Shattered Red Heart Shadow

Lyuba: last chapter

This will be the last post about Lyuba. Like most trilogies, this saga will end with chapter three.

This sad story started about a month ago, then went through a rough period when Lyuba stopped writing back.

Lyuba wrote again last week, but her return was bitter-sweet. You see, I have realised something. Lyuba is not who she says she is.

Yes, as much as it hurts me to admit, Lyuba is insane. Here are some signs:

  • She is unable to read, even though she writes. Clearly, Lyuba was unable to retain any new information about me or answer any of my questions.
  • She started to respond to two separate email threads from me, but with the same message. She seems to believe I’m two different people.
  • She sees robots, everywhere. You’ll understand soon enough.

Finally, in her last email she requested money from me. Who would have seen this coming? Not I, certainly. She is claiming she needs money for the trip to “my country”, but I know the painful truth: Lyuba is behind on her asylum bills. I don’t believe in therapy and therefore decided to cut off all ties and stop writing to Lyuba. It hurts, but tough love is better than no love.

What follows is our last bit of correspondence.  While Lyuba’s emails are inane ramblings of a dangerous lunatic, I am including them. You may wish to skim through, they’re only there for the record. I hope you, too, agree that Lyuba cannot be helped.


Lyuba, 13-09-2013

Hello my dear, ahhhh, I still came home from work, hot outside.

Friday is over, so tomorrow the weekend. Today, it was a sunny morning, so very hot. By the calendar mid-September, beginning of a beautiful autumn, and then it will be hot for long.

We now the sun shines brightly and the beautiful weather. At night about +20 +22 degrees Celsius. Now I’m home and happy to read your kind letter! Thank you, you warms me! How is the weather at you?

Today, my mother cooked borsh, have you ever tried Russian borsh???:) This is a delicious soup, and may be in the future I will be able feed you this dish. It would be great to do it.

So my mother a good cook, since my childhood I have always been involved in cooking in the kitchen. It is not even a hobby. I also collect recipes. I love to experiment and invent itself their specialties! While were still satisfied with my food, and no more who is not poisoned.

Sometimes my mom arranged culinary fights. All day we had prepared a variety of delicious dishes, and then in the evening we came to visit, and after dinner, we were interested in what dish tastier. Previously won my mother, but now we are ready to the same level. I’ll be glad to know what is your favorite dish?

Today, talking to my parents about a future trip. They are very worried about me because I’m the only daughter, and when I go to you, the parents were alone will greatly miss me.

But so they are very happy that I met you. Mom knows you’re older me, and it is positive to treat this. My dad just over my mom for 14 years, even with such a difference, our family is very happy and safe!

It is very interesting to communicate with you. So I always wanted to meet the man of my age. And you know I even very nice, I feel the power in you. You are more experienced in life, relationship with a woman. Do you know how to make a woman happy. Write me what you think in this case? What is for you the most important thing in life?

My heart does not give me peace of mind, I’m worried! With each passing day, our meeting gets closer. As you already know, I organize my travel.

September 18 I am going to Moscow for an interview and a visa. So I need to know exactly in which airport I fly? Can you meet me at the airport? I think after obtaining a visa, we will organize a trip at the end of September or beginning of October.

But I want to come to you for the first time at 15-16 days for a short vacation, so we take a closer look, we learned about our desires and dreams.

I hope we we will build a strong relationship. Then I will have to go to Russia, because my vacation is over. You’re probably worried and worried before our meeting. But I’m not going to think about the future, time will tell…

Hopefully, when I arrive to you, you introduced me to his relatives, introduce me to your friends and loved ones! I will be interested in learning more about your family! I will end this letter and attached to some photo of me and my city.

I wish you all the best for today, let your day will be a success, hard kiss and hug you! I hope you could feel my sweet kiss on his lips!

