Friday Sampler: A Full Bubble Off Plumb by Zeff Zwagerman


In our mission to connect readers, writers, and books, Caleb and Linda Pirtle has launched a series featuring writing samples from some of the best authors in the marketplace today. Friday’s Sampler is an excerpt from A Full Bobble Off Plumb, action and adventure from Jeff Zwagerman.

The Story

Going home after twenty years is never easy. It compounds itself, when the reason for going back home is to bury parents. Zander could have done the easy thing and let others help him in his time of turmoil and grief. He was powerless to follow that path, however. His father had said it best. He was like “a dog with a sock”.

Closing his parents’ estate and settling their affairs could have been done anywhere. Zander chose to remain, and make sure it was done correctly. He was, after all, “a dog with a sock”.

Was there actually another reason? In his search for some deeper truth, Zander reconnects with some old acquaintances from his past life. He has hopes that these old friends and neighbors might be able to ground him once again.

Then Quentin Stryker forces his way into an already damaged existence. A Full Bubble Off Plumb is a story about walking away from the small insignificant irritations in life, before they take you beyond the point of no return.

The Sampler

Als ‘t schip lek is gaan de ratten van goord

Rats always desert a sinking ship.

—Dutch Proverb

Jeff Zwagerman
Jeff Zwagerman

The woman decided she had enough of trying to do the right thing. If nothing else, it was going to cost her a shitload of money. It would be easier to just walk away.

She sold off everything she could and turned all the girls loose. Some of them had no place to go but that wasn’t her problem. At least that’s what she told herself. Some of them wanted to continue in the life they had always known. It was their decision because she was out.

She had one problem. Income taxes were going to have to be handled but she needed to leave. She knew this guy they called “Chester the Cheat” who had been a good resource as a tax guy when she and Van were laundering money.

After some phone tag, the two met at a little bar outside of Colorado Springs. The woman gave him her records and her postal box address and combination. He was to do the taxes and pay the bill. There would be no overpayment. She would owe. He figured she owed at least a hundred grand. She gave him two hundred and fifty thousand cash and told him to keep the rest as a fee.

Chester agreed immediately. He could handle the tax and payment and make everything look legitimate. He might even be able to reduce the actual tax by showing some other trumped up expenses. But the woman didn’t need to know that.

The woman told him she would check in with him in April to make sure everything went as planned. He gave her his card and she was out the door. The card went into the trashcan outside the bar. She wouldn’t need it. The woman was about to disappear both in name and location.

She would travel south on I-25 all the way to El Paso and connect with I-10 and go east. The woman was familiar with the road. She had made many a trip with Van to pick up girls from Mexico. She always stayed in El Paso and waited for Van to bring the girls to her for approval. In that respect, she hadn’t lied about not going to Mexico. It was a part truth and part truths were always better than full-blown lies.

She didn’t know where she would end her journey. She just knew it would be in the south somewhere where there was no snow. The woman had enough cold and snow to last for the rest of her life. She was only thirty-six but she had lived a life filled with enough pain and suffering to last another thirty-six years. She was going away to try to make a concerted effort to finally experience the life she so richly deserved.

Richly was a good word. She had more money than she could ever spend in one lifetime. It was all tucked away in some offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands. The woman decided she would make a trip to those islands and check on the money the first chance she had. Numbers identified the accounts so she was free to assume whatever personal identity she wished. She would stop in El Paso where she knew a guy who knew a guy who could get her all the necessary documents, and she would be on her way.

The woman had no qualms about what she had done. She was a survivor. She had always known that Zander would be a casualty. He was necessary for her freedom and she couldn’t argue that the time spent with him was anything but pleasant. In fact, she was attracted to him again. For a short time she even considered trying to make some sort of future with him.

She knew it would be impossible however. She needed to move on and he couldn’t be a part of her life. She had control of too much money to be tied down to an old boyfriend from her teenage years.

The woman was good. She had played her part out right until the end. She was sure Zander had no idea what was happening to him. It made her smile as she crossed over into New Mexico and drove toward Santa Fe.

The finer things in life had always been a motivator in her life. She wouldn’t settle for anything less and that’s why she knew from the very beginning that her relationship with Zander would finally be terminal.

Underneath her hard exterior were some feelings turning in her gut she didn’t want to think about. She tried to put them out of her mind but they were there nagging at her just a little. She knew they would go away eventually. They always did.

Then she did something that even surprised herself. She reached into her purse and found the number Zander had given to her for his answering service. She looked at it somewhat puzzled.

The woman took the card and put it into a side pocket of her bag just for safekeeping.

As she continued to drive, she wondered why she had just done what she had done.


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