Facades and Fiascos Cover Image

Facades and Fiascos

Isaiah Marshall

October 2020 978-0-578-76150-3


""Camila, Nesta’s true love, was murdered five years ago by the drunkard Arthur Yankee. After avenging the death of his wife, Nesta thought that his mourning would finally be behind him. Then the fog of vengeance began to dissipate, and with his vision clear, Nesta was able to make out a clear picture before him, and what he saw… was Camila herself. The morning after Nesta killed Arthur Yankee, a specter in the form of his late wife started following, condemning, and teaching Nesta.

Most would say that Nesta had gone crazy, but there are the few that would just call this good timing because Nesta needs his wife now more than ever, hallucination or ghost. A gang of Devils have begun to move in on his hometown of Havilah, Mississippi, and their leader Thomas Moore has a personal mission he needs to accomplish. Nesta must now protect Havilah, which is Camila’s legacy; all while trying to get rid of this ghost that is haunting him… Or should he, it must’ve been nice to see her again.



“That was five years ago,” I muttered as I stared down at the dead body that lay across the mud of the river shore. “A few weeks before you killed her now that I think about it. It has to be one of the best memories I have with my wife. We were together, and we danced without a care, without fear of being apart from the other.” Yankee gave a good fight, but I had a relentless spirit. There was no way I could lose, especially once I got a hold of the knife. His body was riddled with stab wounds. Six in total. I counted as I did it and felt no regret. The only reason I stopped is because I could feel my mind slipping further than it already had, and I didn’t want to lose myself even more.

“Yankee, you took that from me, and I don’t think you could ever understand why I did this, or how I feel,” I growled. “All the memories I could’ve collected and the moments I will never have. You deserved to suffer more. But that’s not what she would’ve wanted.”

“Of course, she wouldn’t want me here in the first place.” I sighed and then nearly chuckled as I stared down at the red-slicked knife in my hands, hands that were covered in his blood. I closed my eyes and cringed as a memory of holding Camila’s body flashed into my mind. Then my eyes closed even tighter as I recalled trying to stop blood from pouring out of her body. I could still feel my failure; it was as if the velvet liquid passed through my fingers even now. It would seem that killing Yankee wouldn’t stop the painful memory from resurfacing, but God did it feel good.

“She wouldn’t have wanted me to take revenge.” I slowly opened my eyes and looked down at Arthur Yankee. “But you have to understand that I needed to do this. I compromised and decided that I would make it quick. You should be thankful that I did that much contemplating because you deserve worse.”

To my knowledge Arthur Yankee had no family, and nearly nothing of significance to his name. No one would be looking for him, except for the landlord when rent was due. Once he got out of prison two months ago, I did my best not to search for him. I knew my life would flip upside down if I went after him. Yet he had the audacity to walk back into town. I didn’t know why he came back to Havilah, but truth be told I didn’t care to learn. Impatience and recklessness were my worst enemies, so I bided my time. I waited until he left for the airport to ditch town permanently. Now, people wouldn’t look for him. Not here, anyway. Getting rid of his truck was the easy part; a mechanic would be here to pick it up for parts, no questions asked.

            “This won’t heal you,” a whisper soared through the dark. I spun around to look for the source of the voice and found nothing. That voice . . . it came from all around me, and it sounded like . . . no it wasn’t. It couldn’t have been.

            “Let’s finish this,” I grumbled as I picked up Arthur Yankee’s body and walked into the river. I shuffled through the water until it was just above my waist. There was a moment where I cradled Arthur’s body in my arms and felt no sympathy as I looked down at him. Strangely, I thought of this as a reverse baptism; God would dump people in the water to give new life, and I am dumping the body to end it. I let go of him. Finally, after all these years, I could let go. The lifeless killer floated away from me, but began to sink after a few yards. One of his lungs must’ve been punctured. Good. Now he won’t float. His body would be found eventually, but not before I was far away from Havilah.

            A long time ago I learned that simple plans fall apart in the simplest ways, but as I stood in the river and let Yankee’s blood wash away with the flow, I realized that I didn’t care if this came tumbling down on me. He was dead, and that was my goal. It was all I wanted, and, if I got thrown into jail for life, I would survive and be satisfied with my action. That happened if the plan failed, but if it worked, I would be out of the country. The man who recruited me out of high school had been trying to get me to rejoin the army, and I felt like it was time to go back. I specifically requested to be shipped off as soon as possible, and he was happy to oblige. He told me where to find a good recruitment center so I could join back up and be out of the country within the next two weeks. He didn’t ask why. Must’ve learned from experience that you don’t ask a soldier why he needs to leave as soon as possible. The army is filled with people who just need to get away.

             I began to wade out of the water and made it back to the shore. A few days ago, I’d put a pair of clean clothes behind a dumpster close to the river. I changed and threw my bag of bloody clothes into the dumpster. The garbage truck would be coming around first thing tomorrow morning. It’s almost comical that things line up perfectly when you plan to do wrong, but whenever you want to do a little good everything seems to fall apart.     

            It was nearly midnight, which meant I had to be at work in five hours.

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