F I C T I O N
“British Air Flight 55A,
Departing this fine night of May,
Will go as far as Chesapeake Bay,
But yet won’t see the light of day.
Stay at home this weekend.
– Anonymous, your good friend
Sebastian read the text from his cellphone as he was about to head out for the airport. He was travelling to the US on a corporate trip; it was going to be a routine flight and he should know, because he has done this innumerable times before. So naturally, Sebastian’s first thought was that it was some sort of a cruel joke made by some bloke of questionable taste, but that was until it finally occurred to him that the name of the sender was already somehow saved to his phone’s directory. All possibilities of this being an unamusing prank disappeared when he discovered, after examining the address saved under the name “Anonymous”, that no number was linked to it. The plot thickened and eventually, he decided to report it to the police as he believed something sinister was going on.
The paperwork and other bureaucratic nonsense ended up taking way more time than he had expected and by the time he got out of the precinct house, he had, for better or for worse, missed his flight. Angered by this unfavourable turn of events, and cursing fate and whoever or whatever was responsible for this, he made his way back home and went to bed, bracing himself for the reprimands he was going to face the next day at work.
200 passengers and 15 crew members—all presumed dead. Radio operators lost all communication with the aircraft at around 3 am and never regained contact. The plane crashed a few hundred miles off the coast of the US in the dead of the night. Sebastian was, understandably, shaken. It took him well over a month to come to terms with this nerve-racking experience, to accept the fact that he could’ve very well been the 216th victim of the fatal crash. It took him way longer, however, to get the police off his back. For nearly half a year, the federal agencies considered him a person of interest because of that one cryptic message which had eerily predicted the tragic event and in doing so, ended up saving his life. But as time passed and no activity was observed, outside interests slowly began to wane and soon enough, everything was back the way it was. To Sebastian, the message incident now felt more like a nightmare he saw long ago than something that he had actually gone through. But fate didn’t let him off the hook that easy. It was just another day, and Sebastian was about to get into his car when he received a second text from Anonymous:
“It’s not the speed that kills you,
It’s the impact that slays you,
Unless, to this world you want to bid adieu,
I suggest another route in lieu of road-62.
Take a while for the message’s appraisal.
– Anonymous, your guardian angel
Having prior knowledge about this sort of thing now, he made sure to avoid the mentioned Avenue. Once again, he rushed to the police station and on his way there, he heard on the radio about the tragedy which had unfolded in Road-62. A container truck had flipped resulting in a massive pile-up and loss of more than 50 lives.
The same events followed as last time around. Sebastian got psychologically traumatised and had to get therapy, the police launched another investigation into the connection between the accident and Sebastian, and so on and so forth. And just like last time, as the months passed with no significant developments, the constant probing into Sebastian’s everyday life by the authorities gradually disappeared, until once again, Sebastian’s life was back to normal…
Or as normal as it could be with a supposedly supernatural entity tipping him off about certain episodes that surely would’ve been the end of him. After the Road-62 incident, Sebastian received many more such memos from his “guardian angel” which helped him comfortably evade the Grim Reaper’s scythe. But after his previous “adventures” with the public security services, he opted to not inform them anymore about these messages as it became obvious that they could do nothing to stop these prophecies from becoming fulfilled. And thus, life continued. Over the years, Sebastian avoided all sorts of deadly ordeals ranging from car crashes to terrorist attacks. It was rather strange that he had such a suspiciously high probability of mortality, he pondered, but could find no rational reason as to why. But then again, he rationalised, there was no logical explanation behind messages that could predict the future, so he didn’t worry about that too much.
It was a chilly Saturday night. Sebastian was unlocking his apartment door. He had just come back from a party with his pals, and unsurprisingly, it was already pretty late. He was ready to just get in, fall flat on his bed, and fly away into the euphoric land of sleep. But there was something else on his mind; back at the party, he noticed that he had a new message from his mysterious well-wisher. However, he didn’t bother to read it then and there because he was almost certain what it was about—his holiday trip to the Bahamas, which was to take place the following week. Disappointed at the thought of not being able to go on his vacation—the vacation he had been planning for months—Sebastian had opted to not read the mail. But now, after having reached home, he finally built up the courage to see his vacation plans being ripped to shreds.
As he read the words, his heart sank and an indescribable fear filled his being. The message read:
“In the dark of night does evil thrive,
Brandishing their claws, readying their knife,
Patiently waiting to menacingly deprive,
Their prey of the ability to stay alive.
Keep away from your abode tonight, the place of sin.
– Anonymous, your distant kin
And as he finished, he heard something sprint towards him.