Don't let me disappear

Age 27
Seen 4 Hours Ago
Posted 4 Days Ago
13,622 posts
10.2 Years
5. I don't really have a title for this

First things, this story was based on a prompt that I'd found on reddit and I have a a few others that I can't decide on what to do next. Also I'm trying to decide on what to do for NaNoWriMo. So I'll ask for some assistance if you don't mind.

These are the prompts I'm most interested in doing at the moment
-Your character starts receiving flowers and anonymous gifts. She doesn't know who is sending them. Her husband is suspicious, and the gifts begin to get stranger
-Your character suspects her husband is having an affair and decides to spy on him. What she discovers is not what she was expecting
-Your character is caught shoplifting. The shop owner says that she won't call the police in exchange for a personal favor

And my ideas for NaNoWriMo
- A detective style story in which a teenage girl is kicked out of school in her junior year only to find some clues that her father isn't the perfectly normal family dentist that he appears to be.
- A rewrite/cotinuation of the story Dreams of a Peasant, which is about an orphaned boy travelling through a world called Gyrah, where magic once thrived but is now all but forgotten. His goal; to be the hero of this damned world and bring back the magic which once caused this land to thrive.
- The 22, which is a story about a group of men and women selected by the First King of Gyrah to travel through the world collecting artifacts, creatures, knowledge and anything else that might be of interest to the people of the First Kingdom.
- A story of three friends who fall into possession of a wish granting artifact. The catch is, the wish is granted the moment they touch the object but they don't know what it is they actually wished for. Written in first person, this would feature three separate views of the same story detailing the lives, actions, thoughts and emotions of each person as they try to figure out what their wish really is.

How did things end up this way? I never thought that this would be the way that things played out, and certainly not this early on. Hell, I guess it kinds of makes sense? In a clichéd, ironic sort of way. In these final moments I'm left feeling conflicted. Should I laugh at my fate, having believed that... no. I don't actually think I know how to feel about this. I'm not exactly upset, nor am I excited - which gives me a small amount of closure, if that's the word I should be using. At least now I know I'm not just suicidal. I've gone through life just kind of flying at half-mast, not expecting anything but not really not expecting anything either. There were times that I overcompensated, or overplanned for things thinking ahead for the worst scenarios. But most times, I just kind of let what would come. Had I stuck to that then maybe I wouldn't be in this predicament.

It was just another Saturday night. I'd decided to go out to Wonton King - the chinese buffet of my particular favor - to avoid staying pent-up in the apartment alone another night eating old frozen dinners or bowls of boring old chicken noodle soup. It had been years since I'd had any kind of stable relationship, and I barely had any friends to begin with let alone any that lived in the same state as me so I never shopped in expectation of having company. The house was obviously a mess, and by now I suppose I've just given up on it altogether. Any other day the lone armchair positioned not three feet from the flat screen in front of it, surrounded by empty cans of energy drinks, store brand soda and cheap beer would seem, well, not exactly inviting but an acceptable place at least to take care of business for the night before I headed for the bedroom. But about a year ago I had decided that Saturdays would be a treat for myself. I cut back on drinking as many energy drinks, and buckled down on forcing myself to only buy store brand sodas all in preparations for that one day a week where I would go out to eat after work.

At the start of it when I was going out on Saturdays I thought I might try and be adventurous, you know, try out some places I'd never been around the town or head for the city and see about meeting some new people or something. Get some fresh air in my lungs if you catch my drift. Anyways, that lasted about as long as my agreement to myself that I'd clean the apartment every Sunday. I think I went to three or four different restaurants and then just settled in to going to Wonton King every week. The people there were nice, and after I became a 'regular' for them on Saturdays they started to give me discounts, so that was pretty neat.

See, Wonton King is one of those places that has the buffet half of the restaurant but also has a 'finer dining' experience side if you could call it that. It has four of those Hibachi grills where they make the food in front of you and then they also have a couple dozen booths and tables. All in all it's a pretty big place and they get some pretty decent business at least in the dinner hours from what I've seen. Used to there were times where they'd be so filled up that they'd turn me away because I didn't have a reservation. But after going in there a few more times, they got to know and expect my attendance and would usually set up a personal table for me since they knew I didn't exactly care for the social situations that the hibachi put you in and I didn't take up a whole booth or table myself.

