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

            “F— off.”

             Just then a tall man in a baseball cap walked into the bar and ordered a scotch. He sported a pair of dark jeans, a t-shirt, and a hooded sweatshirt. It was much too warm out for a sweatshirt.

            The girl paid for her bourbon and began to walk, or rather stumble, out the door in more of a hurry than she had entered. Something about her didn’t make sense. If she hadn’t have used the payphone, I would have figured she was just having a rough night, but that damn payphone just left me confused. I shrugged it off and went back to my beer.

            The tall man finished his scotch fast, threw a five down and walked out the door. This bar was just strange. I’d had enough. I paid for my last round and made my way out the door. The night was warm, but not humid like a Charleston night. The streets were relatively quiet in this part of the city; I couldn’t afford to live in a hot spot. I was almost to my building when suddenly from a back alley there came a scream that would shatter all the windows on the block.

 

3.

            The alley was dark. The alley was narrow. Going down the alley went against every aspect of my better judgment. But I ran down it anyway. In the shadows of the alley, I could barely make out the figure of the tall man from the bar. He was struggling with a frantically thrashing figure whose screams were deafening. How his ears weren’t bleeding I had no idea.

            “HEY! KNOCK IT OFF!” I yelled. I charged at the tall man. He pulled away from his victim and swung at me. I ducked at the last second and dove at him, knocking him to the ground. We began to roll around, struggling to find one another in the dark. At one point I swung at what I guessed was his face but instead was the ground next to his face. I yelped in pain and rolled to the side.

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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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