I didn’t didn’t intend to work late that day, but late in the afternoon an urgent order came in. The mysterious customer refused to provide an address, a phone number, or even his real name. He described his request to the receptionist, insisted on an initial proposal that afternoon, and left only an instant messenger name for contact: N1t3W4tchr.

Plus, he asked for me by name.

I considered for a moment trying to pass the project off onto someone else. However, I decided that even if the customer was a little unorthodox (okay, bizarre), his request was innocuous enough. Besides, I could use the money.

So, I put together the proposal, and even though it was simple, it took me a few hours to knock out. When I had it ready, I signed onto instant messenger, added N1t3W4tchr to my contacts, and found that he was offline. Great.

It was growing dark as I walked the three blocks back from the office to my apartment, where the strange day got a little stranger.

On the floor at the door of my apartment, was a box.

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