When he woke in the morning it was with him. The fear was a dull one, at once vague and specific. It persisted while he dressed and ate breakfast and, later, as he sat for hours at the office.
He had not taken the phone call. His colleague, unsuspecting, had spoken to the caller and written down the message. That was four days ago, and since then scarcely 20 minutes had passed without his thinking of when it would happen. For the first two days he had repeatedly checked before leaving a building, or noted the cars that stopped outside his apartment block, until it struck him that these were useless activities.
His role in this was to wait. There was nothing else to do. Of course nothing might happen, but that nothing cast the something into cold, sharp relief.
“Any plans for the holidays?” asked the barman, as the man waited to meet the person who had set all this in motion.
“No, nothing,” he replied. He watched the door, and waited.