Ch. 1: A New Person in the Museum
Laughter and some form of commotion from behind had pulled the young man from his thoughts. He had been staring off into space, wondering how different the museum looked during the day, how lifeless and stoic the displays appeared despite the fact he knew other wise. But then there was the sound. The distinct sound of someone dropping books and papers.
Larry turned and noticed a young woman walking into the museum with Rebbecca. He couldn't help but chuckle at the sight of her. She had thick brown hair tied up in a librarian bun, pencils sticking out from every which way. She wore thick rim reading glasses that slowly slid down her nose as she walked, over sized clothing and books and papers shoved into her hands. Despite the fact she was obviously a young woman, no more then mid-twenties, her wardrobe appeared to be that of a ninety year old woman.
With a smile and a wave from Rebbecca, Larry jogged over to their side and helped scoop up the young woman's books before carrying part of the over sized load for her.
"Thanks so much." she said kindly.
"Hey, no problem." he replied happily, shifting the books to his other arm, extending his hand. "I'm Larry Daley. I'm the night guard here."
"Pleased to meet you." she replied, shifting her own load and shaking his hand.
"This is Jasmine Kelley." Rebbecca finally said, beginning to introduce the two. "She's the new Egyptologist from Cambridge."
"That's me." she said happily. "You can call me Jazz, everyone tends to."
"So you're the one they've been talking about for the past couple of weeks?"
"Yes, guilty I suppose." she smiled. "But I will only be here for a few months, so no need to worry."
The group slowly made their way towards the back hall when Rebbecca heard her name being called over the hustle and bustle of the people surrounding them.
"Hey, do you guys have this?" Rebbecca asked quickly.
"Huh, yeah. I think we're good." Larry told her.
"Good cause it looks like they're flagging me down at the front desk. I'll catch up with you later." she smiled before running off towards the table.
They watched her sprint off, Larry smiling to himself before they began their treck through the crowds once more to the back room filled with offices.
"Why so short?" he finally asked, resuming their previous conversation.
"Hm? Oh, well... They only asked me to come and update the exhibit really. It seems there's not much traffic going through the Pharaoh's display so they asked me to come out and see what I could do about it."
He nodded his head, thinking about what she could possibly do. She wouldn't remove the tablet would she? That was the main reason he enjoyed working here so much. Seriously, how many people could say they hung out with a famous president, an indian guide, soldiers, huns, all manner of extinct animals and an ancient king every night at work? The thought honestly frightened him. It didn't matter that most of the people weren't actually people, they were still his friends.
"Ah, here we are."
Without him noticing, the two of them had made their way pass a few doors of occupied offices until finally coming to a halt at the door of the smallest, empty one. She smiled her contentment and headed inside, immediately placing her heavy load on the desk and motioning for Larry to do the same.
"So... you're not going to be taking anything out are you?" he asked placing his load down.
It was the only question he could think to ask and the only way he could ask it without giving away what was really bothering him.
"I don't plan on it. I doubt there's anything that would merit removal. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do however." she sighed as she sat down in her flimsy chair.
The back gave out and as she beagn to fall, Jasmine's hands came out and grasped anything close to her. Her heart was beating out of her chest and she was certain, if the crowds weren't so loud, Larry would have been able to hear it. This chair was out to get her. Slowly, she leaned forward placing most of her body weight on the sturdiest part before trying to steady her heart. This place was just full of surprises...
"My father," she began letting her breath calm. "Simply wanted me to come and ensure his exhibit was living up to its full potential."
"He's the one who had them ship all of this out here." she replied with the same jovial smile that had always been on her face and replacing her voice with that of a pompus man. "Professor Alexander Kelley, head of the Egyptology department at Cambridge University."
She sat there, trying to adjust her seat and ensure the back wouldn't give out again. It was then she noticed the man before her, glancing around the room looking as though he was thuroughly out of place.
"You don't have to stay with me." she laughed sweetly. "I don't want to keep you from anything."
Larry had completely forgotten that he and Rebbecca were suppose to be having lunch before he picked Nicky up from school. Instead he had somehow become frozen in his spot in the doorway of the small woman's office.
"Oh, yeah, okay. Well um... It was nice meeting you and, I guess I'll being seeing you around for a while." he said, smacking his hands together and rubbing them nervously.
"It seems that way." she smiled.
The night guard nodded his head, waved nervously and left the tiny office. The young woman turned in her chair, want to spin like you did as a kid when you sat in a similar chair. So smiling wide, she used her foots leverage to push off and began spinning once before knocking her knee on the corner of the desk and immediately regretting it. It seemed the office was just a bit smaller then she had thought, but there was still plenty of room for what she needed. She smiled at her humble surroundings, glad to be traveling again, and quickly began to go about her business organizing her things.
As she put away the last of her papers in the rinky dink filing cabinet, she made herself ready to go upstairs and see what the damage was. Her hand pushed the file cabinet door shut only to have it bounce back. She eyed it before trying again, and again, each time the stubborn thing bouncing back at her. She groaned her disappointment and blew a piece of hair out of her face before giving up and leaving the office.
There were more people then she was used to in the museum, children running around after parents, elderly people taking the tours. All in all, it was a most impressive turn out. Jasmine slowly made her way through the maze and up the steps, admiring the impressive Easter Island head in the hallway. There was beautiful art work everywhere, life like statues adorning every display and corner, it was wonderful.
Jasmine looked to her left and got a quick idea of where she was by one of the big maps they used in malls. The Egyptian display was only a few more displays down and on her left. Slowly, she walked through the halls, still admiring everything around her like a kid in a candy shop. Then she saw it.
In a reassessed section of the wall sat a chamber. Thick black marble slabs hung everywhere, thick columns stretched from the floor to ceiling, two Anubis Guards stood proudly by the front entrance keeping the Pharaoh safe from intruders, and there on the far wall was the familiar slab she had seen in so many pictures, hanging proudly over the sleeping king. She could hardly contain her excitement as she inched closer to the boy king. There was a large difference between reading about an Egyptian Pharaoh or Queen and actually having the luxury of seeing them in person. They may have died centuries upon centuries ago, but it was almost as good as getting to meet the royal in person.
Jasmine's delicate hands traced over the stone lid to the sarcophagus, her nails tracing the carved hieroglyphics, dipping in and out of the ancient stone figures. She couldn't contain her excitement. Living around these types of things, being raised on them was nothing like getting to see them, touch them. Every artifact was different, every tomb, each one having their own story and history to tell. Her eyes glazed over the wooden coffin inside and admired how the Egyptian people treated their dead. Beautiful colors graced the lid of the coffin, detailing what the man inside looked like. Amazing.
"Pharaoh Ahkmenrah, Fourth King of the Four Kings. Ruler of the land of your father." she said quietly, almost whispering the words. "No worries friend. I am Jasmine Kelley and I have been charged with taking care of your exhibit for the next five months. There will be a bit of remodeling I suspect, but I promise to leave things as close to this as possible. Have no fear, your are in good hands." she caressed the tomb lovingly once more before changing dialect. After all, what kind of Egyptian student would she be if she couldn't read, write or speak the language of her facination? "Sleep well young king. I give you my word, things will be alright. You can trust me."