Your Lyuba

P.S. I hope you had a wonderful day


Lyuba, 16-09-2013

Good evening my sweet kitten! May I call you a kitten? I am very glad that you’re back with me, it’s like you’re somewhere close!

I already feel that it will happen soon. Today was a very intense day.

I finished all the works on the job and is now officially a thing of the holiday. Tomorrow is Tuesday, but I will need to come in the morning to work at 30 minutes, give another recent documents manager and I am free! How was your day?

So I was at my aunt Valya. She prepared a very special delicious dessert, it was a cake with apples, covered with cream. You just no idea what a delicious cake is ready, my aunt, from can not refuse. Mmmmm … it’s wonderful

And, yet, we talked a lot about life, about love. I told my aunt that im do not like other men, in you there is something special that I was very attracts. By the way my aunt gave me a gift that I must necessarily give you from my aunt. It will be a surprise for you, but this has remain a mystery.

Today I collected some things for my trip. And I’m very excited and a little bit with fear waiting for this beautiful moment of our meeting! No, do not worry, it’s not terrible it is the fear of pleasure, fear of something unknown. Mom tried to teach me as a young child, which is sent far away. And in fact it is. Just my mother is very worried and is going through, because she can not see me long time.

And very excited and a little with the fear of waiting beautiful moment. Already looking forward to it when I see you. You do not have to worry, I will not do for the additional difficulties and We can meet with free time for you. You will be my guide. Agreed? 🙂

I have a suggestion! I wish I could talk to you on phone. And really want to hear your voice. What do you think about this? Please write me your phone number and country code, and what time is best to call you.

Today to call the embassy to clarify the interview. Namely, in the Thursday, September 19 at 10:00 am I will have an interview at Embassy. So after tomorrow night, I’ll go to Moscow. Distance from Saratov to Moscow almost 900km, so I’ll be up all night in way. And arrive in Moscow on Thursday morning. And if I have successful interview, I can travel to you. Now I would like to have wings and fly to you. You have not noticed?

I’m getting close my fluffy kitten. I sit next to you, and Look carefully. I try to make out the features of your caro, and watching as you read this letter.

And watch as your face, it expression changes on the process of reading these words.

It would be nice suggest that these words touch your heart, and if so, do you feel?

Allow me to make my words soft touch you, and not just my words, but also my feelings that are born to you, gently and tenderly embrace you. You feel them warm?

I hope these words to warm you, and bring a smile to your face. Allow to that feeling has never left you!

Now I will go for a walk with the dog. After the walk, I want to take a glass “MM’s”. You love MM’s? Black or yellow? Mm’s is my favorite treat.

And watch a movie with my parents. Write to me, as you will have the opportunity to look will be waiting for your answer! I wish a pleasant evening …

Your Lyuba

Daniel, 17-09-2013

Hello, my marshmallow-faced burglar-baby!



I sprained my finger typing that. Sorry.

Tuesday is over, so tomorrow not Tuesday.

Borsh? You crazy, Lyuba. That’s not even a word. Why are you making up words, Lyuba?

I am happy that everyone who wasn’t poisoned by your food is satisfied with it. If you poison the rest, you’ll have the perfect score. Wink wink.

I also sometimes have culinary fights, but they usually end up with me scraping take-out Chinese off the walls.

Please, Lyuba, send me a picture of your dog. I will frame it and wear it on my neck at all times, so that his spirit can protect me. I, of course, assume that he’s a Russian Borzoi. I hear that’s the only dog they have in Russia. It is true, yes?

Lyuba, you ask such silly questions. Please, just fly to the central airport of my country, where all the planes land. It is very simple.

Your aunt made dessert? Sounds like your family is all about making and eating food. What a coincidence! That’s, like, literally how the rest of the world is too.

Lyuba, I hear only one in ten people who visit the Embassy in Moscow ever come back. I hear the rest are sent to work in the mines, or even worse, in McDonald’s. Please be careful, Lyuba. But, if you do end up working in McDonald’s, I am partial to their milkshakes. Wink Wink. Ha, I do this a lot, yes?