On the outside looking in, you might think it was kind of rude of them to seclude me like that from everyone else. But to you I say phooey. I couldn't have been happier. They set me up nice and close to the buffet and also right next to the kitchen window. The buffet area had a kind of weird setup, not like any that I had seen before but I'll not waste your time with the details. Suffice to say, the spot that they had given to me was prime real estate and nobody else got to enjoy it the way that I did. If there was something special I wanted to eat, all I had to do was call it back and they'd have it out on the buffet in an instant. It was a real good deal, but this is where we start getting caught up on my predicament.

As I said, it was just another Saturday at Wonton King. I'd gotten there around Six P.M. or so which was a regular time for me, not really late or early to be honest. The hostess nodded her head at me as I entered and immediately went back to get me my Dr. Pepper. Which I must say, there are many things that are acceptable in generic store brand sodas, but they can never come close to the real deal when it comes to Dr. P and I'm pretty sure part of the reason that I decided to settle for this place comes from their selection of soda. Anyways, I'm rambling. Let's continue, shall we? So the hostess left to get my drink, and I headed to the buffet to survey the scene before I went to my seat. I usually do this so that if there's anything that doesn't look too fresh or if there's something they don't have out that particular night I can go ahead and request it once I get to my seat. And while I'm up I go ahead and make myself an assorted plate of my normal 'appetizers'. A bed of Cellophane noodles, General Tso's chicken, a couple of those chicken-on-a-sticks, beef and mushrooms and then some chicken and broccoli with extra broccoli.

By the time I get to my seat, my drink is already there and one of the cooks has his head hanging out the window, his mouth agape and his ear directed towards me as he awaits whatever request I may have if any. I smile at the man and then take my seat, undoing the button on my pants as I do so hoping to get the most out of my meal. I wave away the cook, content with the night's selection and knowing that by the time I finish this plate there'll be a fresher selection of everything that I haven't already nabbed. The cook smiles and nods his head, his eyes seemingly squinting into nonexistence as he does. The wrinkles around his mouth show his age as he pulls his head back into the window and disappears into the kitchen not to be seen again until next Saturday; if there was a next Saturday I suppose I should say.

Moving on. The meal was great. I had three more plates all filled roughly the same as my first throughout the next hour and by the end of it all I lay there leaned back in my chair, the front legs of it off the ground with my feet on the table as I let my ever-growing stomach hang out from the bottom of my shirt. I wasn't always so fat, but years of being more or less alone will do that to you. I should feel disgusted with myself, having grown up in a home where I'd have been smacked right across the head for leaning back in my chair, regardless of where my feet were. But the employees didn't seem to care. This place was like paradise to me. And of course, the best part was always desert. The hostess would always bring a handful or two of the fortune cookies that they made and wrapped themselves in this kind of eco-friendly bio-degradable material. I didn't really know what it was, but the way they tied it up at the top with a little bow was kind of cute so I didn't question it. It was a good laugh reading the fortunes every so often. Heck, sometimes I even went out and used the lucky numbers on the back to try my hand at the lotto. Of course it never worked out, though. I don't even really know what I'd do if I hit it big to be honest. My parents played the lotto every week for as long as I can remember and I guess it's just kind of like an inherited habit? If that's really a thing or not who knows, but it's the only way that I can describe why I do it seeing as I have no real reason to play.

This is where things start to get weird though. Remember how I said that they make the fortunes and cookies themselves right? Well, as per usual the hostess brought out my handfuls of cookies and I thanked her with a smile as I started to crack one open. And while usually they're the regular cookie-cutter fortunes that you might find anywhere else like 'Love is for the lucky and brave', or 'Happiness is an inside job' or whatever else, these ones were definitely different. At first I thought someone in the back was playing a prank. When the hostess dropped the cookies off at my seat, she didn't return my smile as she usually did. Instead there was actually a look of worry upon her face, and her eyes refused to meet mine. And instead of returning to her spot in the front of the store after helping me, she went into the kitchen. It was odd, but nothing too worrying. But after she left and I began to read my fortune, I started to wonder.

'Your life is in danger. Say nothing to anyone. You must leave the city immediately and never return.'

I scoffed at the fortune as I ate the cookie, spewing little bits of it across the table as I did so. A joke, or so I thought. I rummaged through the pile as I finished off my first cookie. I grabbed another that was at the edge of the table and cracked it open, tossing one half of it into my mouth as I read the fortune in this one.

