Chapter 4

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THE NEXT day. "Francis," I said. Where'd she go? I pulled the flap on the tent to flashing police lights and guns pointed to my head.

"Police! Put your hands up," an officer said over a loudspeaker. 

"Look," I said, throwing my sleeping bag off my body and stumbling to my feet, "you're making a big mistake."

"Tell that to the judge," an officer said.

"Where's Francis?" I asked.

"Did you kill her, too?"

"She phoned the station and told us you murdered Sheriff Walter.

"Whoa...I didn't kill anyone."

"That's not what she said"

"No, she murdered him. Yeah... I helped her bury the body," I said as the cops cuffed me.

"You have a dog cage in your home..."

"That bitch set me up," I said.

"Let's go," the officer said, guiding me to the cop car.

The door slammed shut, and I stared out the window. Maybe my father was right. I'm a fuck up, I thought.

We past stoplights and street lights and cute ladies getting in a morning run. The cops took me to the police station; Francis stood with her arms folded, balling. "What are you doing?" I said.

"You killed my husband," she said as she doubled over, weeping.

"I didn't kill him!" I said. "Why are you setting me up?"

The cell door slammed shut behind me. I paced with my arms clasped behind my back. I remembered I had video proof that I was home at the time of Walter's murder.

"You're gonna fry for this, son," an officer said, laughing as he flipped pages in a Maxim magazine.

"I have evidence," I shouted to the guard.

"That's what they all say."

"Would video proof work?"

"Where's this video?" Officer Clint asked, spitting chew into an empty Pepsi can. "Say I were to believe you, which I don't, a judge isn't going to let you off easily."

"What if I testify against Francis?"

"I don't make those decisions, but if, as you say, you have video, that might help your case."

"Think about it," I said, "what reason would I have to kill—"

"What reason does any criminal have."


"I get your point."

"What motive do I have to kill Walter?"

"Being with his wife is a pretty good reason."

"Look, I woke up and she was...well, she was on top of me."

"Now that I believe."

"Francis," I said as she approached my cell. "What's going on?"

"Give us a minute," Francis said, looking at the guard and then back to me. "At first, I just wanted to use you."


"And then, I started falling for you."

"So much so that you frame me for the murder of your husband?"

"Look, it was self-defense that part is accurate."

"I have video proving as much."

"Then why blame..."

"Because I've never felt loved. I've never felt wanted," Francis said. "Who wants a broken woman in her 40s?"

"I do," I said as we kissed through the bars. 

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