I have just finished writing my first pasta, it is titled Investigation Journal. It would be awesome if you guys could give me some feedback on it. State your hones opinion please. Also, I originally planned for it to be a series. I want to add at least 5 more entries to the journal, as the investigation progresses. Would like some opinions on that too, should I continue?
Investigation Journal #16 of private investigator **** ****, found by the police in his apartment, used by **** both as a residence and an office. The following document is evidence in an open murder case. Some parts were censored to protect the right of privacy of different persons/organizations and/or sensitive/classified information. All viewing of the document or parts of the document by unauthorized persons is strictly prohibited. Any unauthorized viewing of the document is a direct breach of the laws of the United States of America, and may endanger the national security of the United States of America, and thus will be prosecuted severely. The document is the property of the US government.
(Note:)I am starting a new investigation, this one is completely my initiative. I am not getting paid for it, yet it is something I must do. While I'm investigating this new one, I will be working on my other investigations as well. My priorities are pretty clear to me. While this investigation is important to me, for financial reasons, it is pretty much at the end of my list.
Okay, last week I've been going through an old box full of folders, sorting out unnecessary documents. (My office is a mess. It is full of boxes, which are full of folders, which are full of papers that are years old. Pretty useless stuff.) While going through the papers in a folder which had only a big marker written "IMPORTANT" (probably by me) on it's cover, I came across a small note with two things written on it:
I recognized the handwriting as mine, I realized it was a note I made for myself to remember the password and address of my email box at the time, but I didn't remember anything else about it. I couldn't even remember approximately the period when I have used that email account, but I was pretty sure it was years ago. Curious, I left the note on my office desk as I kept going through the other papers, and pretty soon forgot all about it.
The day before last, I was about to start working on one of my other investigations, when I noticed the note lying on my desk. It made me curious, and I decided to try to log on to that email account, just for the sake of it, and see it's state after years of neglect and disuse. I logged on (I was pleasantly surprised to find that the mailbox still existed), and started going through the messages in my inbox. It had 16,843 unread messages, the latest of which was dated 2/25/2000. The message was from the administration of the email provider (MailCore.com), it stated that because the mailbox was unused for over five years, it was deactivated, and in order to re-activate it, I would need to follow a link in the message.
I had no reason to do it, so I just went on checking the other messages. After a few minutes I got bored going through endless ads, so I applied a filter to the inbox to show only messages marked as important. The list shrunk down to 1,855 messages. I went quickly through the first few hundred messages without reading (most of them were ads as well...), but then I stumbled on one whose sender was **** ****, my old college roommate. I haven't heard from him in years, in fact, the last time we spoke was shortly after graduation. He was one of my best friends at the time, but after graduation we went our separate ways, with me moving to a different state. The message was dated 5/6/1998. I was surprised to see a message from him, so I opened it, and that is what was in it:
I expected something quite different and so I was stupefied. I didn't understand why an old friend would send me such rubbish. I wanted to find out, so I did a search in the inbox for all messages coming from ****. The result was 13 messages, with the one I have read being the last.
Next, for protocol, are all of the messages, with dates, in the order they were received in the mailbox. They are copied from the originals and are unedited.
SUBJECT:Hey dude! It's **** ****! Just wanted to talk to you.
Haven't seen you for ages! We haven't talked since college, haven't we? And to think, we were best pals back then... Anyway, it may seem strange, but I just had something on my mind I had to share with you man, don't know why...
Ok, it will be pretty difficult to explain, so bear with me.
There is this dream, nightmare really, I remembered. It is a dream I have had quite a few times in my life. Or at least that is what I think when I am in this dream. I get a feeling that I know exactly what is about to happen. A feeling of pure dread and terror, because of the inevitability of what is about to transpire... I know it is a dream (I think...), but am terrified non the less, because for the time that I am in the dream, it is as good as reality to me. I get the feeling of complete helplessness. I know what is about to happen, but can't do anything to stop it. All I can do is just bite my lip and wait for it to be over.
Before I continue though, I would like to state a few more facts about this dream. Firstly, I have no idea how many times I have had that dream, or for that matter, when I have had it for the first (or last) time... I am certain that I have had it at least once, and to say the truth, it is quite possible that I had had it only once in my life. The reason I think I had had this dream many times is because of the terrible feeling of familiarity I have when I dream it, the feeling I described above. The feeling that I know exactly what is about to happen to me, and that it happened to me many times in the past. But that feeling could just be a sort of deja vu... Secondly, from what I do remember about the dream, I don't dream it a lot. I think it happens quite rarely...
Thirdly, I hardly remember anything of the dream itself... It is incredibly fuzzy... I actually think that right now, as I am writing this, it is the first time I remembered this dream when I was awake... It creeps me out thinking about it...
