fact or fiction
Is it fact or merely fiction? Fact or Fiction explores the myths and beliefs we hold about copycat killers, eyewitnesses testimony, what makes a murderer and more.
The Wrong Bank Account
As the new Order Manager for Auto Coordination LLC, I was hired and promoted by Capital Logistics LLC from being Logistics Manager, handling shipping and receiving packages for two weeks to Order Manager, handling the shopping orders and wire transfers at the bank. They registered a limited liability company at the New York Secretary of State with the help of a registered agent, as well as at the Internal Revenue Service for an Employer Identification Number. Feather Davis, the head manager told me to open a business bank account in Wells Fargo. I also registered Auto Coordination LLC in the California Secretary of State. All of the above made me think this was a real legitimate legal job, albeit working remotely from home and a UPS business address.
Reprisal Cries of 'Stop, stop!' rang throughout the Carrow Valley High hallways. Johnnie, deemed a nerd by classmates, stood at five foot five weighing one hundred and thirty pounds, with the anatomical structure of an underdeveloped seventh grader, was having his locker rummaged by Christian, a five foot eight one hundred and seventy pound bully who through the eyes of Johnnie grew a little bigger each day. There was little regard for any of Johnnie's personal belongings, including his feelings. His Lunch money was stolen, homework crumbled, Christian even found a little black notebook covered in anime stickers, a safe haven where Johnnie stored his thoughts, his fears, and his heart. Christian removed the elastic bound and opened the notebook, revealing the vulnerable content. This was an opportunity for a bully to do what bullies do. Christian hastily flipped through the pages stopping at the page labeled 'naked and afraid' after a quick skim through, Christian thought to read it aloud. "Who am I? What am I? Why do I feel so powerless? Everyday I am harassed and abused, my spirit wants to fight, yet my body is afraid. I'm so weak. Today I set a goal to complete ten push ups, I couldn't even complete one. God, why is this happening to me? Help me please God! Please God, where are you?" It read.
From Paris, with Angst
“I haaate Paris right now.” I fumbled through my toiletries bag for something to help my hurting brain…I was definitely thirty, my punishment for such indulgences: wine, bread, cheese, dessert, more wine. It was a trip I’d planned with my grandmother, but I’d go alone years after her passing. Here I was on our trip, painfully hungover, with a man I only knew by his nickname.
El Tonelero Diabolico Blanco
“Abuelo, quédate conmigo, por favor”, the little girl murmured softly. “Grandpa, please stay with me.” The old man looked into her eyes, and wished more than anything that he could give her what she wanted. He wasn’t tired of living, but he’d lived at least two lives. He just couldn’t bear to break her heart. He’d caused enough heartbreak already. “Es la hora, mija.”. His breathing slowed, and on the backs of his eyelids a staccato slideshow of those lifetimes flickered. His face gave only the barest indication of the scenes he was reliving. His expression flowed from pride through amusement, then darkened as regret drew his features taut. The little girl would have been pleased that reflecting on his all-too-brief time with her had restored the sun in his soul, both in the moment and in his life.
Herstory is Our Story
Alright, now breathe! In and out. In and out. My anxiety hasn’t gotten the better of me since law school, but I knew it would be back with a vengeance today. The incident in school lead to a midnight trip to the emergency room where an RN told me I was fine and just low on potassium. She sent me home with a banana and a large bill, but that is a story for a different day. Luckily, I invested in therapy and learned a couple tricks to come back to reality. The anticipation of today alone is shaking my heart and fogging up my lungs. Breathe in, breathe out, A – Anteaters, B-Bingo, C-Cantaloupe, D-Dynamite… I’m here, back in the court room.
Digging Up Dirt
Twenty-thousand dollars and a little black notebook. That’s what was waiting for me inside a safety-deposit box in Williamsburg, Alabama less than a fortnight after the passing of my great-aunt Winnifred. She’d bequeathed it to me, her favorite nephew, even though she hadn’t seen hide nor hair of me in twenty-eight years.
DEATH IN THE EVENING
FADE IN: EXT. BIMINY BAHAMAS - SUNSET Simply beautiful. Somewhere near the Alice Town Resort, a unique two story home rests on the beach.
Moonlight streamed in after Harper as the window clicked shut behind her. The shape of her body was outlined softly across the grey carpet, and she watched it disappear as she stepped into the shadow of the wall to her right. It was a bedroom, with an empty canopy bed set in the centre, gauzy white curtains catching in the grey light and puffing out slightly from the small breeze that had entered with her.
