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

            I walked down to a coffee shop and got strong, black coffee and a greasy egg sandwich. It was the best I could do to kill this hangover. I wolfed down the sandwich and drank the coffee as I walked to the subway. I checked the papers at a newsstand; there was no mention of Mark’s murder. Tomas’s partner had covered his tracks well enough to give him some time to breath. He’d be screwed if Tomas talked, though.

            At 1:20, I was standing in front of my beloved Kroeg Building. I took that familiar elevator up to the tenth floor and walked to Tomas’s suite. I wasn’t afraid to walk through the door this time, and I knocked with confidence on the office door. Tomas beckoned.

            James Tomas sat at his immaculate desk. He wore the ugliest tie I’d ever seen; odds are it was his favorite tie. He didn’t look scared this time; just nervous. His blue eyes darted around the room. He gestured to a chair and I took it.

            “The pictures first.” He said. He cut right to the point. I handed him the manila envelope. A look of relief swept across his face.

            “Now what?” He asked.

            “You’ve got your proof of the extortion. Go to the police. I’m taking a job as a D.A. next week, I’ll set you up. You won’t take the fall for Mark’s murder.” I feel like I should have kept that a secret, but Tomas looked like he needed something to cling to.

            “Yeak, o.k. I can do that.” The smile of a relieved man swept across his face. He opened a desk drawer and pulled out a brand new bottle of scotch and two glasses. The sound of scotch being poured was music to my aching head’s ears. He handed me a glass and saluted me. I downed it in one gulp. For scotch, it had a unique flavor.

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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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