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Updated: Dec 18, 2021

"There will come a day, when I do catch you, and I will show you what real justice looks like!", he typed, furiously.

Pat came the reply, "No. That won't happen"

"It will."

"Nope. Not possible."

"Every criminal has the same attitude as yours. They all think that they are the ones that will get away. Know this, you've never met someone as relentless as me. If I have to go the end of the earth to find you, I will."

"See that's where you are wrong. You think you're the only relentless one, the one who wont stop at what you want - which is me, my arrest! But you completely underestimate the forces driving the mind of the one you're chasing. I am beyond your understanding, beyond your vision. You literally cannot catch me. Or see me"

These words echoed in the mind of the policeman.

He had been chasing a ghost.

Since a long long time.

The papers had given him a moniker The Cleaner. Due to the way he left his crime scenes. The murders, oh they were always gruesome. But this guy, or girl, or whatever, always ensured to clean the place, the surroundings ; so clean that they could literally eat off the floor if they wanted.

Monikers were unimportant to the policeman though.

As the most frustrating part of this ghost, this mastermind, was that he would always announce his victim to the policeman via an encrypted chat. Always late night, dead early morning almost.

He would write the name of the victim, the address, and the time that he was there. Then he would send vivid details of the trauma he caused, glorifying his heinous actions by chatting online with the policeman, always teasing the fact that he can never be caught.

They did try and trace his IP, but he was a ghost. His messages were always sent using encrypted VPNs. The policeman wasn't a rookie either. He was a stalwart in his department, widely revered for his abilities. But he was always a step behind this guy. It had been 4 long years since he had got the first email from The Cleaner. 42 murders later, he still had no clue how to catch him.

"Why are you doing this", the policeman asked.

"You know why."

"I DO NOT. I cannot comprehend why anyone would ever do something like this."

"You know why. You just choose to not accept it."

"Accept what? Will you stop murdering innocents if I just tell you that you're the best criminal there ever was? A trophy - is that what you want?!!!"

"No. Trophies are for lesser idiots."

"Then tell me why - please - I can't go on like this. I can't see this happening each time. Why me? Why always me? I can't do this anymore. I can't take it anymore."

"You are the only one who I can tell. Or, rather, the only one I want to tell."

"Why", wrote the policeman, his forceful punches on the keyboard expressing his desperate state of mind.

"You are the only one who I will ever chat with. And the only one who can never catch me. I know why - you just have your eyes closed. All I ever want to do, is to open your eyes and make you see what I see. This, is the single most important reason why."

Frustrated and angered, with getting this recurrent reply over the years, the policeman threw away his keyboard. Smashed his screen. Let out a raging bellow, an eruption of a swelled up anguish. So loud that his neighbors probably heard him shout.

"Let it out. That's good for you. Let it out now.

You'll never catch me. You cannot catch me," The policeman wrote in his other keyboard, looking at his second screen, calm as still water, a small wry smile on his face as he pressed the send button for this heavily encrypted message.

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