Excerpt for Deadly Breakup by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


Andre’ Mwansa 2017

Smashwords edition

Zax Phiri had a shack on the west side of his father’s gone to seed ranch, and that was where he was when Sheriff Kelvin and half a dozen deputized townsmen found him, sitting in the one chair by the cold stove, wearing a dirty barn coat and reading an old issue of the Post newspaper. Looking at it, anyway.

Sheriff Kelvin stood in the doorway, almost filling it up. He was holding his own lantern. “Come out of there, Zax, and do it with your hands up. I ain’t drawn my pistol and don’t want to.”

Zax came out. He still had the newspaper in one of his raised hands. He stood there looking at the sheriff with his flat brown eyes. The sheriff looked back. So did the others.

“I notice you didn’t ask why we’re here,” Sheriff Kelvin said.

“Why are you here, sheriff?’’

“Where is your other shoe, Zax?’’

Zax looked down at his feet, to find himself with only one shoe on.

“In your place is it?’’ Sheriff Kelvin asked.

“No,’’ Zax said. “I don’t believe it is.’’

‘’Then where?”

“I might have lost it.’’

Sheriff Kelvin sighed. “All right, let’s go to the station.’’


“Because you’re arrested.’’

They went to the station. It was only a couple of minutes’ drive. Without turning around, the man that was driving said. “Did you rape her as well as steal her diamond ring, you hound?’’

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,’’ Zax said.

The rest of the trip was silent.

At the station, Sheriff Kelvin helped Zax out of the vehicle.

“Hang that girlfriend killer!’’ a man shouted, and someone threw a rock. It flew past Zax’s head and clattered on the board sidewalk.

Sheriff Kelvin turned and held up his lantern and surveyed the crowd that had gathered in front of the stations entrance. “Don’t do that,’’ he said. “Don’t act foolish. This is in hand.’’

The Sheriff took Zax through his office, holding him by his upper arm, and into the jail. There were five cells. Kelvin led Zax into one. There was a bunk and a stool and a toilet. Zax made to sit down on the stool when Kelvin said. “No, just stand there,’’

The Sheriff looked around and saw the posse men crowding into the doorway. “You all get out of here,’’ he said.

“Sir,’’ the one named Dave said. “What if he attacks you?’’

“Then I will subdue him. I thank you for doing your duty, but now you need to scat.’’

When they were gone, Kelvin said. “Take off that coat and give it to me.’’

Zax took off his farm coat and began shivering, beneath he was wearing nothing but a boxer short.

“Take off your one shoe,’’

Zax took it off.

“Now your stockings’’

Zax turned them inside out and tossed them aside.

“Drop your pants.’’

“I don’t want to,’’

“No more than I want to see what’s in there, but drop it anyway.’’

Zax dropped his boxer short.

“Turn around and spread your cheeks,’’

Zax turned, grabbed his buttocks and pulled them apart. Sheriff Kelvin winced, sighed and poked a finger into Zax anus. Zax groaned. Kelvin removed his finger, wincing again at the soft pop, and wiped his fingers on Zax Coat.

“Where is it, Zax?’’

“My other shoe?’’

“You think I went up your ass looking for your shoe? Are you trying to play smart with me?’’

Zax pulled up his boxer shorts.

“I’ve got your shoe in my office.’’

“Then why did you ask me about it?’’

“To see what you’d say. That shoe is settled. What I really want to know is where you put your ex-girlfriend diamond ring.’’

“I gave that diamond ring to her, why would I want it back?’’

“She’s your ex.’’

“I don’t fuck with her anymore.’’

“That’s not what I want to hear Zax. She’s dead and all evidence at the scene points out to you,’’

“So? And what evidence?’’

“The shoe? How did it end up there?’’

Zax looked at the sheriff stunned, wondering how his shoe might have ended up there, when… “Now I remember. I had a call, she called me saying she needed my help, I’d asked her what about? But she said she couldn’t say it on the phone, so I drove up to her place.’’


“And,’’ he bowed his head. “I found her dead in a pool of blood, in the kitchen.’’

“Why didn’t you call the police or something?’’

“I was in a daze, I….I didn’t know what to do, so I ran to the bar without thinking, maybe to just wash out what I saw with the booze.’’

