“Come now Desmond, don’t be coy. We both know.”
“Look, don’t call me anymore. I don’t need this.”
Slamming the phone down he stood thinking for a moment. The photo was worrying him. He didn’t want to think about it but he realized he probably knew what it was about. He went to his computer and looked up one of his old stories. He read through to the description of the victim and then looked at the photo again.
So that had been the killer who bumped into him at the video store. The monster was stalking him. A chill ran through him and he turned away from the computer and rubbed his eyes. There was nothing he could do. He prepared his dinner and put the movie in and sat down to watch. He needed distraction.
The next morning he went straight to his doorstep as soon as he woke up. He looked around as he picked up the paper then went inside and closed the door. He scanned the pages quickly but there was no news of a new killing. He breathed a sigh of relief and made himself some breakfast.
He decided to turn on the television as he ate, not admitting to himself that he wanted to know what the latest news was. He got the shock he was hoping he wouldn’t get. A late breaking bulletin came on almost as soon as he turned on the set. The news presenter breathlessly reported that another murder had been discovered in the early hours of the morning. As the details unravelled He reached for the remote and turned off the set. He already knew how the victim had died. After all, he had written it.
Pushing his breakfast aside he put his head in his hands, nervously stroking his wavy black hair. His stomach rolled with nausea but at the same time a thrill ran through him that gave him a shock. Pushing it out of his mind he got up and took his plate to the sink.
What could he do? If he called the police and told them the killer was in contact they would be all over his house in no time. On the other hand he felt like he was aiding and abetting cold-blooded murder. As if on cue the phone rang.
“I was faithful to your story Desmond. Surely you can appreciate that.”
“Why are you doing this? You’re a sick bastard.”
“Am I?” A sardonic chuckle and then a low hiss. “I told you Desmond, you have a lot to learn. I think it’s time we began.”
The line went dead and Desmond stared at the receiver before hanging up. A tangle of thoughts swirled through his head, some of them distressing. He went back to the computer and read up the story that had inspired the latest murder. He read through it and winced at the details of the murder. What compelled him to write such things? He tried to imagine what it had been like for the victim, then what it had been like for the killer.
Trying to sort through things he kept coming back to the repeated assertion that he had a lot to learn. There was something especially distressing about that. What did it mean? He was being watched. Maybe it was time to just call detective Albright and come clean. The monster had to be stopped. Could the police protect him?
He walked back to the phone and was about to pick it up when he heard a noise behind him. A hard thump to the back of his head and blackness took him under.
Part 6 Tomorrow