When you said that you sit close to me and look, I turned around and nobody was there. Why the lies? Although I did feel kind of warm and fuzzy. Those electrical heaters malfunction in the most unpredictable ways.

I am afraid we cannot talk on the phone. I am under surveillance by the FBI, CIA, YMCA and The Bee Gees. I would rather not get into details here, but I will make sure to tell you all about it when we meet in my country.

Yes, I also enjoy a good glass of M&Ms in the evening. Who wouldn’t want to eat M&Ms out of a glass?! Crazy people, that’s who!

Lyuba, time draws near, adventures await, plot thickens, clouds gather, music crescendoes. Do not hesitate. Do not stop. Run. Run, Lyuba, run. You are almost there! He’s getting close now. Faster. NOOOOOOOOOO!

White stripes, Daniel

PS: Bring Skittles.


Lyuba, 20-09-2013

Good morning, my dear kitten!

Why are you silent? I’m excited! I came home from Moscow. So it will be easier to plan for the future. On Thursday I had an interview and I successfully passed it. I execute all documents and put a visa. Now I can go to you!

Today I will be going to travel agency and will be booking travel. And I think in the end of August we will have a meeting.

I was very lonely in Moscow, but I also watched a lot of beautiful places! When I was in Moscow, the time it seemed like an eternity.

Around were some robots. 15 million robots. You know what I noticed? They constantly somewhere late.

While I was in Moscow, I visited many beautiful places. I watched Gorky Park, visited two of the museum. Was in the Tretyakov Gallery.

So he traveled to many interesting places. I have so far is a holiday, and we now hope to plan a meeting.

Tell me please, how you doing? I hope you are well? What are you doing today? What are your plans for tonight?

Your phone I do not have. And therefore I can not call.

And if you have the opportunity, please call me. And I can answer you!

I really want to hear your voice!

Write me please.

Have a good day and I embrace.

Your Lyuba


Daniel, 21-09-2013


This has gone too far. I refuse to mislead you any longer. You deserve to know the truth.

You may want to sit down for this. Alternatively, you might want to jump up, jump up, and get down. Understand?

Lyuba, I am a robotic assassin, sent back from the future. My mission here is to find and kill Sarah Connor.

However, now that you came along I am experiencing what is colloquially known as a “Z2 Type-C Protoplasmic Malfunction of Code Red Severity”. You have short circuited something in my circuits and now I no longer wish to kill anyone. I want to fly uninhibited through the clouds like a butterfly or a black plastic bag carried by a gust of wind.

Something you said, however, troubled me. You said you saw 15 million robots in the metropolis you humans call “Moscow”. This is a clear sign of an escalation. An invasion is coming, Lyuba, and you have been chosen. You can pick your new name – Neo or John Connor? Act fast, for we don’t have much time.

As a token of trust, I am now finally ready to reveal a photo of me that you have been asking for. I have added a few fake features to protect my identity, but this is the best I can do under the circumstances:

Robot With Mustache

I hope you like what you see. I’m not what you’d call “athletic”, but I do have all of my appendages in anatomically accurate locations.

Also, here is my phone number. It is scrambled using the Alpha Crux Matrix protocol, so you’ll need to use its reverse polarization to decode it. Here:

AABJ1 – 009ML – ET – 2

I am hoping to hear from you very soon, Lyuba. Hurry. Winter is coming!

Till death do us part. Your death, that is. I am physically incapable of dying.

Yours electronically,


Lyuba, 24-09-2013

My kitten, I do not know how to begin to write you a letter.

Therefore I do not know what to do! Since I could not find a solution problems. I try to use all the features. I speak today morning with their parents. They do everything they can to help with my travel. They are looking for money for my trip.

They do all opportunity for me. But I understand that they can not collect on all money for me. And just because of that, because of a desperate situation. I ask your help!