“And your shoe?’’

“I don’t know, it might have slipped out or something.’’

“And you expect me to believe that?’’

“It’s the truth, I mean why would I want to kill her?’’

“I don’t know, ex-girlfriend obsession?’’

“We did have a happy relationship, even though it ended in heart breaks and tears. Every time she wore sober I could put on her bra and…. ’’

“What was the whole reason of you leaving her?’’

“I didn’t leave her,’’ Zax said, “She left me for some rich guy.’’

“And when you saw that you couldn’t stand losing her, you drove to her place and killed her.’’

“I told you, she called asking for my help, I drove up to her house and found her dead.’’

“That’s right,’’ the sheriff said. “Get yourself a lawyer.’’


It was a week later and Zax was standing before the jury in the court room.

“Did you go to her place on the day she died?’’ Jackson the prosecutor asked.

“I guess so,’’ Zax said. “Otherwise I wouldn’t be here.’’

“Said she called you for what help?’’

“I don’t know, she said it was not to be said on the phone.’’

“And when you reached her place, you claim you found her dead in a pool of blood?’’

“I’m not claiming, that’s the truth.’’

“And what do you say was the relationship between you two, any misunderstanding or something?’’

“She was my girlfriend, I mean my ex-girlfriend.’’

“We have got a tape of you, confessing that she left you for a rich man.’’

“That wasn’t a confession, I was only replying to what I’d been asked.’’

“Give me one reason why we should believe you didn’t do it, you son of a....”

“Hey Mr. Jackson, I don’t think there’s any reason to insult here, I understand it almost always come out intimidating but not in this room please,’’ The Judge said.

“My apology,’’ Jackson said. “Guess I’ve no more questions now.’’

“Yeah, only some rough-cut questions and vulgar!’’ someone from the audience shouted.

“Mr. Brown,’’ the Judge said. “Anything you would want to add up?’’

“Yes your honor,’’ Brown was the man representing Zax, he stood up and said. “What my friend left out here was that my defendant here was framed, it’s not just a story he decided to implicate here, right Zax?’’

Zax said nothing.

“Right zax?’’ Brown said again.

“I don’t know what implicate means sir.’’

Brown continued. “We are not considering that she might have gone out with the wrong man, who possibly made cash out of killing people.’’

“Mumbo-Jumbo, are you trying to call the whole thing a spiritual take life sacrifice Mr. Brown?’’ Jackson asked.

‘’What I’m trying to say is, we have only concentrated on one suspect here, what about the other people in her life’’

‘’We don’t need to, we have the evidence with us, that proves that your man did it,’’ Jackson said.

“Shut up, asswip….. Sorry your honor, guess I’ve no further....’’

“Mr. zax,’’ the Judge said. “Anything to say before sentence is passed?’’

Then added. “And please wipe your nose!’’

“I haven’t got anything to say, only I never killed my ex-girlfriend.’’

It wasn’t long before the jury came up with what seemed to be done. “We voted to hang him on the first ballot.’’

Sherriff Kelvin led Zax, his hands cuffed behind his back, to the gallows. Zax was all right until he got to the steps, then began to buck and cry.

“Don’t do this,’’ he said. “Please don’t do this, I did not kill her!’’

“Quit it and die like a man!’’ someone shouted.

Without wasting any more time, a man jammed the hood over Zax’s head and pulled it down to his shoulders. Zax tried to run off the trap door. Sherriff Kelvin and a man pulled him back onto it.

The man pulled the leaver. The greased beam retracted and the trap dropped. So did Zax. There was a crack when his neck broke. Brown’s shit and pee dripped under his feet.

“There you bastard!’’ someone shouted. “Died pissing like a dog fireplug. Welcome to hell,’’ A few people clapped.


The next day, Sheriff Kelvin ran up to Mr. Brown. “Hey Brown, I’ve got something to show you.’’

“What is it?’’ Brown said not seeming interested.

“This…’’ he gave it to him.

“A diamond ring?’’

“Yeah, found it in Zax’s feces.’’

Brown had to drop it.

“What were you thinking playing with a man’s shit?’’

“Let’s just say the case has been solved, that bastard did kill her for sure.’’


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