The Video Store

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

Detective Pringle is South Africa's most decorated narcotics investigator.
His latest stake out is a local video store, which is doing more then just renting movies.
Is this a small operation or is there more to this video store...

 

The Video Store

 

By

Sharief Hendricks

 

“Good evening sir, is this the only movie you will be renting tonight?”

"Yep, thank you, just this one, I am planning on having an early night, I still have to study."

"Oh, so you still studying hey?"

"Yes, my last year."

In that case, maybe I can interest you in a DVD Movie Contract?"

"No Thanks like I said I am having an early night and I still have a textbook to work through."

"Well, sir have you at least heard of our DVD Movie Contracts? They worth it and for a studying man like yourself it is just what you need, it will help you relax. You see our DVD Contract is perfect for people that are stressed and that need to relax. It only costs three hundred Rands.”

“I see, so how many movies do I get for three hundred Rands?”

"The DVD Contract gets you five."

"Only five? Wow, that is steep and probably the worst contract I ever heard off. How the hell are you going to charge people three hundred Rands for five movies?"

"No, my brother, haven't you heard of our special before? Three hundred gets you 5 grams.”

"Five grams? Five grams of what?" I asked him.

“The good stuff, bro. Five grams of the good stuff,” that’s what he said detective.

Detective Pringle sat with his forearms on the table in interview room one and asked the witness, "Mr Ibrahim, are you certain that is exactly what the clerk at The Video Store said?"

Mr Ibrahim nodded and replied, “yes Detective, that is exactly how it happened."

"What did you tell the Clerk at The Video Store after that?"

"I was taken aback so I just said, I buy somewhere else, but I will come back after my exams," he was even willing to give me a tester. I said, “I will take a rain check.”

“Thank you so much, Mr Ibrahim, you have been of great service."

Pringle was the Head Detective of the prestigious Johannesburg Narcotics Unit. He had a stellar record and he was responsible for some of the biggest drug busts in the country. He had an accumulative quantity of over eighteen hundred kilograms of Marijuana and hundreds of kilograms of TIK that he took off the streets. He works with his trusted Detective Sarah Jenkins who is in her fifth year with the Narcotics Unit, but she has never done undercover work before.

"Alright, alright calm down everybody," said Pringle addressing his Unit, “Today's briefing is about taking down the big Video Chain known as The Video Store.”

Pringle and Sarah along with only a communications constable have been watching The Video Store in their private time for three weeks. The Police Commissioner did not think this case was worth the expenditure and manpower. They had photos and video surveillance of numerous patrons walking into The Video Store and then walking out again without having hired any movies. Pringle sent Sarah in to open an account at the video outlet the day before and made her request a specific movie called The Pineapple Express, about a marijuana dealer. She will return the movie after the briefing when the operation is in motion.

“Ok, let’s go over the setup one more time people. Sarah will be returning the movie she hired yesterday, that she hopefully watched.”

“Yes, I watched it Pringle, and I enjoyed it, it was funny as hell," said Sarah to the laughter of the team.

Pringle continued, “good Sarah, but note to everybody, your homework is not always going to be this much fun, so be warned, when I give you homework, I expect it to be done, we not in school. If we not prepared people will get hurt or worse, they can die. Right, we leave directly for The Video Store from here. It is a six-man team operation people. The Commissioner is watching us on this one so let’s do it by the book, and get it done the first time, no mistakes,” he said as he thinks that the Commissioner tends to go out of his way to block Pringle each time he want’s to move on the mysterious drug kingpin he has been after for over six years.

Pringle looked at Sarah and nodded his head that is in the early stages of balding. She confidently acknowledged it when her phone vibrated.

“Do you need to take that Sarah?”

“No Pringle, its just my daddy, I will call him after the operation,” to which the Team yelled out, “daddy’s little girl aww,” and had a good chuckle at her expense.

Pringle quickly came to her rescue, “settle down Team, we have work to do. Remember Sarah, undercover work is the same as acting, you forget who you are for a specific period and you become someone else, someone you studied and prepared hard to become. Once you in character don’t break it ever unless you are about to make an arrest. I know its your first time but I have the utmost confidence in you, so don’t stress you will be fine, I will be real close to you, as I feed you instructions, just listen to my voice and do what I say, got it.”

“Got it, Pringle,” said Sarah with a double thumbs up.

“Ok team let’s do this. Who are we?!” Said Pringle.

“We the Pringle Crew!” The team shouted as they raised their fist in the air.

“And what do we do?” he said, spinning his finger around like a conductor, leading an orchestra.

The whole Unit unanimously responded.

“We do what it takes!”

________________________________**_____________________________

Sarah walked into The Video Store with her undercover cellphone earphones in her ears pretending to be listening to music.

“Hi," said the store clerk as he chewed chappies with an open mouth and a smirk on his face as he checked her out from behind.

“I guess you are new here hey little lady?”

“Err, yes I am,” said Sarah.