'Are you suicidal, or just dumb? I said to leave the city immediately.'

At this one I actually began to worry as a joke can only be taken so far. I was taken aback first at the piece of paper, tossing the other half of the cookie into my mouth before rising from my seat. I looked into the kitchen window first, and after finding that it was empty I quickly surveyed the rest of the store seeing that all of the other guests had left as well. The store being empty at this time of night was definitely against the norm and in turn actually put me off. Instead of sitting and eating the cookies as I normally did, I rounded them up into a small bag which hung from the kitchen window for the to-go orders to be put in and made my way to the desk where the hostess should have been standing. I called out for anyone who might be working to come and let me pay my bill, but after another minute or two of waiting with no response I just laid out my money on the desk and left.

As I made my way outside I began to open another fortune, this time tossing the entire cookie into my mouth. I still had no idea what was going on, but it was beginning to become harder and harder to believe that this was just some prank. Especially after this cookie. Not only had I shuffled them all around before tossing them into the bag, but before grabbing one I also had shuffled through searching for the one that felt 'right' to take. There was really no way that I could think of to make fortunes be this specific and coherent with what I was doing, and the added effect of me having shuffled them around only made it more apparent that something else was going on here.

'Glad you decided to get your fat ass up at last. Don't go home, there's no time. They'll be waiting.'

I wondered who would be waiting, and without a second thought I opened up another fortune before I had even finished chewing the first. I placed the cookie in my pocket for later and unfurled the small slip of paper.

'Does it really matter who they are? Just know that you don't need to go home. Things are replaceable, but what about your life?'

I supposed it was right, but for the life of me I still couldn't think of anyone who would have any reason to come after me. I mostly kept to myself and as far as I knew I hadn't been rude to or ignored anyone lately. My office was small, only having four other people working there including my boss. And I hardly went anywhere except for that buffet and the convenience store right down the street, so I was just drawing a blank all around. As I pondered, I absent mindedly opened up another fortune and stuffed the cookie into my mouth before looking down out of habit.

'Jesus Christ man, stop wasting time and eating cookies. You need to move. I know you're not used to moving very fast anymore, but put a little pep in your step.'

I huffed and let out a small snort. This was definitely not the way I saw my day going. Getting called out on my weight and overall inactivity by a fortune cookie of all things. It was only after I read this fortune that I really took notice of my surroundings. Just when I had started to pick up the pace into a rather sluggish speed walk, I noticed that there was nobody else on the streets at the moment. This of course, was also quite odd and against the norm. Hell, even at the 'dead' hours of the day and night there was at least two or three cars and sometimes people walking or driving around - at the very least a taxi or police officer would be doing their rounds. But there was nothing and nobody. No life as far as I could see at least. I heard the echoes of a motorcycle revving its engine, but that was about it. I felt around in the bag as I searched for another cookie to eat, but then remembered the one in my pocket from before that I hadn't gotten to yet.

I decided to take a shortcut tonight. Judging from these mysterious cookies along with the unsettling emptiness of the city, I thought it might be best not to take the long route and follow the streets. Instead, I took to the alleyways. I cut through a series of apartments before opening their gate to face the complex that I personally lived in. It seemed normal enough at the time. There were no strange cars outside the entrance, in fact, there were no cars at all around the building or anywhere else on this street for that matter. Which in retrospect, probably wasn't all that normal but I mean, this night was already weird enough for me so I didn't really think about it. I reached into the to-go bag wrapped around my wrist and pulled out another cookie, readying myself to fight that first flight of stairs.

'I told you not to go back. There's a time and place for everything, but not here and not now. You must leave.'

It would have only taken a minute to grab my keys, which is truly the only thing of value that I had in my apartment. I hardly ever drove the thing so it was sure to be full of gas. These little slips of paper might know what was going on outside and around the town, but surely it didn't know my train of thought for this matter. If whoever or whatever was behind this wanted me to get out of town quickly, I was definitely going to need a car. I doubt I'd even be able to make it half a mile without passing out with the shape I'm in now. But after making it to the top of the first flight of stairs, I began to rethink my actions.

