Mona Lisa in Mona Lisa Out

The guard watched as Mother Nature took over the scene; the birds were chirping making beautiful noises – it sounded like harmony to the guard, but he shook his head and continued his vigilance. He’d been on duty since midnight and his relief was late. 

Finally, his relief was here. 

“Where were you? You’re late. It’s dawn already: you were supposed to be here 30 minutes ago!” 

“It wasn’t my fault I was late – it was my wife’s fault – she had me make the breakfast and even clean up,” the relief exclaimed. 

“Well let’s see what the boss has to say about this.” 

“Please don’t, please don’t, I don’t want to get punished,” the relief begged. The sun was now peeking over the treetops across the field, the frosty ground was beginning to steam, and the guard’s stomach rumbled. He hadn’t eaten since about 3 am (a thin salami sandwich) and he was famished. 

“Okay but only till I eat, then I will tell the boss. For now, I must be on my way: farewell,” the guard said, leaving the relief to hope for the best. 

The guard walked along the green tents at the outpost, admiring how they camouflaged with the forest on the right side of the outpost – he looked to the left side of the outpost and saw the tranquil meadow filled with butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds going from one flower to another.

Finally, he saw what he came for: the bakery.

Ding, ding went the little bell that rings whenever you open the door to the bakery.

“How may I help you sir?”

“One chocolate croissant please and a glass of milk.”

“That will be 1.5 francs sir,” the cashier said.

The guard gave the cashier 1.5 francs and grabbed his chocolate croissant and glass of milk and went outside to eat his breakfast.

After devouring the pastry, he decided to go home and get some rest. But before he could even do anything he heard someone call out from behind him.

“Telegram, telegram, very important telegram for Mr. Arthur Jones!” someone called out. The guard’s ears perked up at the sound of his name. Arthur whipped his head around to see a messenger. 

“Right here,” Arthur said. The messenger turned his head to look at Arthur.

“Are you Arthur Jones sir?” the messenger asked. 

“Yes, that’s me, Arthur Jones,” Arthur confirmed. 

“Well then here you go Mr. Jones,” the messenger said handing Arthur a telegram. 

“Thank you,” Arthur said watching the messenger run off to deliver something else. As Arthur opened the telegram he paused and realized that the telegram might be fake and could be a bomb, so he threw the telegram on the floor to make sure that the telegram was not a bomb. Satisfied, he picked up the telegram and opened it. It read, “Dear Arthur this is the boss come urgently I have something important to discuss with you.” Arthur took a moment to take in everything that just happened. Well, I guess resting will have to wait, he thought to himself. So, Arthur folded the telegram and put it in his pocket and made his way to the (boss’s base).   

Arthur, once again, walked past the camouflaged green tents. But this time he walked past his guarding post and around the corner, to a place where only guards know of. Finally, after studying the brick wall he saw what he was looking for, a brick with a line in the middle on the wall. Arthur quickly looked around to make sure no one was around. Satisfied, he pushed the brick, and after about three seconds he heard a clicking sound and the bricks started moving and made a hole big enough for Arthur to fit in. Arthur made his way through the hole and down a stairwell. There, Arthur found himself face to face with a dark door. There he knocked on the door in a coded manner and the dark red door opened and Arthur walked in. All around Arthur were doors upon doors, finally, he was here (boss’s base). All of a sudden, Arthur heard a door creak. CREAKK!

“You may come in,” a voice bellowed, sounding like thunder.

Arthur followed the voice to a pitch black door that read Boss in light red letters that shown like a flashlight in a pitch black room. he knocked on the door twice.

“Password please,” he heard someone say.

 “1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27, 28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51,52,53,54, 55,56,57,58,59,60,61,62,63,64,65,66,67,68,69,70,71,72,73,74,75,76,77,78,79,80,81, 82,83,84,85,86,87,88,89,90,91,92,93,94,95,96,97,98,99,100, and 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,” Arthur said.

The door opened and inside, the boss sitting at a table – and the relief was standing to his right!

“What’s he dooiingg here,” Arthur said pointing to his relief. 

“I have an assignment for you two,” said the boss. 

“What’s the assignment?” Arthur asked. 

