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Suhaa Burte Nadkarni

It was the strangest fortune that had come with a fortune cookie! It all started one day which seemed normal, but it was a day that Ivy would regret for her entire life. Ivy went to school, came back and started watching TV. She was a curious girl. She liked to be aware about things that were happening in the world. That is why she usually watched the news. At school Ivy didn’t have any friends and she often felt very lonely. She decided to start a conversation with someone. She wanted to have some friends to talk to. Someone other than her parents who would understand her. She wanted to be a part of Karen's group.

Karen's group was the most popular group in the class. She sat next to them during lunch. They all looked at her, then looked at each other, and then rolled their eyes all at the same time. Almost like it was scripted. Before saying hello, she abruptly blurted, “Can I be part of your group?” Karen, the leader of the group said “You have to earn your place in this Club.” Emphasizing the word club. Karen wasn’t ever letting Ivy into the group. She just took this as an opportunity to make fun of Ivy. “Do you know about Fortune Cookie?” Karen asked? Ivy did. It was a website which asked you questions about things that you like and then destroyed them. “Open the website's questions for 3 days. You have to do this in front of us.” Karen thought that Ivy would never do this. Ivy thought for a minute. She really wanted some friends. Hesitantly she agreed. Karen already knew that this had gone too far. But, she couldn’t back down. Not in front of the club! Karen had, for the first time, felt regret and guilt. But she thought that there was nothing that she could do about it.

The next day, Karen's group and Ivy went to the library and asked for permission to use the computer. The library was a large echoey room with long bookshelves instead of walls. There was a stairway going all the way to the top of the library. No one had climbed to the top. No one could see the top. It was like there was no top. “What for” the librarian hissed. “We want to-”Ivy said before Karen interrupted “do some research” The librarian gave Ivy a look that made her shiver. She handed a computer pass to Ivy and Karen. Karen walked up to the computer desk. She put on the computer and slowly opened the website. The computer went blank. Then a question appeared in a white font. ‘What is your favorite place to be?” Ivy and Karen didn't do anything for a minute. “Well type” Karen said. ‘HOME’ Ivy typed. The next question popped up. ‘What kind of home do you have?’ Ivy wrote house even though she lived in an apartment. The screen went blank for a second, then the dreadful white font appeared again. This time it wasn’t a question. It said ‘login tomorrow or bear the consequences’

Ivy couldn’t sleep that night. She was so worried about the next day. Would a house nearby be robbed? Would something bad happen to a family living in the house?

What happened the next day was much worse.

Ivy woke up the next morning. She walked out of her apartment to find the house next door was burnt down. There were fire fighters everywhere. She ran to school and told Karen. “I don't want to go back to that website.” Ivy said. “Didn’t you see! It said ‘login tomorrow or bear the consequences’. If you don't, it will make you disappear or something,”!” Karen said. At lunch Karen and Ivy went to the library again. They logged onto the website again. The white font appeared again. It said “What is your favourite thing to do when you are not at home or school?” Ivy typed “GOING SHOPPING AT THE MALL” The screen went blank. Then the same message that they saw yesterday popped up. ‘Login tomorrow or bear the consequences’ Ivy was terrified. She convinced the school nurse that she was really sick and went home early. When she began watching the news, she was shocked. There was a whole police investigation about the fire. Somehow, they knew that the house had burnt down because of the usage of the Fortune Cookie website. Ivy fainted. She woke up in the hospital. Now, the police thought that she fainted because someone else was using Fortune Cookie. “At Least they don’t think that it's me,” Ivy thought. Ivy remembered that she had to login to the website again today. She asked the nurse when she could get out of the hospital. “Tomorrow”. The nurse said in a calming voice. “NO! This can’t happen!” Ivy thought. She asked the nurse if she could use a laptop for entertainment. The nurse said that it was late and that Ivy should try and get some sleep. Ivy was going to miss a question! It was all she could think about at night. She was scared, very scared. The next day, she asked if she could use the laptop. This time, the nurse said yes. She opened the laptop and logged onto the website. The white font appeared again. It said ‘bear the consequences’

No one saw Ivy after that.

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