You would think that most people wouldn’t willy-nilly hand over a writing sample with every letter of the alphabet lined up and ready for the tracing. You would think that, and be wrong. Perhaps it is because the world has evolved into digital age, an age of technology. What difference does it make if someone has the ability to match and mirror your handwriting. What idiot would take a handwritten letter over an official email anyway?

Banks do. Detectives investigating homicides do. Most attorneys do. In fact, a lot of places like doctors’ offices still require handwritten signatures, and while not every signature can be duplicated by learning someone’s writing habits. Not every signature has a cousin to be compared to.

Over the years, I’ve proven myself to be a bit of an unofficial handwriting expert-hobbyist. It’s somewhat of a party trick. Tell your subject to write the following poem, a poem of my own invention, “The goblin quickly erupts picking up his zax, after the jerk waiter served him decaf coffee.” It’s a little lengthy, but people are usually distracted by its corkiness than to tear it apart. Most people go up in arms that “zax” is a made up word. It’s not. It’s a noun. Look up the definition if you don’t believe me. The crazy thing is through this party trick of mine, I’ve accumulated dozens of writing samples that look nothing like my own. With some additional information I’ve been able to open a store credit card here or there, made a withdrawal or two from bank accounts, but up until recently I hadn’t had enough samples to put into motion my greatest plan.

The story had basically written itself. My ex-fiancé had been stalked a few times, though why I could never really understand. She had done the slow fade to friendship on most of her previous suitors eliminating the excitement from truly stalking her. It seemed as though the few who had bothered were either practicing for future stalking or found the lazy man’s prize candidate. Regardless they had all contributed greatly to his success. Victoria had always kept various things in a number of different boxes for the simple fact that she forgot that she had kept them and typically got distracted before she could throw anything away, including the garbage itself. Somehow I had found myself frequently taking it out. Samples occasionally fell out of the bag and onto the floor before making their way to their final resting place on the curb. Not that I ever minded. The rest of the samples I had accrued over time – being in the right place at the right time, remembering various haunts of the various partners, and so on.

The game was easily designed and phase one was just as easily executed. Every few months, a new letter from an old lover. Just enough time passed to make her forgot or feel safe before another appeared back in Victoria’s mail. All of them a combination of a former lover’s and her ex-boyfriend’s handwriting. The ex-boyfriend who had stolen her away from me years ago, and had been replaced by this current schmuck, one who I fear can’t read let alone write. The pace would quicken, the letters becoming more frantic and less of a joke or a phase. Knowing Victoria as well as I did, it was only a matter of time before she would call on me regarding this matter. We would meet, as we did, and I would point her in the direction of the police. After giving her my humble opinion, (this sample does look a lot like the writing over here – oh, your ex-boyfriend? The one right after me? How interesting…). Knowing that her ex had a temper and that they had had some problems in the past it did make sense for her to reach out to him first, but cautiously so (wasn’t he the one with a frightful temper? If you are going to talk to him first, you should do it in public, in person, and with your mhm-boyfriend present…).

When she finally did arrange a meeting with him, it had given me an opportunity to do some investigating of my own. He certainly had a lot of writing samples, a book on handwriting, a pair or two of Victoria’s delicates clumped together in his pillow case, and a small shrine seemingly dedicated to Victoria herself. Quite frankly, it would have been shocking if I was her, or hadn’t planted most of the elements there myself.

The next act in the story was fantastic to watch. The panic, the police involvement, the restraining order, and of course the look of the guilty party as Victoria’s blood splattered on his body. The look on his face as he was forced on top of her body, naked, and then wrangled into a noose. The blood draining from his face as he was hung, very convincingly that it was of his own volition while the body of Victoria continued to spill blood from her bludgeoned head onto the floor. It was a clear story of unrequited love. She had broken up with him. He couldn’t bear it. Victoria was his mate, his match, his heart, and his soul were dead in his apartment. Victoria’s new beau ringing the police when his lover hadn’t returned home.

When reviewing Victoria’s datebook, my name had been sprawled across the page in Victoria’s lovely, elongated and loopy handwriting. As protocol I was told of the news and questioned. My ticket to the opera and people verifying my whereabouts cleared my immediately. The prints found on Victoria’s body and the rest of the evidence eliminated all others including five ex-lovers, two ex-boyfriends, and her previous love. I had a good chuckle to myself as I followed the story and kept eyes on the varying cuts of meat Victoria had picked up. It was funny, this plan had started with the intention of extracting revenge and to fill a lifelong desire of mine. In the end I ultimately realized that Victoria was beneath me. Not like Evelyn. Evelyn was an educated woman, interested in the sciences and psychology. A real match for the wits. In a few months, I plan on asking her to be my bride. While it’s a silly sort of custom, it would be exhilarating to be linked with such a riveting creature.

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