as the darkness enveloped us, but it wasn’t that bad since there was light that came through the long glass windows. About a hundred security guards started quietly creeping around in the next room, where the Ancient Greek exhibit was – and in the same room that the amulet had been stolen.
“Can I do anything to help?” I asked Jared just then. He had also noticed the security guards.
As if just realizing something, Jared replied, “You can help solve the case.”
“What?” I yelled in astonishment. Why would he want me to solve the case? I’m not a professional detective.
Jared looked as if he’d been expecting me to react like that. “All the security guards are busy trying to ward the thief off. We don’t want to attract attention by having the cops come. I trust you now, after everything you and Hadley have said. You’re the best person to solve this case at the moment,” he finished, answering my unspoken question.
“Sure, okay,” I said, still grappling with reality. “What do you want me to do, exactly? How am I supposed to solve this?”
Jared suddenly looked exhausted. “I don’t know,” he said. “I just don’t know. I’m sure that you can figure it out.”
What would happen if I really did solve this case? Would I be promoted even higher than a tour guide? There was only one way to find out.

Toronto, Ontario
Toronto National Museum – Bradley Pkwy
Ancient Greek Exhibit
Wednesday, August 12th, 2006
6:18 pm

The security guards in the room with their flashlights were starting to give the room a strange, eerie feeling. I was scared out of my wits. The thief might be here, I was thinking every couple of seconds.
However, I did want to do my job and show Jared that I was reliable, trustworthy, and loving my new job as a detective. So, using the fingerprint detector, I started looking for fingerprints around the exhibit.


About two hours later, well after I was supposed to leave, I finally found some fingerprints around the glass case that had held the amulet.
Excited, I waited until the computer had identified what DNA the person who owned the fingerprint had.
A few moments later, the screen read:

Fingerprint data cannot be found. DNA cannot be detected.

What does that mean? I wondered. I pondered over it for a moment – considering why the fingerprint data couldn’t be found.
After about a quarter of an hour, I decided to ask Gertrude, the head of the department of investigation and the head detective as well. I found her in a nearby room, as I had expected, looking for fingerprints.
“Gertrude,” I burst out. “I found something.”
A smile burst out of the corners of her face. “Well, Joanne, why don’t you show me,” she responded happily, obvious excitement pouring out of her like water from a leaking faucet.
“There’s a problem,” I added, not really wanting to disrupt her mood but knowing that I’d have to. “I found fingerprints but when the computer was searching for DNA, it said this.”
I showed her the screen. She looked taken aback, as if that had never happened before.
“Well…I’m not really sure what it means, but maybe the thief put something over their hands so that the fingerprints wouldn’t be recorded,” she guessed in vain.
That didn’t make any sense. “Why would the fingerprint detector find fingerprints and then the computer say that fingerprint data couldn’t be found?”
Gertrude thought about my question for a long time. She too seemed puzzled.
Suddenly, she gasped, “I know why!” Not waiting for a reply, she continued with a bit less excitement. “The case is in serious jeopardy. The thief has muddled with the computer so that it doesn’t show any data,” she finished.
That’s the only logical explanation, I thought as we made our way to the computer in the side room. How would the thief know how to work the computer?

Toronto, Ontario
The Hilton Grand Hotel – Silver Crescent Rd
Suite 3455
Thursday, August 13th, 2006
8:15 am

“That went well,” Drew said to no one in particular as he woke up the next morning at a different hotel. I got to feel the amulet in my hands yesterday.

Toronto, Ontario
Toronto National Museum – Bradley Pkwy
Computer Monitor Room
Thursday, August 13th, 2006
9:34 am

I woke to find that Gertrude and I had slept on our chairs next to the computer.
“Gertrude?” I whispered. She looked like she was fast asleep.
“Yep,” she responded, startling me. She’s already awake! Wow, looks can really be deceiving.
She had stayed up really late last night, until about midnight, a lot later than the time I dozed off.
“Did you find anything?” I asked, my excitement building up inside me as I waited for her to answer.
“I found the DNA of the person who did it, and matched it up with a name – Drew Sawyer,” Gertrude replied, obviously proud of herself.
“Cool!” I said. “How do we track this person down?”
“Oh, that’s easy. I have a special tracking device that tells the location of a person. You have to enter DNA, a picture of their fingerprints, and enter their name, all of which we have. It will then tell you the exact location of the person at this moment.”
Gertrude handed me the tracking device. I typed in all of the information, and then pressed SEE LOCATION.
In a few moments, the screen read:

Drew Sawyer
Location: Silver Crescent Rd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

“Isn’t that where the Hilton hotel is?” I asked.
“Yes, it is,” said Gertrude in reply.
“Well, what are we waiting for?”
Gertrude and I exited the computer monitor room, passed the Ancient Greek exhibit, and walked outside into the bright sunlight.

