A Short Story: Fortune Cookie

The walls around me are seeping with damp matter and I can imagine there’s a whole world of insects or damp-loving creepy crawlies fascinated by the soles of my feet right now. I’ve truly been pushed out into the gutters as a result of my actions and Christ, I’d kill to know how Lainey and Luca are doing and whether they’re proud of me. If this note makes it out of this cellar and into anyone’s hands, please tell my wife and child that I love them. I never wished for things to get so awfully out of hand like this.

Glimpses of light transcend through the cracks in the floorboard above me, indicating to me that it’s a matter of hours before they find me and send me to the rotten demise that I whole-heartedly deserve. I don’t know why my final action is to try and make coherent sense of what’s been happening and why, rather than just running the fuck away. I think I’m tired and it’s been a fun ride, I suppose.

I’ll be honest with anyone who gets the chance to read this, I don’t quite know how I got here. If I was to put the fault upon anyone but myself, I’d blame that godforsaken fortune cookie. It seems stupid and menial. Why would any seemingly ordinary person with a family and prosperous career let a cookie send them into a spree of cold-blooded murder? I don’t know. I guess I lost it.

“If you kill a killer, the number of killers in the world stays the same.” it read. And as they’d say, the rest is history.

Anyone, including myself, can argue that it’s quite thought-provoking how a singular, crappy cookie granted me with the motivation to essentially throw my own life away as well as that of many others. I’m going to be an absolute joyride for the psychologists. Regardless of how pointless the paper had seemed once I was indulging in the rest of the Chinese takeout with my wife by my side and our 6-month-old darling son safely tucked into bed, the thought still lingered. When I couldn’t get to sleep at night, the words on that slip of paper would dance around in my mind as particular plots formed.

It’s true that if you were to go out and murder a murderer tomorrow then the number of killers on this doomed planet would stay the same. But the same can’t be said if you were to go out and kill more than one killer. This was my lightbulb moment. 3.04am. Tuesday night. With baby Luca stirring in his crib beside me. Everything clicked into place. I was to rid the world of anything that could bring the slightest bit of harm to my Luca. Still, I don’t know why this haunted me so much during my every waking hour. He never left my sight, I need not be so worried about him all the time. Yet each inch of my body and soul felt like I needed to do something more to protect him. To think on something for so long and not put a single action into it? What a waste.

That pathetic piece of paper had sent me into delirium and I only see this now, when it’s too late. My actions weren’t remotely necessary. Is this going to harm Luca more than keep him safe? Is this how all murders first begin, or will I be an exceptional case? Oh… so, yeah, by the way, officer, I killed all those child murderers and rapists because, well, a fortune cookie gave me the idea and uh, I couldn’t run the risk of letting anyone bring harm to my son, I guess. That’s exactly how it’s going to go down when they find me in this cesspit of a killer’s lair, surrounded in my own keepsakes of each crime as you’d imagine. They’d laugh at me. Society branded me a hero for my endeavours anyways; so, you could say that the joke’s on them. The only thoughts really haunting me now had been Lainey and Luca… I just wanted to know what they were thinking. I thought about them the entire time when I was down here. With every kill, that night in which Luca had turned towards me ever so gently in his sleep still flashes across my vision. I hope they’re safe. I’m beginning to wish I’d done things differently.

Initially, after the first kill, I broke down like they would’ve done at the sight of death in the movies. I fell to my knees with my blood-soaked hands and tossed my gun across the room as I cried relentlessly. To me, it seemed like the end and I was ready to walk out of that warehouse and straight into the arms of my wife; then the nearest police station and hand myself in for the terrible crime I’d committed.

The restless feeling in the back of mind came back though. I’d made no difference to the world – just as many killers still existed. Then, with the next mission my mind had sent me on, the exhilarating feeling arrived. There was no dramatic emotional downpour from myself. I did what had to be done, cleaned up the mess and left. I’d held my head higher than ever before and to be frank with all who may condemn me for my actions, I felt good. I was cleaning up the streets and protecting my dearest Luca, even if my own sanity was somewhat at stake.

However, as you’d expect from any tragedy as such as myself, it all had to come to an end sooner or later. There ultimately came a day in which I was sloppier than the others and one of the bad guys got away. I couldn’t continue protecting Luca like I wished and ridding the streets of its vermin, vermin so much worse than myself, might I add. I was doing a good job… I’ve been doing your job for you! Bringing the people what they want and protecting our children! Surely you’ll go easy, right? And I’ll get to see Lainey and Luca whenever I want. I hope that Luca is proud of me, and Lainey too. I did this for you guys

The light glistening through the cracks above me is almost blinding now, so it must be dawn which means I’m going to have to leave this here. I have one final mission sleeping soundly on the floor just above and then it’ll be time to give it all up before they force me to do so.

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