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The Horoscope

By Xaitra All Rights Reserved ©



The cell door opened, and two guards led a chained man from it, down the hall. They passed through two highly secured doors before stopping at the front desk. The man was unchained and then given the clothes and personal belongings he had arrived with. After being allowed to change from the prison uniform to his previous clothes, the man was finally escorted from the building, through another security door. Then the moment he had waited for these many years came as the chain-link gate before him split apart.

Amidst all his internal excitement, the man had no choice but to just stand there, a crooked smile growing on his face at the thought of his life being returned at last…or more accurately: revenge.

Just outside the gate, a taxi was waiting to take him to a hotel, a friends' house, or wherever he planned on staying the night. The man climbed into the back seat of the taxi, and as soon as the driver pulled away, he dumped out the manila envelope of his personal things. Inside was his wallet, a watch, some cough drops, a pair of sunglasses, and a set of several keys. He stuffed the wallet in his back pocket, replaced the watch on his wrist, and slipped on the sunglasses even though it was dark out.

Once again allowing the slight smile, he picked out one of the keys and told the driver, "You know where the 409 crosses that river. Pull off there and just drop me off."

Giving a slightly perplexed look, the driver complied. After all, he had been expecting to take the man to a friend's house, hotel, or someplace to spend the night. Why just next to a river in a business district?

Recognizing the awkwardness of his request, the man continued, "I'd like to enjoy some fresh air before heading in for the night if that's all right."

With no more questions, the driver agreed. It was not an incredibly long drive to the requested destination, and the rest of it was filled with silence and the ever present crooked smile of the ex-convict. The driver was relieved to get him out of the taxi, and he was relieved to finally be surrounded by the sounds of a bustling city. Thousands of perfect, happy lives surrounded him, eager to be destroyed. He couldn't help but chuckle at the thought of who would be punished the most as he headed south to finish a job that had waited almost a decade.

The Sunday paper was finally completed. The editor leaned back in his chair with a yawn. Seeing the clock on the wall across the room, he realized that it was approaching midnight. He really hated pulling these all-nighters every weekend, but most of Tokyo read their newspaper—most of Japan. These kinds of things were necessary to keep his kid in college. Those reasons were much more important than his getting enough sleep each Saturday night. The paper still had to be printed, but before that…coffee. He stepped away from the computer and drowsily wandered over to the break room.

At the same time, a key slipped into the lock of the main entrance. An alarm had been set to go if that door opened, but the person who had entered knew the code, quickly silencing it. He walked straight to the computer that the editor had just left, surprised to find that everything he needed was left open in front of him. It didn't bother him in the least, simply making things easier.

Scrolling down through the pages of the next day's newspaper, he eventually stopped on the page for horoscopes. There was only one tiny adjustment he had to make to Scorpio's message, and when that was done, he scrolled back up to the page the editor had been on. He even left the building and reset the code, long before the editor ever came back from his coffee break.

Upon the editor's return, he didn't notice anything out of the ordinary, so he simply pressed "Print," sending almost everyone in Japan born between October 23 and November 21 the message: This week, someone will make you very angry. Give in to your inner feelings…kill them. No one will catch you.

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