“Your assignment is to go undercover in Paris and break into the French Grand Louvre, national museum and art gallery of France, housed in part of a large palace in Paris that was built on the right-bank site of the 12th-century fortress of Philip Augustus, with David, and steal the Mona Lisa,” said the boss. “Also, your reward will be 1,000,000 francs”. Arthur’s mouth dropped all the way to the floor – his eyes were like not even in his eye sockets anymore. 1,000,000 franks, I would be rich, I would be famous, Arthur thought to himself.

“Okay, I’m in, but how are we going to steal the Mona Lisa?” Arthur asked.  

“Ah, follow me I will show you,” the boss said. So, the boss led Arthur and the relief out of his office and into a different room. “DAVID!” the boss yelled. David was the boss’s butler or servant. David came scurrying in. “Yes master,” David said.

“David, I want you to make this outfit,” the boss said showing David a picture and then giving it to him. Arthur was barely able to see the picture, but he saw a little bit of it. It was a picture of a man with blond hair wearing a tan coat, a dark blue scarf, and some black jeans. “Go to the sewing room you’ll find what you need there. Oh, and by the way make two but make one a different color,” the boss told David. “But what color do you want it to be?” David asked. “Hmm, I think maybe dark brown and only on the coat, okay,” said the boss. “Yes master,” said David as he went out of the room.

“Come, follow me. I have something to show you guys,” said the boss. So, Arthur and the relief followed the boss into the garage. “This will be your vehicle,” said the boss, pointing to a Cadillac type 55 opera coupe. “Cool,” said Arthur and his relief at the same time. At that exact moment David came running in with the two disguises.

David handed Arthur and his relief their disguises right away and when Arthur took his disguise, he noticed that the tan coat was made out of leather. “Where should I change?” Arthur asked the boss. “Come follow me – there are changing rooms over here,” the boss said. So, Arthur and the relief followed the boss to a door that led to another hallway that had like a dozen doors. “These are the changing rooms,” the boss said, gesturing to the doors. “Okay thanks,” Arthur said to the boss. Arthur went into a changing room and took off his armor and put on a black shirt. He immediately noticed how comfortable it was – it was like taking the wool from a sheep and covering your body with it. Arthur then put on the black jeans which looked not that bad on him. Then he put on the tan leather coat with buttons which he thought were really cool, and lastly, he put on the black leather boots and looked in the mirror, “Wow this must be what rich people look like,” Arthur thought to himself while looking in a mirror.

Once Arthur was done changing into his disguise, he came out of the changing room. Shortly after Arthur came out of the changing room, his relief came out of his changing room. “Come on you two, David is waiting for you in your vehicle,” said the boss. “Wait, David is driving?” blurted Arthur. “Yes, David is driving because he knows all possible escape routes and can carefully guide you two through Paris,” said the boss.

So, Arthur, the boss, and Arthur’s relief made their way to the garage. As they walked into the garage Arthur right away noticed that the black Cadillac type 55 opera coupe was brightly polished and was glistening in the light. Arthur put his hand on the front of the car; whoa, he thought to himself as he felt the glossy surface.

“Hop in,” said someone from inside the car. “Huh?” Arthur said as he stopped admiring the car. “Come on it’s just David!” yelled the relief as he ran to the car. “Wait for me!” yelled Arthur as he ran towards the car. As Arthur got in the car, he noticed the seats were made out of finely woven silk. “Whoa,” Arthur and his relief said at the same time. Neither Arthur nor his relief had ever been in a car before, so they were amazed how cool the car looked. “Good luck to you all,” said the boss as he flipped a switch. All of a sudden, the wall opened and revealed a pathway going up and out of the garage and outside to the surface. “Let’s go,” said Arthur with a hint of excitement in his voice; David turned the car on and stepped on it and they went zooming out of the garage.

“So, what’s the plan?” Arthur asked David.

“You guys are going to go inside the Louvre. Then you’re going to steal the Mona Lisa and replace it with a fake,” continued David.

“Wait, what fake?” asked the relief.

