[RF] Whenever you think of an event and look at a person, you see the probability that the event occurs on them.

I really don't like being called the Angel of Death. It takes away from all the other legitimate uses of my Probability Sensor. For example, if I thought of a murder at the First National Bank, I get see all the potential victims. The numbers float like some kind of video game health bar over the head of everyone I look at. For example, as I sit in the cafe, I can tell that the man next to me has a 0.0012% of being robbed in the next three days, in or around the greater metro area.

Unlike the fictional Death Note, I don't know who people's names are, or exactly how long they'll live, but I do know who's more at risk of dying, or being robbed. My colleagues think I'm getting paid to do essentially nothing. After all, how hard could it be to look at a person and write some numbers down? But the problem didn't always lay in the looking. It lay in the thinking. You had to be exact with the event you had in mind. One mistake, and you'd be messing up a massive chain of numbers.

I pay for my coffee, nothing that the cashier has a 0.01% chance of being defrauded in the next ten days. As I walk out, I see all the other numbers from the throng of commuters coming off the nearby train station. These numbers are often very low, but they are never exactly 0% or 100%. Anything above 10% was worth giving to the Pre-Crime department to investigate. Anything above 50% I'd investigate and stop myself.

I decided to do a big one today. What are the chances that someone will be murdered in the next five days?

Instantly I see the numbers flash over everyone else's head. And it's a sea of zeros. Maybe there one 2%. All good.

I keep walking, entering the train station to see where the 2% is going. Probably a junkie or a dealer, I thought, but it was still best to be sure. You never knew with the laws of probability. But then as I got onto the platform, someone else crossed my line of sight, and his number was so staggering that I was nearly knocked out from shock there and then.

The gentleman with the briefcase and tie had a 98.6% chance of being murdered in the next five days.

Wrenching my sight from the 2% man, I started tracking the dead man walking. He was leaving the station. There seemed to be something heavy in his briefcase, and briefly I thought to find out - but not just yet. Patience, I told myself. And as I kept following him the patience paid off in a remarkable way. The percentages kept mounting and mounting, until I was standing on the sidewalk, and he had a 99.99% chance of being murdered in the next five days.

While I still had him in sight, I quickly ran through my list of reasons for murder.

Probability of being murdered in the next five days due to domestic issues...0.18% Probability of being murdered in the next five days due to drug deals...0.001% Probability of being murdered in the next five days due to organised crime...0.3% Probability of being murdered in the next five days due to political crime...99.9%


The man was a terrorist. And his co-conspirators were planning to silence him. I now needed to know where he placed the bomb. I kept thinking about the murder chances, just because it was so rare to have such a certain catch. But just then, he turned the corner.

Momentarily, I saw myself in the reflection of a car mirror. And I stopped dead.

Right there, hovering over my head, was my own murder probability in five days. And it stood at 100%.

/r/WritingPrompts Thread