Suicide no. 7: The Identity Thief

Suicide no. 7: The Identity Thief

–by Derek Alan Wilkinson

Version of an image of a credit card

Working as a bank manager made it easy.

And then, you just teach yourself sing-song methods for memorizing numbers. Account numbers. Birth dates. Social Security numbers. A whole series of mnemonic devices exist for remembering the little bits and pieces of someone’s identity: what, in today’s digital age, makes up just about anything and everything they are.

Afterward, you just have to pick up on who they are, relative to all that: that is, occupation, family, and that little box number that indicates the person’s place of residence.

Paris, Berlin, Moscow, London, Perth, Sou Paulo, Las Angeles. He’d traveled the world being someone else, living off of their 401k; the accounts he’d hacked wound up being, usually, the ones he’d helped them set up. By the time any of the agencies responsible for catching and stopping him would show up, he’d be long gone. It got to be easy, living this life: faking accents, dying his hair, enjoying the world and soaking it all in as a whole other, new person just about once a week.

Yet, here he was, sitting in this run-down excuse for a hotel, somewhere in Boise, not only wondering who he was, but…who…was after him?

It wasn’t the police—they wouldn’t have stared him down in the subway in Manhattan, smiling: as if the thirty-something-year-old guy had something to be so smug about. And he looked so…familiar.

So, maybe revenge? Maybe it was someone whose identity he’d stolen. So, in that hotel, he rummaged through the usual list in his head.

Paul? The cop? No, he lived in St. Louis, and his family wouldn’t let him venture as far out without reason. It was five in the morning, for fuck’s sake.

What about Jerry? He couldn’t, after all, remember what these people looked like. He just remembered that Jerry was single with no kids, and liked rock climbing, biking, and all that other athletic, adventurous shit. He could’ve been the one with the sinister gaze that morning.

No, Jerry just updated his Facebook location. He likes letting his friends know everything he does. Goddamn narcissistic little asshole.

There was this one person. Gordan? He thought that was his name. Came into the office one day, quiet, weird. Just wanted to set up a checking account, but insisted that he spoke with the branch manager to do so instead of one of the tellers.

Then, he remembered. It wasn’t anything he said or did, outside of the need to be in control of the whole transaction. He remembered that barely-used I.D., and how he’d only needed “Gordan” for a day or so. He also remembered Gordan’s age, the fact that he lived alone, kept to himself, and….

Oh, shit. Single, white, thirty-something, controlling, no hobbies.

Sociopath.

Just when it hit him, as the clock near his bed shone “2:38 AM,” a silhouette crossed the slats of the hotel’s window, and, somehow, the carded entry that kept the door locked clicked its way open.

Idea taken from The Daily Prompt:

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/daily-prompt-identity/

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5 thoughts on “Suicide no. 7: The Identity Thief

  1. So the protagonist gets killed by one of the identities he’s stolen? I think this is my favorite of your works so far. The storyline was easy to follow and the ending almost sounds like something I would write. Read Darkness Mingles So in my short stories to get what I mean…great work!

    -Perse

    1. Mind you, I’m not much of a horror genre reader…so these compliments are a rarity coming from me.

      -Perse

      1. Not a normal “Suicides Series” type of ending. I was working out some of the direction and focus of the stories on this one. “Suicide” has different meanings for different people, and, for many, “identity” falls under that flag.

  2. In reply to your last reply…
    I like the way you’ve done this, where you don’t actually make the end obvious. We’re left with just enough clues, have to keep guessing…and I’m being lazy by asking all the important questions in the comments.

    Haha, I guess I’m not really one for suicide! I had so much misfortune in my earlier years…it always sounds like bad news, bad connotation to me. Identity, definitely…you’re right, it really depends on the person.

    You know, I should have gotten that. The Suicides are named for that theme ending. I really must have been half asleep when I looked through your site…

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