Toronto, Ontario
The Hilton Grand Hotel – Silver Crescent Rd
Lobby – Concierge Desk
Thursday, August 13th, 2006
10:37 am

The concierge smiled as Gertrude and I approached. “How can I help you?” She inquired, a fake smile spreading across her lips.
“Could you please ask Drew Sawyer to come down to the lobby for a moment?” Gertrude asked, knowing that the lady wouldn’t let her go up to the rooms unless they had a key. “Say that his aunt is waiting for him,” she added a kindly smile.
“Certainly,” the woman replied as she picked up the phone.


Drew Sawyer entered the lobby and looked around to find his ‘aunt’. Gertrude beckoned to him, and he walked over to her.
“Are you my aunt?” He asked, ruffling his black hair.
“Uh…” Gertrude hesitated, and then motioned for him to follow her (and me) out of the lobby.
“Are you?”
“No, I’m not,” she replied tentatively. “But I know something about you that only an aunt would know.”
“What?” Drew questioned. I could see that he was very curious about what Gertrude knew.
Gertrude paused, then said, “I know that you stole the amulet, and I have a picture of your fingerprints on the case, and I have your DNA.”
Bingo! I thought. We’ve caught the thief!
“What? N-no, I didn’t really…look, you have to listen, no, no, no…” Drew babbled, and then stopped suddenly when he noticed that Gertrude was taking out a pair of handcuffs.
“No, you can’t!” He wailed. “Someone else told me to do this, it wasn’t me! I only took it out, someone else did it, and her name is Astrid!”
We were both intrigued now. “Astrid?” I repeated. “What is her last name?”
“Morton,” Drew replied, looking slightly relieved. “Astrid Morton.”
I quickly punched the name in on the portable DNA and fingerprint device. When they showed up, I entered the information into the tracking device. The screen read:

DNA and fingerprints matches Hector Greenfield, not Astrid Morton.
The system has found that Hector has other names:
Astrid Morton
Claire Block
Gregory Thomas
Location: Bradley Pkwy, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

“What?” Gertrude and I both yelled. Claire Block? But she’s the owner of the museum? Why would she want to steal the amulet? And why is she really a he?
“That can’t be,” Gertrude mumbled, shaking her head. “It can’t be Claire. Well, she’s at the museum now, so it has to be. It has to be her. It can’t be anyone else.” She seemed like she was trying to convince herself.
“He told me that he would tell me his secret if I got the amulet out of the case,” Drew explained. “My fingerprints were there because I got the amulet out. Hector didn’t want to get caught.”
“So, Claire/Hector’s secret is that he/she can change forms?” I guessed.
“…Yeah,” Drew burst out. He probably thought that Gertrude and I would imprison him if he didn’t tell us his/her secret.
“And I’m guessing that Hector muddled with the computer. Only he would know how to do it, since he’s the owner of the museum,” Gertrude said.
“That’s it,” Drew stated, impressed that we had figured it out. Then again, he didn’t know who he was dealing with.
“But that’s not all,” he said when no one responded. “She knows these guys from Paris, Mr. Beaufort and Mr. Cousteau, and they knew about the amulet and about how much she wanted to rob the museum. They’ve both been trying to steal the amulet for some time now,” he finished.
When Gertrude had comprehended this, she said, “If your story is true, then I will release you. If it is not, then…” She paused, scanning Drew’s face. “If not, then I’ll have no other choice but to show you to the police.” She clicked the handcuffs, as if warning him.
“I know.” Drew sighed. “But it’s true, I’m telling you.”

