Throng

A throng of fans waited outside the entrance and carried on down and around the block. Doug Robe’s popularity was still at an all-time high and wasn’t dwindling to be sure. Perhaps that’s why he was loath to listen to her. Meg Frumm held the unenviable position as his media consultant, a role he rarely recognized as valuable since he rarely listened to her input and one he ignored refusing to agree to half of her strategy for pushing his career forward when he did take time to listen. Sometimes it was like talking to a brick wall, especially when she knew beyond the shadow of a doubt, it would push his career further into the limelight. At others, she had to admit his analysis was correct.

Doug Robe wasn’t driven by fame or fortune; it was the music, the performance, the message that meant everything to him. His music was soulful, serene, deep, meaningful. The words conveyed a depth on an underlying level that some might miss but the haunting beauty of his composition was stunning. She’d witnessed dozens of fans reduced to tears or elation as a result of his delivery. He played acoustic guitar using it in a fashion he’d developed, unique to him and his style of music. It could be haunting or light and breathtaking but always real.

She’d watched him leave the stage with sweat pouring down his face, his hair soaked. and his shirt clinging to his back He’d take a quick breather, wash his face and head in a basin of water, dry off, change his clothes and head right back on stage for the next set. The break didn’t deter or stop the flow of genius that poured out of him.

It was obvious that his fans adored him and showed it, not by throwing crap on stage, but by walking sedately to the stage and laying cards, notes and single flowers along the edge of the stage. They sometime piled up several inches high, but it was always done with such delight, respect and appreciation, that she found herself oddly touched by their gentle show of affection.

His web page was marked in the same manner. Notes of appreciation, explanations of how his music had touched them and why. What’s more, he personally took the time to answer as many as he could.

There was the occasional detractor, jealous boyfriends husbands or significant other that felt threatened by his music and the effect it had on their partner and occasionally, it had become necessary to contact the police, particularly when a death threat was involved. And although she tried to keep his knowledge of those instances to a bare minimum, he often received some directly and a confrontation ensued. It never ceased to amaze Meg that anyone could be affronted by the gentle beauty he conveyed. Their warped twisted minds made something of it that wasn’t there.

As a result, she had a meeting with Detective Barnes who had been assigned to the case and didn’t seem disposed to be excited at the prospect. It was in his tone; entertainer, yeah! He might be interested when he saw the latest installment that even disturbed her and she usually took the threats with a grain of salt because once investigated, the sender usually melted into the woodwork thankfully, all talk and no action. She wasn’t convinced in this case. There was a feel about these. All three in effect. Sent separately but all oddly enough postmarked on the same day with no return address. Perhaps a fan of Doug’s had forwarded them anyway believing they were doing him a favour.

Meg Frumm was sitting in her office when he arrived. A tall elegant man that carried himself well and immediately upon entering, flipped open his badge as he introduced himself. “Pleasure,” he said seating himself in the oversized comfortable chair. Of course, he immediately sized the woman and situation to determine what he was dealing with. Meg Frumm was a lovely woman, about 28 dressed semi-casually in office gear and she seemed quite relaxed with nothing to indicate hysteria which was the first thing that struck him. All too often, these types either became hysterical or were too laid back to realize the imminent danger to their client. He was, therefore, interested in her take before continuing.

When he was seated, she said, “I have the latest installments and I thought you should see them. I’m rarely concerned but I have to admit these caught my attention.” Having done this for a while, she knew how to preserve fingerprints and had worn gloves while dealing with the notes, which she’d sealed in separate baggies.

He stood, rounded the desk and stared down at each of the bags. “Well well, fan mail of a different sort, and no pleasant either,” he remarked looking at the graphic evidence. “Are these the first?”

“Yes, I believe so. Nothing we’ve received comes close and since all three have the same destruction to Doug’s face, I believe they are all from the same individual.”

Detective Barnes was shocked, truth be told. He’d seen all manner of threats but nothing quite as personal and graphic as these. This was a problem. “How tight is your security?”

“As tight as Robe will allow. He’s always open to his fans.”

“I suggest he be less open until we catch this perp. We’ve had a few serious situations of late and they were without warning. This time we have one and I suggest he take this seriously.” He gave her several suggestions and explained they could have a man available for the short term until he got his own security and strongly suggested he do so considering the contents of the emails which he took with him for forensics. Meg sighed because she knew it would be a hard sell. Doug didn’t want anything to come between him and his fans. Perhaps the emails would be enough to light a fire so he’d see reason. She hoped so.

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