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

            The gun was a small automatic, probably .25 or .32 caliber. The barrel was shiny and chrome. The handle was a brilliant, white pearl. It had beautiful carvings etched into it. This gun was never meant to fire a round. I hoped that it never would.

            “I’m not taking this s— anymore!” Mary yelled; she was hysterical. “You’re not getting an f—ing dime from me!” She pointed the gun at me. I would have started groveling, but then I caught a glimpse of the safety catch still switched on. The gun wouldn’t shoot me after all.

            “If you want to shoot an innocent man, then go ahead.” I said. From somewhere deep inside of me, a little bit of testosterone flared up and grabbed my fear by the throat. “If you want to kill the only person who gives a damn about helping you, shoot me. Then you’ll have to deal with the police. You’ll have to explain to the world about you’re problem and I guarantee it won’t be pretty.”

            I stood up and began to walk over to her. She still waved the gun at me, but nothing but smoldering embers remained in her eyes. She was done. I walked closer and her hand began to tremble; tears began to well up and extinguish whatever fight was left in her. I took the gun from her and put it on the coffee table. She burst into tears and fell into my arms.

            Mary laid in my arms for well over an hour, but for all I knew it could have been an eternity. Her sobs gave way to sniffling which gave way to nothing at all. I could feel her chest heave with each breath; her breathing was labored. Mary had been to hell and back and there again and it didn’t look like she was coming back any time soon. I carried her into her bedroom. I left a note on her dresser telling her where to reach me. I walked into her bathroom and opened her medicine cabinet. She had enough tranquilizers to take down a pack of elephants; she didn’t need that many. I left her one bottle of valium and flushed the rest down the toilet. I turned out the lights and walked out.

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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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