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Race to Mystery - Chapter 1

Brett Stevens had just finished work for the day when his phone rang. It was Chris Dawson, his long time friend and house mate. “Brett, mate, when will you be home?”

“I was going to go to the gym. What's up?”

“There's something I need you to see. On the net”

“What is it?”

“It's a game show, a reality television thing. Like the amazing race, but different. We need to apply”

“Not again mate” said Brett. Chris was forever trying to get them to audition for reality television shows and contests. Brett hardly ever watched television, he rarely found the time between working at an electronics store, going surfing and just being in the outdoors. His friend Chris however was a different kettle of fish He would watch reality television with a passion, and always going on and on about who won this and who he thought would win the next one. He would even keep talking about it when they were out surfing, much to Brett's annoyance. Not that is annoyed him that much, he and Chris had first met in high school, and remained firm friends ever since. Both of them were now in their mid twenties, working and living on the Gold Coast in Australia. This was a perfect place for their lifestyle, both of them loved to surf and lived only a short distance away from a beautiful surf beach.

After finishing high school, Brett had gone on to university and completed a commerce degree but never seriously looked for work in the profession. Maybe when he was older he would do something, but at the moment he was enjoying life and taking it as it comes. Chris had also finished high school, however he decided not to go on to university and chose to go overseas on a working holiday in Europe. After spending over 5 years there, he had returned and started working for his father, who was a local carpenter. Around 2 years ago they both needed a place to live, so they decided to rent a house near the beach together. Chris was the ideal house mate, he kept the place clean and didn't throw any wild parties, and due to them both being fairly serious about their fitness, they very rarely drank anyway.

“Ok, maybe we should catch some waves instead. Can you grab my board out, I will be there in about 10. We can talk about it then” “Sure, sweet as mate”

Brett pulled up in the driveway to their house. The roller door of the garage was up and Chris had the surfboards out and was applying some wax to his board.

“How you going mate” said Brett. “Have you had a look out there today?”

“Hey mate. Nah I haven't but there's a bit of a easterly, should be pretty good”

Soon after they had their wetsuits on, and boards in hand started the short walk to the beach. When they got there Brett could see that Chris was right, there were some perfect four foot waves rolling in, one after the other.

“Look at that, perfect” said Chris.

“Not wrong, they look unreal”

They quickly paddled out and started catching some waves. It was almost dark when they decided to call it quits. Brett hadn't seen such perfect waves in a long time, and now felt almost completely drained.

“What you doing for dinner?” he asked Chris.

“I grabbed a barbecue chicken and some salad earlier. Should do us”

They got home and put their boards away and then showered and changed. By the time they sat down for dinner, it was almost eight pm.

“So like I was saying” said Chris.

“Yeah that's right. Another reality show” said Brett, chuckling.

“Mate this one is different. It's like a race around the world, something like 20 cities. The website doesn't say much, but I think the contestants have a set amount of money and need to get from one place to the next the cheapest and quickest way”

“So how does it work? Do they pay for everything or what??

“I'm not sure exactly, like I said it doesn't give away too much. They want people to send in audition tapes, you know like who you are, where you are from. We totally should give it a go”

“Mate we have tried before. It never works, those stupid shows always look for people who conflict, you know for the ratings”

“Yeah maybe, but I think we should try anyway. It is 20 cities mate, would be an amazing holiday regardless”

“See what happens I guess” said Brett. He thought Chris will soon forget about it and move on to the next show. He would be conscious not to remind him though.

The week went on as usual, both Chris and Brett going to work and putting in the odd session of surfing or a bike ride. Brett was relaxing listening to music and reading the Sunday newspaper when there was a knock on the door. “Come in” called out Brett. It was Mel, Chris's younger sister. She lived at home with her parents still and was studying advertising and media at university.

“Hi Brett, hows it going?” she asked.

“Hey Mel, same as usual. Hows things with you?”

“Can't complain. So are you ready?”

“Ready for what?”

“Oh Chris didn't tell you? He wants me to film your audition tape for that new reality show”

“Oh shit, I thought he had forgotten about that”

“You should know better” she said, laughing.

