Archive for the ‘Post 3.6’ Category

Sunday, March 25, 9:14 a.m.

Jack leads me through the deserted Washingtonian building. We pass the weekend reporters, holed up in the first floor newsroom. They barely acknowledged us, busy with their typing and tweeting. We take the elevator up to the third floor. It’s empty and the lights are off. Weak sunlight filters through the bank of windows along the west wall, guiding us through the rows of cubicles that stand vacant like coffins at the rapture.

“I’m scared,” Jack says. “I don’t know what I’m dealing with.”

We reach his cubicle. He stops. I stop. I consider his computer. It looks harmless enough.

“Turn it on and I’ll have a look,” I say.

Jack complies. While the machine is laboriously booting up, he says, “Someone knows.”

“Someone knows what?” I say. “You mean the IT department knows? If this is some porn thing—”

Jack’s cell phone chimes. He flinches. He hands it to me.

“You read it,” he says.

I push a button and read, “WE KNOW WHAT U DID THURSDAY. WE SAW U. CHECK YOR EMAIL.”

“Weird,” I say. “What did you do?”

“I don’t remember.”

“Do you think this has anything to do with that blogger you shoved at the murder scene?” I say.

Jack’s icy blue eyes switch from side to side as he considers this. They alight on my face.

“No,” he says. “I think I did something after you left me at the bar. I was real drunk.”

Jack’s computer is on. I double click on his email program. It takes forever to open. When it does, hundreds upon hundreds of unopened emails clog the inbox. Including all of mine from the past few weeks.

“I don’t check my email,” he says. “But I thought you might try to get ahold of me. My car keys and all. So I opened it.”

“It” is a very phishy looking email at the top of his digital heap. It has odd capitalization and an overall Nigerian bank fraud air.

“You’ve got yourself a virus. Supposedly Macs are soooo secure,” I snark, my dislike of the newspaper industry’s mandated adoration of all things Apple bleeding through. (Yes, I use one too, and I hate every minute of it).

“Read it,” he says.

“It’s just some kind of spam,” I say.

“Katherine,” he says. “Read it.”

He’s already infected his system. What harm can it do? I open it and read.

The subject line spells out: “On aN ImpoRtent AnniveraarY”

The body states: “JackOLIes, today is a signivicant One for you and we kno all about it.”

“It’s junk,” I say.

He leans across me and taps his finger on the screen. His nail clicks on the icon of an .exe attachment.

“I clicked on that,” he says.

“And there’s your virus,” I interrupt.

“No,” he says. “It was a picture. Of me. It was me standing outside that bar by my house on Thursday. It’s blurry as hell, but…I was doing something awful.”

“What were you doing?”

Jack shakes his head.

“I don’t know. The photo was too grainy. But when I woke up Friday morning, there was blood on my shirt.”

“Blood?” I say. “How much?”

“Some.”

“A lot?”

“Some.”

“‘Some,’ like maybe you got a nosebleed? Or ‘some,’ like you killed somebody?” I joke.

Jack doesn’t laugh. He doesn’t smile. He stares at me balefully.

“Maybe,” he says.

 

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