Monday, January 1, 2018


Il Nido

The man flipped the pages hastily, almost thunderously.

The eBook reader had trouble keeping up and was about to refuse to continue any farther when the man's phone rang.

"Yes? Oh, forget it. It's too much trouble as it is. I need it translated, but if this is the way you people work, never mind. I'll find someone else." And he hung up.

The cup of coffee lay unstirred, no sugar. His morning routine was irremediably torn to pieces. People at the tables around him took cautious glances at his terrible humor, uttering no word whatsoever. They were afraid to trigger a storm of even worse proportions.

"Right," he mumbled to himself, turning the eBook reader off and throwing it on the table where it hung in a precarious balance on the perilous precipice leading to a certain death, or at least irreparable injuries.

The phone rang again. He checked it to see who was calling. 

Sheer evil, the woman sitting at the table in the corner would later tell the police. The smirk on his face resembled nothing she had ever seen.

"You, again? What an incompetent bunch of retards," he barked. "How difficult is it to translate a damn note? At this pace, I'll have time to learn the language and translate it myself. No, no, don't even dare, you hear, don't even dare!" And he hung up, violently, throwing the phone onto the table. It made a cracking noise, not at all promising a long life. The man had forgotten about that paper lost in a dark pocket of some lost jacket. Coming across it just a few days ago, he tried to have it translated, to no avail.

When the man stood up and pulled his gun out, and said "If this is the way you want it", some people screamed, others stood up in an mimetic motion opposite to what the survival instinct would dictate. A well-seasoned mother of two only had time to cover the eyes of her child before the man pushed the gun against his throat and pulled the trigger.

Witnesses were heard, distant family members were tracked, no friends were found. In his phone, one phone number, the one of an office which offered translation services. The owners were interviewed, the potential translators testified. All agreed on one thing, the document the man wanted translated was nothing more than the proof of his crimes, written down on a piece of paper, many years ago, by a fortune teller he came across in one of his frequent travels throughout the country.

The serial killer who refused to get caught had been discovered after years of nationwide efforts made by the police.

The piece of paper was translated, 20 murders, 1 with a hammer, 1 with an electric saw, 1 by strangulation, 5 with a rope, and 12 with a fire weapon, showing some experimentation, and finally a growing detachment, one a year, making the investigation of these killings especially difficult for the authorities. 

As to the reason why the man decided to commit suicide, the last call he received was a threat; they'd take the list to the police. That sealed the man's fate.

Far away, in a distant town, the fortune teller opened a dark wooden box lost in a forgotten shelf. Inside was a folded paper she threw into the fireplace as quickly as she could. 

She remembered that day; she remembered that man. She remembered having written a list of horrific crimes she gave to the man, who laughed, dismissing her predictions with a wave of his hand. 

However, what she most vividly recalled was what she wrote on a second paper; the man would die too, at his own hands. She never told him that, hoping not to interfere with fate. 

When she heard the news on TV, she was finally able to have a good night's sleep. 
(This text is a wink at "The Mysterious Card" by Cleveland Moffet)

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