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Moonlight Lifter Ruby

One wintery night, a figure disarms the gallery alarms with ease and breezes through the halls ready for her mischief to begin.

This is a keyword Storywalk created for the Museum of Somerset Taunton - Making Somerset gallery. The script was designed to develop creative writing through the gallery, using an inventive narrative to encourage investigation into the artefacts, space, display and design of the building as a public space.

The narrative is designed for Key Stage 2 and 3 – focusing predominantly on pupils in years 6 / 7 / 8
Make your way to the Making Somerset Gallery and then stand beneath the cauldrons. Your key word is the first word written on the large information panel.
Chapter one

The Moonlight Lifter

One slow afternoon when the gallery had emptied of the hustle of school children and young families, one old lady slowly sidled into the room. Her hands strained at three bulging shopping bags as she gazed around the gallery, the attendant glanced up from his paper for a moment to see her and then instantly forgot she was ever there. It was not that she was unusual, far from it, everything about her was normal, her body shape, coat, stance all so ordinary as to be of no interest to anyone.

This was exactly as The Collector had planned, for beneath that bland coat and wired glasses were beady eyes counting camera ports, window ledges, distances from cabinets to doorways, openings, latches and scuffed door patches. She had already spotted three laser triggers, two vault doors (portcullis style to block off any escape routes and trap an intruder) as well as nine pressure pads in the carpet and a dozen other minor locks and clasps. All of this detail was noted with barely a rustle of paper from the attendant, and she walked on down the gallery invisible, noting, watching, preparing.
Chapter two

Now if

Now if you were counting you would know that she stopped exactly six times in that room and each time she placed her heavy shopping bags on the carpet in front of a cabinet or plinth and took stock of the contents. In those few moments every detail was absorbed, from the size and materials of the artefacts, to the position of locks and the worn hinges on the cabinet doors. She saw the voids behind and beneath the plinths, the spaces above and below betraying cavities where tools could be stored for later use. All of this took just moments and she drank it all in.

The attendant dropped his newspaper on his chair with the headline – Curious Counterfeiter Collector Strikes Again – more thefts at prestigious museums across Europe. He then walked down the gallery leaving the old lady alone beneath the cauldrons, this was her moment and when he was out of sight she slipped her hand into one of her bags, grabbed what looked like a potato and threw it up into one of the cauldrons overhead. Deftly she did this again and again until within a minute her bag was quite empty and nearly every cauldron had a seed, each cauldron had something hiding inside.
Chapter three

Fast Forward

Now let's fast forward to the evening, where the moon is bright across the roofs of the town and a slight figure is slipping between shadows if made from nothing more than cloth and air.

The alarms of the gallery had been set hours before and the museum was as secure as a vault, but The Collector deactivated these in a minute, breezing through the space uninhibited making her way directly to the Making Somerset gallery.

She stopped beneath the cauldrons with a sly grin playing across her face, eager to get on with the mischievous task. Before dawn there would be many subtle changes to this museum and its contents, changes that perhaps only the discerning eye would spot.
Chapter four

The Servants are Summoned

‘Now' she said in a tight squeaky voice and tapped a cauldron high up in the ceiling with her extendable walking stick followed by ‘wakey wakey little ones'

Slowly, one at a time little heads emerged from the pots overhead, these were the homunculi. They looked like ugly dolls, perhaps no larger than a two-year-old child but as thin as sticks and with weird dead eyes like cold turnip mash. Their clothes and faces glistened a fungus shade of grey and they gathered around their creator, diligent servants ready and eager, awaiting her command.
somewhere in the museum is a creature coloured fiery red. Find it and the keyword will be the Kings name on the red plaque.
Chapter five

The Dragon of Somerset

As the collector sauntered through the gallery proud of their earlier efforts. Then her Homunculi awoke. Filled with energy, the creatures thin and doll like with an almost ceramic look to them, prepared for mischief and helping their master of course.

All of them followed a single 'leader' named Kinimod (even though he had no power over them). The first on her list was the Somerset dragon, which burned a fiery red. It looked simple enough to steal but would take patience and precision to remove. As the collector prepared to take her first artefact but her Homunculi had began to muck about.

They had a can of hairspray and a lighter and began to make the dragon breathe fire. They all did their loudest dragon screeches and the collector shooed them away and took the dragon and squished down to size with her bare hands and placed it in her pocket.

Now she had to put the replica back so she took it out and stretched it out and made it big enough to fit on the stand. Unfortunately the Homunculi had decided to try and fly like dragons and one of them planted on the dragon's head and snapped it off.

Luckily for the Homunculi it was able to chew off its toenails. As it ripped and tore each one off it also melted them down to super glue concoction with its breath.