Toronto, Ontario
Toronto National Museum – Bradley Pkwy
Claire Block’s Office
Thursday, August 13th, 2006
12:53 pm

Hector was sitting in his office over a mug of coffee when he had this overwhelming boyish instinct to go to the gym and get muscular.
Sighing, he closed his womanly eyes (since he was impersonating Claire at the moment) and imagined Gregory Thomas, one of the male characters that he’d made up. He was a wealthy bachelor who lived in Toronto. Although he was good looking, he wasn’t really the kind of guy who would go to the gym, so Hector stayed himself, although he knew it was risky. The cops were always after him.
Hector looked through the round hole at his office door to make sure that no one was there, and –
“Ha!” A voice shouted, opening the door on his face. He fell backwards and onto the plush red carpet on the floor.
“H-how…” He spluttered. When he could think clearly, he looked at the figures in front of him: Drew was the only person he recognized. There were two women standing over him that he didn’t recognize. Did Drew tell them my secret?
“We know that you stole the amulet, Astrid.” The younger girl with blonde hair stated matter-of-factly. “Or should I call you Hector? What about Claire? Hmm…maybe I should call you Gregory. Which name do you prefer?” She said sarcastically.
Oh no – Drew told them my secret! I should never have trusted him.
“Look, I can explain, it’s not what you think-” He started, but was cut off.
“Not what we think?” The older woman said. “We saw you transform from the woman that is the owner of the museum, to some handsome-looking guy to yourself. We know you’re the thief, Hector.”
“D-do you know that I changed the computer memory around so that Drew’s fingerprints wouldn’t show up?” Hector asked.
“Yeah – we unlocked the code, and then it showed the fingerprints. Well – Gertrude here did, not me,” she said modestly, pointing to the older woman. “I’m Joanne, by the way.”
“…And we know,” Gertrude continued, “That you know those two Parisian guys. Could you tell us more about them, please?” She asked as if she was an innocent little child.
“Fine.” Hector gave in. “I originally used to live in Paris, and I met them once in a café and they found out with their DNA and fingerprint device that I had stolen other things, and they asked me if I knew about the amulet. I said no, because I didn’t know about it then, but after they told me about it, I wanted to steal it. But so did they. We were racing around the globe, trying to locate the amulet and get it before each other so that one of us could sell it and make a fortune. That is, until I came here a year ago and…became Claire to hide from the cops that were following us. While we were travelling, they got magical gifts – one man had the gift of magically appearing and then disappearing, for example,” he finished.
Gertrude, for some reason, didn’t look shocked when Hector finished – however, that blonde Joanne did.
“Tell us about your shape-shifting gift while we walk to the police station,” Gertrude said, unclipping the handcuffs from Drew and clipping them onto Hector.
Hector knew from experience not to try and get out of the handcuffs – it was too much trouble. Not fighting Gertrude, he told them how he got his gift from his mother, who passed it onto him. He could only use the gift when he was in some sort of danger or if he had an impulse to do something and if he wanted to do it badly.
As the three people set off down the street, the Frenchmen were watching. They saw the look on Hector’s face and knew that he wouldn’t be in jail for long.

Toronto, Ontario
Police Station – Yarrow Rd
Thursday, August 13th, 2006
1:31 pm

“Hand over the amulet,” the chief officer at the police station said to Hector.
“Hand it over…” He said warningly. “Or I will take it from you.”
Knowing better than to fight, Hector meekly handed the gleaming red amulet over to the officer, who in turn handed it to Jared, who had received a call from me (Joanne) telling him to come. Alicia was there as well, after begging Jared to let her come. She must’ve been worried about me.
“I guess I’m in charge of the museum, then,” Jared said, eyeing Hector. He looked bewildered that the owner of the museum was really a man.
“Well, that crime puts you in jail for a lifetime,” the chief officer stated.
Phew! Hopefully there won’t be any more crimes at the museum – at least, not by Hector.


As we walked back to the museum, Jared congratulated me and made me co-head of the detective/investigation department, along with Gertrude. Even Alicia became a tour guide, to her immense happiness.
Everything was back where it was supposed to be – the amulet safely in its glass case and Hector safely in jail. Even the two dejected Frenchmen had been handcuffed and taken to jail for committing crimes that Hector had been forced to speak about.
All was well.



4 thoughts on “Story 1 – The Missing Amulet

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