Ah, poor Number 6, always being drugged. With that in mind, and taking what I’ll call a Prisoner urban legend and tweaking it just a bit (you’ll need to know your trivia), I wonder what might have happened, what he might have missed, if Number 6 THOUGHT he was drugged and wasn’t?
“All You Need is Love.”
“Tonight’s the night!” The gooey sweet female voice blared over the P.A. system. “Your Village Council, and it is YOUR Village council, having gone to great lengths for your pleasure, has arranged for a live concert tonight at your Village Auditorium. Be there at seven for a joy filled musical evening for all!”
It had been a sort of countdown over the past two weeks. Announcement after announcement. The Tally Ho had been running daily “ads”. This issue was dedicated entirely to the concert. They were offering refreshments and mementos afterwards. Curfew had been extended by two hours. Obviously this was meant to be a major event.
At 6:30 that evening every television in The Village glowed on. Number 2 himself, his “friendly” smile turned on full force, announced: “Dear friends, fellow Villagers! Only thirty minutes until our wonderful concert. Please, the Village Auditorium will fill quickly you can be sure. Go now. This is the number one event of the year! And its all for you! Enjoy!”
Curiosity had been the major factor in Number 6’s decision to go. He expected muzak to the tenth power, nothing more. But it was an opportunity to look “mutual” at a time when he was trying to lead Number 2 down a royal path. He had his reasons. Putting on his jacket he headed for the Auditorium. That he went on command, early to insure a good seat, would no doubt impress Number 2.
The Village Auditorium filled quickly, as prophesied by Number 2. Number 6 was in the third row and slightly to the left. The lighted sign, “Quiet Please”, came on over the stage and the crowd went silent. The curtain pulled back, the stage was dark. Suddenly three spotlights, one in the center with the others on either side, sprang to life. There were four figures on stage. Each wore a white, hooded robe. Each wore a mask, half black, half white. The words, “Oh, blimey!” formed on his lips but went no further. The four stood still for a good ten seconds, and then … It was on. Truly. It was not muzak, not at all. It was current rock and roll. Many of the songs he remembered from London radio, others were new. All were good, and the group was doing a very fine job. Better than good, the whole affair was actually wonderful. It was amazing.
At the end people poured out of the various exits, all looking forward to the refreshments and excited about what the mementos might be. Number 6 got caught in the crush. He worked his way to the side of the building as best he could, trying to find a way out of the crowd. Pushed in the excitement by one Villager after another he was now against the wall. He tried to maneuver and … He literally fell through a side door.
The door had closed hard behind him. He got up off the floor, arranged his jacket and looked around him. He was in a hall. Hopefully he would be able to find an exit that would allow him to bypass the people inside and outside the Auditorium. But he was cautious. He wasn’t familiar with this portion of the building. He walked down the hall, keeping near one wall, being as quiet as he could. He saw open doors further down. As he approached the doors he heard laughter and voices. A man, his button read 60, stepped out of a room, directly in front of Number 6. He smiled.
“Number 6! A guest of Number 2? That door,” he pointed three doors further down, “Enjoy the group and the party.” He smiled and slapped Number 6 on the back as he walked past him.
He walked slowly forward. He wanted to see before being seen. Perhaps he wouldn’t want to be seen. He could always go back the way he came. He was sure the crowd in the building had dissipated by now. He tried to arrange himself, his angle of view. Now he could see into the room. Number 2 was there along with about a dozen Villagers. He recognized all the faces. Four men in white robes, masks gone now, hoods pulled back to reveal their youth. Their hair was of the current style, longer than had been acceptable just a few years prior. And again, he recognized all the faces. Granny glasses, resting on the nose of one, glinted in the bright light of the room.
Number 2 whipped his brow, checking for sweat. He quickly took a dozen steps back. This time the words, “Oh, blimey,” actually sounded. Quietly, but the words were definitely there. And then, as he turned to make his escape, he said to himself: “They’ve drugged me again.”