Every room on this level had their doors hanging wide open. Clothes, picture frames and furniture were laying outside each door and were strewn across the walls, the floor and the ceiling up and down the halls in each direction. I reached into the bag , pulling another cookie out as I arched my neck to get a better view, hoping to see anyone at all. I needed to know what was going on, and these cookies weren't giving me any real information aside from letting me know I needed to leave. I unwrapped the cookie and popped it in my mouth as I read its fortune.

'You don't need a car. I told you to leave and not to go home. You do-'

I didn't read the rest. I was tired of it telling me what to do already. I knew I needed that car if I was going to get away from whatever all this was, and it wasn't going to convince me otherwise. I just had to see for myself, and I wish that wasn't the case. I started up the second flight of stairs to where my apartment was located, and after I got to the halfway point I began to hear noises. The sound of doors opening, metal scraping against metal, footsteps and whimpering. I was already huffing and puffing from having climbed those stairs that I thankfully didn't have the energy to call out and ask if anyone was in trouble or okay or anything. However, I am just tall enough that my eyes could see what was going on on this floor.

Three of the four hallways had already been cleared out like the floor below. Doors were thrown open, clothes and everything else were strewn across the halls and all was silent except for the hall to my right. As I turned to look, the bag which was on my wrist ripped open and the cookies all fell from it. Whispering a curse to myself, I reached down and grabbed one of the fortunes which had come unraveled in the fall.


Run? Why would I run when I hadn't even gotten to my room yet? I'd already made it this far, what was to keep me from going the rest of the way. But after gathering up a handful of the cookies and standing, I saw the reason why I should have never come here. There in the hallway, throwing open the doors to the rooms were seven figures clad in dark grey robes. Each held a knife in their hand, and all were hovering over the residents of the rooms which they had searched. With a point of the finger, a door at the end of the hall was flung open and a family of six were pulled from it floating through the air as if they were completely weightless. A mother, father, three teenage girls and a baby - none of whom I'd ever had any real interaction with. The family was too far away for me to see their facial expressions, but I could almost feel their fear. The father was facing in my direction, holding his hand towards me after having presumably seen the top of my head from between the guard rails of the stairs.

I thought to go and help them, but that thought immediately passed from my mind as one of the figures grabbed the baby from the air and pulled it down to them. The figure gingerly wrapped one arm around the baby's bottom and placed the other on top before pressing it against its chest. For a second there was a scream, the child crying as it was forced against the figure's chest. But just as soon as it had started, it was finished. The baby had been wrapped in a light blue blanket, and that was all that fell to the ground when the figure dropped its arms to its sides. Three of the figures approached the three girls and pressed their knives into the girls' stomachs, causing them to slowly turn transparent and disappear.

The parents weren't screaming, and I couldn't tell why which only caused me to grow more curious. Ever since they'd been pulled through the air from their room they hadn't moved a muscle or even made a sound, save for the baby when it was being held. The entire scene made me sick to my stomach, far worse than any movie or bloody video I'd ever seen before. I can't really describe it, but it wasn't that I felt like vomiting or that I felt nausea or anything. It was just... a really intense sense of unease that started in my chest as the baby had disappeared and ran down my body as the three girls had started to disappear. Finally, when the parents fell to the ground and began to scream out in agony at their loss, the feeling hit me in the head and one word echoed out.


I hadn't picked up all of the cookies yet, even though I knew that they were the only thing that were going to keep me alive now. Getting out of here before they found me was more important than having another handful of them. The bag around my wrist was already ripped, and I knew that if I kept trying to hold on to it it would only make more noise and draw these figures' attention. I stuffed the cookies into my pockets and started to quietly remove the bag from my wrist, watching the figures as I did - not wanting them to catch me off guard if I ended up making too much noise. Surprisingly, the whole thing went quite smooth. I laid the bag down on the ground and shoved a few more cookies from it into my pockets without smashing them and started to turn towards the stairs. That's where the mistake was made. If it weren't for my fat gut... maybe I should have taken the time to pick up all the cookies, I don't know. All that matters, is that the second I took my first step I had just all but set my fate.

My foot landed on one of the crunchy sweets, crushing it in an instant and in doing so causing a rather piercingly loud noise echo through the quieting hall. The figures had been going down the line, shoving their blades into the remaining residents as they finished the searches of their respective rooms. But when that cookie crunched, their heads all snapped in my direction. Glowing emerald eyes glittered through sunken, ashy faces. When they saw me, their mouths split open to reveal several sets of razor-sharp and yellowed teeth. A black smoke trailed from their lips as they breathed, taking their first steps towards me in unison. I don't think I'd ever move so fast in my life again.

