The Report

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: House of Ghosts
Joe is murdered in cold blood in his apartment room a day after he published a story in the National newspaper.

A story he believed will earn him the prestigious NAJA Award that year.

But things didn't turn out as planned.

Follow Ken- Joe's friend on his quest to unravel the mystery behind his friend's death and get the culprits behind bar

Submitted: May 12, 2017

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Submitted: May 12, 2017

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CHAPTER 1 --------------------

?

He turned the key into the lock and opened the door. To his horror, he was met with the sight of blood on the floor. 

He entered the room with fright Written on his face. Knowing well that the blood isn't a good sign at all. 

He decided to find the source of the blood.

After he followed the trial of blood, he realized it was leading him to the main bedroom. 

"What has happened in here?" He Questioned himself. 

~~~~~

[Three days ago]

It's been three days since he last heard from his friend, Joe.  He called him three days ago about an urgent matter they needed to discuss. Later on, they met up at a local bar. 

Joe brought up the upcoming National Journalism Awards [NAJA] after they had some beer. 

Explaining to his friend how he was determined to win the award with his new report he was going to publish in the nation newspaper the next day. 

Ken was getting curious as to what the report may be. 

"What could the mysterious report be about?"

"Youhave to wait for the surprise Ken. One thing I can tell you  Is that this report of mine will make headlines for days and secure my place in the NAJA"He explained with a bold smile on his face. 

Ken gave up asking for more. He knew Joe since grade school and he has always been determined in all his endeavors. So, he wasn't excepting anything new this time.

"I guess I will have to wait then but please be careful with what ever you plan on broadcasting " Ken advised.

They left the bar after theyhad a long talk. 

In the early morning the next day, Joe published his  report . The details of his report got everybody talking in the whole country! 

Later on that day, Joe called his friend and told him about some complications that were arising after he broadcasted the report and how these complications were scaring him but that was the last he heard of his dear friend. 

Ken hasn't heard from or seen his friend since that day and he is not answering his calls either. So, he decided to drop by Joe's apartment that day.

[Present]

Using the spare key he had, he unlocked the door after he had knocked on it, for about 10 minutes, and saw no response. 

He followed the blood trail which led him to the bedroom. The bedroom's door was left ajar. He entered the dim lit room and saw his close friend lying in his own pool of blood. 

Someone had shot him dead. He called the police immediately and within seconds sirens could be heard everywhere.

The police arrived with the crime scene investigators.

~~~~

[Head office Trinity Corporation.] [Same day]

The phone rang and a beautiful lady, who was in her late thirties and a bit over dressed, walked to the phone and picked it up. 

She is the secretary of the Trinity Corporation.

She wore a blue dress and a matching heel, her hair was blonde and she looked younger than she was supposed to be . 

She is neither married nor has a child of her own due to her previous experience with marriage.

"Hello!" she exclaimed. 

A look at her face and you could see she is not happy about her job.

Writing, typing all day, and also receiving calls for someone who does nothing but order them around.

What could she do? The payment was good so she had to stick to it to survive.

She headed over to Mr. Franklin's office after having the unpleasant chat with the caller at the other end.

The boss had given strict orders not to be disturbed when he was in his office but the caller said it was urgent.

"Come in", he ordered frowning.

"Sorry to disturb you sir, there is a call for you; he says it's urgent." She said timidly. 

"OK, Put him through" he ordered. 

Everyone in the office watched their boss in disbelief. They barely hear Mr. Franklin shout on the phone like he is doing now.

He has always being very reserved and talked in a manner like voice although he liked bossing around a lot more. 

He lowered his voice when he saw that his employees had seen his behavior.

"I knew you wouldn't fail me, that fool deserved what was coming to him",  He giggled, and was rather satisfied. 

He called up his partners, who were also his friends, immediately after he hanged up.

They met at their usual restaurant and he told them about the news he received when he was in the office. 

"My friends you can relax now. We can resume operation in two to three days", he assured them.

"The police are now out of our tail and our greatest threat; that hell of a journalist had been cleared off the way too", he concluded.

"You don't mean that do you?", questioned Clinton the youngest amongst the men.

"My friends no need to worry, I told you to leave everything to me",  He boasted.

They all burst into laughter satisfied with what Mr. Franklin had done.

They had a couple of drinks and left for their various houses later that night.

CHAPTER 2

Ken looked away as the police took his friend to the ambulance. He couldn't believe someone could do this to his friend. He was already suspicious of some people but how could he be sure? 

As he stood there thinking about his friend's murder. The investigation team leader of the CSI; Miss Megan, approached him.

"We will do our best to get those behind this crime. So, stop worrying young man", she assured with a gentle but stern tone. 

Ken became a little relieved at that statement. At least they could get those who murdered his friend. He also assured Megan that he would do anything in his possible best to help the team out in their investigations. He left the place to his apartment where he buried himself up in alcohol. That night, he couldn't sleep at all.

Joe had being the only person close to him as a brother. Growing up in a foster home, Ken never knew any of his family members. He had met Joe in grade school when he had saved him from being bullied. They became really close friends from there and had been great friends ever since.