Relieved that the dragon was returned to its original state the collector placed a calling card in its claws which read on it in perfect handwriting and Vietnamese ink

"With kind regards from the collector."

Now the collector had already began on something new
The first word on the plaque below a golden rod
Chapter six

The Mace

She is wandering around the room, until a spiky object catches her eye across the room. She is surprised to find that Kinimod and his gang of Homunculi were already there, trying to break the glass. The woman looks around and finds a conveniently placed hammer on the floor. She hands the hammer to one of the Homunculi who desperately wanted the hammer. For some strange reason, whenever a Homunculi looks at something for a long period of time, they can recreate that exact object by pulling it out of their body. She goes to to tie her shoe laces but a large bang catches her attention, she looks up only to find out that the entire gang has hammers, and they are smashing the place up. She believes she has to take action. She stands up and walks over to the Homunculi and grabs all the hammers that she laid her eyes on. She throws the hammers away and makes sure that they cannot get to it. The Homunculi immediately stop and get into a circle. A quiet mumbling could be heard in the museum as they discussed how they will get behind the glass. Suddenly, the mumbling stops and a large Homunculi steps in front of glass, pushing everyone aside. The woman looks surprised and confused, but accepts the reality of the situation and says "Just be quiet". The large Homunguli starts stretching and after a long time, he begins to scream. The sound itself was enough to shatter the glass, giving them a clear path to the mace. The woman, looking scared and frustrated, grabs the mace and turns around, only to be treated with a Homunculi, holding the replica, she takes it and puts it in place of the actual mace. She sees the Humunculi lining up and spitting, which then hardens and turns into glass. The Homunculi then stand up and put the glass in place. Like nothing happened.
Find the large old instrument in the gallery. The keyword is how many are left.
Chapter seven

Virginal heist

Repelling from the ceiling 7 Homunculi ,are firing a strange gun at the glass cabinet which is slowly deteriorating as the contents of a virginal shrinks before the eyes of the Homunculi . Somehow the miniscule creatures manages to hoist and sustain the weight of the futuristic rayzer gun (replication,ray,laser gun). Suddenly, one of the Homunculi plummeted down on top of the instrument which, by this point, was the same size as the small, rare,unique species. Then an old lady casually comes through the door carrying a reusable bag from sainsburys and gathered the musical instrument as if it were a puppy. The creatures begin to start the replication project they pull the trigger but nothing happens.the gun is jammed.then a burst of light pours from the room like orange juice and everything is almost back to normal.
A - Go find a beautiful 3D tower. The key word is the second word on the red paper.
Chapter eight

Leather model tower

Its 10:12am. The museum just opened a few minutes ago. There is just a few people in here and I'm happy because of it. If there is a lot of people it means ther is a big change someone can see me steeling something.

My plan is to steel the leather model tower of St Mary Magdalene Church. I know it is just the model but it still worth a lot of money. I hade a idea from the word model that I will reaplac it with a 3D hologram model.

I called the homunculis and they already setting the projectors up for the 3D hologram. Surprisingly everything is going well.

Quick I put the the leather on the tower to make it invisible and next I put a quick levertation spell in it. I told one of the homunculi to put the levetating tower in a big park of balloons to finish the whole thing.

But sudenly I hear a big band I look over nd I can see the homunculi tripped and let the balloons go with the tower too which is invisible. Luckily we got all the balloons togeather and one of the homunculi banged its head in the tower and found it. It was successful.
Name the ninth letter wrote on the staves of Taunton red sign
Chapter nine

The robbery of staves of office!

Tiptoeing forward, are the stick like humunguli and the ancient old lady. Slowly and gradually, the woman's hand clutched hold of a small portable device, then past it to one of her fellow companions, when finally reaching the grand/old artefact. Her jaw dropped immensely!

She gave a deadly gase to the humunguli holding the minuscule device. It's hand shook violently with nerves, as the pressure of getting the priceless artefact is put upon it. His finger compressed the top of the electronic, causing a Rae of red light sine out of it, whilst he was cutting a wobbly circle, which followed its shaky hands.

All of a sudden, the creatures leg slipped! He did a amateur front flip in mid air then landed in now, and enclosure. Shock hit its face, with a petrified impression meeting it, it all went wrong, however they carried on with ought a care in the world.

The woman pushed her hand into a bag, then rustling around to find something, although then she found it, but it seemed as if it was a pin? Her hand went through the gap of the glass, then she mistleaniously popped the artefact and it deflated in an instant. One of the monsters then scuttled over her hand is if it was a bridge, though grasped the deflated artefact and scrunched it up like a rep ice of scrap paper. The woman's eyes lit up with glee as she clutched hold of the artifact.
D - Find a the huge bell inside of the room. The keyword is the last word in Latin on the red plaque board( in capitals).
Chapter ten

The Curland Church Bell

The collector started to scan the room analysing every detail of every artefact. But the she paused. An old, huge bell caught her eye. She then crept towards the rusty Curland Church Bell. The Homunculi gets out the small, round, flat, round device and hands it to the collector. Her mouth widens to a not a smile but a sly smirk.

