“Hey, uh, is that you? It’s Tom, Tom Garland. Listen, I just wanted you to know, everything’s okay. Really. He was right all along. I’ll see you soon, okay?”
That was the message on your answering machine two days ago. There’s just one problem: you don’t know a Tom Garland. But you did a little looking around. Turns out, there’s a Tom Garland out in the midwest, used to be a reporter, now he writes books. You’d never heard of him. Moderately famous.
You chalk it up to a crossed wire. A late-night mistake. Drunk dialing.
Last night, another call.
Tom Garland’s voice again. “Denver, nine. Milwaukee, seven. Regina, two.” Just that, until you finally hung up. And in the background of Tom Garland’s voice, a low drone, a quiet static hum.
All the next day, you had headaches, nosebleeds. Doctors said you checked out. Nothing awry, except that you looked in the mirror that morning and saw something that wasn’t your face looking back.
Tom Garland is doing a book signing not far from where you live, in a little town called DeWitt. It’s a short drive, a quick flight, a bus or a train ride, maybe.
What have you got to lose by tracking him down?
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