As he sat on his bed. A lot of things came rushing through his head. He wasn't sure about his safety anymore because the murderer hadn't been found.

Also, he wandered why they shot his friend. Though he knew there could be a possible connection between the broadcast of the report and his friend being murdered. He remembered something about the last conversation he had with Joe.

"Exactly!", he stood up with a start, "It's because of the publicity the report earned when he published it in the national newspapers or the complications that surrounded it that has got him killed." he concluded finally.

***

[a week earlier]

Joe worked late at the office and because of that when he closed the office, he decided to take the short route to the bus station.

People barely use that road due to its high criminal history.

Just last month, someone was raped at that very road but Joe always smiled to the face of danger. It's this adventurous nature that made him choose the career line-journalism.

On his way home, he saw two cars parked at the other side and two men came out of each car. Entering the dark enclosed area by the road. He felt something strange with how these two men entered the dark.

So, his journalist instincts (as he calls it) guided him to hide. 

He tip toed to the place and hid himself to listen to what they were speaking about. One of the men seemed angry about something. His guys were supposed to ship drugs to a different country that week but they were delaying the shipment.

Joe recorded every bit of the conversation they had and left the place before they could see him. Though he didn't see their faces but when he reached home, he listened to the audio again and wrote down the address they let out as they had conversed. 

He made further investigations and he found the identities of the men from that night. The angry one was the CEO of TRINITY CORPORATION; Mr. Franklin.

He found out that Drug Peddling (one serious canker in the Country that the  government had been using all its resources to curb) was still very highly operational in the country and these men were involved in it.

***

After his investigations, he published the report in the national newspaper to expose these men. Who was in disguise of running a construction business to peddle drugs [marijuana, cocaine etc] from the country to other countries.

His journal made a major hit in the whole country after he had published it.

Every one was talking about it and he also received a lot of attention from the media. The government commended him for his work.

One television station on its twelve noon described Joe as a hero. Since he has been able to deliver to them what was needed to end the operations of drug peddling in the country.

This attention Joe was receiving only lasted for a day when the police sent to the Trinity Corporation the next day to find evidence to be used against these men in court found nothing.

Mr. Franklin let an insider bribe the police and they lied to the whole country that they didn't find anything that showed that these men were really running drug business in the country.

The case was cancelled for lack of evidence and all media houses were authorized to remove every post about the report. Joe's report was then announced invalid and a lie.

This made him angry to his very inner core. The whole country was disappointed in him and couldn't believe he could frame up such a story in the name of glory.

There was nothing he could do now but he vowed to do anything in his power to prove them wrong.

He was always ready to take risks. Even if it meant death.

CHAPTER 3

Ken jumped out of his bed as if he was being chased by demons in his dreams. He went to the bathroom to wash his face and then dashed out of his apartment.

. "Yes.....they are the very people who would want to murder my friend", he said very angrily.

He called Megan to tell her he was on his way to their Headquarters. At the headquarters, he met Megan and explained his suspicions to her. She saw that Ken may be right.

Megan and her team started their investigations on Mr. Franklin. They reopened the case on their drug peddling and also filed a case on their suspicion that he murdered Joe.

They found a finger prints from the crime scene and those finger prints showed that the murderer struggled with Joe before he shot him. The finger prints matched that of the guy Mr. Franklin had hired to kill Joe. He was tracked down and arrested later that previous day.

In court, he confessed Mr. Franklin had hired him to shoot Joe. Also, Mr. Franklin's assistant, who received the call that day, talked about what she heard and Mr. Franklin talked about the other side of the conversation.

She willingly brought herself up as a witness. Her story also helped the case when she testified against Mr. Franklin in court.

The whole truth about Joe's report came to light when Mr. Franklin was questioned at the court. He also confessed that he wanted to kill him because he was a big threat to his business.

"Joe had exposed me but I was able to bribe the police and I was scared. So, I had to terminate him because he had a lot of evidence and might try to expose me again. That brat was a threat to my operations", he admitted truthfully.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment with the charges of homicide, drug peddling, bribery, corruption and aiding and abetting.

The NATIONAL JOURNALISM AWARDS [NAJA] was held a month after Joe was buried and he was awarded; BEST JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR, BEST COVER STORY OF THE YEAR and JOURNALISM PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR. Ken received the awards in his honor and he dedicated it to him for his great achievement and his good works, too. It was through him that these bad citizens were arrested but it was rather unfortunate he had to lose his life in the process.

Everyone was very upset that Joe wasn't present at the awards to see the fruit of his labor but they believed, especially Ken, that he was there in spirit and was happy that his good works had yield success. That the culprits were put behind bars and they paid their respect to Joe with a minute silence.

After the event, Ken drove to the cemetery where Joe was buried. He took the award with him to show to his friend.

"It is done my friend as I promised. You died for the love you had for your country and you lost your life for truth sake. It's rather unfortunate that you lived not to witness the fruit of your labor. You will forever remain in our hearts dear friend REST IN PEACE", he said sorrowfully and wiped his tears from his red swollen eyes. He left the cemetery hoping for better days ahead.


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