“Barry, stop. I know who Malcolm is because I’m Malcolm. I can’t explain it to you, and it doesn’t matter Barry. Just accept the facts. I’m your creation. Now then, about the plot structure, I really feel there’s too much telling in the –“
“STOP IT! Who the hell are you? Why are you doing this? Oh shit, never mind! Just stop calling me.”
Barry slammed the phone down. He had a stabbing pain above his right eye and he stumbled to the medicine cabinet and groped for some painkillers. He was washing them down when the phone rang again. He felt like his head might explode.
“Look, I told you to stop calling me. Your twisted little game isn’t going to work anymore, you got that?”
“Wow. Here I was thinking we were best friends. I’m crushed Barry.”
“Oh, Phil. Shit, I’m sorry man. I thought you were that whack job that called me last night. He just called again.”
“Really? Damn. No, It’s just that I remembered I had two tickets to the game next week and I forgot to ask if you wanted to go. So this guy called again?”
“Yeah, he damn sure did. Started in again giving me advice and insisting he was my character. Some people have way too much time on their hands I guess.”
“So what did you do?”
“I told him to stop calling. Told him his game wasn’t going to work on me.”
“Hmm. I guess there’s not much more you can do than that. Maybe you should just let your machine pick up for a few days. I wouldn’t think he’d get off on talking to your voice mail.”
“Good idea. I’ll give it a try. This sort of idiot should have a short attention span. I hope so anyway.”
“Okay, well, don’t forget, game next week. We’ll talk in a couple of days.”
Barry got into bed and turned out the lights. Sleep took awhile coming but eventually he nodded off. The next morning he had errands to run before he could get any writing done and it was just as well. He was still wound up over the second call.
He treated himself to a nice lunch and by the time he got home and sat down to write he was in better spirits. He was in the mood to edit and spent most of the remainder of the day going over the last two chapters he had written and making changes. He opened the file he used for character development and made some notes on his newest creation.
He felt positive about the direction he was headed. He closed everything up and headed for the kitchen at six to begin making dinner and while he was cooking he began idly wondering what his prank caller had wanted to say about his plot development.
He caught himself and felt foolish at once. This clown knew nothing at all about what he had written. That would have been the way to catch him out. He should have given him enough rope to hang himself. Let him expound on the changes that needed to be made. How could he? He hadn’t actually read the manuscript, he just knew the book was a work in progress and he’d overheard a character’s name.
He chuckled and had a taste of the sauce he was simmering. Needed a bit of salt. He was reaching for the grinder when the phone rang.
Part 4 Tomorrow