At 9:30am Saturday morning, after I'd stayed up until 4am working on The Palace of Wisdom, my phone began buzzing across my nightstand. I growled and snarled at it and slapped my palm around on the flat surfaces in the near vicinity in search of my glasses. I didn't recognize the number and I growled some more. I'm always getting long distance wrong numbers. I pulled the covers over my head, attempted to regain lost ground from the cats who ooze into any abandoned bed space like a liquid seeking its own level, and tried to go back to sleep.
A few minutes later, the phone chirped at me. A message had been left. Curious thing for a wrong number to do, I thought.
Now, due to a clever mishap on my part, I no longer get my voicemail on my phone. Instead, I get garbled text messages from Google Voice, the most recent of which managed to tell me "Hey babe, scared" instead of "Hey babe, it's Jack." This one said "Unable to transcribe message." Still grumbling, I dragged my laptop over and googled the area code...it was a certain city where I only know two people. One of them is a literary agent who was reading my manuscript. My heart started hammering. I told it to shut up so I could think. Clearly, this was just a wrong number that was coincidentally in that same city, and furthermore it must have been a bot call, resulting in a message Google Voice couldn't transcribe.
I opened up Google Voice. There was a minute-and-a-half message waiting. I clicked play, and heard complete silence for several seconds. Calling myself many names for imagining things, I reached over to click stop. And then heard the only four words that got recorded: "from the literary agency...."
FROM THE LITERARY AGENCY????
After I regained consciousness, my e-mail announced a new message in that special folder set up for such unlikely scenarios as someone actually responding to a query. And there it was: from the literary agency.
An actual call is now scheduled for tomorrow morning. It better not be Nargles.