She pressed a small red button on the gadget making it open. Another push of the button made it blink every 2 seconds. She them placed it on the bell. In the blink of an eye, the bell folded in on itself to make the shape of the gadget and then it closed. The Homunculi grabbed a plastic bell the size of an orange and another technical gadget. The Homunculi started to tap the gadget onto the plastic bell making it grow in size. The collector put the bell onto the stand.She then spray painted it and weighed it down to look more convincing.

The Homunculi were beginning to go quiet. "stop that" the lady shrieked. An enlarged Homunculi started to go red in the face trying to hide the gadget behind their back. The woman turned back to the bell and placed a card behind the stand that reads:

"With compliments of the Collector"
Go back to beneath the cauldrons for the last chapter and our story to complete. Your keyword consists of just two letters written on the side of one of the cauldrons suspended from the ceiling.
Chapter eleven

Sleep Tight

One at a time, each of the homunculi climb back up into their cauldron, The Collector then bids each one ‘good night' before leaving herself in the same manner through which she arrived, re-arming the alarms and shifting through the shadows as if made from nothing more than cloth and air.
Chapter twelve


First light and the gallery alarms were deactivated in the usual manner, all the zones were quiet, none of the lights flashed with warnings of triggers, everything was completely normal. School children arrived and peered through the glass doors at the priceless artefacts secured within and the gallery attendants smiled as if nothing was wrong. Well nothing was wrong, everything appeared as normal, except of course that many of the artefacts were now missing, or not technically missing exactly, more switched with very convincing replicas.

Amongst that mornings visitors were a family of a father and two children, they wandered down the gallery, reading the labels, unravelling the history and enjoying the fantastic displays. Then the daughter pointed up inside the cabinet to something she could see from her vantage point low down.

'Dad' said the little girl, 'what does that say?'

She could see one of The Collectors calling cards, poking out from an exhibit.

‘I'm not sure princess.' The father said ‘perhaps the attendant can help.' As just to their side a gallery assistant was tucking yesterdays crumpled newspaper under his arm.

‘Of course, what would you like to know?'

‘Up there' said the little girl, ‘can you see.'

The assistant knelt down to gaze up at the artefact with a puzzled expression, then he saw the ticket. From that low angle he could clearly read the words on a plain calling card which read,

With compliments of The Collector, perfectly hand written with Indian ink.

'Oh no' said the attendant 'Oh no' he said again, 'I don't think that is a good sign at all!'

Perhaps his observation was a catalyst to the events which followed as suddenly one of the cauldrons high up in the ceiling tipped precariously, and out from inside cascaded a grey dollop of gloop like cold chicken soup. As it hit the floor and splattered about other cauldrons tipped in a similar manner, and their contents spilled out as well, splattering across the gallery floor and over anyone standing beneath!

It was mayhem in the gallery to say the least and wasn't long before the hall was cordoned off as a crime scene. The grey gloop was being mopped away just as the first of the reporters arrived from the press to get the scoop on the story.
Chapter thirteen

The Collectors Lair

But deep underground, across a lake of black waters The Collector stepped into her own museum archives, oil lamps illuminated mile upon mile of cavernous space, shelves and cabinets bulged with artefacts. Paintings from celebrated masters were stacked higgeldy-piggeldy here and there, musical instruments of all shapes and sizes lay on top of each other like discarded sports equipment. All these incredibly valuable items gathering dust and mould in the dark cave, it was criminal.

But in a far far corner of the cavern, where The Collector had not trod in decades a small door opened and in stole a doll like figure, perhaps no larger than a two-year-old child and as thin as sticks.

He cast quietly about the chamber unseen, just as his new master had instructed to make preparations for the un-thieving to begin.
Chapter fourteen


Here are some questions about the story, read and discuss whilst some of the other groups finish and catch up.

Q - Why was she stealing the artefacts and what would she be doing with the real items?

Q – What artefact would you steal if you were The Collector, and what contraptions would you employ?

Q – Who has just stolen into her cavern and what are they about to do?

Q - The Homunculi characters are a bit odd, how would you add more character to make them funny / creepy?

Q – Perhaps a twist in the tale is required, maybe all the artefacts in the museum were already fakes perhaps she is actually removing those and replacing them with originals? How would this change the tale, and how would you write it in to the narrative.
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