My scene...what do you think? (I hope you guys like it!)
I sat at my desk, staring at the blank computer screen. I needed to get started if I was going to reach my writing goal for the day, but my mind kept drawing blanks.
I looked around my office, hoping that an idea would come to me if I let my mind wander. My eyes rested on the cover art for my previous novel and I sighed. Everything about that novel had come so easily; it seemed so wrong that I couldn't even think of a single sentence for this one.
I was about to give up and take a lunch break when the phone rang.
"Hello?" I said, hoping that the irritation I felt wasn't showing up in my voice.
"Hello, Mr. Mitchell," said a deep, unfamiliar voice.
"I'm sorry, but I don't believe I know you. Who is this?"
"My name isn't important. I'm your biggest fan; I've read everything you've ever written. I can't wait for your next novel. It's supposed to be coming out soon, isn't it?"
I couldn't answer at first. My mouth had gone dry and I was suddenly afraid of this unknown caller.
"It is," I said when I had found my voice.
There was silence on the other end. Then, just when I thought the caller must have hung up, he said, "Now what is important, to me at least, is that you get started on that new novel. It's not going to come out on time if all you're doing is sitting there staring at your computer. Do whatever you have to do to get those creative juices flowing and get to writing."
I was so stunned by the aggressive tone of his voice that what he said didn't register at first. When I finally realized what I'd just heard, my body went rigid.
He's watching me! Thr thought raced through my mind like a run-away train.
"What's wrong Mr. Mitchell? You look like you've seen a ghost," he said, then laughed.
Hearing his laugh made my blood go cold. It also snapped me out of my paralysis. I jumped out of my chair so fast I almost tripped over my own feet as I went to the window to close the blinds. I stood there in shock, sweat dripping down my back and my heart hammering in my chest.
"Aw, now why'd you go and do that for? I was having fun watching you squirm," he said, then laughed again.
"I don't understand," I croaked, my throat dry and scratchy.
"I want my best friend back," he said, his voice filled with something I couldn't quite identify.
Standing at the window, I leaned against the wall and thought about what he ha just said. He wants his best friend back? What's he talking about? Suddenly the answer came to me; he must be talking about one of my characters. But which one? Thinking about it, the answer came to me as suddenly as the first. He was talking about Jack McCormick. He was the main character in a series that I had started a couple of years ago.
"Listen, I'm glad that you like my books and that you feel so close to Jack, but..." I started, but before I could finish he let out a sign of frustration.
"You don't seem to understand the situation you're in," he said after a few minutes, his voice filled with rage.
I went back to my chair and sat down, not really believing that this was happening. This guy was crazy. I've had some pretty weird fans during my career, but this guy was now at the top of my list.
"I don't know what kind of game you're trying to play," I said, my voice steady with a calmness I didn't feel, "but this isn't the way to get what you want. Now, if you'll excuse me..."
"You hang up on me and you'll regret this day for the rest of your life," he said.
I drew in a sharp breath. Somehow I knew that hewasn't joking. Yes, this guy was off his rocker; I had no doubts about that. The one thing he never did, which was suddenly very clear to me, was joke.
"What do you want?" I whispered, my hands starting to shake with fear and anger.
"I've already told you; get started on that new novel. I want my best friend back. I'll be keeping in touch. If I don't hear about some progress in the next two days, you'll wish you never became a writer. " He paused for a second. Then: "YOur wife"s very beautiful Mr. Mitchell. I see she's just coming home. Looks like she has some groceries in the car. It'd be a shame to have to put a bullet in the back of her pretty head as she's walking to your door."
"Leave her out of this you psycho!" I shouted, my face getting hot.
"Do as I say and you won't have to worry."
"How do I know that I have your word?"
"I guess you'll just have to trust me," he said, laughing.
He was still laughing when he hung up.