I turned to run down the stairs, the fear for my life pumping adrenaline through my body in conjunction with my obesity caused my heart to feel like it was going to jump from my chest. If I'd had time to look down, I'm sure that through my bouncing man-boobs I'd have been able to see my chest flaring out with each rapid beat. After the first flight of stairs I was already completely winded, but this was one time where I knew I didn't have time to stop and catch my breath at the end of it. Usually I'd leave the house an hour or two early so I could take my time with these things, knowing that it was a real labor on my body; but I pushed through and I persevered. Even after I slipped on the second flight of stairs and fell on my face after only having made it halfway down them, I managed to roll my way to the other side and get down those ones surprisingly much quicker, though much more painfully.

I made a not so graceful rolling dismount - meaning after I had rolled down all the stairs I managed to get lucky and landed in a way that the handrail was within reach and my feet were below me. I lifted myself up and hobbled out the front door. Everything in my body hurt now after rolling down all those stairs, but at least I'd escaped those things for the time being. I ran into an alley that was across the street and kept moving. A loud screeching sound followed the sound of the doors to the complex flying open. I'd no idea what those things were, but now that I'd seen them and what they could do to people, I really didn't want to stick around to find out.

A few feet ahead there was a turn to another alley which I ended up taking, not wanting to get stuck in a never-ending hallway with one or two of those things. I looked around the corner just in time to see a blur of black fly by the entrance to the alley. There was at least six or seven that had come out of just that building, and God knows if there were more in other buildings or if that was it. Another loud screech echoed through the city as the things searched for me. I leaned my back against the wall behind me and slid to the ground, gripping at my chest as I attempted to calm myself down. That was much more exercise than I had hoped to get in the next year.

My sight started to go black as I relaxed, my eyelids growing heavy as my breathing slowed. I was completely worn out from that short burst of activity that I was barely staying awake now, and it really didn't help that I'd only finished eating a rather large meal only a short while ago. I started to breathe through my nose, gathering spit in the back of my throat so that I could swallow the metallic taste that lingered there. I opened my eyes back up and decided to take another look up and down the alley, hoping that I wouldn't see one of those things coming down it; which I didn't but I did see someone else.

The man from earlier, the father, was running towards me at full speed. His arms were filled with something... I couldn't tell from where I was but as he grew closer I recognized them; the cookies. He'd gathered up all of the fortune cookies and was running straight for where I was. I didn't understand, and when he arrived he didn't explain. He dropped all of the cookies onto my head and grabbed up two, waving them at my face before turning around and going back down the way he came towards the wife who was waiting for him now at the entrance. I still don't know why he came this way, or how he even knew to. Perhaps he'd opened one up and it told him where to go? Though I don't know why he'd waste his time doing that when he knew that he could have been killed at any second... it still confuses me even now, but I suppose it doesn't really matter. He came, and even though the fact hadn't changed that I couldn't fit all of these cookies onto my body it prompted me to open another.

'Do not rest. You're wasting time. You know the enemy now, you know the danger you are in. Now run.'

I sighed, knowing that if those things didn't catch me then it'd be all of this cardio that killed me. I pushed myself up off of the ground, using the wall behind me to stabilize myself. I looked at the cookies that were now laying scattered around me. It was kind of sad that I couldn't take them with me. I only had ten or so left in my pockets, and those would only last so long if I ran into any kind of trouble whatsoever. I picked up one more cookie, deciding that I'd hold that one in my hand in case I needed something immediately. Another screech echoed from behind me, followed by the screams of both a man and a woman. That family...

The sounds were like a gunshot for those track runners. The second it hit my ears, I knew it was time to move again. I wasn't going to run of course, my body could only take so much, but I wasn't going to half-ass a powerwalk either. I started to jog slightly, even though I knew this would tire me out almost as much as running I didn't really have much of a choice. I moved down the alleyway that I'd turned into until I got out to a street and then kept jogging pretty much straight ahead. I was never really good with directions so I had no real idea what the quickest way out of the city was. I'd never been in any kind of scouts or anything, and my father wasn't exactly the type to camp or do anything even remotely close to that. If he had a choice, he'd much rather just stay inside and watch television or read a book.

