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Critical Error (10)


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“Stalker?  Fourteen years?!  You’ve got to be kidding me!”

“I wished I had better news for you.”

“So what do I do in the meantime?”

“Inspect your mail, inform the post office, have them watch for anyone regularly dropping mail into the slot without return addresses, and ask them to hold the mail there.”

“Think about anyone new in your life, someone you met within the specified time period during which these incidents began occurring.  In all likelihood, the person responsible is someone you already know but it could also be someone who’s met you once and feels they know you.”

“There are reliable websites regarding stalking, read as much as you can about the behaviour associated with erotomania so you have an idea what you’re up against.”


“I’ll run some tests on these, pass them by a couple of professionals to see what their take is on the mind of the perp and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can with the news.  Ok?”

“Thank you, Officer Morton.”

“I’ll be in touch.”  He escorted her to the front door and after returning to his desk to begin searching through the mail for anything untoward that might hint at who or where they originated.  “Fred, could you come here?”

“Sure, what’s up?”

“I want you to take a look at something.”

“Holy, mother. . . . I’d say someone has a pretty serious problem.”

“Who is it, anyone we know?”

“Never met her until about an hour and a half ago.  Her name’s Martin and she works at Golden City Life Travel Agency, in the Mall.”

“Oh, the looker!”

“Enough, Fred!”

“Alright, alright.”

“So any idea who the perp is?  A jealous lover, an ex-boyfriend, or husband?”

“That’s what I’m going to check out first.  Her marriage ended a little over five years ago.  Divorce.”

“Martin, Martin.  Sorry, can’t tell you anything about her.  There were plenty of rumors, but nothing involving us.”

“What do you mean?  He beat her?”

“Nothing on record, we never got a call so it’s doubtful.”

“I’m going to run a background check on the ex and see what comes up before we go and have a talk with her.”

“I’m with you.”

He checked computer files but came up empty.  Well, that seemed to rule out the jealous husband angle, but not necessarily the scorned or angry vengeful husband.  Just because he didn’t have a record didn’t mean much, just that he’d never been caught.

He then pulled the files on any known or suspected stalkers in the area or on the island.  Nothing.

Joe worked for another twenty minutes before signing out.  He had to get home and get some sleep; he’d been on duty since five-thirty.  His microwave dinner didn’t appeal much.

Sleep wouldn’t come.  Ms. Martin’s problem kept infiltrating his thoughts.  Getting out of bed, he dressed and returned to the station.  Walking into his office, he closed the door and sat down behind the desk to listen to the tapes she’d left.  Each started with heavy breathing and slowly progressed into a series of vulgar sounds, followed by more heavy breathing followed by a click.  Nothing too startling here, he decided.  As he continued listening to the other tapes, though, he noticed the tone of the caller had changed.  His chatter went from talking to obscenities that were becoming more and more vulgar to outright screeching!  A very disturbed individual.  ‘Crazy’ came to mind.  For whatever reason, he seemed to be losing control.

Yeah, there was a problem here alright! He understood why she didn’t want her kids discovering the tapes.  It was enough to stand his hair on end, let alone a single woman, seriously distressing to an innocent teenager.

He wanted to get started on her case right away.  This kind of thing didn’t happen often, but when it did, the result wasn’t good.

. . . . . .

Changing into her favourite cream and blue fuzzy top and an old pair of jeans, she lay on the chesterfield and almost immediately, fell asleep.  She didn’t wake up until the kids walked through the door.

“Oh my god, I fell asleep.”

“Mom, what are you doing home?”  Christina asked in surprise.

“I had some errands to run, George kindly suggested I leave early so I took him up on his offer.”

“Oh.  I was surprised to see you.  You’re sure you’re ok?” she asked in concern.

“I’m fine, really.  So, whose turn to cook tonight?”


“I guess I’d better get started then,” Eilea smiled warmly at her daughter and went into the kitchen.




  1. AprilEsutton says:

    The police are involved. So glad. Very well written.


  2. Oh crap. This showed up in the wrong order on my feed. No wonder I’m a bit confused.


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