All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Do You Believe In Your Fortune?
Chad was an average man, in an average town, living an average life, until one day when everything changed.
Chad was 28, had a pharmaceutical degree, and worked at the town’s clinic. He loved his job and knew everyone in town and their medications. Day in and day out he filled prescriptions, ordered ointments, and counted pills. Not an exciting life, but it was Chad’s and he was happy.
It was mid August and Chad had a date with his girlfriend, Christy. They were going to Weí Tong’s Chinese restaurant. The place had a large buffet of exotic Americanized Chinese food, with rice, tangerine chicken, lo mien, moo goo gai pan, and other festive foods.
Chad and Christy finished their round of plates and eventually closed off their conversation with a celebratory fortune cookie. Christy read hers, it read, ‘Love is blind, but you can sense it’s right in front of you.’
Chad, realizing he was staring into Christy’s eyes with his mouth agape read his to himself first, ‘Your life is in danger. Say nothing to anyone. You must leave the city immediately and never return. If you don’t heed this fortune, misfortune will overcome you until you leave.’
He said something else to her so she wouldn’t freak out. They left the restaurant and went home. That night everything was going to change.
After dropping Christy off, Chad took the interstate home. The roads were clear and the night was calm. Chad pulled out his fortune and read it again, ‘Your life is in danger. Say nothing to anyone. You must leave the city immediately and never return. If you don’t heed this fortune, misfortune will overcome you until you leave.’ He thought of it as a big, bogus joke and threw the tiny slip of paper out the car window. A couple of short miles later, an old man with scraggly, white hair and dark, wrinkly skin wearing a tattered up, yellow raincoat and black, worn out loafers walked into the middle of Chad’s lane and stopped still in dead center of Chad’s car. Chad, realizing the aged man wasn’t going to get out of the way, spun recklessly trying to avoid the man. The car ended up in the ditch and once stopped, Chad put it in park. He got out to see where the stranger with the yellow raincoat was. When he walked to where the old man was, there was only a sign that said ‘Misfortune has begun, unless you turn and run’. Chad looked up; the man was nowhere to be found.
With fright in his breath, Chad got in his car and sped off to his apartment.
Chad pulled up to his parking spot and went into his apartment. He looked around, the large screen television still was perfectly aligned on the stand, his bed neatly made in front of it, his contacts, tomorrow’s clothes, reading glasses, and copy of Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens lay orderly on his dresser, everything else seemed to be in perfect array. He thought to himself, ‘This misfortune stuff is a load of ridiculous crap.’ He grabbed a cold Dr. Pepper, sat on the couch, and clicked on the television, but when he turned it on it was all static, no matter what channel he turned to. Suddenly, the static grew more erratic, and the TV’s static started to turn yellow, then an off-pink, then a disgusting bluish brown, then a blood curdling scream with a bloody, scarred face of the white haired, black man appeared for a quick three seconds and disappeared then the television exploded in a ball of electricity and static shock. Chad, fearful and furious with this misfortune business, put his pajamas on and went to bed.
Later that night, around three AM, Chad woke up to a small noise, like a small clank or clatter in the kitchen. All he could do was hear, he couldn’t see because it was dark and it was in a different room. Listening intently, Chad fell out of bed to a huge, loud, sudden bang of commotion; dishes flying straight out of the cupboard, cups banging against the ceiling fan, the dishwasher door ripping off its hinges, the plumbing in the sink backing up and spewing gunk and garbage, silverware clinking across the floor, and knives stabbing straight into the wall. Frightened out of his wits, Chad got up and packed all he could in a matter of seconds; a pouch with deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, and a shaving kit, that he always had packed up for vacations, a few sets of clothes, some books, his contacts and glasses, and his cell phone and laptop. After he was packed, he looked around the apartment to find his kitchen a broken, shattered h*ll.
He had his duffel bag and was ready to go with keys in hand when he thought of Christy. He couldn’t leave without telling her he was going away. He left her a letter, it read,
‘My dearest Christy,
You know I love you, but I have to go. I can’t tell you the details now. If you want to see me again, meet me in Atlanta, GA on September 9th at 7:00 PM at Juan’s Mexican Buffet.
I am sorry honey, but my life is in danger and I don’t want you hurt. Love you! ~Chad~’
He left the letter on the table next to his bed and left town in a hurry. It was going to be a long journey from Virginia to Georgia. He zoomed through North Carolina and stopped at a Super 8 motel about a hundred miles from the North and South Carolina borders. He rented a room and paid for two days to catch up on sleep.
That night, everything was going to get worse.
Chad turned on the TV to the local news. The first news report was out of White Water, Virginia. The news reporter announced, “In bigger news, in the small town of White Water, Virginia four bombs went off today. The first one at the White Water National Bank, the second at the city hall, one at White Water mall, and the last reported bomb was at the St. Peter’s Lutheran Church. There are 52 deaths and another 80 are presumed dead or in critical condition, hospitals are becoming overloaded and some are being sent to other hospitals in the area. The authorities claim there are more lives and bodies needed to be found, so far, only 132 of the 380 citizens have been accounted for, and the other 248 people are assumed to be injured, dead, or missing. For more information go online to ChannelEight.com for details and a list of fatalities and people who are safe. After the commercial break, our weather report with Scotty Nelson.”
