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

I bought a chili dog from a street vendor for dinner. When I reached into my pocket to pull out some cash, I pulled out a slip of paper with it; it was Sally Mae’s number. Sally Mae! With all the rest of day’s highlights, I’d forgotten the best one! I wanted to call Sally Mae right then and there, but any awkward 17 year-old would tell you that’s a bad idea. I’d give her a ring in a few days, if I lasted that long. I hoped that I’d see those big green eyes again.

I couldn’t stop thinking about Sally Mae for the rest of the walk to my apartment. Any passer by could see the dumb grin that was stretched across my face. I smiled in the lobby of my building; I smiled in the elevator; I smiled at my door. I stopped smiling when I saw James Tomas sitting in my desk chair.



            “You’ve got something that belongs to me, kid.” He said. Tomas sat with one leg crossed. His right hand rested on his thigh; in his left he held a snub-nose .38. He used the .38 to point to the envelope in my hand. The theme of the day had to be guns.

            “Give me the f—ing envelope, kid.” He growled. “You don’t want to go the way of the boyfriend.” The man had a point; I didn’t want to end up like Mark. But if he wanted the envelope that badly, he would have shot me by now.

            “You’re going to a lot of lengths to get a little extra dough out of Mary, Tomas. And you’re going to lose a customer out of it, too. It’s a risky venture.” Whatever was coming out of my mouth, I couldn’t stop it. I was going to get shot.

            “Mary’s afraid to come out to the cops, so you’re business is safe,” I continued. “So why’d you kill Mark? Now the police have something to come after you about.” Tomas’s face, which had been sporting a devious grin, went stone cold. His skin looked about the same temperature as his icy blue eyes.

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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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