And still mildly spooked.
This little tale may be vaguely familiar for those of you with elephantine memories, since this goes back a long time ago, when I’d more or less only just started blogging. It’s still a bit of an Outer Limits moment.
I once wrote a short story about a man who killed his wife and her lover. For reasons we needn’t go into, though it revolved around airline schedules, I set the action in a small town called Mississauga, a sort of dormitory town for Toronto, and indeed home to Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Anyway, the man shoots his wife dead, then shoots her lover when he turned up. Pretty run of the mill jealous betrayed husband story, interesting simply because of the narrative format I used.
I published it on Wattpad, as you can see, and it got a very reasonable number of reads. Then this is the puzzling bit. I got a phone call one afternoon, I didn’t know the number, though it had a +1 dial code, so I did what I normally do with numbers I don’t recognise and let it ring out. Then I got curious, did a reverse directory search on the number, and Lo! It was the copshop in Mississauga, or at least that was the listing.
Irresistible really. I phoned back. Lordy lordy! Number unobtainable. What’s that about?
I did what any self respecting citizen would do, found the email address for Peel Regional Police rozzers, actually based in Mississauga, and dumped the Public Relations department an email, asking what was occurring.
I got a very pleasant response from a Staff Sgt Gerald Harnden, who was polite, cooperative, and helpful*. He ran the number, confirmed it was a Toronto number, but when he tried it the number was ‘not found.’ Staff Sgt Harnden was as puzzled as I was. Particularly in view of the fact that I had no connection to Mississauga at all apart from, by pretty much sheer chance, setting a story there. We had quite a nice chat, actually. He even asked for a link so he could read the story.
There are lots of confusing, puzzling aspects here, aren’t there? An apparent call from the Canadian police, that could only have been based on a piece of fiction I wrote. Then the number, listed as the copshop, turns out to be disconnected, not available. Then how did whoever called me get my number? I’m very cagey about who gets to know my telephonic details.
Bit of a mystery, this, isn’t it?
*Of course he was polite and cooperative and helpful. He was Canadian.