Independent Quarterly Literary Magazine
Revista Literária Independente Trimestral

New York / Lisboa









By Christina Marrano




            I stumble out of bed because my head won’t stop pounding. I’m tired as hell and my body’s aching in all places. I feel even the tips of my toes aching.

“You’ll feel a bit sick, probably dehydrated, light headed, dizzy and have a dry throat the next morning. Just drink water and take paracetamol and you’ll start feeling better”

Yeah thats pretty much how my ‘friends’ convinced me to drink last night. I still don’t understand how people like doing that type of stuff, I honestly still feel like I'm dying.

Thank god there is no hangover, that would have been rough. To be quite honest though, I've been working my ass off all week and I believe that I deserved a stress-free night. Maybe not in the form of intoxication but everyone’s different.

Stupid dog, please please shut up! My ears are throbbing and my brain feels likes it going to burst out of my head. My mom always bugs me about cleaning my ears, but today is the day where all that gooey yellow stuff inside my ear might actually come in handy to block out some of the noise. Ew, pretty gross thought right there.

My dog, Louis, is running around in circles, moving his bowl with his nose. Meal time once again for this guy. It’s getting hard to remember where I put the dog food cause he always finds it when I'm at work and eats the entire thing. Ah, found ya! I take down the dog food from on top of the fridge and puke in my mouth a little bit from the smell. As usual, my little German Shepard devours the little pebbles of brown shit straight from the bag.

Doritos, my puppy (I call her a puppy but really she is practically fully grown at two years), was spinning in circles trying to catch her tail but as soon as she sees me, she sprints towards me and licks my face. I feed her as well. She, however, only eats those really expensive Pedigree wet food cans (they are like 8 dollars a can!). A meal fit for canine royalty.

She was still whimpering after she finished her food because of course that small can wouldn’t even fill up an ant, but I cant afford to give her more expensive food so I point towards Louis’ bowl (it’s either that or nothing) and I'm pretty sure she got the idea cause she immediately stopped whimpering.

I prepare my morning coffee and sit down at the kitchen table while reaching for the morning paper. I put my coffee down to cool and unwrap the plastic around the newspaper. I haven’t been keeping up with the local news at all. To be real, I don’t care about the presidential election or the war that’s happening in the Middle East. I mean, a part of me does care, but unless it is affecting me personally, then I don’t take time out of my day to read about it. I sip my coffee as my eyes skim down the columns, and almost immediately, I spit it back out. Louis turns around and looks at me, with his head cocked to one side curiously.

I couldn't believe it. I put my coffee down on the table, rub my eyes really hard (I’m surprised they didn’t fall out of their sockets) and look back at the paper. Yes it is. There it is. My photograph, the one on my driver’s license that looked exactly like a mug shot. But wait, it wasn’t enough to have my disgusting photo in the newspaper but right next to it are the a few words that make me solid cold and pale.

“Wanted For the Murder of….”

My heart stops for a split second. I don’t even have the ability to process the rest of the accusation.
Murder? Like the act of killing someone? Me? No that couldn’t be right. There’s no way.

I mean I know I'm capable of it, hell everyone on this earth is capable of killing someone but I have self-control. Okay, I’ll be honest, there have been times where I've said like “I could kill him/her” because I've been so mad but I wouldn’t pick up a blade and put it through someone’s body. It’s called self-control. I do have self control.

Doritos’ booming barks suddenly snap me out of my thoughts.


Whoa, who the hell is pounding on my door so hard. Calm yourself. It’s eight o’clock in the morning.

“Police! Open the door!”

Holy shit… eyes widened at the thought of the police being outside my door.

“Excuse me, wrong door guys, it’s the one all the way down the hall” I feel like replying back but decide it would be better not to say that.

“We know you are inside this residence. You are required to open the door under state law.”

No no, oh my god, you don’t understand I've never committed a crime in my life - okay okay scratch that- I've parked on the street without using a parking meter but I swear it was only once- and here I am about to be arrested by the police for some crime that I have no idea about. And it was a murder of all the charges. I mean come on, couldn’t it have been like shoplifting a pair of sunglasses or something.

Yeah they weren’t lying. They really did enter my apartment.

