Chapter 18: Spiraling

We sat in silence for a long time after Cari’s phone rang. I had to hand it to her — she was taking things well. If it were me, I would have barricaded myself in a closet somewhere.

“I don’t know who he is,” she said. She was holding a cup of hot chocolate against her knee, which was shaking. She placed the cup on the coffee table and sighed. “I know how this looks, like I’m okay. I’m not. I’m scared. But my dad always told me to not let people see the panic.”

“It’s okay to be afraid, especially of this.” I reached out and gripped her hand in mine, twining her fingers with mine. “I’ll keep you safe. He won’t call again.”

I knew she didn’t believe me. And just to prove me a liar, her phone rang again. Neither of us moved. Finally, Cari reached over and answered.

“What do you want, mother fucker?” she snarled. She placed a hand over her mouth. “Oh, dad, hi. I’m sorry. Yeah, I’m fine. Some weird guy just called before and it scared me. No, I’m not alone.”

I looked at her; she leaned back against the couch, twisting a piece of her white-tipped hair around her finger. She looked better than she had an hour ago. I wished she could stay like that.

“I don’t know who it was, dad.” She didn’t say anything for a few minutes, and then, “Wait what? Oh my God. No, I didn’t.” She moved to cover the receiver and muttered, “Turn on the news.”

I turned on the TV, flipped to the news and sat back. There was a report about a man who was calling people in Delve. One witness talked about a threat the man had given her, and it was as fucked up as what Cari had been told.
“Jesus,” I heard her whisper beside me.

I kept my eyes glued. The reporter, a man, urged the residents to not pick up their phones if they didn’t know who was calling, but in the end he seemed to rule it as a sick joke.

It wasn’t funny.

Cari shut her phone. “My dad said the same thing. He doesn’t want me answering the phone again, unless I know it’s him.”

“This is too much like a scary movie,” I said, shaking my head. “When’s your dad coming back?”

“He didn’t say,” Cari muttered. “He’s working late on another case.”

“The one he worked on here before you came, do you know anything about it?” I asked, leaning back.

“Not really, why?” Cari squinted at me, like she was trying to read my mind.

“It was a murder case of a woman who was found dead in her home. They thought her husband did it, but he was out of town when she was killed. So it’s still an open investigation, because the police never figured it out.”

“Why are you telling me this?” Cari asked, blinking. “Is it supposed to make me feel better? It doesn’t. It freaks me out.”

“Sorry,” I muttered. “I was just trying to take your mind off the call.”

“Not helping,” she said, waving her hand at me. She grabbed the remote and turned the channel. “Jesus, it’s on most of them. Don’t they have anything better to report on?”

“Well it’s not every day that a psycho comes to Delve,” I said, smirking slightly.

I had meant the ‘psycho’ part as a joke. I had no idea that things would come spiraling down, or that I would be playing a deadly game soon.

The End

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