The Fortune Cookie
The Fortune Cookie
This is a story about a character named Liam who moved to New York City from London, England. He has a perfect life out in new York with a high positioned job and new apartment until he is given a terrible fortune at his local Chinese restaurant.0
Crime / Suspense / Mystery / Thriller
Amanda H. (United States)
The Fortune Cookie
Liam walked on the crowded streets of New York City towards his favorite chinese restaurant. Feeling good about his new raise, he skipped into the building and greeted the waiter with a smile. Liam was quick to ask the workers about their day as he was seated in his usual spot. The meal was like any other meal. It started off with the usual drink and led onto the food. His meal was delicious, as it always was, and paid the check feeling on top of the world. When Liam was done, the waiter dropped off his fortune cookie and scurried back into the kitchen. Liam unwrapped his cookie excited to see what it predicted for his future. He stiffened when he read: “Your life is in danger. Flee town and never come back. Hurry, before it's too late.” Liam looked around the restaurant to see if anyone was watching him as he was sitting there. He came up empty. He took a deep breath and stood from his seat to leave.
Liam set down the block of his apartment thinking of the fortune. He couldn't shake the thought of his fortune being real. His life was finally in order. Everything was working out for him; he had a raise, a new apartment, and a new life in the big apple and he didn’t want it to end. Feeling paranoid, Liam looked around his apartment before entering in his code. There seemed to be no one around as he stepped inside. Liam quickly turned on the lights and scanned his apartment for anything out of order. Once again there was nothing misleading. Letting out a sigh, Liam walked into his bedroom and began to get ready for bed. He set out his suit for the next day, picked out his shoes, and began to organize his notes for work. With the soft hum of his television playing in the background, Liam was able to relax as he started to work on his next article.
“CRASH” Liam jumped off his bed in alarm. Something had fallen in the room over. Thinking about his fortune cookie, Liam grabbed a baseball bat for precaution. He stepped out into the dark hallway holding his breath. Scanning the room for anything suspicious, Liam tip toed throughout his large apartment with his heart beating out of his chest. A white figure danced in the far corner of his vision, forcing him to sharply turn towards its direction. There was nothing there. Liam began to shake pondering on the idea of someone inside of his house. He found the source of the crash on the kitchen floor. A dark blue vase that he brought from his home in London. He quickly raced to the broken vase, tears welling in his eyes. It was his only memory of home. The white figure came into his eye sight again giving Liam a scare. He stood up and began to yell. “WHO EVER YOU ARE SHOW YOURSELF! NOW! YOU’VE RUINED MY NIGHT AND I WON’T LET YOU TAKE ANOTHER MOMENT AWAY FROM ME!”
When he was finished yelling, his neighbor's cat came scurrying from the darkness and into the light of the kitchen. Liam began to chuckle, thinking how foolish he must of seemed to the cat. He picked the cat up and brought him back to his home. The next morning Liam was determined to forget about his unnerving fortune cookie and go on with his new perfect life. He walked into work feeling like a new person, ready to take on the day. He greeted the doorman, the receptionist, and his fellow co-workers. Liam entered his cubicle and gasped when he saw another fortune cookie sitting on his desk. He quickly scanned the room for any gazing eyes and opened up the cookie. It read, “THIS IS YOUR FINAL WARNING. LEAVE TOWN AND NEVER COME BACK!” Liam hurled the fortune into the garbage and sat there in shock. This can’t be happening, he thought. There has to be an explanation for this, I haven’t done anything wrong. What if someone tries to hurt me? What if they’re following me? No, no I’m over reacting he reminded himself. I’m not going to get hurt, no one’s out to get me, I’m fine. Liam took in a deep breath and began to type his article.
When the lunch bell rang, Liam was more than ready for his break. He quickly sprung up from his desk and left the building in search of food. He decided to eat at the local pizza place, not wanting to go back to the chinese restaurant. As Liam waited for his pizza to cook he noticed a pair of green eyes staring at him in the distance. He turned to meet the mysterious person’s gaze, but they quickly turned and left the restaurant. Liam hugged his jacket closer to his chest shaking off the idea of someone following him.
Liam began to pack up his belongings after a long, tiring day of work. He said goodbye to his co-workers, the receptionist, and the door man just as he did in the morning. He stepped into the frozen New York air and instantly wrapped his scarf around his neck. He took his usual route back to his apartment complex and scanned the street before entering his code. Liam felt relieved to have survived the day of work after receiving his two fortune cookies. He sat down on his couch and turned on the television to unwind. Out of the corner of his eye, Liam spotted a small plastic bag on the edge of his table. He froze in his spot, fear overtaking his body. Liam slowly reached for the fortune cookie nervous for his next fortune. It read “MEET ME AT 1 CENTRE ST, NEW YORK, NY 10007 TOMORROW AT 5 A.M.” Liam knew that address better than his own, it was the location of his office. His heart sank to the bottom of his chest. Why does it happen to me? I’ve done nothing wrong! What does this person want from me!? Liam let out an exasperated sigh and strode into the kitchen, pulling out a glass of water from the refrigerator. He needed to calm down. Liam knew he would end all of this stress tomorrow once and for all. With heavy eyes, Liam decided to head straight to bed. Tomorrow he would figure out who was playing with him and put an end to it.
Liam entered his office determined to end his madness. He stepped into his cubicle and saw yet another fortune. The message read “I’M WAITING FOR YOU ON THE ROOF, HURRY.” Liam rushed to the stairs and walked into the open air. A hooded figure was watching him from the corner of the roof. Liam recognized the green eyes and immediately walked towards the person. His stalker, facing another direction, began to remove their hood and speak before Liam could get a word out, “I’m sorry if I gave you a scare.. I see now that what I did was wrong. I used to have your high positioned job, but once you came I was removed from the position and now, I need that job back.” The person turned around. Liam was shocked to see it was the custodian Amelia. Liam began to back away when he saw the anger in her eyes. “I’m sorry I took your job, Amelia, I had no idea it was yours. But unfortunately I need to keep this job. I just started out here in the city and I need it to pay my bills.” Amelia began to laugh, “you need it to pay your bills! I need it to support my family!” Liam began to feel pity towards this woman. He took her job without her permission and now she can’t support her family. Liam reached his arm out towards Amelia, “I’ll talk to the boss later today, we can get this worked out. I’ll help you, I promise.” Amelia shrieked at him but it was too late, Liam was already half way down the stairs. He ran into his boss’s room, slammed the door and locked it forcefully behind him.
Later that day Liam entered his cubicle excited to put the past behind him and continue his work. He opened his email and saw a message from his boss. Liam smiled as he read through the message, Amelia was given her job back and he still got to keep his. Liam quickly responded with a “thank you” and got back to work. When the day was over, Liam started on his commute home. He said his goodbyes to everyone at work and headed down the cold New York streets. When Liam walked into his apartment he was shocked to see another fortune cookie. It was a thank you from Amelia. Folding the message up, Liam shut his eyes thankful for the messages in the mysterious fortune cookies.
Competition: June 2015 Pen Factor, Round 1
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