Patience. My books are on sale for $10 and €9 today!! Available via he link in my bio. Search the amazon you usually use for them if you’d like to do that instead. Get them cheap whilst you still can!! Love and light 🕊🎈
Below the mall’s bougie symmetrical courtyard and through a series of serpentine concrete hallways, Stanford was brought to the security office and asked to sit in a muggy, fluorescent hovel where he could hear the faint echo of delivery trucks beeping as they reversed in the docking bay above. The security officer, a lanky blonde man in his early 20s who barely fit his uniform placed the confiscated goods on the table across Stanford.
1 copy of Robby Roma: The Full Story. Stanford raised his hands defensively.
There’s been a misunderstanding, he said. That book belongs to me. Look at the back.
The security guard gazed at the hardcover, and flipped the book to see a photo of the man sitting across him. He pursed his lips, and made a sucking sound, as if he had truly seen every oddity his job could throw his way.
The guard procured a large black binder from under his desk and flipped through it.
What are you doing?
Checking if it’s illegal to steal your own book, the guard replied.
You don’t need to check—You need to let me go.
He sat, twiddling his thumbs, calculating how much time he had before the police would come knocking down his door. The texts from Maggie and Leanne had slowed, and he imagined the two people he cared most for giving up on trying to reach him.
Instead of their worried messages, the Robby Roma story unfolded through the buzz of social media and the indelible nature of the first headline being the most widespread and accepted, regardless of how true it was. “Security cam footage released: Roma’s killer at large.” The thumbnail of the video was as bad as it could be:
A fish-eye lens looking down on Robby Roma’s foyer, the frame cutting off at the base of his staircase and the doors to his patio. Any discussion that could acquit Stanford happened on either side of the frame, in Robby’s office or around the iron brazier in the backyard. Something told him that neither was bestowed with a security camera, and that this was the beginning of the end for him.
All the lies for this: mall security capturing him before he got the chance to say goodbye to his wife and stepdaughter.
He leaned in and put a hand down on the guard’s binder.
This is the most important book in the world, Stanford said. Have you been watching the news today?
No sir, I’m at work.
Well, he continued, if you did, you would know that this is about to be the biggest selling book in LA. Hell, it’s going to be the best selling book of all time.
The guard stared, not impressed by his hyperbolic claims.
In fact, it will be worth millions in a few years. You know why?
All he had to offer to the guard was himself.
Stanford needed to convince the man that he was a commodity. A product worth bargaining for.
If you let me go, he said, I’ll sign this book. You’ll be the only man on earth with a signed copy. I’m getting calls from everywhere, just for me to come by bookstores and scribble my name on something with Robby Roma’s name on it.
I don’t know who Robby Roma is.
Stanford laughed dry and desperately. You don’t know Robby Roma? He’s only the biggest star in the world. He died this morning, and my book is his life story from start to finish. You won’t be able to get your hands on a copy of this book, let alone a signed copy.
He reached into the security guard’s penholder and procured a sharpie.
What’s your name?
The guard stopped flipping and gave Stanford another bemused stare.
‘To Mike Molyneux—my friend—the sky’s the limit. Love, Dr. Blundell.”
He inched the book forward with a grin.
Please, he thought, take the fucking thing.
Mike stood, walked to the door and opened it.
Just get out of here. I don’t give a damn about Tony Roma’s or your autograph. According to article 16-G, he continued, there’s no crime in stealing your own book.
And before Mike could check the news, he let the prime suspect in Robby Roma’s murder scuttle out of the mall with his book in hand.
It was early afternoon, and Stanford made for the Berkeley, avoiding all major interstates and exits along the way.
At the top of Mt. Diablo, he saw that his house was an impenetrable nest of police & news reporters. He wandered down the tall grass to his car, and drove towards Berkeley.
The evidence was in Robby Roma’s favour: the book, the body, the security footage, and some 300 testimonies from former students claiming that Blundell had a history of aggressive outbursts. The next time he would speak to Maggie or Leanne would be through glass and a telephone line in prison, and thought he might as well sift through useless excuses once he was caught.
Berkeley was teeming with students stumbling from the watering hole to their dorms. Stanford slipped into a spare parking spot behind Bowes Hall, one of the larger student housing developments on campus.
A gaggle of drunken freshmen smoking on the steps watched as Stanford cut through the courtyard towards Stanley Hall.
Hey! Blundell! One shouted. I heard you killed Roma after he fucked your daughter!
Yo, call the R.A.—tell her we found him!
His pace quickened as the students scrambled inside; the police would be there soon. Past the Greek Theatre, a campus security cart was pulled over, and the officer ticketed underage drinkers. Stanley Hall was a gridlock of security and students and there would be no hope for him to slink by unnoticed.
Stanford ducked into the Greek Theatre, and to his surprise, the hundreds of seats that would typically be peppered with students passing joints and crushing beers in the stands were empty. Floodlights illuminated the stage, an archway he always admired.
He marched to center stage, and looked at the seats; rows ascending into the nosebleeds where he used to grade papers, and more recently, write for Robby.
In the distance, sirens & the voices of students flocking outside Bowes hall and wandering past the theatre.
1 student, rather than follow his comrades where they believed Stanford ran, walked into the theatre.
In the darkness, the student watched as a man he had seen now and then on campus took a bow under the great lights. But no curtain came down. No overture played. He only stood, staring at an invisible crowd and waited for the police to arrive and take him away.
Another piece you can check out in my debut poetry collection (link in bio).
I'll probably change the background, for the next row of poetry snippets. Gotta keep you fuckers interested. 😝
A quick note: I am deeply depressed. So, please don't take my lack of responses to your comments/messages personally. It's simply beyond my ability, right now. 💚