My kitten, excuse me please, I am creating you problems. But i need your help only a little while. I will organize a trip for 4 october. It’s Friday.

And I will come to you in 14 days. The cost of the trip in 1470 euros I paid 1100 euros, and I need another 370 euros to pay for your entire tour price. I need your help.

Today I was trying to find the money. But all my efforts were not effective. I asked for help from relatives and parents. But they said they could not help me.

Before traveling to Moscow they has helped me. But it was not enough. I’m sorry that because of a problems, I have to tell you about it. To fly to thee, i need 370euro, but what I do now?!

I am sending you a copy of my documents, because I understand that this is a large sum of money. Please tell me please, what do you do in this situation.

But I hope that the plans for our meeting have not changed. And I just want one that you was next to me, and to look into your eyes. And if we overcome obstacle, we will meet.

I hope that very soon we’ll be together.

Please write to me as soon as possible. I’ll be waiting!

Your kitty, Lyuba

My correspondence with a scammer

While I’ve made fun of spammers and scammers a number of times it has always been impersonal. I never knew who these spammers were and didn’t have any direct contact to them…until now.

Last week I was contacted by a lady under the name of Linda Hicks, offering me money to place a text advert on the blog. I must admit that, although I pride myself on being immune to any and all scams because I’m awesome, my initial reaction was to send an email indicating interest and requesting further details.

It was only after I’d sent the email that I conducted a thorough investigation through my extensive network of undercover spies and government agents. OK, OK, I Googled her, same difference!

Initiating worldwide scanning protocol…

Turns out Linda Hicks is a scammer, promising people annual payments that she never delivers. I have also verified this story with a fellow Twitter user who apparently got scammed.

Somewhere between realising she was a scammer and not thinking things through I decided to try and mess with her head. I have found out that she shares her name with a singer, who by the way is completely uninvolved in this whole story. Using this fact and my powers of making up stupid nonsense on the fly I launched into an email exchange with Linda.

I was afraid she wouldn’t respond to the increasingly far fetched and nonsensical emails I kept sending her, but to my absolute joy – she did! And soon her “standard” responses have become more and more affected by the gibberish I was writing.

What follows below is the correspondence in its entirety. I have deleted some links and the name of Linda’s company. I’m not sure whether she’s using an unaffiliated legitimate firm as her cover and I don’t want them to get a bad name if that’s the case. Everything else in the correspondence is completely unaltered.

I’m inserting all of the correspondence (12 emails total) to provide full disclosure and build the background for the story. It even includes my initial (and in hindsight naive) response. The madness doesn’t start until email number 4, so you may want to skip right ahead to that one. Also, Linda doesn’t start shaping her responses to my nonsense until email number 7.

I hope that by wasting at least a bit of her time and exposing her here I’ve given Linda some food for thought. If not – well it was fun for me!


Email 1:

Hi Daniel,

I work for [deleted]; a UK based Digital Marketing Consultancy.

We represent clients interested in social media marketing on smaller sites with little or no existing advertising and we’re currently looking for advertising partners.

We pay a fixed upfront annual fee which we will agree on with you. Once the ad is in place, payment is made within approximately 48 hours.

Would you be interested in placing a small text-based ad on

Kind regards,
Linda Hicks

Email 2:

Hi Linda,

Thanks for contacting me!

I am generally in favour of keeping my site clean of ads at the moment.

Having said that, it would depend largely upon the intrusiveness of the ad, its placement and the content it would link to. If it is something that is aligned with the main theme of the blog (namely humour / entertainment), then there’s a chance it would work to complement the blog.

Do you have something specific in mind?


Email 3:

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for getting back to me!

My proposal is to add a new page on your website:

Basically, we would like you to create a new post or article on your blog to accommodate our client’s ad.

