His Unique Discovery
The safe was in the wall before him. Dust and cobwebs covered it in thick layers. Its reddish-brown paint was chapped and flaking away, and rust eroded its metal frame.
He forced his crowbar deeper into the crevice in the safe’s door and yanked sideways. The safe groaned open. What was inside was more than what he thought he’d find.
A Good Job
Darren Walters worked for a renovation company that turned warehouses into office spaces. A large part of his job involved running quality assurance on warehouses chosen by their clients. Darren did this before his company came in to renovate.
He’d worked in this industry for more than two decades. But what he’d find that day would make him consider changing careers.
A Trusted Worker
Darren’s company had landed a client who wanted a warehouse renovated. In Brooklyn, New York, the building was almost half a century old. As expected, the company sent Darren to assess its quality before taking further steps.
Elated to be visiting such a uniquely old building, Darren set to work. He didn’t know what was in that building would shake up his life.
He Goes To The Warehouse
Darren brought in his team of quality testers and set them to specific parts of the building. The warehouse was fogged in cobwebs and heaps of dust, a sign that no one had been here in years.
Darren took the topmost floor where management offices stood, leaving his team to work on the lower levels. That’s when he found it.
Finding The Safe
Fused neatly into the wall was a maroon safe. Darren didn’t recognize what it was at first, given that the walls were the same shade of color as the safe. But when he got closer, he instantly noticed its handle.
Darren took a step toward the safe, smiling. It wasn’t the first time he was seeing one on the job. He’d found two or three safes while running quality assurance. But there was something about this particular one that drew him in.
It Is Locked
Darren neared the safe to see what he was dealing with this time. The other safes he’d found were usually unlocked, but he suspected that wasn’t the case here.
He ran his fingers on the safe’s dusty handle and dared a tug. “Locked,” he said to himself. He looked closely, smiling as an idea formed in his mind.
Checking The Safe
The safe’s paint was flaking off and rust-covered almost every inch of its metal frame. Darren knocked against its door, and a thick sound came as the safe’s response.
The safes that Darren had knocked against before gave hollow sounds. Why was this one different? He grinned, already picturing a hefty prize waiting for him inside the safe.
Springing Into Action
Rust on the safe’s frame meant its integrity was likely compromised. With the proper technique, Darren could open it.
Darren always carried a crowbar for prying open locked doors with his work tools. He fetched it and set to assessing weak points on the safe’s door. If someone locked valuables inside, he would find them.
An Opportunity Presents Itself
Darren spotted a crevice on the door. He jammed his crowbar’s claw in, tugging at the tool to test the safe’s integrity.
“Firm,” he said in a breath, tugging once more. The safe wasn’t budging. How could he work around this? His gaze fell back on his toolbox, and he spotted something that would come in handy.
A Better Approach
A small knife shone among the equipment he carried. Darren fetched it, fitting it into the safe’s keyhole.
Slowly and with care, he moved the knife from one side to the next, listening for the tale-tell snap of the locking mechanism. A minute passed, then two. But Darren hadn’t made any progress in cracking the safe. He was about to give up when the lock clicked.
The Moment He’s Been Waiting For
Darren took a step back, waiting for the safe’s door to slide open. He’d unlocked it, yet nothing was happening.
He yanked at the handle, and the safe groaned in resistance. He almost groaned. He’d already wasted an hour on this safe, an hour he should’ve spent assessing the warehouse. He crossed his hands over his chest. It seems whatever was in that safe would stay inside.
Is It Worth It?
Darren turned away from the safe. He was supposed to be working on the warehouse, not wasting time here. But what if the safe had something valuable inside it, he could sell it and start life anew.
Darren’s lips curled, and he snatched his crowbar and forced it through the safe’s door. He pushed with all his might, and the safe sprung open. He couldn’t believe what was staring back at him.
A Haul Like No Other
Stacks of dollars and gold bricks filled the safe from top to bottom. Darren’s jaw slackened, and his body burned with adrenaline. He tried to formulate words, to rationalize what he was looking at.
He ran a hand against his lips, not knowing he was grinning at himself. “Millions,” Darren whispered, already contemplating quitting his job. “Breath,” he said to himself. “Who’d leave all this money here, and why?”
A brown envelope caught Darren’s interest, and he quickly reached for it. Maybe it held the answers he so desperately needed right now.
“Receipts,” he said, skimming through the dozens of slips. They were payments from a movie production house that used to be in this warehouse. “No,” Darren whispered, wiping his face as he realized what the payments were for.
He Learns The Truth
“Movie props, these are movie props,” Darren sounded out what his mind was thinking. He grabbed one gold bar and weighted it in one arm. “Plastic,” he said.
He also checked the dollar bills, disappointed when he found out they were regular paper. Darren returned the items to the safe and closed it. “Back to work,” he said with a smile and returned to his post.