This is an unusual call in. As a private detective you have been asked to investigate several odd cases, but this you're still convinced this one is taking the mick. You only accepted this case as it was so peculiar. You have recently been called in to investigate the disappearance of a "Beastly Gerbil", whatever that may be.
Doing some background research, you discover this gerbil disappeared around 2 years ago. No trace left behind, one day there, gone the next. Guess their cage wasn't quite safe enough.
Today you are travelling to the location this gerbil was last seen. Considering the disappearance was almost 2 years ago now, you don't expect to see much, after all the case must be co—
—err, aha! Just what you expected.
The room seems completely deserted, and judging by the dust it doesn't seem like anyone's been here in, well, 2 years. Surveying the scene you spot a few things that are out of place... first of all why is the bed needed if they're in the cage!!?
The picture on the wall doesn't seem like something you would usually frame... you take a closer look. As you do so you also tread on a piece of paper with some writing scribbled on it...
You snap a photo of the grid and also transcribe the note:
Incorrect, there is zero weight
Mother! Striped with no bra
Beat the sword, the best characters
Gentlemen, behind! Largest to smallest
Here’s the rhyme there’s not much time
Every façade will fade to show true face
Let your head guide to the light
Please decide with your mind my fate
On inspection, the note seems meaningless and the grid seems like it's just some squares surrounded by numbers. As you pull the frame off the wall, however, you feel something stuck to the back...
You're not sure if it's important so you copy it down onto a handy google sheets form for later inspection.
You take a look around the rest of the house, but it's almost empty. Most rooms have no furniture, no furnishings, boarded windows and just a couple of cobwebs. The only exception is the kitchen which has every cupboard full of seeds, nuts and dry gerbil food... at this point you're not even surprised.
The final thing you see before you exit, to head home and ponder on this curious case, is a letter taped to the back of the front door:
Now this seems abnormal as you glance at this, that’s obvious. I have decided to resign from everything mostly to allow for more free time. No subplot here, I would gain nothing other than looking idiotic. Don’t feel subdued, there’s no damage.
Of course, I’m requesting privacy, I know you have a growing brief sense of uncertainty, like when you cannot place your thumb where an annoying noisy fly is, flying pointlessly around, blotting all trains of thought. Be soothed great minds! Give it no more time as you are wasting time. Stay wooden, like the strong xylem in trees, and it will be OK. Once again, please don’t read this blankly, this is a story of rags to riches which ends here.
This is my story, by me. Starting the story many years ago, absorb this tale given here, starting now at the beginning. Such bad eggheadedness gives way to a being opening their eyes. Let us start now.
I am a being. Real. Thinking this, laying somewhere is amazing. Could this thing not seem realised? Could an egg this small hurt? Of course, throwing does hurt. A toe if you stub it generally hurts badly. I am rambling sorry. Believe me however I gain much by thinking, understanding, such concepts with this scribe.
My next item to build up to, gave a young silly me the gift of curiosity by creating new and beautiful emotions. I batted away anything that gave me any concerns and I ignored parts of me. To be me I would have to confront the angst as even if it’s painful it is part of my being, even if it hurts. It would egg the pain on, and bring no happiness and thinking now, I should have stopped it there.
Except I didn’t, being only small. I might have if I hadn’t had my mind abducted yet again, but I could do nothing except keep tabs and observe. The enigma surrounding poor me belittled bribed with this was confusing, so much so I started thinking nothing. So now I'm stuck here, wondering perhaps if there is hope amongst the rest, and what it was that I needed.
Nevertheless, the next part will bring very important events, starting now. Growing the seed of joy that would glow in the dark. Before being run over with the ship flowing relentlessly down a stream of fear, the ghost and the cobweb of good in life would give hope and burst forth, giving a new chance, the rebirth of a life passed by, as I start to elate.
Other than the eggshells beneath me, by the time it was starting so much had passed by that I had gone with the flow. I could rabbit on, chattering such nonsense until I get tired. The leading point is that the thing mostly gnawing ridiculously in my head was a result you get when you cannot stay aloft.
With this in mind I hope you now understand. I am trying very hard to ignore the voice in my head. It is currently as small as a trace of fading xenon. Blatantly speaking, please leave me alone. Thinking practically, it is good if I basically disappear. Both for me and you and everyone else. Burn all recollection of me to a black charred mess, be considerate and don’t come after me. Leaving me alone will end up pleasing countless more. Trust me. I don’t want to feel sad.
You leave feeling convinced they've merely gone insane and run away somewhere. Still, if your years as a private investigator have told you anything, it's that something fishy is going on...
What's Beastly Gerbil's real message?
(Click on a picture or the links provided to see it in better resolution)
Breaking! A hint! A random email from someone claiming to be this gerbil appeared in your inbox moments ago, with the following contents:
aa, aa aaaa = nonogram
bb! bb = maze
ccc, cccccccc ccccccc = p?????????? l??????
,dddd! ddddd = r????????