Ok, on with the dream.
The dream starts out like my normal life. In the beginning I don't know it is a dream. I can't remember any specifics, but I am certain that for some time the dream has nothing scary about it at the least. But then it hits me. It is a cue of some sort. I can't remember how, but I know that something is terribly wrong... If I had to picture the feeling, I would say it is as if on a sunny day, a perfectly blue sky suddenly turns dark gray (this is just a representation of the feeling I get, in the actual dream I doubt there is a sky turning gray... As far as I can remember, most of the dream happens indoors...)... I get the horrid familiar feeling I have already described above. I start fearing something. Or someone. An entity. I am terrified. I feel it pursues me. Nowhere is safe. But it takes time until something bad starts to happen... Meanwhile I'm in a horrific state of suspense.
I don't remember exactly what is this entity that I fear so much... Although in the dream it is quite vivid... As far as I can remember it is human, or rather has human form. It is female. I don't think it is a girl, more like a grown woman, with a very scary appearance. I remember that it is never fully in view, but it is always there... Anyway, I am dead afraid of it in the dream, partly because it's just so scary, and partly because I know what is about to happen...
Now comes the tough part... What the entity does to me. As a matter of fact, I just can't remember. I remember it is something really bad. I remember it tries to hurt me. Several times. With pauses in between. It is horrible. I am powerless. I certainly remember wishing the dream to be over, waking up, only to find that I haven't really woken up and the nightmare continues. I also remember somehow resisting the creature. I don't remember how, but I put up a fight. Although of course it is futile... And I don't remember how it ends...
Anyway, I'm not sure why I'm sending you this... I just feel I have to send it to you. It's so strange. You probably think I'm a complete weirdo... Well, hope you will read this and send me a reply. Maybe we should meet up at **** again for a beer, just like in the old days!
Your friend, G***
I don't even know how to start... I feel so stupid... I just wanted to appologize for sending you that letter a few months back... Right after I sent it, I started refretting it. I don't know what I was thinking... I honestly can't explain why I did that. I understnad now that it came out creepy as hell... I don't blame you for not answering me, really. Hell, I would have ignored someone too, if they would send me such a letter... Especially after years of not even talking to each other. But at the time it made perfect sence. I don't know, it feels strange as if it was a dream... Like the feeling you get when you wake up and realize that the things that seemed perfectly sensible in the dream, are utter nonsense in reality... Look at me. Again talking about dreams... Let's rewind. Forget all that crap about the dream. I'm not mental. Just wanted to talk to you. I was wondering, maybe you will be back in **** some time, we could meat up, talk... You know, reminisce over the old days. Remember, the team, Lucy and Daniele, our trip... We never did get to go on it, didn't we? Anyway, send me a reply, let's talk.
SUBJECT:I have to talk to you, it's urgent.
I have to talk to you, it's urgent. I know you don't want to talk to me, I understood that from your not answering me, but it is very important now. We have to talk in person! Please get back to me as soon as you can. I think something terrible is about to happen...
i need your help ****. please. it gets worse by the minute, i dont know how long i can take itt.. you are the oly perosn i can think about contacting. why only you??? i dont understand! why you!? i think its here now
I found you.
I did as I always did. It worked! It can't see yet... My eyes won't let it. You are left there alone... That means you can help! Yes! You will! No... Why you? The scratching... It is all around me. If only I could make it stop. I won't listen to the scratching anymore... Yes that worked. But what if it tries to see? I won't hear it now... Why you? Why you??? Need to see better. Need to see better. Need to see better. Need to see better. Need to see better. Need to see better. Need to see better. Need to see better. Need to see better. Need to see better. Need to see better. Need to see better. Need to see better. Need to see better. Need to see better. Need to see better. Need to see better. Need to see better. Need to see better. Need to see better.
it doesnt work anymore! it sees now. it can see you! i have to stop looking. i can hearr the scratching again. i dont understan dhow. i dont listen i only see. i see the scratching. i have to stop looking. i have to s
top looking. i have to stop looking. it wont go, it sees. i cant the hands scratching walls will break you watching always how cant see or hear but i know it is looking it is sitting o cajkjkjkasjfkjfl;;;;;;;;
It took you years to look, but now I can see. I can see. Soon you will see too.
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I was obviously shocked when I read the messages. I didn't know what to think. Either my old friend **** went insane, or he was playing a very nasty joke on me. I decided to contact him right away. It turned out trickier than I at first imagined. I couldn't find any contact information on **** in my phone book, nor in my computer, nor in any other place where I tried looking. The only thing to do that I could think of, was sending him an email. And the only email address of his that I had, was the one from which the disturbing messages were sent.
