Her whole body was warm, buzzing with excitement as she waited at the table. She tried to focus on the menu but she couldn’t stop her eyes from darting at the door and back to the menu. She saw the door open and there he was. She could have sworn her heart skipped a beat. She looked down at the menu and pretended she hadn’t seen him yet. He walked up to the table and sat down.
“Hey” - “You look gorgeous.”
“Thanks!” Oriela said.
There was some small talk, but then a waitress came to take their order.
“I’ll have the spring rolls please.” Daniel said.
“I’ll have the dumplings” said Oriela.
The waitress scribbled down the order in her notepad and left with the menus.
“So, how was your da-” Daniel started to say but was cut off when the power went out with a loud BANG.
“Daniel? Where are you?” Oriela said.
There was no reply. She felt around in the dark like a blind man trying to play baseball. She felt the spot on the booth where he was sitting was warm, but empty. Suddenly the lights turned back on. She blinked a few times as her eyes adjusted to the white light filling the room. She was alone. Looking around at the other tables, families sharing meals and couples on their dates, no one seemed bothered or to have noticed the sudden blackout that had just occurred.
Looking at the table, there was a small blue box sitting in-front of her. She felt her heart beating slowly in her chest. Reaching forward, she opened the box. To her surprise, there was a fortune cookie inside. She released the breath she didn’t know she’d been holding. “Just a cookie,” she thought to herself. Cracking it open, she pulled out the paper and popped the warm cookie into her mouth. It melted on her tongue as she took a deep breath and read the note that was inside.
"Your life is in danger. Say nothing to anyone. You must leave the city immediately and never return. Repeat: say nothing....”
She felt her whole face get extremely hot and her palms get sweaty. She looked around and didn’t see anything out of place. She took a deep breath and slumped down in her seat.
“OUCH!!” Oriela exclaimed.
Looking down, she saw a sewing needle jammed into the cushion.
“Hmm, that wasn’t there before…”
She pulled it out of the cushion and examined the needle. MS. GREGMAN SEWING & CO. Maybe this is where Daniel is? Will this help me find where he is? Who took him? Pulling out her phone, she searched up Ms. Gregman Sewing on her maps. It was a 20 minute walk and and a 30 minute car ride, since there was traffic she decided to walk. Leaving the restaurant she turned a corner and headed down the dark, cold street that would hopefully lead her to Daniel.
4. Minutes. Away. Her heart was racing. Crack. The sound echoed around her. Crack. The sound of rocks hitting the ground. She stopped and looked around her, her eyes landed on a dark figure sitting on the side of the street in front of her.
“Hi.” a croaky voice said. Oriela couldn’t speak. She was so taken aback.
“Who is this” Oriela managed to squeak out.
“Just your average hobo. Nuthin’ special bout’ me.” The man in the shadows said.
“You seem to be in quite a jumble. In a rush to get somewhere?”
“Yes.” she replied.
“Alright, well, good luck finding him.” The mysterious figure said quietly. Oriela continued her walk to Ms. Gregman Sewing.
Finally, she reached her destination. The building was a quaint, small street corner. She opened the door and stepped into the musty smelling room. She could hear the humming of the sewing machine in the other room. “Hello?” She shouted into the dimly lit room. The sound of the running sewing machine stopped and she could hear heels click-clacking against the wood floor.
“Hello, do you know if a young man, about 5’7, brown curly hair, blue eyes, wearing jeans and a sweater came in here tonight?”
This was when Oriela got a good look at the old woman. She had grey hair and was wearing a white dress with an apron and heels. Her hair was tied back in a tight bun that seemed to be slightly too tight.
“No, sorry-” the woman replied, “This man’s your boyfriend?”
Oriela smiled to herself reminiscing at all the good times her and Daniel has shared.
“I’m sorry, Honey. Is there anywhere else he could be?”
“I’ll try looking somewhere else. Thank you for your help, sorry for disturbing you.” Oriela said calmly. On the inside she was panicking. Where was Daniel? Who took him? Was whoever took him going to take him next?
As Oriela was walking down the road, she decided she should probably try and look at Daniel’s house. Maybe the pin was in the cushion on mistake? Coincidence? Ignoring the thoughts that kept filling her mind, she continued on her search for Daniel.
As she walked up the steps of his house, she got an eerie feeling. Almost as if - she were being watched. Shaking the feeling and trying to focus on Daniel, she tried the door. It was open. She took this as an invitation to enter and so she stepped inside.
“DANIEL?!” Oriela called out.
Silence. There was no reply.
Oriela was in the kitchen when she heard a clattering coming from upstairs. Her heart fluttered at the sudden sound in the midst of silence. Quietly, she crouched down and climbed the stairs. Keeping a lookout in the dark hallway, she turned in the direction of Daniel’s room. There was a light on ... and the door was open! She tiptoed as quick as she could whilst remaining as silent as possible. She grabbed Daniels baseball bat that was resting outside the door conveniently and opened the door slowly. Sitting in front of her, tied down in a chair was Daniel. His eyes met hers. Scanning her face he started to speak but suddenly stopped as he looked over to his left, on the bed. There, was the hobo she had met earlier.
“Oriela, Hi.” he said.
“Hey.” She squeaked out. “What’s happening?”
The hobo chuckled to himself as he stood up. At the sight of him rising, Oriela raised her bat and held it in front of her.
“Don’t worry. I don’t wanna hurt you, I want Daniel.” the man said.
“Wha- why?” Oriela stammered.
“You see, day by day I sit on the street corner and he passes by me. Stares, but continues walking. I can’t take it anymore, I’m sick of everyone looking at me like I’m different from them. Really, I’m the same as you. We’re both people just trying to survive and make it through each day.” the man said. “That’s why, I’m going to make your boyfriend feel the pain that I feel each and every day.
He reached into his back pocket and pulled out a gun. Raising it to Daniel’s head, he pulled the trigger. Oriela whipped her head around to avoid seeing the catastrophe that was about to occur. BAM. The deafening sound she had braced herself for. Looking back at Daniel, was his lifeless body slumped in the chair. Oriela turned to the hobo and looked into his eyes. She could see the sadness, anger, and helplessness in his eyes behind the look of shock. Even though his eyes told a different story, there was a sickening, twisted smile on his face. She couldn’t control it anymore. She tightened her grip on the baseball bat, swung it above her head, and lowered it down on the man’s head with all her power.
Instantly, the hobo fell to the ground in a heap, still holding the gun used to kill Daniel.
“AAAHHHHH.” Oriela shrieked. She had just killed a man.
She couldn’t believe what she’d done. She was in shock. The loud sound of the bat falling out of her hand and to the ground brought her back into the moment. Calmly, she walked into the bathroom, grabbed a wet cloth, and went and wiped her fingerprints off the baseball bat. Dropping the cloth to the ground, she walked out of the room and closed the door behind her. Continuing down the stairs, she walked out of the house and closed the door behind her.
To this day, Oriela Martin’s whereabouts are still unknown. She is assumed to be armed and dangerous. If you see her, please keep yourself, children, family, and other loved ones away. Call 911, as Oriela is a cold blooded killer.