Check out our fiction series: Being Tanaka  written by a prolific author,  Kudzai Mwanza.#beingtanaka is the hash tag to use to get quick updates and conversation around the story. Happy Reading!!!


Tanaka tried to mask her own fears by comforting her husband, but it was not working. The more she stayed with him, the more frightened she became. Tanaka had never seen Daniel in this state before, and it really terrified her. Daniel had a blank look in his eyes, focused on the bathroom door but not seeing anything. He rocked back and forth, no longer talking but whimpering and making funny breathing sounds. His body was shaking and he had suddenly gone cold.

Tanaka sighed with relieve when Doctor Tinashe Saidi, the pathologist tapped lightly on the door, followed by team of paramedics with Mars Ambulance service. The paramedics along with the doctor swooped into the bathroom and examined the body. The doctor did not do much, he just opened the zip, nodded a few timed then ordered the paramedics to remove the torso and body parts and put them in a black body bag.

The doctor told one of the paramedics that he had come with to take Daniel with them to the hospital. When Daniel was lifted up, he did not put up a fight. It was as if he was no longer in his body, that what was left was a lifeless zombie. Tanaka stepped aside as the paramedics left with her husband, her heart heavy with concern and worry. She turned to the doctor who was leaning by the door then tried to put on a brave face with him.

“We are friends Tanaka.” Saidi began with a comforting smile. “ You don’t have to pretend with me.”
“Thanks. “ Tanaka said, then sighed.
“Our vic was strangled and suffocated but that is not what killed him.”
“What did?”
“loss of blood for one. His body was put under too much trauma when it was mutilated, it was bound to shut down…”
“He was mutilated when he was still alive?” Tanaka asked her heart suddenly beating.
“Yes. The killer was sending a message. I am putting the time of death between forty eight and fifty four hours from now. I have to do further tests to be sure.”
“And murder weapon?”
“Its something sharp and with jaggered teeth, I would say probably a hacksaw.”

“Thanks doctor.”
“If ever you want to talk…” Saidi let his sentence trail off into nothing then smiled at Tanaka who smiled back.
“Of course.”

Tanaka and Saidi had known each other about eleven years now and they had become good friends. Saidi was a middle aged man who was starting to lose his hair and hence had began shaving his head bald. He was short, had a hunched back and wore heavy glasses that made him look like a cartoon character. When he was sixteen he had been involved in a car crash that had damaged his right leg and hence he walked with limb. In order to pay for medical school, he had taken a job at a cigarette manufacturing company, the smell had stayed with him ever since then. The job at the firm had left him with yellow teeth, black lips and red eyes that made him look like he was drunk all the time. Surprisingly, he had a very warm and loving face. As the doctor exited the gate, Tanaka’s partner detective Maud Chifamba, a young vivacious dark skinned, dreadlocked woman came through the door. Maud Chifamba had recently gotten married to a college sweetheart, and even though she had changed her surname and all, her workmates still chose to address her as Maud Chifamba.

She moved in energetic brisk steps, and she had a contagious loud laugh. Chifamba noticed Tanaka, then rushed to her and gave her a tight embrace first.

“I came with Gandawa and Samkange, they are interviewing the neighbors. Why did you come here in the first place?”
“House hunting.”
“House hunting?” Chifamba repeated with worry in her eyes.
“Samkange investigated a case like this one twenty years ago. Ever since then this house was taken off the market and was due for demolition. I am not sure why its still standing, but no one has lived here ever since then.”
“You can’t be serious. My husband inherited this house from his father, who lived here and died two weeks ago.”
“I thought…”
“His father’s lawyer came into contact with him a day after his father died.”

“The last I heard of this a house, a man called Tucker Dube had been brutally murdered. This..”
“Tucker Dube?”
“We buried that man nine days ago!”
“That man was blugeoned to death twenty years ago.” Chifamba said in a whisper, Tanaka took a few steps back trying to understand what was going on. What was Chifamba saying?

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