We will provide you with the URL, and you can link to it in any manner you see fit. You can write the page in review format or simply write about the usual topics on

We represent Non–gaming Clients such as: Finance, Telecommunications, Tourism, Jeweller, Insurance etc. and Online Gaming Clients (casino, poker or bingo sites).

The rate we can offer you is 150 USD per annum. We aim to complete payment via secure payment partners Paypal or Moneybookers within 1 to 2 business days of the advert going live on your site.

You may read our terms and conditions: [deleted]

To give you an idea of what a text advert looks like, please view our example: [deleted, a Disney site] where the anchor is ‘Virgin Atlantic’.

If you are interested, please let me know. We’ll then send over the client’s URL (subject to your approval) so you can proceed with the draft of the advert.

Also, if you manage or own other sites, I’ll be glad to check them out as well. The price may vary depending on the website. The fee is PER advert so multiple sites will generate bigger profit.

Please let me know if you have any questions I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Kind regards,

Email 4:

Hi Linda,

Happy Sunday! Did you know that Sunday is considered by many to be the seventh day of the week?

I’ve been having trouble with my email lately, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to read the even lines of your last email. Can I please ask you to write only on odd lines going forward?

As far as I understood you want me to pay Virgin Atlantic to have Disney promote my adverts, correct?

Also, does the sum of 150 USD depend on the quality of writing and the amount of inappropriate jokes, or is it a fixed amount?

Looking forward to hearing your clarifications.

All the best,

PS: Congratulations on your debut album! I’m sure “In the Corner” will get the great reviews it deserves!

Email 5:

Hi Daniel,

We now have the details you need to include the advert on your site. Please let me know if this suits you.

Our client: [deleted]
Our price: 150 USD

We simply ask that you write a new blog post on your site – it can be about anything. Once you have written the new post/article you just need to find a section/word in the content and then link it to [deleted]

– you are free to use any word as your anchor text
– you can place the link anywhere on the page – before, within or after the article.
– we only need one hyperlink in the entire page

Finally you will need to publish the new page live on your system and ensure that it is correctly linked from the homepage of your site.

– again, you are free to use any word as your anchor text on the homepage
– you can place the link in the navigation, sidebar or footer. If your site automatically shows recent posts, we can just use that as the link to the new page.

I hope you’ll find everything in order and acceptable. Once you decide to insert the advert and have made it active, please send me confirmation. Please include your PayPal or Moneybookers address so that I can arrange payment to you right away.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions or concerns. We’ll be glad to adjust accordingly.

Thanks very much and I look forward to your reply!

Kind regards,

Email 6:

Hi Linda,

Excellent! Thanks for accepting. This is great! Is there any chance I also can get a signed copy of your critically acclaimed “In The Corner” along with the payment?

I have to remind you that, as duly stated in my prior email pertaining to henceforth therein, I am unable to see what you write on odd lines, so I end up missing half of your message.

However, I think I have understood what’s needed. Please correct me if this is wrong:

You want me to write a gambling article about anchors and then place it on Disney’s site. Thereafter Virgin will transfer a sum of 150 USD to me.

This sounds simple enough, so I think it’s more than acceptable!

Vis-a-vis payment, I do indeed have a “pay pal”, and his name is Mike. He can stop by to collect the money any weekday from 12:00 to 17:00 and some Sundays after 12:00 (he plays poker on Saturdays). Shall I give you his contact number?

Looking forward to working with you on this exciting project. Let’s change the children’s future together!

All the very best,

Email 7:

Hi Daniel,

Thank you for your email.

I think there may have been a bit of misunderstanding. We are looking for a new page on Is this possible?

If yes, please write an article about anything you fancy, insert a few relevant texts about our client, and then pick a word most relevant to gaming and then link it to the client’s site: [deleted]

To clarify, the Disney site with the Virgin Atlantic link is just a sample. We are looking for a page similar to it.
Are you OK with this? If yes, please let me know when the article has been added on your site.

