The next morning he headed straight for the porch when he woke up and retrieved the morning paper. He sat down at the kitchen table and scanned the pages. New details about the murder had emerged. He read it over twice and then sat staring. There could be no doubt about it. Whoever had done this had read his story.
A symbol had been carved into the victim’s abdomen. The police wouldn’t say what it was but Desmond knew. It took several minutes for the horror to impact on him to it’s fullest. What should he do? Call the police and tell them someone had brought one of his stories to life? He wasn’t sure how they would take it.
He made himself some breakfast and mulled it over while he ate. He kept glancing at the story, unable to bring himself to read the rest of the paper. He was almost done eating when the phone rang. Startled, it rang three more times before he went and answered it.
Silence. He could hear faint breathing.
“Hello? Who is this?”
“A fan, Desmond.”
“A fan? Who are you? What is the meaning of this?”
A low, throaty chuckle followed by throat clearing.
“Well now, the meaning. I think you’re getting ahead of yourself Desmond. Aren’t you interested in why I’m a fan?”
Desmond’s hands were shaking. “Look, if you’re referring to my work I’m afraid I’m only too aware of why you’re a fan. Why did you kill that woman?”
“You’re not paying attention Desmond. I told you, I’m a fan. I paid you homage. You don’t seem to be appreciative of that fact. I guess I’ll have to try harder.”
“No wait, don’t – “
The line went dead. Desmond stood rooted to the spot. How had this psycho gotten his phone number? He hung up the receiver and headed back to the table. The moment he sat down the phone rang again. This time he was on the line before the second ring.
“One more thing Desmond. Forget about calling the police. You won’t like what happens if you do. You’re already responsible for two deaths.”
The line was dead before he could draw breath to speak. He hung up and slumped onto the sofa. He sat bolt upright when the full impact of what he had heard hit him. Two deaths. Was there a body the police hadn’t discovered yet? He looked at the phone and wanted nothing more in this world than to make the call.
You won’t like what happens if you do. How would the killer know if he did? This was insanity. He had to do the right thing. He got up and went to the phone. It rang before he could he could do anything.
“You don’t listen Desmond. I see you need a lesson. So be it.”
He hung up and ran to the window. The killer must be watching him. So he knew not only the phone number he also knew the address. He saw no one on the street. He could be anywhere though. He could be using binoculars. He drew the blinds and went back to the sofa to think things over.
A killer was using his work for inspiration and knew his phone number and quite possibly his address. He was warned not to call the police. What the hell could he do now? Watch the nightmare unfold and do nothing? Two days ago his life had been idyllic. Now…now he didn’t know where to turn.
The phone rang again.
Part 3 Tomorrow