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

            My burger came. I covered the bun with mustard and took a bite. It was hot; it was good. It tasted just as good as a burger would before Mark got murdered. Maybe I’d live to taste another burger after all.

            I finished my food, put some cash on the counter, and walked out. I took the subway back to my apartment building. I was so damn tired that I didn’t care if the police were watching my apartment or not, I was going to get some sleep. I limped down the hall to my door and opened it. Mary was sitting on my bed; I wasn’t going to get any sleep any time soon.

 

16.

            “How in the hell do people keep getting in here?” I asked to no particular party. I looked up at Mary. “How are you holding up?”

            “I’ve been better.” She gave me a weak grin. “I’ve waited for you almost all day. I didn’t think you were going to come back.”

            “You wouldn’t believe my day if I told you, so I won’t.” Odds are she would believe my day, but what Mary didn’t know wouldn’t hurt her. I tried my best to hide my limp, but I’m sure she noticed it. She was a good sport, though. She pretended not to notice. I started to limp over to my desk chair, but Mary gestured for me to join her on the bed; it was a little too friendly of a gesture for my taste.

            “Mary, let me ask you a question.” I said, trying to keep things on track. “What if Tomas and his friend weren’t trying to get to your father? Can you think of any reason why they’d go straight for you?”

            “Do we have to talk about that?” She groaned. Mary lifted one of her hands and stroked my ear with her finger. “Let’s talk about something more interesting; like you.”

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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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