Elusive Zebra Mussel Taunts DNR in Series of Coded Letters

Photo by Bj.schoenmakers

A zebra mussel on a horrifying lake infestation spree across northern Minnesota has been taunting DNR agents in a series of bizarre letters. So far, seven letters have been received in as many weeks, each corresponding to one of the seven lakes across the states the mussel has hit so far.

Each is written in a different cipher consisting of strange markings resembling runes or hieroglyphs. The final line of each, however, is written in English and reads simply “Good luck catching me – the ‘Lake Slayer’” which appears to be its preferred moniker (the DNR has expressly avoided using it in press conferences in order to deny the mussel the publicity it so desperately craves). 

Despite being studied by a team of world-renowned cryptographers, only the first of these letters has been fully translated so far.

“The letter turned out to be a series of deranged ‘poems’ boasting about how it’s brought the Department to its knees and won’t stop until we all ‘bow to its greatness’”, said the head DNR agent in charge of the case, Douglas Truman. “I’ve worked here 30 years and seen some sick shit but this was another level.”

The letter also mentioned Lake Vermillion by name. Over 50 officers were sent there within 10 minutes of the letter being decoded but arrived just minutes late – the lake had already been decimated. Several veteran agents reportedly vomited upon seeing the gruesome damage to the delicate ecosystem.

Just how this zebra mussel has managed to reach so many disparate lakes is unknown. “Our best guess so far is that it is disguising itself as a native mussel and hitchhiking from lake to lake by taking advantage of motorists’ kindness,” said agent Shelly Palmer, “we’re asking anyone who comes across a mollusk of any type asking for a ride for any reason to call us immediately.” 

The zebra mussel also sent a stomach-churning note to the Bemidji Pioneer and demanded it be printed on the front page or else it would “make Lake Irving scream for mercy” and several reporters received mysterious calls on their home phones at odd hours of the night only to hear the eery in-and-out sound of filter-feeding on the other end.

The zebra mussel’s blood-curdling actions have already led to at least one copycat crime. “We had an invasive Siberian Peashrub send us a marble chess piece with the words ‘you are just pawns in my game’ engraved on it,” said Palmer. “Thankfully, we were able to apprehend it by tracing the piece’s purchase to the ‘Games by James’ at the Mall of America and asking them if any shrubs had come by lately”.