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“Food was, in my opinion, not nearly worth the price nor the amount of time we had to wait for it. Restaurant was not busy, but our server, Joe, acted as if we were his biggest inconvenience. I can forgive a lot, having worked in the industry for several years, but there was no excuse for the rudeness and brusqueness we were shown. Food did not come out as ordered (we each got a New York Strip medium-rare, mashed potatoes, asparagus, and side salad. The steak was medium-well/well, and the rest was cold), and by that time, we’d already been waiting far too long to wait yet again for them to recook it. Manager was as rude as the server. 0/10 will not visit again, and will suggest against it if ever asked for a recommendation.”

That’s all I said, and none of it was a fabrication. I’m not Yelp addict by any means; I only review a place when I’ve had an experience at a place that was exceptional, be it good or bad. It’s been that way for like four years and a total of eleven reviews, and besides one time when an overzealous employee responded in the comments by calling me all sorts of obscenities, I’ve never had any real issue. Until this particular instance.

It wasn’t long ago that I posted this review. Two nights after I did, everything began. I woke up around 3am and decided to go get some water. We keep our porch light on at night, and on this particular night, I happened to look towards our front door and saw shadows bouncing around under the light. I initially freaked out, thinking someone was trying to break in or something, but just as I was about to sprint back upstairs and call the police, I noticed that something just didn’t seem right about the movement.

It didn’t seem human, and I don’t mean like it was a monster or some other paranormal entity, but rather like an object; the first thought that came to mind was that it was one of those wacky inflatable arm flailing tube men. I cautiously opened my door and and found what must have been about 30 pieces of paper, each taped to one another at the tops and bottoms of the pages. They hung in rows from the top part of our porch nearly to the porch itself, on each of them was my review printed repeatedly; they were just hanging there, whipping back and forth in the wind.

At that point I went inside and called the police. They showed up, took a few pictures, took a report, and told me they would contact the restaurant. A few days later I got a call from the police, who told me that the server we’d had as well as the manager on duty that night both had verified alibis for their whereabouts the night our house had been “visited”.

Not long after that night, the phone calls started. The first one came to my phone at about 5am, and it was a computerized voice regaling my review of the restaurant, verbatim. A short time later Kimmy’s phone buzzed, and it was a text of the same. This was the start of getting calls and texts roughly every 30 minutes, and they always came from different numbers, so blocking one did nothing to quell the next.

The police said that whoever was doing this to us was using a phone app (information that wasn’t exactly surprising), and told us to make note of the numbers as it continued to happen. While we were at the police station, a call came through to Kimmy’s phone, and the officer had her answer and put it on speakerphone. Once the digital voice was done with its recitation of my review, the cop spoke back.

”This is Officer Smith with the ——– Police Department. We aren’t sure who you are, but we’ll find out. You need to stop harassing these folks, do you understand me? You keep this up there’s gonna be consequences.”

There was a short pause after officer spoke, and then the same digital recitation played over once again. We went home without any more peace of mind than we had when we’d gone in. A few days passed, and then things escalated yet again.

Just after sunrise, Kimmy and I were awakened by a pounding on our door. Already unnerved by what had been going on, I got ready to call the police, but then the source of the heavy knocks identified himself as a police officer (not the same one with whom we’d spoken before). On my way towards the door I looked out the window and did indeed see a city police car, and looked through the peephole to even further verify the person on my porch. I opened the door and asked what was going on, and the officer asked me to step outside.

I was nervous, expecting to be arrested for something I hadn’t done, but instead the officer turned me around to look at the face of my house. It had been splattered with blood. A ton of it. Our house, until then a soft blue color, was now marred by deep, dark red that looked like someone had dipped a paint brush and flung it around wildly. The officer said he had gotten a call when a neighbor leaving for work saw our house, and when he’d walked up he did a cursory inspection and said that due to the consistency of the liquid he was sure it wasn’t paint.

Our case was referred to a detective, as the severity had escalated from what first seemed like a prank, to then harassment, and now to property damage. The detective assigned to our case took another look at the restaurant, but once again the manager, our server, and the entire kitchen staff were able to provide verified alibis for their whereabouts. The detective assured us that he would figure out who it was that was terrorizing us, and we left yet again with no further peace of mind.

About a week later, Kimmy and I came home from a day out and when we walked through our front door we were met with what I can only describe as the worst stench I have ever experienced. I fully expected to walk in further and find trash strewn about our home, but not a single thing was out of place. We began searching for the source of the smell, but because our house was exactly as it was when we had left (save for the odor), it quickly occurred to me to look in the vents.

Behind every single vent in our house was an abundance….and I mean a lot…of rancid meat, rotten mashed potatoes, old, putrid asparagus, and, acrid, discolored lettuce. There must have been two pounds of meat and enough sides for four fucking dinners behind each vent. After we called the police, they showed up, we talked, they looked around, we thanked them (for nothing), and they left, Kimmy began a ruthless campaign of Febreeze while I went to work clearing everything out. It took hours, and even when I was done, the smell lingered, even now in some places.

The phone calls still came through all day and night; our phones were off as often as we could have them so because of it. The next morning I went outside to get the paper from our porch and was greeted by the next step in this psycho’s plan to fuck with us to no end: a large blue tarp on our front lawn. I walked up to it, and that same horrible stench was emanating from it while flies buzzed about.

Nevertheless, I looked under the tarp. What I found was bovine carcass, doubtless the cow from which allllll that rotten meat had come from. It was gutted, the entire right side of its body removed, leaving only a rotten mashed potato, asparagus, lettuce, and maggot-filled crater in its place. Tire tracks matting down the grass led from the carcass to the road.

We called the detective…again…and he told us to come down to the station, so we did. A short conversation later and we…ONCE A-FUCKING-GAIN…left with nothing more than we’d arrived with. All of the potential suspect’s whereabouts were accounted for the night before, and the detective gave us the broadest of generalizations when he said “we have a few leads we’re pursuing.”

But it all came to head that same night. We’d gone home after the police station, but then ran a few errands later in the day (one of which was to buy Febreeze…in bulk). When we got home, Kimmy went to the basement to do laundry but once she got to the bottom of the stairs she let out an ear-shattering scream. I sprinted down the stairs to see what was wrong, and what I saw was one of our kitchen chairs tipped over and a pool of blood on the floor with the body of a young woman hanging from a noose above it, her wrists slashed.

We called 911, and then the detective directly, and before long the street in front of our house was draped in red and blue lights., populated by police and medical personnel and their vehicles. The detective asked if we knew the young woman, but neither of us had ever seen her before, never in our lives.

____

Yesterday the detective called us in. We were informed of the girl’s identity, a name which we had never heard. The detective told us that they’d gone to the departed girl’s apartment, the walls of which were covered with two things: countless copies of the review I’d left on Yelp, and per the detective, “tons…TONS of pictures of Joe, [y]our server, all that appear[ed] to be taken without his knowledge.

Joe was brought in to the station and questioned about the young lady, and he said that they’d met when he served her at the restaurant about a year prior, after which they’d gone out. He said there was no spark, so he never called her back. The woman’s parents, after identifying their mostly-estranged daughter’s body, explained to the detective that she had a long list of psychiatric illnesses, and that they had suspected that she was off of her myriad medications.

Also at the house was what the police suspect was a suicide note of sorts.

”Their review was so fucking mean. My Joey could have lost his job. He’s going to be so mad when he finds out what I did. :(”

 

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I am Nick Botic, a writer from Milwaukee just giving something other than dealing drugs a try, and it seems to be working out. I want to scare you, and I want to entertain you. Hopefully I do a decent job of that.

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