Ten or fifteen minutes after I started to jog, I heard the crunching of metal and an engine revving as a car flew out from an alleyway that was a little wider than the ones I had been travelling through. The windows were tinted, but there was a hole busted in the backseat on the driver's side and I caught a glimpse of a mess of blond hair in the driver's seat. The car sped down the road for a few seconds and then quickly spun around, coming back in my direction. Thank God. Whoever this was, their timing couldn't have been better. I was almost ready to pass out and so when the driver flung the car around, I simply stopped walking and waited for their arrival. I rolled the cookie around in my hand, wondering if now would be one of those times where I should ask it for advice on what to do next. Instead, I simply raised my hand and tried to smile as kindly as I could.

As the car approached it didn't slow, keeping its initial pace all the way until the driver slammed on the brakes a few yards away from me. The passenger window rolled down, revealing a young black girl in the passenger seat and a beautiful asian woman as the driver. The woman explained hurriedly that she had run a daycare and that this girl was the only one whose mother didn't show to pick her up when muk first hit the fan and these things started appearing around the city.

As if waiting for its cue, one of the figures from before floated down and landed a hundred or so yards behind the car and let out an ear-shattering screech. Half a dozen more of the figures began to float down from the sky, their cloaks flaring out to reveal massive, black-feathered wings. I didn't have time to wonder what the hell these things were or why they wanted me so badly, because as soon as more than one appeared the asian woman pressed on the gas, screaming at me to either get in or get lost.

Without hesitating, I flung the back door of the car open and all but threw myself into the car as it began to speed off. My legs were still dangling out the door, keeping it from closing. I couldn't sit up straight. The car was likely going at least one-hundred or so, and the force of it was keeping me pinned to the cushions. It took all that I had to hold on to the seat without flying out the door. The woman kept taking sharp turns, hoping to lose the creatures in some kind of maneuver I guessed. Back here I was useless though, even more so than usual.

The driver took another hard turn and the seat slipped from my grip. I slid straight out the door as we took that corner. Before it happened, as if everything were moving in slow motion, I saw both the little black girl and the asian woman look back over their shoulder at me. The driver pursed her lips and closed her eyes, gripping onto the steering wheel tighter as she turned harder while the little girl reached her tiny hand through the crack between her seat and the door, trying to help me back in. We all knew it was only a matter of time when I got into the car without shutting the door, but that little girl... she had held out hope. As quickly as they had come, they had gone. The screeching from behind me only increased as I stared at the exhaust trailing away from me.

I started to wipe the dirt off of my jeans and then realized that I had lost the cookie I was holding in my hand. I couldn't remember where I had put it. Most likely it was still in the backseat of that car, not that it really mattered since I had at least ten more in my pockets... that were all crushed. Great. I don't know if it was jumping into the car, or the fall from it that crushed them but they were ground up pretty good. I felt in my right pocket and pulled out a cluster of fortunes and bits of cookie.

'What a shame. Should have opened a cookie back then and just gone off on your own. You done screwed the pooch.'

I shook my head and tossed the fortune aside, ready to see what actual advice they could give to me. But the next one was the exact same, and the one after that and the one after that too. They were all the same. I didn't understand it. I reached into my left pocket and felt around, pulling from it a handful of fortunes as well, all of which said the same thing.

'What a shame. Should have opened a cookie back then and just gone off on your own. You done screwed the pooch.'

This couldn't be. I thought I'd been so careful up until now, trying to preserve them after I realized they were the real deal and now I'd lost my one true lifeline. I ran my hand through my hair quickly, unsure of what to do now. Those two girls were already long gone, and my one real chance at salvation with them. I couldn't outrun these creatures forever, and even if I could, what would be the point? Who's to really say if it would just stop once I hit the city limits? I almost broke down into tears, but the screeching sounds off in the distance ripped me back to reality. I had to get out of here, regardless of would or wouldn't happen once I did.

