Static crackled in my ear.
– I just wanna know who wrote the story, Sean. I’m not after an address or a phone number.
– Yeah, right. I give you a name, you grab a phone book. You’re like a bull in a china shop when you’ve got a chip on your shoulder.
– Come on, Sean, whatever happened to all for one and one for all? I mean, what if the guy robbed me, for Christ’s sake?
– If you think he robbed you or stalked you or whatever, then call the police. If they come asking, I’ll tell, but until then, I don’t give out the details of contributors.
– God damn it, Sean, you’re always grinding that old axe. Give it up already.
– Hey, don’t forget who you’re talking to. Anyway, it’s not like I’m going to cut you off. I just won’t publish that particular manuscript. End of story. Let it go.
I was getting sick of Sean’s lip service. He didn’t know what it felt like. It wasn’t his work that’d been stolen.
I sighed. He wasn’t going to budge.
– Fine. I’ll cook up something new, I said.
– Great. Hey, I have to go. Good luck, and don’t sweat it. It was probably just a freak of nature.
There was a click, then a series of beeps, then nothing. The phone told me what Sean meant to say.
– Fuck off.