Vijay opened his mailbox. 12 comments for his blog posts. He started reading them. Then he opened the last one.
“This happened with a friend of mine. I wonder what happens next.”
Vijay raised his eyebrow. Interesting. The reader hadn’t linked himself, so there was no way Vijay could hop onto the other blog, but right at the top of his inbox, was an email from the same person. He opened it.
“Vijay, it is striking how you could document this incident as a story. It’s exactly how things happened with my friend. How did you get the idea? Did you read it from the papers?”
Vijay frowned. Great. Now this guy will want to badger me with questions, copyright issues, this and that. Just because something similar happened to his friend…And Vijay had no idea the incident had appeared in the papers. Well, a strange coincidence, that’s what it was. Nothing more. Shouldn’t break your head over it a lot, he told himself.
He shut his mailbox and his laptop after about an hour and decided to hit the sack. It was late.
The cell phone rang at around 2 am. It took a while for Vijay to realize it. He got up sleepily and saw the number on the screen. Unknown number. He cut the call and went back to sleep. The phone rang again after a few minutes.
“Who the hell was this now?”
Vijay answered the call impatiently. “Who is it man, it’s …” He didn’t know the time, but knew it was an unearthly hour.
“Vijay, you have to tell me how you got the idea for the story…”
“The story. You wrote on your blog. I must say it is…”
Vijay disconnected. “Moron.”
The phone rang again. This time, Vijay got up and switched it off. “There. Keep wondering about the story now.”
A remote part of his brain was wondering about the caller though. How on earth did he get his number? He’d just about gotten back to his slumber, when the phone rang yet again.
From below the pillow, Vijay’s eyes opened weakly. And then flew wide open. “What the hell…?”
He turned and picked the phone in his hand. Same number. But that was impossible. He’d just switched it off. Maybe he hadn’t done it properly. He disconnected, and frowned. The phone hadn't been switched off. He switched it off a second time.
But then it switched back on, on its own.
And rang again. Vijay took it this time.
The caller laughed on the other end.
“Switching off the phone on my face, huh? Don’t.”
Vijay ran a hand back on his head. “Who’re you, dude? Some sort of freak?”
The caller laughed again and ignored the question. “The important question now, Vijay, is ..who you are. You see…” The caller paused to cough. “You’ve written a story that happened to my friend. Exactly the same way you wrote it.”
“So? That’s not my fault.”
“Yeah, but I want to know what happens next.”
“You’re kidding. Listen..I’ve no idea who you are, who your friend is, and how it happened to him, or why it happened. I wrote the story just the way it came to my mind. That’s about it. I’ve not heard it from anyone, read it from any place, or whatever else there is to it. Ok? It’s just a goddamn story that originated in my head. And now its over. There's no 'next.' Now, please leave me alone.”
“Leave you alone? No way.”
In reply, Vijay just disconnected the call again, flipped the phone open, took out the battery, the SIM card and threw it all on the floor.
He sat on the edge of the bed now, his eyes slowly adjusting to the darkness. But the silence was deafening.
“What a pity…”
Said a voice from behind.