With the whisper of his conscience he unconsciously said, “Leave town and never return.”
Snapped out of his confusion, he yelled, “Christy!”
He hopped on his laptop and went onto the website. The second link down was ‘The Details and Casualties of the White Water Town Explosions.’ As he scrolled down the “death list” the tension grew and grew. No Christy. Onto the safe people list, in about the middle of it was Christy’s name. He went down to the “unaccounted for” list and right away saw his name. At least he knew she was okay, or so he hoped. Then there was a knock on the door, “Chad? Let me in!” It was Christy’s voice. He ran and opened the door and flung it open. There to his utter disbelief he saw, right in front of him, in the door frame, a man. An old man with battered, chocolate-brown, wrinkled skin and ratty, straggled pasty, white hair, wearing a frayed, yellow rain jacket and decaying black loafers. It was the old man who walked in front of Chad’s car. “You didn’t listen to the warning!” He summoned with his true voice, which was hoarse and dry, yet robust.
“Yes I did! I left town without talking to anyone, left the city and everything behind. I shouldn’t have any misfortune!”
“Ah yes, but there is one thing.” He paused then continued, “The letter you left for Christy. She got it. She’s following your trail as we speak.” He let out a maniacal chuckle, “You thought you could escape your misfortune? Your fate? Your demise!”
“How do I stop it?”
“There only one way. You have to kill Christy. She is the one, other than you, that knows about your misfortunate fortune.”
With great disbelief Chad spoke up, “Are you serious? Is there any other way?”
One word plainly came out of the jagged old man’s mouth, “Suicide.” Chad’s mouth went agape and the stranger at the door continued, “But your spirit will roam for eternity in between heaven and h*ll.”
Chad looked down and put his face into his hands, and when he looked up, the man was gone.
‘Kill the woman I love, or kill myself and spend eternity in purgatory.’ He thought to himself.
He sat on the bed, just sitting, waiting for the misfortune. An hour or two passed, nothing happened. He picked up his phone that was put on silent. Five missed calls and 14 text messages, all from Christy.
‘Where are you?’
‘Did you survive the bombs?’
‘Why did you leave me?’
‘Chad, this is scaring me! Where the h*ll are you?!’
Chad, with teary eyes, threw the phone on the floor, shattering it. He was upset, knowing that they wouldn’t be together much longer.
He looked at his shattered phone, and in realization of what he had done, picked up the pieces. With a tear, he tossed the pieces through the window, making a glass mess. He laid himself on the bed to get back up in a minute for there was a ring on the telephone. A call on the hotel phone, who could it be, and at this time at night? “Hello?” Chad answered.
It was the lady at the front desk, “There is someone down here in the lobby for you.”
“Can you tell me who it is?”
“Christy—” With that he hung up the phone. He ran down to the lobby and ran up to Christy to give her a hug, but when he tried, she pushed him away.
“Why are you running away, Chad? Am I not good enough? There’s another girl, isn’t there!”
With a calm yet panicked voice he spoke, “Let’s go back to the room so I can explain.”
“No! I want to know now!” She pleaded.
“Fine!” Chad yelled harshly.
He explained the whole thing to her— the fortune cookie, the kitchen chaos, the TV explosion. She laughed, “Are you serious? Over a fortune cookie!” She stood there laughing for a few moments then everything was quiet. He took her back to he room to prove himself right. They stood there, staring in each others eyes for a few minutes when suddenly there was a loud, muffled bang. In a split second the solid bed became a room full of fluff.
“See,” he said, “The misfortune’s back!”
With great awe she managed to whisper, trying not to disturb the omen, “Is there anyway to stop it?”
“Yes.” He explained plainly, “But I can’t tell you how.”
She counteracted with great disbelief, “And why not!”
Maybe it was anger or it was his mind going mad, but with a huff of madness he explained the misfortunate ending to the misfortunate fortune, “To stop this misfortunate nightmare I either have to kill you or I have to kill myself and life in purgatory for the rest of eternity.”
With hysteric skepticism she shouted in question, “You have to what! Where did you hear that load of bologna?”
He replied with uncontrollably shaky hands, “The old man with white hair and a scummy raincoat told me so.” She slowly sat on the pile of fuzz that was a bed, and Chad sat next to her. They fell into each other’s arms and closed their eyes, listening. A moment later they heard the misfortune— spinning, flying, crashing, crushing, shattering, exploding, choking; the hotel room’s iron flying into the wall, the laptop imploding in on itself, the television crashing out the window, with the couple sitting calmly, still.
The drawers of the dresser fell out, the mini-fridge busted itself apart, and the ironing board fell out the closet, and with a gust of “wind” blew it clear across the room, and everything stopped. Everything was still, everything was quiet, nothing moving. Chad opened his eyes. The room was like a nuclear testing site. He turned to look at Christy to see the ironing board lodged into her torso.
The misfortune that was spinning, flying, crashing, crushing, shattering, exploding, and choking was thrown into Christy and stopped itself. Christy was gone. Later that night, so was Chad.
Next time if your fortune says, ‘Your life is in danger. Say nothing to anyone. You must leave the city immediately and never return. If you don’t heed this fortune, misfortune will overcome you until you leave.’ You better listen.