As the whistle blows for the end of the first half, I turn away from the TV cameras in shame. My head is spinning. I don’t know whether Nails and Shorty are actually in the stands, or whether I just imagined it. On top of that, I’m the captain of Streetskillz and I can’t even think of a strategy to beat the Dragons!
As I’m walking with downcast eyes towards the change room one of the facility’s cleaning staff, a short, bald man named Douglas, waves me over.
“Nathi, there are two policemen looking for you outside. They say they’ve caught criminals that they want you to identify.”
My heart leaps. Nails and Shorty have been captured!
I detour off the field and into the foyer of the facility.¬†With Nails and Shorty arrested I’ll be able to concentrate on beating the Dragons.
I walk out into the parking lot and see two men in blue uniforms standing in the shadows. I wave to them and jog over. It’s only when I’m right next to them that I realize my mistake.
Nails reaches out and grabs me round the neck. I lash out with my feet, but Shorty hits me hard in the stomach. I drop to my knees gasping for air.
“You didn’t think we’d let you have Silver’s treasure that easily did you?” Nails jeers.
“It isn’t money, you idiot,” I cough, trying to catch my breath and stand up.
Nails pushes me to the ground again.
“Gold then? Jewels? We stole your father’s note from that old fool the Professor years ago, so we know it exists.”
“It’s a notebook! The treasure is a notebook my dad wrote in.”
“You’re a liar,” Smith snarls, “and if you’re not going to tell us where it is, we’re going to have to torture it out of you.”
He grabs me by my soccer shirt.
“Let’s get him into the back of the van,” he says to Nails.