Breakfast in Bed
It’s Saturday, a day where I sleep in till noon, actually I kind of sleep in every day. It’s been like this since I graduated high school, depression, lack of motivation, who knows. There I am lounging on my bed scrolling through social media waiting till I get hungry enough to motivate me out of bed and fix something for myself. “Mucjisoo way dhacdaa!”, my grandmother shouts from the balcony. I toss my phone to the side and hop out of bed and head towards the living room where the balcony doors lead to. There they are her and grandpa all animated. I wouldn’t dare say they’re arguing about nothing. They’re the most educated people I have ever met. They met in one of the most prestigious universities in Somalia as they were pursuing their doctoral degrees. You can call their romance “love at first observation”. No…okay. Of course, this was before the civil war. After the civil war in Somalia broke out, they were one of millions who decided to pack up and leave as the situation got worse. Their journey for security and hope landed them across the continent over the Atlantic right to a place I call home, Toronto, Canada. Their ‘journey’ was far from glamorous. I’m talking forging passports and sleeping in toilets. Yup, they have quite the story to tell about how they got here. So yeah, I can’t dare say their arguing about NOTHING. In my culture, one of the worst things you can do is invite yourself into a conversation with elders. “Hey, what are you guys talking ab-?”. That’s equivalented to cussing with older folks. “Good morning Awowe and Ayeyo”, I cut them off. “subaax wanaagsan”, they replied in unison. Oh, and yeah, they hate the fact I can’t speak Somali, but of course I can understand “good morning”! I head over to the kitchen since I’m already up, I open the fridge NOT A GODDAMN THING, no eggs, bread, milk, nor cereal. Pretty much all the breakfast essentials. I know my frustration’s not on the food, it’s everything else. I really want to move out, everything at home just ticks me off. I’m turning twenty three this March and it’s about time I get up on my own two feet. But how am I going to accomplish that still in college with absolutely no savings to my name. Not being able to enjoy breakfast is an inconvenience I just can’t mentally handle at this point. What sets me all the way off actually is the voice of my mom saying “warya, did you clean your room?”, or “warya did you-”. The tone behind it is so draining it’s unbelievable. It’s not that I’m disrespectful, entitled, or lazy, okay maybe I am lazy, but as a young adult I don’t believe the conversation between me and my mom should be about chores. Not to sound cringy but what about goals, ideas, or even old stories? I slammed the fridge door so hard it almost fell over. I guess my grandparents were still arguing in the background, they didn’t hear a thing. I walked out of the kitchen towards the front door. Slipped on my shoes grabbed the car keys right off the counter and stepped out. Thankfully, it wasn’t snowing so I just jumped in the car and drove off. I crank the audio compartment up Drake plays, “Gotta watch the time cause it’s flyin right by like I’m outside in the A-M-G”. Usually, I sing along when I play music in the car. Today, I found myself thinking. Ringing in my head even with my music on the highest setting was “mucjisoo way dhacdaa!”, “mucjisoo way dhacdaa!”. What was grandma talking about and why was she saying, “miracles happen!”. I for one am in need of a miracle. A miracle breakfast that is. I turn into the McDonald’s drive thru, “I’ll have a medium ice coffee extra base, a breakfast sandwich... just egg and cheese, and an apple fritter donut… please”. I swipe my credit card, “Thank you!”. As I begin to drive off, I notice I’m not at the McDonald’s I usually go to. Before I even begin to figure where I was, I decided I was going to enjoy my food first. I pull over into the parking lot. I take a long refreshing sip of my ice coffee. Knock…Knock I look up there’s a guy with a gun aimed at my window. Like what the fuck?! Am I really at gunpoint right now?! All masked up I can’t really see his face “roll the window”, he shouts with the gun still aimed at me through the glass. Do I know this person? I’ve had friends in high school that you can say are ‘about that life’, but this is a different level. If you don’t get the picture Toronto, Canada isn’t as it is portrayed. It actually is statistically, one of the most dangerous cities in North America. I roll down the window, “take me to a spot right off jane and finch”, he yelled at me. “You want me to drive you?” I said confused. Mind you my knees are shaking uncontrollably under the steering wheel. “YES!”, he shouts as he walks across the front of the car towards the passenger seat. I had this urge to drive off as he was about to open the door, it seemed too risky. He hops in and proceeds to yell giving me directions as where to go. I follow. The gun is now on his hip. I can’t help but stare at it with my peripheral. We’re headed down a main road, “turn right after these two lights! You’re gonna drop me off there!”