Jacob by fjzhangxiaoquan



Covering his ears with the palms of his hands, he tires after writing for hours. He looks at the pile of
papers on his desk, throws his pen aside, and walks toward his bed. The roaring wind rattles the
window panes. He gets up by supporting his hurting back with two hands thinking autumn is not his
favorite season.

He hears a human voice echoed in his little room and peers through the window into the darkness and
sees nothing but his reflection then whispers, “Is anyone there?” And hears nothing but the tree
branches violently scratching the windowpane and the loud whistle of the wind. The voice fills the
room once more as he gets close to the bed.

“I’m here.”

“Where?” he desperately pleads, wheezing. “I don’t see anyone here.”

“You wrote me, therefore I am. I sound like a philosopher, don’t I?”

The writer looks at the clock on the wall. It is three hours past midnight. Puzzled, he runs his fingers
through his hair and loudly talks to himself, “I must get more sleep.” And sneers as he sits on the bed.

“You’ve not lost your sanity, I am Jacob.”


“You know me. You know me better than I know myself. We’re related and don’t hurt my feelings
by ignoring someone who has done so much for you. How many lives should I take to prove my
friendship to you?”

The writer chuckles, “I better see a shrink. I really do.”

“You write the plot and I carry it out flawlessly. This is the deepest of relationships. We’re blood
buddies.” The voice pierces his head.

“I’m going nuts. Only a lunatic argues with the character of his own book in the middle of the night,
let alone, with the most demented one of all.”

“Help me escape or get rid of me forever, I’m worried.” The voice pleads.

“Your future will be as it was in previous stories. You vanish without a trace. You live. You live in
the hearts and minds of my readers, in the darkest labyrinth of their souls.” The writer explains.

“I used to do it without fear, without remorse. I had no hate. I did it just for the pleasure of doing it.
Do you remember the old couple I killed for less than a hundred bucks? Money, I didn’t even need.
My only enjoyment was to see them suffer, to see them beg for their lives. I’m not that person
anymore. Something has changed in me. Now my hands shake. This is the end. If I get caught, I
won’t have any excuse.”

“That’s why you won’t get caught. That’s the beauty of you. If you kill for a reason, you’ll leave a
trace and eventually get caught. The idea is not to have a reason. That’s how you survive. Be terrified
of being scared. Don’t you see? You are as innocent as your victims. That’s how I created you. No
one understands you, but everyone relates to you. That’s who you are. You are an integral part of
your own victims.

“I am too real. I have emotions, I feel.”

“Yes you are. Don’t you ever doubt that. You suffer from a pain down deep in your soul. From a
disease that more or less everyone has but constantly denies. That's why the readers relate to you.
You are their uncontrollable urge. If you were normal, police would have captured you by now.
There must be no pattern in your work, no logic. All of your cases are still open in because you are
unique. But that’s not the end of it yet. You will live forever. Your future works will astonish

“But I’m losing my touch, I get emotional. Last time I was terrified seeing blood on my hands. I’m
becoming fucking normal. I am scared.”

“I have to go to sleep now but you don’t worry, as long as you are who you are, you will do fine. Just
be yourself.”

“I’ m too real to be in your fantasies. Don’t you see, what you write comes true.”

“You are as real as life. I gave you meaning. This is the art of writing; you are an anti-hero and you
will live. But now, I wish I had given you a little more common sense. Leave me alone.” He lies his
head on the pillow and shuts his eyes.

Jacob says, “Remember Julia? The girl who was found dead in the woods three years ago? The same
innocent looking waitress who worked in the Red Castle restaurant? Do you remember the day I
ordered a hamburger and told her that her innocence would get her in trouble one day? Guess how
many cuts she had on her face when they found her? Everything that happened to her was exactly as
you wrote it. Police had no trace of the killer and no clue of his motive, but you and I know.

“Two months later you wrote about Carlos. The FBI is still baffled why the boxing champion did not
defend himself. His hands were free at the time of murder. No marks of any kind were found on his
wrists. It looked like he cooperated with the killer!

The shocking news of his mysterious murder was in the papers for months all across the country. His
horrific death haunted everyone in New York. No one felt safe anymore. Finally, a couple of years
later, it was announced that the cops had captured a suspect and as he attempted to escape, he was
shot dead. That was the best story they could do come up with to put people’s mind at rest. What a
big lie. But, we know what really happened.

“A few weeks later, news of the disappearance of a little girl named Amanda Cane was out. Just one
week after that, police picked up an illegal immigrant a neighborhood where who was allegedly
trying to lure a little boy in his car. This poor bastard had been in jail three times for petty theft
charges. His criminal record spoke for itself. And he didn’t have an honest face to help him in the
court. They said they had found victim’s hair in his car. And that was that. Who better than him
could pay for a crime he didn’t commit? His entire case in the court didn’t last more than a couple of
weeks. The jury found him guilty. Case closed. The people’s minds were at rest.”

The writer examines the newspaper archives on the Internet and discovers that all of the murder plots
he wrote were carried out precisely as he depicted them. The details from police and reporters’
investigations exactly matched what he had written in his unpublished stories. The times and places
of the crimes were identical. Even the names and addresses of the victims were the same. The only
things that didn’t match with his writings were speculations and theories of the FBI regarding the
killer’s motives and whereabouts. And those were exactly what he had not written.

Two innocent men had been executed for the crimes they had not committed as Jacob said.

The writer frantically rushes to the bookshelf and grabs his manuscripts of his unpublished work.
They were all there intact. He rubs his temples with his two index fingers and paces his small room.
He then pauses and lights a cigarette and deeply inhales the smoke.

While looking at his hands, he says to Jacob, “Your hands must not shake! This is the secret of your
success. This is the only way you survive.”


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