Here's the prologue that I just wrote. Bear in mind that it's a very rough draft and, of course, subject to change:
“Please state your name for the record.”
Cheyenne stared at the detective sitting across the table with suspicious green eyes. “I thought this was an informal interview.”
Detective Claire Barnes fiddled with the microphone cord. “It is, but this old tape recorder can’t see you. Since we don’t have a video camera, I’ll ask you to humor me. Please state your name.”
“Cheyenne Wilkins,” she said, pushing a strand of dark brown hair that had escaped her ponytail behind her ear.
“Cheyenne, were you in the building when the fire started?”
Cheyenne clutched the coffee cup in her hand, digging a manicured finger into the styrophone. “No, I had left the office for the day an hour earlier.”
“How did you know the building was on fire?”
“The alarm company called.”
“Why would the alarm company call you?” Detective Barnes asked.
“I’m the business manager,” Cheyenne said. “I’m responsible for office operations and security.”
Detective Barnes flipped through her notepad. “I understand that’s your duty, but my records say that Brett Goodard is the company president. Why wouldn’t he want to be designated as the primary contact for the alarm company?”
“He lives in Knoxville. I’m only a few blocks away. I can get here much faster.”Cheyenne sipped her coffee and sat the cup down with a shaky hand. “He thought it would be best if somebody close by were designated for that. You know, so someone could be here quickly in case anything happened.”
Detective Barnes stared at Cheyenne. “Why would he be concerned about that?”
Cheyenne looked away. “I don’t understand what the problem is. Doesn’t it make sense for the company president to designate somebody close by to keep an eye on things, especially if they have a long commute?”
“I suppose so,” Detective Barnes said, closing her notebook. “Cheyenne, from our previous conversations I take it you’re a no-nonsense person, so I’m going to ask you straight. Is there anybody with your company that had a grudge against you?”
Cheyenne’s blue eyes widened. “Me?”
“Well, anybody with the company. Have you terminated anybody? Was anybody disgruntled? Were there any office politics that might have pushed somebody over the edge?”
Cheyenne set her jaw. “Are you questioning the integrity of the company? We’ve never done anything wrong. Everything has always been above board and honest. We always act in the best interest of our employees.” She reached for the coffee cup but accidentally crushed it, spewing brown liquid over the steel table. “Crap!”she shouted. “Don’t you have any napkins around this office?”
“Forget the coffee, just answer the question.”
“No, this is a mess. We need to clean it up now.”
“I don’t care about the coffee!” Detective Barnes said sternly. “I have two dead people, two missing people, one person nobody can identify wandering around like a wraith, and an office on fire. I think asking if anybody has a grudge is perfectly sensible. So tell me, Cheyenne Wilkins, is there anybody that was pissed off enough to cause his domino effect of madness?”
Plenty of people talk. It's the ones that act who really cause the trouble.
“Oh God,”Cheyenne said as tears welled in her eyes.
“What, Cheyenne?” Detective Barnes said. “Please, anything helps.”
Tears rolled down Cheyenne’s pale cheeks. “I lied. I lied to the wrong person”
“Who did you lie to?”
Detective Barnes flipped through her notes and nodded. “I see. Ok Cheyenne, tell me the story. What did you lie to her about?”
Cheyenne looked toward the ceiling, the tears in her eyes glinting in the harsh light of the lamp hanging over the table. “Everything. And now she’s doing something about it.”