Stockholm, home to many foreigners in my case.
My name is Cameron Aarons. A detective usually on the case of murder, but more of strange disappearances. I have come here on a job for the mysterious disappearance of the Bedson family. Two parents and three children, all mysteriously disappeared after arriving at an airport at Stockholm coming from Canada. And living the normal life in suburbia. Due to the disappearance of seemingly normal people, multiple professionals have been called on the case. I am one of them. Most of the other detectives that were hired have been put in areas around the most of the airports that traveled through to get to Stockholm. According to the information provided by the airlines, although they were able to get to Stockholm, there was a mention of them missing a few things. Such as a backpack, an extra bag, and even to the point of losing the father’s wallet. And although they should have been lost around a certain gate, none of the detectives seem to have found it. Some of them are back at the family’s home in Canada, gathering intel and sending it to me and others.
I have been put in charge of this inquiry in Gamlastan or the Old Town, as it is known in English. I now overlook the area as people walk down the streets, I stay at a small hotel, perfect for overlooking and not being too disturbing of the regular life that goes on here. I had just gotten to the hotel after a bit of time. Multiple witnesses and local policemen had a consistent story of a strange but very dapper and formal man seen around the scene of the disappearance. He was a witness, no body knew who he was. Even if we found him we speculated that he would refuse, possibly having a play in the disappearance. Some people had seen him walk out but no one saw where. He walked out, joined a group of men and walked away. The lost family was last seen discussing plans about where to eat and where to go.
There didn’t seem to be too many clues other than the fact that most of the family’s luggage and a card. It seemed to have the Mr. Bedson’s phone number. Stepping outside the hotel, I saw a graffiti on the wall near my hotel. Most of the graffiti was in Swedish but this one was not. It was in clear and fluent English, “The Case Stops Now.” Below it, was a symbol of a B with a snake around the letter itself. Although the words were regular graffiti, being crudely written, although properly spelled, the symbol below was almost as if it was sketched on paper. So strangely detailed.
“I see you found that graffiti.” A voice said seemingly out of nowhere. I turned around to see the hotel manager. He was a tall slender man with a cigarette in his mouth but not lit yet.
“You know about it? Graffiti isn’t hard to find around here.”
I replied “yes but you and me both can see the detail and how fresh it is.”
He paused for a moment as if he was trying to get something from his memory. “I saw it around a bit after you came, but don’t know who wrote it, could be just some guy trying to make a point but something tells me it could be connected to you.”
“It does seem that way with it being in fluent English and such a strange message.”
As we talked, in the corner of my eye I could have sworn a saw a shadow of someone very close.
“So where do you think it came from?” I asked.
“Maybe it was a kidnapping, and they think you pose a threat” he replied.
“But i do know a place that you will have some luck finding them” he said as my mind lit up with possible outcomes for this case.
“It’s called käärme syöjä or…” another pause from him as he seemed to be lost in thought.
“Ah! now i know it’s called ‘snake eater’ in English, but its a ways from here. Your gonna want to do some extra work here before you go there”
I thought about his advice and decided it was a good idea. “your probably right, but if i may ask how far do i have to go to get over to käärme syöjä” with me butchering the pronunciation making it sound like ‘carma soyja’.
“It’s in Helsinki so your gonna have to take a cruise if you want to get there” he said.