The Lucky number.
That very insane morning I had felt like dying in boredom not until Jonathan my uncle broke the news or appropiately a surprise that we were leaving for States. We meaning also his son Caleb. My cousin was light in complexion more than I was, this was because he was half American and half Zimbabwean. His mother Lisa Scott was a native of the united States and they had met together with Jonathan when he was doing his bachelors at Leeds university England.
We had to have funny for one more last time before we leave home. We made some few suggestions of where we would have our outing but nothing that we had never done before popped up.
Uncle Jonathan was the one who saved the day. Have you ever heard of LUCKY NUMBER GAME SHOW.
The show had been happening right under our nose because the building in which it was held was few km away and ironically it had been commercing for the past 4 years.
“Whats up about the show anyway?” I started, reading the pamphlet that Jonathan had handed me.
“I have known about it since last year and today a friend of mine gave me ticket. He was suppose to go there but he had some urgent work to do, so I could not go alone and decided to buy extra two more.”
The pamphlet read in bold, THE HISTORIC AND FAST GROWING SHOW IN THE COUNTRY. Caleb grabbed the pamphlet away from me and started reading it.
“Dude, we could be millionaires by the end of the day.” Caleb announced.
I soon grabbed the pamphet away from him. “Wow! Million dollar price tag. This is getting interesting.” I screamed, staring at the pamphlet excitedly.
Caleb and uncle suddenly realised my expression on the face had faded to a surprise look and alarmingly, I was now absorbed into the pamphelet.
“This cant be true!” I blurted out.
“What is it Lawrence?” Curios Caleb asked.
“Four different, same people have previously won the competition.”
“Dude, what you have been smoking is too strong for you. This is crazy.” Caleb teased and put in.
“Caleb is right. How can four different same and same different same people win the competition.”
“Thats not what I said.” I protested
“Thats exactly what you said, dude.” Caleb sided with his father.
“Ok, the first year, which was the launch of the show was won by Donald Moyo and the following year Prisca Black won then again Donald and last in the same sequence….”
“I’m sure co incidents are nothing new, under the sun.” Jonathan forcing the sense out it.
“But Daddy, Lawrence’s suspicions do hold water. I suggest we probe this mystery, if ever it is a mystery.” Caleb suggested.
“We can only investigate this if we get to the show. I say we hurry, the show begins in few minutes.”
We soon traveled to the Green walk hall on uncle Jonathan’s honda. Arriving at the hall we were welcomed by men dressed in all black, you could have sworn these guys were undertakers and the grin in their faces could be described in nine words “ Criminals.” As they ushered everyone to their seats. What really astounded me was the attendance under such a small capacity capable hall.
The host of the show kick started the show by cracking unnecessary jokes in which few people reacted to. Douglas Adams went on to boast about how hounarable and a success the show has
been…..blah..blah.” You might have
deduced my resentment towards the guy but he really looked like a jerk. My instincts are never wrong, mark my words.
I made a small whistle to Caleb who was few metres away and responded by coming over.
“Uncle, We want to go to the loo. We will be back in a moment.” I told Jonathan and motioned to Caleb that we leave through the left side.
“What do you have in mind? Whatever it is you must have really thought it through.”
“We explore the building behind the hall. I believe its serves as a control building.”
Walking through the corridor of a three story building, the first two doors that we came across fell prey to our pries. Caleb took the left door and I, the right.
“Gather all that you can have and we meet in again here as soon as we finish this adventure.” I told Caleb, who was already obsessed with an obsession of curiosity.
Entering the room, I was greated by a warm moist air and the temperatures in the room were appallingly, unbearable hot. I wondered what was the root cause, may this be part of the mystery.
I discovered a heater was turned on and so was the air conditioner, how ironic and was it my conscious or was it just my inborn detective instincts. I decided not to temper with anything as my priority was to observe. There were steps leading to the stairs, second floor and quickly I made my way through them, reaching a corridor. Now I had to reach a consensus with my mind about which door to invade first, left or right. Before I could even make up my mind a voice called from behind and the angry, sharp, fierce voice made me not to even bother to look back and ran without vacillating between looking back to what was my nemesis and what was best for my breathe. “Hey! You scoundrel! Come back!” The man called running after me and exhaustion was beginning to kick in. The floor was very slipery and I almost slid past the wall while I tried to take a corner, which very late I noticed, being blinded by the circumstances and exhaustion may have attributed to the almost misfortune. I could hear the man’s heavy foot steps in between my heavy heartbeats. Few seconds later, I could hear no more of the footsteps which was a positive sign of victory, for that moment at least. I had to continue running and find a room to hide. In a drastic turn around of events, I reached a blind end. The beginning of the beginning of my fateful end could be smelt right under the nose. Without giving it much of thought, I decided to run back and make it to the exit point, with hopes that I don’t bump into my pursuer. My legs felt as if there were running away from me or was I really running away from myself because the velocity of my take off was nothing less in comparison to Usain Bolt’s IAAF record break. The unexpected became a reality and the hunted jumping to it’s prey instead of being the other way round. I bumped over the guy and I went back first to the hard floor and screamed for mercy rather than the sharp pain on my back, that was shooting through the spine.
“Please! I beg you sir, don’t kill me.” I wondered myself, what was it that I had done, I had to be killed for.
“Lawrence, its me.” Caleb whispered.
“How the heck did you get here.”
“No time for answers, let’s hurry. I saw the guy pursuing you and I distracted him. I gave him a wrong track and I believe he is wondering around, searching for me.” He said pulling my arm.