I call for Louis and Doritos, praying that they were okay and the police didn’t blow them up already. Probably should have focused more on the situation at hand because next thing I know I'm being pinned down on my own dinning room rug. And let me tell you, that shit you see on Law & Order and CSI is the real deal, the police is rough.

“You are under arrest!” The cop above me growls in my ear.

I pee myself a bit out of fear. Oh lord, mommy, wherever you are, I love you.

“I-I didn’t-t do a-a-anything!” I whimper.  Now that I think of it, I probably should act tougher, right? Nope, probably not a good idea. I mean even if I was innocent, I didn’t want to give the police any reason to use harsher tactics on me.

“I really didn’t do anything! Why are you here? Please get off of me…I’m innocent”

He chuckled (I guess he’s heard that line a couple times).

“Tell that to the head amigos down at the station”. He then hoists me onto my shaky feet.

Forty-five minutes later I find myself forcefully seated into an interview room chair and cuffed to the table. I am still in my pajamas. God this is embarrassing. I was going to go down in history as the dorkiest criminal ever in Futurama pants and a Spongebob t-shirt. I’m not sure how I can joke about this when the situation is so dire. I mean, to be honest, it’s quite easy when your faced with the possibility of your life ending. Life is a joke, so why not laugh?

Two burly men push open the metal door, the thinner one with horn-rimmed glasses takes the seat opposite of me. He puts the folder on the table and removes his glasses, producing a microfiber cloth from his jacket pocket and begins to clean them. It is silent for a good ten minutes.

“D-Do i get a phone call?”

“Oh, of course”, the man had a surprisingly deep voice.
“After you tell me the name of your next intended victim”

“Tha….my what?”

“Your intended victim. Meaning the person that you intend to harm next. You know, victim letter X or however you are recording it. Am I making it clear enough for you?”

Okay so after hearing those words, I completely lose it.

“Actually, no, you aren’t making it clear enough for me. You don’t understand that I didn’t do anything. I don’t have a stupid intendant victim or letter X person. I have no idea what is going on right not. You dragged me out of my house for no reason.”

“You are wanted for the murder of —!”

“NO! I have never killed anybody in my life! Ask my mother. Call her. I dare you to call my mother. I haven’t done anything”

“We have evidence that proves otherwise!”

This is where it gets interesting. What kind of evidence could they possibly have on an innocent person?

My blood freezes cold as I see the officer push his glasses to the side and pull out a familiar notebook with my name on the front.

Crap. That’s my journal. How the hell did they get my journal? I’m pretty sure that I had hidden it in my bookcase. This thing isn’t exactly made for entertainment. They must have read some pretty nasty shit.

“Right here” The officer pointed to the first entry.

I stabbed the pen into his eyes and savored the sight of the book mixing with the fluid of the eyes. Satisfying feeling. I am so glad that this little fucker is finally learning his lesson about throwing pens in the classroom.

“This was regarding a student in your classroom correct? Jacob Lancaster yes? Did you know that he hasn’t been seen in over a month since you last wrote this entry?”

“Okay this isn’t what it seems-”

“Im not done. What about this one?

It was about time that Alison learned the punishment for using her cell phone in class. Doesn’t she know that her teacher becomes a psychopath when she finally has the final straw?

“I find it rather interesting the intensity with which you write your entries.. especially your most recent entry”

I am so sick and tired of Andre messaging me during work. It just sickens me. Seriously, who wants to receive threatening messages? It was after that fourth message that   I had had it.’

“Could you tell me what you did?”

“Nothing. I swear to my life!I just wrote-”

“Really?….Interesting cause below it reads”

I went to her house; really the house she is currently staying in with Steven and Marco. I told her to come out and talk to me face to face, no more of this non-confrontational bullshit.  When she refused, I knew I had to take measures into my own hands so I jumped the wall into the backyard and crept into the sliding doors..

“What did you do after that?”

“Oh for fuck’s sake, that notebook isn’t real!”

I feel sick, literally sick.  This is all wrong, the police weren’t supposed to find my notebook. But then again, even if they had found it, which they did, I didn’t commit any murders.            My psychologist was the one who had presented the idea of cognitive therapy. He was the one who suggested I write the damn thing. 

Im pretty sure this was a violation of some right of doctor-patient confidentiality.

“After presenting this evidence, would you like to inform me of your next intended victim”

My stomach was cringing at the thought of even spending a night in jail, especially because I was being charged for literally writing words on paper.