At that moment Chris came downstairs and exchanged greeting with his sister.

“Did you bring your camera” he asked her.

“Yep, in my bag. You guys good to do it now? We will record a whole heap of stuff, I will edit it later”

Brett was resigned to the fact he couldn't get out if it “Yeah let's get it over and done with”

They spent the afternoon just doing their normal thing, hanging around the house, going for a bike ride and a surf with Mel in tow filming it all. All three of them went for the dinner at the local surf club and called it a night.

“I should have plenty there” said Mel. I will edit it and email it to you”

“Thanks Mel” both of the boys said as she left.

The next day Brett was checking his emails when he saw the email from Mel. 'This should be a laugh' he thought. He double clicked on it and sat back and watched. She had done an incredible job, editing out unnecessary parts and putting together a montage. When he got home that night he also showed the video to Chris.

“That turned out super. I will send it in, see what happens hey”

“Go for your life” said Brett.

After a couple of weeks, Chris kept talking about the show, Brett could tell he was really excited and keen. He just hoped that the rejection wouldn't upset him too much. So it was Brett who was the most surprised when he answered a call at work one afternoon.

“Mr Brett Stevens?”

“Yes, speaking”

“Hi, my name is Rebecca White, I work in the marketing and new project department at Channel 10”

“Hi Rebecca”

“I am calling bout the audition tape that you and your friend send in for our new show. I tried to contact him this morning but couldn't get a hold of him”

“Oh yes, that's right, what about it”

“Well I would like to inform you that you made it to the short list. I was wondering if you guys could come to our Brisbane studios and have a formal interview”

“Ummm ok, but I am kind of tied up at work for most of the week”

“I understand” said Rebecca. “How does Saturday morning sound?”

“Sounds ok I guess, I will just need to ask Chris. He should be keen though I imagine” he said, laughing.

“Ok, well we will make it ten am this Saturday morning. You just need to come to the front reception of the studio and ask for myself. Here is my number in case there are any problems”

“No worries Rebecca, thanks for the call, we will see you on Saturday hopefully”

Brett sat there and looked at the phone for a while. Could they really get into this show? What would happen with work? 'We will see what happens I guess' he thought.

About half an hour later, he received a call on his mobile from a super excited Chris. He had also just spoken to Rebecca and from his voice he could tell that he would be talking about this again all week. They drove to Brisbane, which was an hour away on Saturday morning and parked in the car park. Brett could see that Chris was really nervous.

“Relax mate, they are just going to have a chat, it's all good”

“Yeah I know. It's just we have never been this close before”

They walked into the front reception of the television station and sat down to wait after introducing themselves. Shortly after a middle aged lady with short blonde hair and glasses walked into the lobby. “Chris and Brett? Hi, I'm Rebecca”

They shook hands and followed Rebecca into a large boardroom. There were two men seated at the end of the table and introduced themselves as network executives. Rebecca was doing most of the talking and showed them a promotion video of the new show.

“Well, there it is” she said. “We watched your audition tape and were impressed. We are in charge with picking some representatives from Queensland. There will be 12 teams in all, and the network wants to select people from different areas. So as you saw on the promo video, this competition is a new concept. Teams race around 20 cities with a limited amount of money. They start in Sydney and the first back to Sydney wins. If you get selected, we will give you all of the details then. So are you guys still interested, or do you have any questions?”

“What happens with work?” asked Brett.

“Well what normally happens with shows such as these is we will compensate you for the amount of time you are off work. That is assuming your work place is happy for you to be away for a while and can replace you”

“Ohh ok, it should be good, how long until the show starts?”

“Six weeks still” said Rebecca “We will have a decision made by Monday, so that will give them plenty of notice”

The two executives asked them a few more questions, and the interview was over. They left and started to drive home, and as usual Chris was chattering away.

“Do you think we did it mate?”

“No idea. It depends on what type of people they are looking for really. It seemed to go ok though”

“True. I will have my phone glued to my side on Monday. I have a feeling we are looking good”

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