I logged in to my current electronic mailbox, and composed a short letter. I asked if he was doing fine, and said he got me worried with the strange messages. I said I was sorry for not answering them, I explained that the email address he had sent them to was inactive, and that I have read them for the first time just a few minutes ago. I also said I would love to meet up with him to catch up a little.
I sent the letter, but just a few moments later received an automated reply, stating that the email address I have sent the message to, does not exist. I was at a dead end. I decided to go to sleep, as it was already 3am at that point, and continue my search for **** the next day.
I woke up at 8am yesterday still tired, I didn't get a good sleep, but I had to continue working, and then there was the deal with **** and his strange messages that I wanted to get to the bottom of. I got to it at about 3pm. First I tried to find a way to contact him. I called the local directory assistance of ****, my hometown, where ****, as far as I knew still lived. But upon enquiring for the telephone number of ****, ****, I was told no such name was listed. I was again at a dead end, so I went out to the diner down the street to get some coffee and think things through. I tried to think, where could **** be. After some 20 minutes of thinking and speculating, I decided to work the case as if I was looking for a missing person.
From my experience as an investigator I knew, that before you start speculating about the whereabouts of a missing person, and before you start acting upon those speculations, you must first look for him in the last known place where he was. For ****, that was ****, as far as I knew. That was obvious because in the first message he had sent me, he invited me to meet up with him at **** for a beer. **** is a bar in ****, where we used to spend time during college. From that I deduced that he was still living in ****, at least at the time he was writing me the message, and that is all I had at that moment.
I still have quite a few open investigations, so going to **** was not an option. But from my experience as an investigator, I knew that local archives of small towns, such as ****, were a good place to look, when investigating a case with a missing person. I contacted the **** Archive, and enquired for any information about **** ****. After something like a 30 minute wait, an employee of the archives contacted me, and said that there was only one entry with the given name in it, and that he could send it to me via email. I gave him my current email address and he said that I will receive it in the next few hours.
I received an email from the **** Archives an hour ago. It contained one attached file. A copy of the front page of the **** Daily, the **** daily newspaper. It was dated Friday, February 20th 1998. On the front page was a large photo of a small apartment building. On the street, beside the building were a few police cars and an ambulance. The title read:
"Mutilated body found, **** is shocked"
The story was surprisingly short:
"Mutilated body of a man was found in an apartment on Buckley drive, after neighbors started smelling the stench of decomposition in the house.
The remains of **** ****, a 34 year old man who lived alone in an apartment building on Buckley drive were found yesterday in his apartment. The body was discovered by the police, who were called onto the scene by worried neighbors, who started smelling the stench of rotting flesh coming from the apartment. The police, after knocking on the door for a long time, and yelling to see if anyone was in the apartment, broke into the apartment and found the body of ****, lying on the floor face down. Upon inspection, the corpse was found to be in advanced stages of decomposition, more mysterious however, were other details. The ears of **** were missing, and were later found by the forensics team in other rooms. Also, the eyes were missing as well, but that was credited to the highly decomposed state that the body was in. No official comment was made by the police as to the cause of death of ****."
When I finished reading the story, I couldn't move for the longest time. I was in shock, still am. I was horrified to find out that my old friend **** was dead, and in such a terrible way too. But the bigger shock came when I looked at the date of the newspaper again. In disbelief I quickly checked the dates on the messages that I have received from ****, and then I checked it again. I even logged on to my old email account to make sure there was no mistake. There was none. At least the last three messages I received from ****, were sent to me after his death.
If a story isn't readable, people won't read it. When it's tough to read, fewer people read it. E-mails in that form are hard to read. When that much of the story is nonsense material, I flip to the next one.
Every time you put **** instead of a name, it stops you. That kills suspension of disbelief. Why not put John? Oh, it's censored and redacted. No, that doesn't work well here, especially SO much of it for basic information.
Spelling and Grammar Issues: Paragraphs should be broken down a bit more. "(Note:)I am" should just be "Note: I am". There are multiple times in the story when you don't capitalize "I" and also note that typos cannot be justified by saying that it is how the character wrote it.
Plot Issues: First off, my biggest gripe with this story is the name censorship. Every time I see a story that is trying to protect the identity of a (FICTIONAL) characer I assume the author is too lazy to think of a name. It doesn't add realism, and is very distracting. On top of that most of this story is just pointless filler. Why would Character #2 (people tend to use stock names when you're too lazy to give your characters names) e-mail him about a dream if they haven't spoken in a while?
Plot Issues Continued: What was the point of the break in the 2/5/1998_11:05PM and the 2/5/1998_11:42PM? What is the point of the gibberish message cliche? "I decided to contact him right away." "Mutilated body found, **** is shocked" why would they have his name and that he is shocked on its header? And finally the whole It-was-sent-after-he-died thing is kind of cliche.