Jeremy sat back and chuckled as he hung up the phone. What delicious irony he thought, this guy giving his new character his name. Life was full of surprises.
He was really getting this guy wound up now. He pondered his next move. The game was only fun if he could keep this Barry guy engaged. At some point he really would stop answering the phone.
An idea came to him and he grinned. Sure, why not? He would let him sleep and start in on him again tomorrow. It would give him time to work out the details of his nefarious plan.
Barry awoke the next morning in a foul mood. It had been a night of bad dreams featuring the characters from his new novel. He skipped breakfast and went straight to writing. The dreams had been bad but they had also opened up some new ideas. Every dark cloud has a silver lining he mused.
He worked straight through the day, stopping only to make himself a sandwich for lunch. He was amazing at the progress he was making. Perhaps there was something to be said for the idea of conflict and tension feeding the creative urge.
As evening approached he went out to do some grocery shopping and run a couple of errands. At the back of his mind was the thought that the phone calls would probably start up again when he got back home but he was determined to ignore them this time. If he didn’t engage then surely the matter would come to an end.
He was too tired to make dinner when he got home and decided a pizza would suffice. He was about to pick up the phone to order when it rang. He stared at it for a moment, picked it up and hung up again right away, then called for a pizza.
He congratulated himself for some quick thinking and then put on some music and poured himself a glass of wine. He sat down in his favourite chair and tried to relax, fully expecting the phone to ring again right away but half an hour went by and nothing came.
He was just about to give Phil a call to talk about the game when it finally rang. He paused with his hand over and then pulled back and waited.
“Barry, I know you’re there. Pick up the phone Barry. Listen, it’s me Malcolm. That was naughty of you picking up and then hanging up right away. But no matter, we need to talk about Jeremy. He’s bad news Barry. It’s worse than you can imagine. Listen to me Barry. He’s planning on killing you. I’m not kidding. Your life is in danger. Pick up the phone now. He might be on his way to your door as I speak.”
Barry felt his pulse quicken and closed his eyes tight and tried to regulate his breathing. This was getting out of hand. Now it was down to threats. He willed himself not to pick up the phone and half a minute later the line went dead.
Perhaps it was time to call the police. He was being threatened. Some lunatic out there might well be intending to harm him. But how could he possibly tell them the whole story? What could he say? Two characters from his novel were calling him and one of them was insisting that the other was going to do him harm? How could he explain that no one but himself knew one of the characters?
They would think he was away with the fairies. No, it just wouldn’t do. He’d have to think it through and decide after a better night’s sleep. His reverie was interrupted by a loud knock on the door.
Part 6 Tomorrow