Jeremy leaned back and locked his fingers behind his head as he grinned at the screen. His new phishing program was going great guns. He was collecting identities and passwords at a killer rate. He pushed aside a pile of magazines, picked up the phone and poked a hang-nailed, crud-encrusted forefinger at the numbers, dialling for a pizza. It was going to be a busy night.
As he hung up the phone he decided to hack one of his new acquisitions and see what came up. He recognized one of the names and broke into the man’s hard drive. He was stoked at what he found. He read some of the treasure trove he had accessed and a plan began forming in his mind. He did a line and ran his fingers through his greasy hair, idly picking at a zit on his chin. It was time for shits and giggles. He ran a directory check and picked up the phone again.
Barry frowned at his notebook screen and decided that perhaps another glass of wine was called for. Writers block was a bitch. He stood at the sink sipping his pinot noir and let himself free associate. Sometimes it helped to just go with the flow. He turned the stereo on low, went back to his notebook and leaned back in his swivel chair letting the sound sooth him.
His novel was going well overall. This was the first time he’d hit the wall this hard in the six months he’d been working on it so he wasn’t too concerned. His last book was still selling well and he was comfortable, so no worries, he wasn’t under a deadline real or imagined.
A new idea began forming as he sang softly under his breath and he swung back to his notebook and began tapping the keys. Sometimes it was just magic. He finished the chapter and was about to call it a night when the phone rang.
He frowned at the phone. Who could be calling this time of night? His ex-wife was working night shifts at the moment and his parents were in a later time zone. It could be a telemarketer he supposed and if it was they were going to get an earful.
He could hear heavy breathing on the line. Great, some perv had dialled his number at random.
“Listen, I don’t need any crap – “
“Hi Barry. Don’t hang up on me. We need to talk. I like your voice, by the way. It’s just the way I imagined it would be.”
Barry tried to place the voice but nothing came.
“Who is this?”
“It’s me, Barry. Malcolm.”
“Malcolm. Malcolm who?”
“Your character, Barry.”
Barry’s grip on the phone tightened slightly.
“Who the hell is this?”
“You’re not listening Barry. It’s me, Malcolm. You created me. We need to talk. Frankly, Barry, the plotline needs a bit of tightening. I hope you don’t mind my saying so. It’s just that, well, I feel as though I can be frank with you. After all, you are my creator.”
Barry put his hand on the desk to steady himself. This was beyond the pale.
“Listen, whoever you are. I don’t know how you know about my character but what I’m writing is none of your business and I don’t appreciate prank calls. I’m going to hang up now and I won’t answer again so don’t bother with your crap.”
He slammed the phone down and sat staring at it for several minutes. What the hell was that all about? He tried to think of the people he’d mentioned his latest characters to. No one he could think of would do anything so rude.
He put it out of his mind and went to bed.
Part 2 Tomorrow