The Case of the Menacing Slash

It was another Monday morning. The sign on the door said Private Investigator.

But the sign below that said closed and I was saying yes to a third cup of coffee.

It was a bitter, heavy roast, like an SEC lawsuit.

My partner was out of town, looking into a band’s kidnapped drummer, but that was like debugging a bad buffer overflow – too many symbols and on the wrong count.

When a file path walked in.

“I have a stalker,” they said, handing me a stack of letters.

Most were ambiguous, but their intent was clear – each one ended with a slash.

“I get these at home,” they continued. “Outside home. They follow me everywhere.”

I looked at more letters. Nothing about them was normal.

“I want you to get to the root of this,” they demanded.

“I can,” I said. “But not for free. Some of them are encoded, but 2e or not 2e, I charge by the hour.”

They dropped some cash on my desk, “Then put a stop to this. Period.”

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