THE CASE OF THE CYBER VIGILANTE.
A CRIME THRILLER SHORT STORY BY Me IN STORYMIRROR.COM.
Sara wished she had never accepted the friendship request of a stranger online. His name was Mark Staines. He was a twenty-three -year old surgeon from London. Initially, he just wanted to know about her likes and dislikes. She told him that she was 28 and married to Jamie Sylvester. They lived in Goa, India. She also had a four-year-old daughter, Emma. Sara was a naive housewife who blindly trusted everyone. She never learned from her past mistakes. Sara switched off her mobile as Mark had started calling and texting her at odd hours.
Jamie started noticing the change in her behavior. Her hands trembled while answering her phone calls. He asked her, ” What’s wrong with you, sweetheart? You are not answering your phone calls. I find your mobile switched off most of the time. You are no longer addicted to Facebook or Instagram.” Sara shivered in fright. ” I am alright,” she lied, ” I thought I should not waste my time by going through the social media posts.” Jamie didn’t argue with her. He knew she was lying.
Sara was quite happy with her decision to quit social media. Jamie had a project that required him to go abroad. He decided to take his family along with him. Jamie and Sara went on a tour to Europe and England with their kid. They visited Switzerland, France, Austria, Sweden, and Denmark. Their final destination was England.
Unfortunately, Sara made a mistake. She uploaded her pictures over Facebook and Instagram. Her erstwhile friend, Mark, pounced upon the golden chance to torment her with lewd messages. Sara was scared. She was unable to hide her anxiety from Jamie. She loved her husband dearly and didn’t want to betray him.
She was playing with Emma when her phone pinged. She received a text message from Mark. He wanted her to sleep with him before she left England. He had threatened her to meet his demand or face the consequences.
Sara burst into tears. She sobbed until Jamie entered the room to find Emma playing alone and saw her crying. Jamie hugged Sara and said, ” Why don’t you tell me what’s bothering you? I promise not to hurt or leave you. I won’t even judge you if you did commit some mistake. I am your soulmate. Don’t try to hide anything from me.” Sara replied,” I don’t know how to begin my sorry tale. I accepted all the friendship requests on Facebook. I never thought that men would consider a simple friendship as an affair. Some of them resorted to sex chat. I stopped responding to them. Unfortunately, I accepted Mark Staines as my friend. He seemed to be a perfect gentleman for a couple of months. He started showing his true colors as he sent messages expressing his love. I turned him down and told him that I was a married woman with a kid. That is why I stopped using Facebook and Instagram for a while. He turned out to be an obsessed maniac. He saw my recent pics on Facebook and texted me to sleep with him, or he would malign my character.”
Jamie launched into a series of expletives. Sara drew back in fear. Her husband saw her shivering. So, he stopped his verbal tirade and tried to calm her nerves. He squeezed her hand gently. He promised to handle the situation with Mark by putting him away behind bars. Sara felt relieved. They spent their time watching TV in their hotel room.
Mark was waiting for Sara. He had booked a presidential suite for them. He had bought a big packet of flavored condoms. It was 9 PM. Someone knocked at his door. Mark smiled before opening the door. A blonde bombshell stood outside, grinning at him. He was numb with shock. Sara had stood him up, but who was he to complain. He got a better deal. He let her in. The blonde lady kissed him passionately. They dropped their clothes and jumped into the bed. The lights went out.
Jamie and Sara made love while Emma slept.
The next day, Jamie and Sara boarded the flight to India.
Meanwhile, the cops were all over Hotel Holiday Inn in London. They found Mark Staines’ dead body in the presidential suite.
The housekeeping employee, Melissa Borno, was the one who discovered him lying naked on the bed. Chief Inspector Lester King was at the crime scene with his partner, Inspector Lucy Shawn. Forensic Examiner, Michael Mullen, turned over Mark’s corpse. There was no sign of strangulation marks or any other scar on the body. It was difficult to ascertain the cause of death. Mark’s wallet was still intact. His laptop and mobile were untouched.
There was not a single drop of blood anywhere near the body.
Michael beckoned the cops over. ” I am unable to ascertain the cause of death merely by physical examination, ” he said, ” It looks like he had a peaceful end. I need to do an autopsy to find out if he had a heart attack or allergic reaction to something.” Lucy found a packet of condoms which was still intact. She added, ” Sir, I have found this lying under the bed. I am sure he had a girlfriend with him. She is absconding. I think she must have killed him.”
Lester said, ” Don’t jump to any conclusion, Lucy. Let us wait for the autopsy results. Meanwhile, ask the hotel manager to give us the CCTV recording.”
Lucy went to find the manager. Lester joined her to watch the recording. They were shocked to find an unusual sight. What was it that left them stunned? There are more unusual murders to follow in the upcoming chapters.
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