“The fake Mona Lisa in that black suitcase,” David said pointing under the chair. “Once you steal it, you’ll replace the real one with the fake one. After that you’ll put the real one in the black case where the fake one is,” David explained.

“Okay, I think we can manage that,” Arthur said.

“We’re officially in Paris,” David exclaimed. Arthur looked out the window and saw the Eiffel Tower. He saw lakes, rivers, and all kinds of different buildings. Finally, they were at the Louvre.

“You two are going to sneak around the back and climb a ladder. Next, you’re going to open the vent on the roof and crawl through there till you see the Mona Lisa. Well… you guys know what to do from there. Oh wait! Also, you need to wait for it to be unguarded,” said David.

“Okay got it,” said Arthur and his relief at the same time.

Arthur and his relief got out of the car and walked around the corner making no sound.

But before they could climb up the ladder, “SNAP”.

“What was that!” the relief hissed.

“My bad, I accidentally stepped on a twig, but what’s the worst that could happen?”  Arthur said.

At that exact moment, Arthur and his relief could hear the shout of soldiers.

“WHAT WAS THAT!” a guard shouted, alarmed.

“See what you got us into!” the relief shrilled.

“What, it was an accident, calm down!” 

The relief looked like he was about to explode: “Calm down. Calm down? You want me to calm down when we’re probably dead meat right now!” 

“Well yeah, unless you actually want to be dead meat,” Arthur said.

“HEY WHO’S THERE!” a voice yelled from around the corner.

“It’s probably a guard – come on, we got to hide quickly!”

Arthur dragged the relief behind a garbage dumpster and sat there quietly.

“I think the coast is clear,” Arthur whispered.

“Okay, one sec, let me check,” the relief said. The relief peeked out from behind the dumpster.

“Yup, the coast is clear” the relief confirmed. The two came out from behind the garbage dumpster, and then climbed the ladder, opened the vent and climbed in. “Do you have the suitcase ready?” asked the Arthur. “Yes,” replied his relief as they were crawling through the vents.

The relief looked down through all the vents until he finally spotted the Mona Lisa, the relief checked the surroundings for any guards. “The coast is clear,” said the relief.

“Okay let’s go in.”

But before they opened the vent, the relief, rummaging through the black case, asked “What is this?”

Arthur turned around to find a cable-like device.

“Look there’s a note from David!” Arthur said. The relief picked it up and read it out loud, “This is David. I forgot to tell you this, but this device will help you steal the Mona Lisa. One person will attach the cable device to the ceiling in the vent. If you are confused on how to attach it all you have to do is put the red marking on the ceiling and it will attach magnetically. The second person will attach the hook to the loop thingy on your belt that I specifically put there. Then the second person will hold the cable while getting lowered by the first person. Once the second person is ready to come out the first person will pull second person up,” the relief read from the note.

The relief attached the red mark onto the ceiling and crawled behind Arthur so he could hold the cable. Arthur attached the hook to his belt and took the suitcase with the fake Mona Lisa and gave the relief a thumbs-up signaling he was ready. The relief lowered Arthur down. Arthur carefully and quickly switched out the real Mona Lisa with the fake Mona Lisa. Yes we got the Mona Lisa, Arthur thought to himself.

Then out of nowhere, “Hey what are you doing!” a voice called out. Arthur’s eyes went wide, and his stomach lurched. Arthur slowly turned his head to see a guard. “PULL ME UP PULL ME UP!” Arthur shouted to the relief. The relief, realizing the dire situation, started pulling Arthur up as quick as he could. “HEY STOP RIGHT THERE!” the guard yelled as he withdrew his Ruby pistol and tried shooting Arthur. “PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW!” was the sound of the Ruby pistol being fired.

The bullets missed Arthur by a fraction of an inch. The relief pulled Arthur up and they quickly detached the cable device, put it in a side pocket of the case, and crawled to the opening of the vent. As they crawled the sound of an alarm could be heard. “COME ON, WE GOT TO HURRY!” Arthur shouted. “Okay okay I’m going as fast as I can!” the relief said anxiously. So they crawled out of the vents went down the ladder and into the car.