. Police sirens go off in the distance from behind us, we’re cruising at about sixty kilometers per hour, all the cars including us clear the way and slow down to the right of the road, the sirens get louder and the cop car finally speeds past. I look over my shoulder for a split second and this guy franticly takes off his seat belt. Yeah, he was wearing a seat belt. What kind of person with a mask and a gun wears a seatbelt? “Fuck that I’m outta here”, he says as he grabs the duffle bag he came in with from under his feet. He Opens the door and casually walks down the sidewalk as if nothing had just happened. I suddenly felt so dizzy, was I holding my breath this whole time? I open the windows and take a deep breath; I drive off slowly as all the cars begin to merge as well. I was staring at the passenger seat from my peripheral for so long my eyes were locked in position and right where this guy was sitting was a black book. I already knew what I was going to do. I was going to be one of those people in movies that are too noisy to keep from harm’s way. I mean I just couldn’t get myself to toss it on the side of the road. It’s my business now, I just want to see what it’s about. I pull into my driveway and park the car; I grab my breakfast with one hand snatch the book from the seat and tuck it in my sweater pocket. I head inside. I stumble as I try to take off my shoes in a hurry. I don’t say a word. I had straight to my room. I put the food on my study desk and take a seat on my bed. I pull the book out of my pocket. “BOOM” “BOOM”, I throw the book in utter panic, it’s my little brother poking his head in my room after he just kicked the door, “can I play with your basketball?”. “Yes!”, I yelled all frustrated. I get up and pick up the book. I then anxiously asked myself what can this little black book contain that can be so interesting? This guy that was crazy enough to threaten me in broad daylight to get a ride after doing god knows what. I then humored myself, why would some thug from downtown Toronto carry a journal? I opened the book. There I was on my bed just another Saturday, holding some criminals hit list or something. As I shuffled through the pages, I noticed four one hundred-dollar bills taped to each one. I began to flip through quicker and quicker and I could feel my eyes getting wider. There was four hundred dollars attached to each page. I closed the book. It had about fifty pages. “fifty pages!”, “twenty thousand dollars!”, I never did multiplication faster. Not a single name not a location not a scribble on the book just twentythousand dollars. I can’t even begin to bother myself with the details. Who this belongs to, or what is the right thing to do with it? All I have in mind is school debt and a life away from home. I can get me a nice apartment. This is a change of scenery a breath of fresh air into adulthood and freedom. My grandmother knocks my door I hide the book behind me. Felt like I got in the act or something. She walks in “maxa u qaylinaysa?!”. Was I yelling? I didn’t even realize I was yelling. Before I can apologize or come up with an excuse as to what I was doing “make duaa for Awowe”, she said. “Pray for grandpa?”, I said to myself. “Why, what happened to him?”, I responded. He was feeling ill these past few weeks, but it didn’t seem that serious. “He has a brain aneurism that can take his life at any moment”, she said with the life sucked out of her face. I looked up brain aneurysms on my phone and soaked up any information I can gather on them. I found, the operation to cautiously remove them is twenty thousand dollars. I guess me getting a gun pointed at me today was the embodiment of “miracles do happen” you just have to keep it pushing. I hope that’s clear as day now. I already know what I need to do with the money it’s not even a question. It’s just a matter of making it seem random, I guess. like start a go-fund-me campaign for awowe or something. I reached behind my back for the book and put it at the top shelf of my closet. I will never forget this Saturday, ever. Goddamn!
August 2, 1876. Deadwood, Black Hills She’d come in on the stage, less than a week before, and she desperately needed money. Alice Tubbs was now a widow, and there weren’t a lot of employment options available for women in the town of Deadwood—if town wasn’t too fancy a name for the meager sprawl of unpainted false-fronted frame buildings along the single rutted muddy street.
Days like today are when Daniel likes to think back to his youth when he served in the Marines, the friends he made, the lessons he learned and the experiences he had; unlike most ex-service men who would do anything to forget the horrors they saw. He was on target to make Sergeant by the end of his third year of service, this however was too good to be true. A bad motorcycle accident spelled the end of his career and was discharged in 2012 at the age of 24.
Bait and Hook
"Chloe! Watch out!" Jason hollered. I ducked just in time to hear the bat smash into the car above my head. I twisted sideways, grabbing the bat and knocking him to the ground.