"The Right Man" is a crime/detective fiction short story.

            I got off at my stop and walked up into the fresh air. My watch said 9:15; I couldn’t bring myself to go back to my apartment and to Mary. I ducked into a small diner across the street from my building. The diner was somewhat crowded, but I found a seat at the counter and ordered a cup of coffee. I sat there and drank cup after cup. After about an hour, I figured I should put some food in my stomach. When I asked for bacon, eggs, and grits I got a puzzled look from the waitress. I wanted grits. I wanted sweet tea. I wanted Charleston.

            Another hour passed. I hardly touched my eggs; I just kept pouring black coffee into my gut. Someone grabbed the seat next to me. I didn’t pay much attention until they began to talk.

            “Hi there, are y’all still serving breakfast? No? Shoot… Well, I guess I’ll just have a BLT then. Thank you, dear.” It was the voice of an angel who had descended from heaven into this greasy diner to save my soul. I turned to greet my saving grace.

            “Now I have not heard a single person say ‘y’all’ since I got up here. You, miss, have just made my morning.” She was a dream come to life and sitting in the counter seat next to me. She had short, brown hair that came down to her neck. A rogue wave of it dropped down to caress her forehead right about her big, shining green eyes. The only thing whiter than her smile was her white polo. Her seersucker skirt shouted country club. I took her in like a big drink of sweet tea from the top of her head all the way down her slender legs to her boat shoes.
            She giggled. It wasn’t one of those obnoxious giggles that belongs to a girl who’s traded peroxide for brains. It was a giggle that would make you fall straight through the floor. I thought I had for a second.

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  • Sam Clemens on May 1, 2010

    If Raymond Chandler had been born one hundred years later, this is what he would have written. A very well done piece.

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