Stalked – Part 2 – A Redo

I have rewritten the Part 2 of Stalked Series. If you want to read the previous version, go here. 

If you want to start at the beginning, here is Stalked 1.

Stalked: Part Two (redo)

It was a cold, cold night. The breeze was blowing softly down the narrow alleys of Gamla Stan. Almost completely empty with most residents asleep and if not asleep, definitely indoors. Most except for me. I wandered just looking for clues and not being able to find anything. The only thing keeping me going on was the small clue that someone was here leaving me a message. I found strange footsteps, seemingly going circles, almost a wild goose chase. Although there was the graffiti for investigation, I just felt a twitch in my gut that there was something more here. Something telling me that there was something worthwhile right here. As I still tried to figure out the silhouette of the shadow was, I could confirm that whoever the shadow belonged to was wearing some type of hood. But what most got my attention in this case wasn’t just the kidnapping.

Something bigger. It was clear that it was done by professionals and possibly had plenty of underground connections. So chances are if any of us end up cracking the case, we are probably going to stumble on to something much bigger than a few detectives are going to be able to handle. Even though I felt that somebody could easily be watching me with extreme caution and professionalism, but I still cannot seem to pinpoint the source of my hunch. Almost as if there was a hazy memory in my brain trying to break out. After I decided that it was enough for one day, I knew that I would be boarding the cruise to Helsinki tomorrow. After a few miles of walking, I was back at the hotel.

“Out for a late night?” A voice materialized out of thin air.

I looked to see the same keeper of the hotel from before.

“Just doing some extra investigation” I replied.

“Well, you are going to want to get some sleep. The cruise is taking off tomorrow and I am guessing if you are being followed or watched, some body is going to be on your tail,” he said as he lit a cigarette.

After heading up to my room, I looked out of my window. It had been a long and tiring day. With just two clues found. As I drifted off to sleep, the reality itself started to fade. As my mind drifted into the subconscious of the dreams, I found myself in some type of building. In a dark room, not sure what I could see. But I knew that i was tied to a chair. I could not feel any pain but my arms and legs have gone numb. And as I feel things materializing, suddenly things started drifting off again. Almost as if I am trying to see something but I cannot quite. Things keep on fading away again. I could barely see some chairs around me but no one was sitting on them. It seemed like suddenly the gravity itself was fading. Like all the chairs were starting to float. It was almost as if I was drugged. Just during the last few minutes of me being stuck there, I could hear a voice barely whispering but I still could not get it. Before I knew it, I was no longer in the chair. Instead, I was in my bed, trying to get my bearings. I feel like my back and left arm seemed to be sore. After I got up and recomposed myself, I decided that the best option was not to think too hard about it at this point. I had to get ready for the cruise.

Black and dark as the night with such a strong and yet vibrant fragrance, with a bitter twist to it paired with heat of a thousand suns, that is coffee. I took a long sip of my dark roast thinking about my plans once I board the cruise ship. I was already at the station, just thirty minutes early as mentioned to look for any strange behaviors from anyone. I thought to myself, “do the ones opposite to me really follow me? Are the ones trying to cover up the evidence alway tailing me?” The same predictable ideas. In the end, I rose with the question unanswered. So I waited. Just as when I was about to finish my second cup, there was an announcement for boarding.

After finishing the usual check-in, I boarded the ship and I was always interested in boats and ships when I was of young age. Always so baffled at how they didn’t sink despite their weight. It made me nostalgic to remember my mother constantly trying to explain to me how just they worked. After boarding, I went to my cabin. They were a few announcements before I was struck with silence.I only listened to the parts that caught my ear. One of them was “if you see anyone covering their face with dark colored clothing, please call the security”. I decided to pursue the lead. So when I went down, I saw that everything was relatively normal. I saw the usual looking people – a tall blonde man working on the slot machine. A few men playing cards and a group of women seeming to be gossiping about something. But there was a woman near the store who caught my eye.

She didn’t seem to be wearing the dark and gritty clothes that were mentioned in the announcement but she had an odd smile. Like her lips were attempting to go past where the skull would allow them. It was a tad unsettling. But I calmly discarded it. After a few minutes, I decided to sit down for lunch. I got a seat near the window. When I looked, I could see the Swedish archipelago surrounding us. Soon, a waitress came and greeted me with a menu.

“You don’t seem like you’re having the best time.”

I looked and I could see that most other people’s faces have been beaming between all the different activities on the ship and all the exotic restaurants they had.

“Well, I guess, I am not. Either that, or I am the only one who didn’t have a lobotomy.”

She smiled in response.

“Well, I would say that with such a place like this could offer. There must be something really depressing you.”

“Depression is inevitable. In the end the question is who can keep it down the longest.”

“Quite poetic, aren’t you?” she replied nonchalantly.

“There are a lot of ways to define a poet.” I said to her.

“Well, I was wondering if you would be particularly interested in this.” And then she handed me a folder along with a small bottle of scotch. “I was told to give you this if you happened to stop by.” She gave me me a smile and then left me to my own business.

I took a look the folder and they happened to hold some interesting information involving multiple disappearances and even convicted murderers over the course of last ten years. They all had a strange connection. All of them before committing the murder had taken trips to the Baltic. I saw that these were some extremely tactically committed murders from the autopsy results.There was one about a poisoned bottle of whisky saved for a special occasion that was unopened for six years. These were starting to get more and more intriguing. One involved a string of blunt objects to be tipped over hitting a person on the top of their head killing them due to blood loss. I read through a few more and I found a code.

J5JEIRKSKM5FIRKMJQ5FAQKTKNCU4R2FKJJTUVCPHJGEKQKWIU5EIRKDJMUCSU2FKQ5FKUB2IJKUOUZIFFKVGRJ2KBJE6USUIFLECTBIFE

I wasn’t quite sure what it meant. I thought the most likely possibility was that it was written in a programming language. Again, I felt like something was watching me from a distance but when I look around there was nobody even glancing at me. When I left the restaurant, I could have sworn I saw a handprint on the outside of the window.

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