“Ouch! I think you have sprained my arm.”
“What?” He said looking pale.
“I’m just joking, let’s take the right door. I’m sure they must be an exit point. Do you have your camera.”
“You know that the camera is part of my every adventure.”
We opened one of the doors which the room was full of junk. Card boxes, papers, plastics…you name it. There was also a back door which we used to exit and wonders awaited us. There was a blank space, which looked more like a basement but it was too open and a bit large to be called a basement, maybe a foyer would do. From there we could hear the noises from the other side, the other side being the hall. We made our way down the steps, as we were still up observing the area. Before reaching the floor a voice called from the door. “Don’t! Don’t go in there!” Caleb was the quickest to react as he had noticed the keys hanging on the door from the inside. He quickly locked the door before the guy could make it. In the area, we spotted studio like equipments in the corner and the electronic devices were inviting for observations. “Caleb, This looks more of a control panel.”
“Look at these numbers. There are seven keys in this device and key five and seven are flashing red lights while the keys remaining are still green.” Caleb observed and shot photos of the studio and the area circumscribed.
“Caleb, a scam has been played here.” I put in.
“How?” Looking kind of perplexed.
In the wall in this hall there is a spinning wheel.”
“I noticed that. The wheel is rotated and there is an indicator in the wheel which will point to the number when the wheel stops, then a winner is declared who ever has a corresponding number.”
“Correct and here it goes. This serves as a control room and the numbers are to direct the spinning wheel on which number or position to halt on.”
“Sons of bitches! As it is right now, the turning wheel will stop either on five or seven.”
“Which I’m sure will be Donald Moyo or Prisca Black. Let’s click different keys and watch the funny.”
“These scoundrels have been doping this people of millions. Donald and Prisca are part of the plot.”
“Do you have to ask? Let’s choose the keys before the wheel is spined and the host is about to announce the proceedings.”
We picked two and three as our lucky numbers.
“This year 30 contestants participated in Lucky number game show and only two lucky participants would walk as millionaires. Are we ready!” Douglas Adams announced and a cheers of applause from the innocent victims sounded.
Douglas seemed very confident of success and there was no way this jerk and compatriots could crime their way out of this one. Soon the wheel was spinned and slowly the wheel stopped at number three, we were watching all the action from the small screen just above the studio. Loud applause was heard. Douglas’s mouth dropped in agape. I could tell he was wordless as much as he was emotionless. The winner was had screaming in joy and in tears.
“Wait til he faints when the second winner is announced.” I teased. The first winner was a teen girl by the name Nokuthaba Sibanda.
We could tell by the noises that the people were urging him to continue to the announcement of the next winner. The second winner was announced and it was Morgan Richards. Lucky number two was the number as expected, which further affirmed our confirmation about the scam. However, our time was short lived to enjoy the celebrations. The scumbags managed to silently break the door open without our awareness.
“What the hell! Do you think you are doing here?” We simultaneous turned and Caleb accidentally took a snap shot with the camera. To our astonishment, the three man dressed in black, poled before us and the other who we had an initial encounter with was carrying a pistol ready to blow our brains out.
“We……..we….we were going to the loo and lost our way ba…ck to the hall.” I stammered and my knees trembling like hell.
“You fools, do you realise that you have costs us millions. If it was not to the fact that you are just naive small kids, you would be dead by now.”
“We apologise sir, for any inconveniences caused. We swear we will never do anything like this, ever.” Caleb, said kicking a pebble of emphasis.
I was sickened by the diction used by this scumbag, who seemed to be the leader of the crew. “Naive small kids.” Not a wise choice of words from the man who will be spending the next long years in prison.
“John, show the kids their way out of here, before I change my mind.”
“We knew our way out of here, no need for company.” I thoughtfully said, as the pistol man led us out to the hall.
Arriving home that afternoon we were hungry, not in stomach but in gathering of evidence that we had collected.
“Nothing here seem to give enough punch to get these scoundrels convicted. The photos of the studio, they do not say much and reliving our encounters with the gang to the police would be our words against theirs. We won’t win the case, considering the money they have.” I told Caleb.
“Possible you are right. Hand over the camera.” I handed the camera to Caleb.
“Dude, this is good. I can’t believe our lucky.” Caleb broke into amazement.
“It better be good. What is it that you are musing about?” Caleb handed the camera to me.
Two men were standing before the camera, one of them pointing a pistol to us.
“Dude, this seals their fate and seals the case. Stand up and let’s hurry to the police station.”
Few hours later, the culprits were apprehended to the police and charged with fraud. Uncle Jonathan was happy for our noble work but disappointed by not telling him about our intentions. He said he was responsible for our security and this was far too risk and dangerous. We made him to remember one of his catch phrases as said by Napoleon Bonaparte quoted from AJP Taylor. “If you want something done well, do it yourself.” I considered myself and Caleb as one. He was my other half. The show was banned by the police but due to public demand, the show was reinstated and revived by a prominent local businesses man. For the next edition, we registered as participants to the Lucky number game show, we could be lucky before leaving the capital. “Boys, what is your lucky number?” The lady at the reception asked.
“Lucky number, two and three.” We both laughed.
Lawrence and Caleb are rookie detectives whose career begins when they hear of the lucky number game show. The show has been running for the past few years but wait....four different same people have won the show in the previous events. The teen detectives undertake an expedition to probe the scam, if ever it is a scam. They stumble to the truth were they least expect it and their caught in between the wrath of their nemesis and the truth. Will they survive in this short fiction story?