Exquisite Genres: Museum Mystery


This collaborative story was written by four groups of young writers on Sunday the 25th May at our Exquisite Genres workshop at the Sydney Writer's Festival.  Part 1

"Excuse me."

Poppy, hearing the voice, stopped in her tracks. Looking over her shoulder she could see the new security guard calling her back.

Confused, Poppy strode back to the entrance of the empty museum. Terry, the new security guard, wanted Poppy to go through the scanner and take her necklace off. She didn't want to take it off because she never took it off. Ever. It was her favourite necklace.

But she did.

Part 2

A feeling of dread came over Poppy as she walked away from the scanner. Her necklace, her favourite necklace was not just a necklace, it was really a secret key. Meanwhile, Bob was humming away while sweeping Poppy's office. Suddenly, he stopped in his tracks and looked at a rusty key hanging in the spider web in an old birchwood cupboard surrounded by spiders.

Bob, since he could speak to animals, told the spider that he wanted the key. The spider obediently scuttled over to where the key was and lifted it up with his pincers and threw it at Bob. Bob caught it and thanked the spider.

He heard a voice behind him, lurking in the doorway. It was Terry, and with a harsh tone he bribed Bob by saying, "give me the key and one one gets hurt". Bob tilted his head, not understanding a word. Terry revealed his taser and Bob collapsed.

Bob awoke in front of a bright light. "That key is the key to the secret dinosaur exhibit. Give it!", said Terry.

Part 3

Still confused, Bob stared endlessly at Terry, examining his face. Bob suddenly realized that Terry's face was red and his eyes were glaring at him. Bob's first instinct was to run away so that's exactly what he does.

Bob told the spiders to trap Terry as he ran away from the office. The spider quickly built a web over the door.

Coco the barista wandered the halls of the museum looking for Bob. No one was ordering coffee, so she was going to ask Bob if he needed any help cleaning. She saw Bob running away from something or someone. She saw something drop out of his pocket. Coco bent over to pick up the object. It was an old and rusty key! It looked very important. Coco was sure that someone would need it sometime soon. Coco looked up, and Bob was nowhere to be seen! Coco decided to give the key to Poppy. Poppy was sure to know what it was.

As Coco reached Poppy's office she heard someone sobbing. She entered the corridor leading to Poppy's office and saw that it was Poppy crying.

What's wrong?", Coco asked.

Poppy explained how Terry had stolen her necklace made of bones. Then, Coco showed Poppy the key she's found, and Poppy gasped.

Part 4

Bewildered, Poppy snatched the key aggressively off Coco. She knew that key, even though she had never see it before. She knew its true meaning. If she could obtain her necklace back, she would be able to access the secret dinosaur exhibition.

Meanwhile, Terry was trapped in Poppy’s office, guarded by venomous spiders and a cobweb. Suddenly, he noticed noises from behind an old cupboard. He pushed the cupboard and discovered a door. Terry got the necklace out of his pocket and opened the door. He bumped into Poppy.

She demanded her necklace back. She suggested they swap the necklace for the key. Terry agreed reluctantly and offered the necklace. But Poppy hung on to the key and snatched the necklace from Terry, keeping both.