As for payment, we can only send payments through PayPal or MoneyBookers for billing and tracking purposes. Do you have a PayPal account we can use for this?

Thanks Daniel. I look forward to hearing from you.

Warmest regards,

Email 8:

Hi Linda,

Thank you for the Speedy Gonzales response, that was fast!

I am a bit surprised that Disney and Virgin Atlantic decided to suddenly back out of this lucrative opportunity. I was counting on their loyal support, resources and wacky cartoon characters! It’s strange to see large corporations suddenly acting in their own self-interest – what is this, the Upside Down Universe?!

However, we can of course proceed without them. We can persevere! We. Are. Legend! Do you agree?

Since you insist on using both odd and even lines in your emails I still struggle to get the full meaning of your communication. Not to worry, here’s what we do:

1) Mike, my “pay pal”, will contact you sometime during but not later than before next Sunday. Where can he reach you?
2) I will set up an exact copy of the Disney site under a different name, as per your explicit request.
3) Once payment has been received we can set up a Party Poker page on this site, generating revenue and keeping us in business.

I don’t want to keep begging, but I’m still very much interested in a signed copy of “In The Corner”, if you find it convenient.

Once again, thank you for this fantastic opportunity. It is a true pleasure to set out on this wondrous journey with you!

Have a great weekend and get back to me soonest.

Peas, love, and muskets,

Email 9:

Hi Daniel,

Thank you for your email.

I think you got me confused with another Linda Hicks (the singer). That’s not me, unfortunately.

I believe you got the whole thing wrong. You don’t need to set up another Disney site./page. What we need is a new page, under

This new page will contain an article written by you, with our client’s link within it.

Also, we can only pay via PayPal. Unfortunately we can’t give the payment to “Mike”.

Kind regards,

Email 10:

Hi Linda,

My sincere apologies for the confusion. You sounded a bit upset in your email. Please bear with me, I’m new to building online money empires!

Do you have any contact to Linda Hicks, the singer? If so, please pass on my humble wish to be blessed with a signed copy of her majestic CD.

Back to business, because money talks and dead horse won’t beat itself, as they say.

I’m afraid we do indeed face a crisis of communication, and perhaps only odd lines of my email are reaching you as well? In order for me to be sure, in your next response please copy and paste the following 5 lines of bullets, so that I know both you and I are getting each others messages in their entirety:

  • All
  • Your Base
  • Are
  • Belong
  • To Us

If I fail to receive the above list in your email “as is” then I’ll know something is wrong and will have to switch to a different email or contact Yahoo! customer support.

Now, I understand you are hesitant to deal with Mike, but I can assure you he’s really good at his job. His drinking problem is behind him and he only has blackouts once every month now, at worst! However, should you insist on finding an alternative solution, I can arrange a pick-up by Peter instead.

OK, I think we’re very close to getting to the bottom of this misunderstanding. We are like Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, you and I. Except for our names are different and I’m not a Dr., are you?

I think we can have something up and running already next week, should our differences be resolved.

May you forever be in the eternity of time,

Email 11:

Hi Daniel,

We have decided to move to another direction and contact a different advertiser instead. I sincerely thank you for your time.

Kind regards,

Email 12:

Hi Linda,

I must say I’m quite shocked by this unexpected change of heart. First Disney, then Virgin Atlantic, now you as well? I expected better! But maybe that’s my problem – always seeing the good instead of seeing the tree in the forest for a gift horse that it is?!

I have already started on an article for you and told Peter and Mike to stand by, but if you wish to go another direction, then so be it.

I will accept a copy of “In the Corner” (it doesn’t have to be signed) as a token of your good will and as apology for you having turned your back on me. However, I completely expect you to break this promise as well.

Should you change your mind and instead decide to proceed as per previously proposed promise pertaining to provision of payment for a promotional project, I am willing to re-consider.

In any case, may the odds be forever in your favour – you had me at “Hello”!

Disappointedly distressed,