Something unusual happened to me the other day and I really need to tell someone about it. I received an email from a stranger in response to one of my blog’s special features, the So Damn Beautiful: Interviews series, and it led to a rather surreal conversation.
Here’s the email I received:
Subject: So Damn Beautiful Interviews
I’d appreciate if you would discontinue the libel you’ve been spreading about me. You published an interview with the mother of Troy Banks implicating me in kidnapping Troy. That’s a lie, and if you keep spreading lies, there will be consequences. Know what I’m saying?
Matter of fact, Troy wasn’t even kidnapped. See, I’m a friend of his mom’s. The whole thing’s just a big misunderstanding. And Meredith, she’s the most confused of all, poor thing.
I want to set the record straight, and who better to do that than the man himself? So I’ll let you—and only you—talk to Troy. Get the real story for yourself.
The email included a phone number with instructions on when to call (and a rather chilling warning as to what would happen if I shared it with anyone or went to the police).
I waited until the appointed hour, wondering—perhaps hoping—that the whole thing was some elaborate hoax. With a trembling hand, I dialed the numbers.
My call was expected. Whoever answered on the other end picked up almost immediately—but said nothing. I thought I heard soft breathing, so I spoke into the silence.
The following is a transcript of the call.
A.E. Hodge: Hello? Is someone there? This—this is horror writer A.E. Hodge. I was told to call this number with regard to, um, an interview with Troy Banks. Hello? Is anyone there?
Young Boy: Hi. I’m Troy.
A.E. Hodge: Troy Banks? Really?
Troy Banks: Uh huh! Who are you, again? I’m not supposed to talk to strangers.
AEH: Troy, listen. Your mom’s worried sick about you.
TB: Mom’s always worried about something. Too much video games, too many gummy bears…
AEH: She says you were kidnapped.
TB: What? No! I went with her friend, after school. He asked me to help him.
AEH: What friend? Christian Morgan?
TB: … That’s not what we call him here.
AEH: What do you call him? Troy? Can you hear me? You’re breaking up. Where are you right now?
TB: At the Sanctum. I’m not supposed to talk about it.
AEH: Troy, what is Christian doing? Why does he need your help?
TB: He’s planning a big surprise for her. For everyone. That’s why I went with him. Mom’s been so sad for so long, ever since Dad died. But it’s okay. Soon we’ll be a family again. And the whole world will know our name.
The phone clicked abruptly, and the line went dead.
My brief interview with Troy Banks was over, but it was not the last time I’d hear from the psychopath, Christian Morgan. However, for fear of retaliation, I can’t share my conversation with Christian here. Instead, my interview with Christian Morgan–the final installment in the “So Damn Beautiful: Interviews” series–will be available exclusively as bonus material in the upcoming SO DAMN BEAUTIFUL: THE COMPLETE SERIES special edition set!
Coming 10/03/15 in ebook and paperback, this definitive series collection set will include all four books in the SO DAMN BEAUTIFUL series, together for the first time at a discount price, plus the exclusive interview with Christian and all the previously published vignettes in the “So Damn Beautiful: Interviews” blog series!
Stay tuned right here for the latest information and release announcements. Till next time, Fugitives!