He awoke the next morning out of sorts. He thought it over for a minute and decided there was no point in dwelling on it. Just some asshole that had somehow found out about one of his characters and decided to have a laugh.
After breakfast he got back to work. Several new ideas had come to him in the night and he was eager to see what would develop. Plot development had been solid but now he had a couple of twists he was certain would take things to the next level.
He worked clear through the afternoon and then called his best friend Phil.
“Hey Phil. How’s it going?”
“Barry, what’s shakin’ man?”
“What’s up tonight? You feel like having some dinner?”
“Sure, why not? Any place in particular?”
“There’s a new Mexican place that opened up on the boulevard a couple of weeks ago.”
“Yeah, I’ve seen it a couple of times. A guy at work says it’s great.”
“Cool. Meet you there at seven?”
“See you then, buddy.”
Barry was in high spirits. He had gotten two more chapters written and introduced a new character that would be pivotal in the latter part of the story. In addition he had managed to get quite a bit of editing done and gotten an acceptance in the mail on an article he had written for a magazine. It was time to celebrate.
He got to the restaurant early, sat down at the bar and ordered a daiquiri. Phil showed up not long after.
“Hey, brother. How was your day?”
“Not too shabby Barry. Yours?”
“Excellent. Got a lot done on the novel and an article I wrote got accepted.”
“Well then, I guess we better celebrate. Bartender, a daiquiri please.”
They went to their table and settled in. The menu was enticing. The waiter brought some chips and salsa.
“So what else is up with you these days, I haven’t heard from you for awhile. Glad you suggested dinner.”
“Oh, just writing and dealing with odds and ends. I did have a strange incident last night though. A prank call I guess.”
“A prank? What sort?”
“You’re not gonna believe this. A guy calls and tells me he’s one of the characters in the novel I’m working on. Tries to give me advice.”
“Holy shit. How did he get your number? He said he was a character in your book?”
“Yeah. The protagonist. He even had the name right. I’ve only mentioned it to a few people. I can’t figure it out.”
Phil let out a low whistle.
“That’s wild. You sure it wasn’t someone you told about it?”
“No way. The only thing I can think is that one of them told someone else and this guy overheard the conversation and went to the trouble of finding out my number and messing with me.”
“I don’t know, Barry. Sounds kind of far fetched.”
“Well I can’t think of any other way it could have happened. Anyway I told him off and hung up on him. He hasn’t called back.”
They ordered and had a fine meal accompanied by some quality Mexican brew. They were both in a great mood by the time they parted company. Barry got home to find he had four messages on his answering machine. They all turned out to be hang-ups with no message.
He was getting ready for bed when the phone rang.
“Hi Barry. Listen, I’m not angry you hung up on me last night. We really do need to talk. You still haven’t done the tightening I suggested.”
Barry sat down on the bed and rubbed his forehead.
Part 3 Tomorrow