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

 

15.

            “So what do I do?” Sally Mae looked up at me with her big green eyes. We stood in her doorway, her arms wrapped around my waist.

            “Lock this door. Put a chair against it. Don’t open it for anyone. If the police come to it, ask to see their badge. I don’t want you getting hurt for my curiosity.” I looked down at her and smiled. She stood up on her toes and kissed me again. I slid my fingers down her arms until I met hers. I gave them one last squeeze.

            Sally Mae shut the door. I listened for the deadbolt to lock, and then I turned and limped down the hallway. The gun was heavy in my pocket. I didn’t want it there, but I didn’t really have a choice. I walked out into the night air and contemplated my next move.

            For the first time in two days, I felt genuinely hungry. I hadn’t put anything except coffee and alcohol into my system since I stumbled upon Mark’s body. I stopped in a restaurant and ordered up a burger and a beer. While I waited on my food, I tried to make sense of everything.

            Tomas was dead. If I couldn’t even stand up, there was no way I could have grabbed his gun, let alone killed him. There was another person in the room when I blacked out; it had to be the other partner. Tomas hadn’t even moved from desk when he got shot. He had to have trusted whoever shot him. The partner must have shot him.

            I had a feeling Tomas was never supposed to live to see the end result of his extortion. He had a way in and a love of money and his partner exploited him for both. What had Tomas said? They were never after Mary’s father. His partner was after Mary. That would explain the pictures. He threatened to send them to Mark and did it anyway. The man wanted Mark out of the picture.

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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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