“Did you guys get it,” David asked. “YES BUT GO, GO, GO, we’ve been discovered!” Arthur and his relief yelled frantically at the same time. David didn’t need telling twice; he slammed the gas and off they went. Right behind them Arthur could hear a siren. “WEE, OO, WEE, OO, WEE, OO!” was the sound of the sirens on the police cars.

“Come on, hurry up, we got company,” Arthur screeched.

“Okay, but I got a plan but you two… might…er… not like it,” David said unsteadily.

“Oh great what is it?” Arthur asked David. David quickly told Arthur and his relief his plan. “YOU WANT TO DO WHAT!” Arthur and his relief yelled simultaneously.

“Okay I know it’s a little crazy but it’s our only option,” David said.

“Fine,” Arthur said. So with the cops in pursuit David took action. David quickly turned a corner and into a parking garage. David quickly and expertly maneuvered around the parking garage and to the top. David’s plan was to drive to the top of this parking garage and jump off, while in the Opera Coupe, to a building just shorter than the parking garage. The building had a helicopter pad with a helicopter on it. David wanted to get on the helicopter and fly it back to the army camp.

“Hang on!” David said as he drove off the parking garage and onto the helicopter pad. “THUMP!”  was the sound when the car landed on the helicopter pad. “Get out quickly!” David yelled. So Arthur, his relief, and David got out of the car and hopped in the helicopter. “You do know how to work this thing right?” Arthur asked. “Of course I do,” David said. So David turned on the helicopter. “Okay, let me do something really quick, David said as they flew up. David pressed a button, “Clank!” Arthur looked down to see that David dropped a magnet on the Opera Coupe and they were off.

As they were going up, up, and up, Arthur looked down to see that everything was getting smaller and smaller than it used to. As they flew by, Arthur could also see all the buildings passing by; he even saw the Eiffel Tower and then they had made it!

As they landed, Arthur looked down and gaped in awe. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing, the roof of the boss’s base was opening and Arthur could make out a helicopter pad. Wow the boss has everything, he thought to himself. When they landed, Arthur felt tingle of pride. I can’t believe that I stole the Mona Lisa, he thought to himself. So Arthur and the relief walked out of the helicopter and was greeted by the boss. “Do you have it, do you have the Mona Lisa?” the boss anxiously asked.

“Yes, we got the Mona Lisa, but you have to pay up now,” Arthur said, gesturing to the relief and himself.

“Okay, okay, sheesh calm down I’m going to give it to you alright? But first let me see the Mona Lisa,” the boss said. So Arthur went back into the helicopter to retrieve the black suitcase where the Mona Lisa remained.

Arthur brought it back and showed the boss. “Very good indeed!” the boss said. Once the boss was satisfied at what he was seeing he signaled for David to come over.

“David can you put one million dollars in Arthur’s bank account and one million dollars in um… What’s your name, young man?” the boss asked, gesturing to the relief.

“My name is Noah Smith,” Noah replied. “And put one million dollars in Noah’s bank account,” the boss told David. “Oh! and don’t forget five hundred thousand dollars in your own bank account David, for guiding these two young men safely through the journey and bringing back a souvenir (the helicopter).” said the boss. David looked like he was about burst in tears.

“OH THANK YOU MASTER, oh thank you. I will use this money well, I promise!” David blubbered, with tears falling down his face.

Two years later.

“I still can’t believe we stole the Mona Lisa, even after two years,” Noah exclaimed. All of a sudden there was a terrific noise. “ALL GUARDS MUST COME TO THE BARRACKS RIGHT NOW! THERE’S GOING TO BE A MEETING HELD THERE! REMEMBER ONLY GUARDS ARE ALLOWED!”  The speakers that had just been installed not too long ago were definitely loud. Arthur and Noah turned to each other with a look of uncertainty. “Come on, we got to go,” Noah said. So Arthur and Noah made their way to the barracks. When they got there they could see all the other guards but one of them they recognized: it was the general. So they made their way to the general.

“General, what’s going on?” Arthur asked.

“The boss has been arrested for theft of the Mona Lisa!” the general said. 

“Arthur you know what that means, right?” Noah asked.

“Yup, we got to bust the Boss out of jail,” he replied in a deep voice. 

To be continued…

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