I spun around, searching for the nearest alley, and as I did I saw something laying there on the ground by the curb. A fortune cookie from Wonton King, still wrapped up nicely and in perfect condition. I was saved. I might have still made it out yet, but instead I lost yet another lifeline. A loud honk came from behind me, catching me completely off-guard as I was expecting more screeches if anything. The sound startled me so much that I jumped, losing my grip on the fortune cookie and causing it to fall into the storm drain. I fell to the ground, glancing back at the betrayers behind me who believed they were doing a good deed by risking their lives to return for me. I couldn't leave without this cookie, this final fortune. It would reveal everything I needed to know. This was fate, it was destiny that at this moment there should be only one cookie left. The two girls got out of their car and rushed over to me, trying to help me up off of the ground, but I refused. I screamed some obscenity that I can't recall to them, most likely a racial slur just to ensure that they'd leave... but they just wouldn't leave me be. The little girl tugged and pulled on the belt loops of my pants, and the asian woman pulled on my arm as she pleaded with me to get up.

After another thirty seconds of this the duo gave up, returning to their car and promising to say a prayer for me once they'd reached safety. I blew it off, concentrating only on the task at hand. They'd wasted my time, and I didn't have time to waste as the fortunes; so said the fortunes. I reached my arm into the storm drain, stretching and straining with all of my might to reach the cookie. It hadn't rained in weeks, so there was only a small puddle in the drain instead of anything that could create a current and push my safety further away. I was at least thankful for this one mercy. I could just barely reach the bow of the cookie's wrapper with the tips of my fingers, but the longer it sat in the water the more it seemed to shrink away from me.

Two minutes had passed, and then I realized that the wrapper was dissolving into the water. Damned eco-friendly bullmuk. If they'd been wrapped in plastic like every other place's, then I'd have been able to grab it up no problem. Instead, I pressed my arm even deeper into the hole until I felt something pop. I stifled a scream, guessing by the pain and the numbness that my arm had just came out of place. I'd never had any real injuries in my life; as I said, my father was more of an indoors-y guy and our bonding time was usually spent reading book so I didn't venture out much, never really had many friends so never had any real chances to get hurt. All of this also meant that I wasn't exactly used to trying to hold in screams of pain or anything of the sort, so when I say that I tried to dampen my scream what I really mean is that I tensed up my neck and whispered a handful or so of obscenities quite loudly before I'd gathered myself.

I placed my other hand on my arm and tried to pull it free, but the more I did the louder that my whispers of pain got and the more that I realized I was stuck here. My arm wasn't going anywhere, and so neither was I apparently. I laid there, with my eyes closed, wondering how it had all come to this. Where had I gone wrong, how had I ended up in this predicament at all and what the hell these creatures were. Maybe it was ironic, in some weird way. I never really cared about anything one way or the other until my life was on the line, and then still I wasn't able to care about other people enough to give up on a stupid scrap of paper in order to save myself. I wonder if other cities out there are going through this same thing. Maybe there's someone out there just like me, getting weird fortune cookies or maybe weird texts telling them to do this, that and the other. Maybe they actually listened from the get-go though and made it out. Unlike me.

The creatures were already on their way. Either they'd caught up to the two girls, or they'd given up their chase. Whichever, there were at least half a dozen screeches which echoed from all over town. I sighed, knowing that I was next. It would only be a matter of time before they were upon me. I said my final prayers, unsure of who to actually pray to I just kind of hashed a bunch of muk together from the various movies I'd seen and books that I'd read. I said a quick little prayer for my family, hoping that they weren't going through the same thing.

I took a deep breath. Another screech, this time much closer. I heard the flapping of wings from behind me and I closed my eyes, not wanting to know when they'd strike or how many of them there were. I felt myself slowly being lifted up into the air. My arm ripped completely from its socket, falling into the drainage area. It was weird, even though I knew that should have caused me to scream my lungs out, I felt no pain from it. I opened my eyes slightly, just a tad curious of what was to come. If they'd been so eager to find me, would I get the same death as that baby? Would it be death like those three girls? Or would they have something different, something special for me? There were six of them in front of me, and I could hear even more in the sky above. Some were behind me, and there were more to each of my sides. I had no clue what their real number was, and I didn't exactly care. All I was thinking, is that I hoped they'd hurry the hell up and get done with whatever it was they were going to do.

I felt my neck snap to the side, breaking in the process as they forced me to watch one of the creatures reach into the drain. It moved its arm around for a few seconds and then stopped, pulling the limb back out. In the gloved tips of its fingers was a small white piece of paper. The one which had pulled the paper from the drain handed it to the figure directly in front of me and it nodded, unfolding the paper. Three or four seconds passed by and then the figure approached me, holding out the paper for me to see.

'You lose. May you be with God.'