Prologue: The Interrogation (Fragment 1)

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The Interrogation (Fragment 1)

February 20, 2014, 7:42 PM 
Case #: 124.678.21-001 B.14 (MID)


INVESTIGATOR: Sorry to keep you waiting, Mr. Thorn. We'd like to ask you a few questions.

THORN: Where's Tessa?

INVESTIGATOR: My name is Lieutenant Charles Foster. This is my partner, Detective Terence Newman. For the record, today is February 20, 2014 at 7:42 PM. This interview is being recorded.

THORN: Is she here? Is she in the building?

INVESTIGATOR: Mr. Thorn, please sit down. This is an ongoing criminal investigation.

THORN: Tell me where she is!

INVESTIGATOR: We just have a few questions we need you to answer first.

THORN: Then you'll tell me?

INVESTIGATOR: The sooner you cooperate, the sooner we'll get this whole thing sorted out.

THORN: OK. Fine. What do you need to know?

INVESTIGATOR: Thank you. Please state your full name, date of birth, and occupation for the record.

THORN: Eric Taylor Thorn. Date of birth March 18, 1991. What was the third thing?


THORN: I don't—I don't even know anymore. Take your pick. Singer. Songwriter. Actor. Underwear model. Professional media whore? Does that qualify as an occupation?

INVESTIGATOR: That's fine, Mr. Thorn. Just take it easy. This should only take a few minutes.

THORN: Should I have a lawyer?

INVESTIGATOR: You have the right to call an attorney at any time.

THORN: Am I under arrest?

INVESTIGATOR: We just have some questions. As I said, the sooner we have your statement, the sooner—

THORN: OK. Forget it. Go ahead. Tell me what you want to know.

INVESTIGATOR: Let's start at the beginning.

THORN: The beginning... What's the beginning? The day I got my record deal? The day I first picked up a guitar? I was about four years old...

INVESTIGATOR: We're talking about Tessa Hart. Tell us, how did you and Ms. Hart first become involved?

THORN: Over Twitter. About six months ago, maybe? Somewhere around the end of August.

INVESTIGATOR: You replied to her over Twitter?

THORN: No. I tweeted her. She replied to me. Except it wasn't really me.

INVESTIGATOR: I'm not sure I follow.

THORN: It started before that, though. Before I even set up the account... [pause].

INVESTIGATOR: Please continue.

THORN: I guess... [pause]. I guess if you have to start the story somewhere, I'd say the whole thing really started in July with Dorian Cromwell. You know, from the boy band?

INVESTIGATOR: Are you saying this case is connected to the Dorian Cromwell murder?

THORN: No, not really. Sorry, I'm not making any sense. I just meant the story was all over the news. And then the trial, with that girl. All because he didn't follow her back...

INVESTIGATOR: I'm afraid I'm still not following. How does the Dorian Cromwell case relate to your relationship with Tessa Hart?

THORN: It's funny. I knew it, the moment I heard the story. I knew in my gut what must have happened to him. People say they'll always remember where they were when Kennedy was shot. Or where they were on 9/11. That's kind of how it was for me. I was driving down the Santa Monica Freeway with the top down, listening to the Top 40 on the radio. And the announcer broke in, right in the middle of number 12. I wasn't even paying attention, but that was weird. You knew it was something big because they stopped in the middle of the song. They didn't know exactly what had happened yet. It took a few days to get to the bottom of it. About that girl, that fan. They didn't even know for sure it was a murder at that point. They only knew that it was Dorian Cromwell. That's what they said. Those were the exact words. Dorian Cromwell, lead singer of Fourth Dimension, was found dead this morning in London, floating face down in the Thames.

Dear Readers:

There will be more bits and pieces from the police interrogation later on as the story unfolds. Keep reading!

This is the complete online version of Follow Me Back. A revised and expanded print edition will be PUBLISHED in June 2017.

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