“Where exactly did you find that notebook?” I ask weakly because I know questioning the question wasn’t the smartest idea. The officer looked surprised.

“You mean you don’t remember?”

I shake my head and try to recollect all memories I had of the past few weeks.

He continues, “You were seen drinking at a bar last night, writing in this notebook. The bartender was aware that you looked furious and that you kept muttering to yourself and cursing out a wide range of people, including Alison and Andre. The notebook was left behind because you got kicked out of the bar due to the state of intoxication you were in. The bartender therefore retrieved the notebook and thankfully had the common sense to inform the police after reading a few of your entries”

It suddenly came back to me. I had been drinking with friends last night and I did write about Alison in my notebook because I was so upset about what was happening at work, and because I was drunk I was making up weird scenarios of how to obtain ‘justice’. But I thought that I had put the notebook in my bag before I got kicked out of the bar.

There were a couple moments of silence after my recollection of the events that had occurred.

“Are you planning to cooperate with us now?” The officer asked me. 

I felt sick to the stomach. I felt that if I even opened my mouth to answer that question that I was going to puke.

The door to the interrogation room thankfully opened and several people stepped in at once. I was so confused about everything that was happening that I didn’t even realize that a blanket was being draped over my shoulders.

I look up to see Marco standing right by me. It’s hard to describe his emotional state, it seemed to be a mixture of relief and anger.

I attempt to get up to hug them but I got jolted back by my handcuffed hands to the table. Well, that’s embarrassing.

I see my psychologist behind. What a relief. She starts arguing with the police officers.
Whoa. Whats going on now? My stomach churns and I throw up on the table of the interrogation room. I suddenly feel extremely dizzy and pass out.

I am back at home when I regain consciousness. Was this all a terrible nightmare?

Doesn't even matter cause I am sure as hell not going to be even touching alcohol for the next couple of months to say the least.

I can hear Steven and Marco in the kitchen eating everything in my fridge, as they always do. Doritos is, of course, the first to greet me.

Nope, it definitely was not a dream. I let Doritos lick my entire face for the first time and chuckle while Louis is barking at the bowl. Thank god the police didn’t do anything to hurt these two precious beauties in my life.

I walk into the kitchen, I get bombarded with loads of information from Steven and Marco. Basically, I established that everything that happened yesterday was a complete misunderstanding- something I was reiterating from the beginning.

Steven and Marco informed that after the bartender informed the police about my notebook, they tried to locate all the ‘victims’ that I had mentioned in my book and they became alarmed when they couldn’t find them. They then assumed automatically that I had killed them and disposed of all their bodies.

The reason my photo was in the newspaper was because they thought that I was going to flee the country. Basically the Chief of Police had one team of officers looking for my intended ‘victims’ while another officer was put on the task of interrogating me. Poor man.

As for my psychologist, he had been contacted about my medical records, for which he refused to disclose and demanded the grounds for my arrest. He then sped to the police station to clear everything up. Thank god.

Marco later told me that he got a phone call about Alison ‘missing and possibly being deceased.’ He told me that he didn’t believe one word of it because he knew that Alison and her family had left a day before for a family vacation in Italy. Not sure if it was a coincidence or not but most of my ‘targets’ seemed to be either on business or vacation trips. Obviously, there was no evidence that I had killed anyone.

My psychologist later called me to clear some things up and told me that he had to explain the reasons behind the use of my notebook. He also had to inform the police the use of cognitive therapy that was being used in our session in order to treat my anxiety and anger that led to my mildly psychopathic imagination. To be honest, it was a shit storm.

Now I'm here, in the safety of my home, with my two fur balls of love. My notebook was obviously returned to me, with an apology letter attached from the Chief of Police.

I read the line below the apology aloud to Steven and Marco, with an ominous tone:
I’m keeping my eye on you.

What an asshole. I chuckled and crumpled the note. I pray that Doritos digs this out of the trash and eats it.








About the Author
Christina Marrano is currently a freshman majoring in Biology at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Before starting her undergraduate studies she lived overseas in Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, Egypt and Greece. Moving every three years with her family was challenging, but she enjoyed being a global nomad and the unique opportunity to meet a variety of different people and cultures. She is now looking forward to living and studying in D.C. for the next four years and enjoying everything the nation's capital offers.


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