Pringle spoke into the microphone that transmitted to Sarah’s earphones, “calm down and listen to my voice and repeat after me.”

“Thanx for a cool movie. I enjoyed it, you know this James Franco is so funny."

"Yeah, he is awesome,” replied the clerk. Pringle told Sarah to say, “the movie was funny, but the storyline was a bit thin.”

“I see we have a lady that knows her movies,” said the clerk.

Pringle said through Sarah, “Yeah, I am a bit of a movie boffin, I just hate watching movies alone, my boyfriend is away this week, so I’m going to watch movies to keep me occupied.”

“Well, lady you have come to the right place. Let me show you around the store," said the clerk blowing into his hand and checking his breathe then sticking the chappies under the bottom of the countertop.

"Oh, that's so sweet of you, but who is going to watch the counter if you do that?”

“We don’t get many customers after eight, so I can show you the good stuff if you know what I mean.”

"Blockbusters right, I heard you gave awesome deals on them?”

“We do, nobody can beat our Contract DVD Movie prices.”

“Oh yeah, how much, for the good stuff.”

“Three hundred Rands but for you, as a first-time customer of our DVD Movie Contract I will give it to you for two hundred.”

“I don’t know exactly what it is that you offering and what I get, all I know is it is gonna cost me two-clips. I am not even sure if that is such a good deal. I’m sure I can get it cheaper somewhere else,” she said, adding her own variety to Pringle’s dialogue to enhance setting.

"Now smile at him and look him in the eyes, Sarah. Good, wait for it, he is considering it, yes we got him,” said Pringle into Sarah’s eardrum.

“Ok little lady, I see you drive a hard bargain.”

"I will give you a free sample, how does that sound to you?"

"Say not bad, Sarah. Not Bad. Let's see the merchandise?”

"Ok, I lemme get it from the back office, I won't take long."

"Sarah you should not have used the word merchandise, he might be onto us now. I was hoping he would take you to the back with him so you can see the entire operation. Quickly ask him if you can use the loo, then maybe he will take you with him."

"Say, dude, can I use your toilet please, I have been holding it all this time and I didn't expect to be in here so long, but I enjoy your company, so I don't mind."

"Sure, lovely lady follow me then I will get your Contract at the same time."

Pringle said, into her ear, "well done Sarah, now relax and keep your eyes open ok, we are nearly there.”

Sarah stops dead in her tracks when she reached the storeroom and paused for a second then said, "wow, is this what I think it is?" checking out the substance he put into her hand.

"Yes, lady and if you are nice to me then you will get a bigger sample on the house, my boss doesn't know I am doing this, but I trust you."

“What is this exactly?” She asked word for word as Pringle spoke it in her ear, pretending not to know what the little rock was.

"This my lady is A-Grade TIK, the newest drug on the South African Market."

Pringle ripped off his microphone headset and shouted to the two officers in the van, “we got them, let’s move in!”

Then he grabbed two-way radio to notify the uniformed officers around the corner of The Video Store.

“It’s a go!”

Then he calmly spoke into Sarah's earphones, "Sarah, listen to me carefully, slowly move away from the subject but don't alarm him.”

Suddenly the Team stormed into The Video Store with Pringle leading the charge.

“You under arrest don’t move! Hands in the air now!”

Three hours later, Pringle told his team to pack up and go home after the 20 kilogram seizure was logged in the evidence register. It was not the “big bust” Pringle was sure it would be. Sarah wanted to know something from the Head Detective.

"Pringle, when you moved in why did you say I must move away from the subject?”

“Good question Sarah, undercover 101, if we moved in and you were near him then he could have taken you hostage and that would have changed the entire game. You did very well for a first-timer. I should have made you a “UC” years ago, you are a natural.”

"So, the case is closed now right, Pringle?

"Not at all Sarah, this is only the beginning, there are nine other branches of The Video Store and all are independently owned, but run by one man, the man responsible for putting drugs in the hands of our young people. I don’t know who this mysterious drug kingpin is but I’m gonna catch him," said Pringle with a determined look in his eyes.

“Pringle, I can sense this is not the first time you tried to catch this mastermind drug distributor or kingpin whatever,” said Sarah.

“That’s right Sarah, I have been close on a number of occasions before but its almost as if he is inside my head because he knows exactly what I’m gonna do next, so he is always one or two steps ahead. I will catch him one day,” said Pringle as he waved Sarah goodbye.

“Good night Sarah and well done tonight.”

“Good night Pringle,” said Sarah, as she took out her cellphone.

“Hi Daddy, sorry I missed your call earlier, I was in a briefing. Yes, everything went well. I am safe and Pringle ensured I was never in any real danger,” said Sarah as she raised her hand at Pringle as he drove past her.

“Your plan was perfect. Pringle suspects nothing. Shame, he still has dreams of catching you one day. If only he knew your little princess will ensure that never happens…hahahaha…I love you too Daddy."

 

 

The End


Submitted: June 05, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Sharief Hendricks. All rights reserved.

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