The phone vibrated. It was 3:00 am. I leaned over to see who was calling at that godforsaken hour. The caller ID said Sarah. I didn’t know any Sarah.
Frowning, I answered. “Hello.”
“Who is this?” a voice on the other end said.
I was awake now. I sat up in bed, turned on the lamp, and switched the phone to my other ear. “Um, lady, you called me. You sure you got the right number?”
I heard heavy breathing on the other end and the sound of somebody running pretty fast. I asked the lady if she was still there.
“Please, call the police. I’m scared. He’s following me. He’s going to kill me.”
I blinked in the lamplight. “What is this? Some practical joke? If it is, it ain’t funny.”
“Please, tell them John did it.”
She hung up.
I checked the name and number again. I still didn’t recognize them. Whoever she was, she was clearly distressed. Either somebody was trying to kill her or she was a very good actress.
I put the phone down on the bed stand and crawled back under the covers. I tried to sleep but couldn’t. I was just too disturbed over that weird phone call.
Sitting up in bed again, I turned on the light and redialed the number. It could have been some practical joke. Some kids trying to get a laugh out of a stranger. But I wasn’t going to let it slide.
The phone picked up. An older woman answered. She sounded groggy, like she’d just woken up, which she likely did. I asked if this was Sarah.
“Sarah,” I said. “Is this Sarah?”
“Sarah? No, you got the wrong number. There’s no––”
Her voice cut off abruptly. There were some noises in the background, strange movements, a muffle of voices, and then another voice appeared on the other end, this one male.
“Who is this?” he said bluntly.
“Why are you calling here?”
“Wait, you the one who called me. Look, I don’t know what this is all about––.”
There were more noises in the background, like whoever was on the phone was shuffling out of bed and moving into another room. Then the voice on the other end was low and chilling.
“What do you want?”
I blinked in the lamplight. What the hell was going on here?
“What is this about? How do you know Sarah? What do you want?” His voice sounded desperate and panicky.
I frowned at the phone. Did I just enter the Twilight Zone? I told the guy on the other end I didn’t know what any of this was about. That somebody named Sarah who called from his number had woken me up in the middle of the night with some crazy story about somebody named John trying to kill her. It was a joke obviously, and maybe I shouldn’t have called, but I wasn’t trying to get anything out of anybody. I just wanted out of whatever game he was playing.
The guy on the other end was breathing heavily now. “Sarah called you? But…but that’s impossible. Sarah couldn’t have called you. She’s dead.”
The air caught in my throat. Nothing was making sense now. I just wanted it all to end.
“Look, somebody called me,” I said. “I ain’t got time for this. I got work early tomorrow. So whoever called, just tell them to stop it.”
I hung up and put the phone back on the nightstand. Resting my head back on the pillow, I stared up at the ceiling, too upset now to even close my eyes.
The phone vibrated again.
I jumped. Cursing myself, I reached over to answer it.
It was from Sarah!
“W-who is this?” I said, my hands now trembling.
“Please, call the police now,” a frightened whisper came back. “He has your number. He knows you know.”
I stared at the number again. It now read: ***-***-****. No number at all. A number from nowhere.
“Please,” she whispered urgently. “Get help. He knows you know.”
I hung up again and tossed the phone at the end of the bed. What the hell was happening?
Was I going crazy? Or maybe I was stuck in some kind of waking nightmare.
The phone vibrated again. It buzzed and buzzed like an angry wasp trapped in the bedcovers. It kept right on buzzing, driving me more insane. I crawled across my bed and picked it up.
I checked the Caller ID.
It was John.
He knows you know.