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

            “Well, you’re right about one thing: I must have been in that bar for a reason; but it’s not the reason you think. Everything I told you that night was the truth, and I think you know that. What you knew that night as well as I did was that Mary Lipton did not get mugged. She knew her attacker and she knew him very well; it was Marcus Harper. They were in the midst of a spat when that bar, and myself, happened to come between them. That knife was never meant to stab Mary, just scare her.

            “I knew there was something up when she asked to come home with me. I guess it’s my Southern charm, but I didn’t ask questions of the damsel in distress. That was my first mistake. I wasn’t getting any sleep that night, so I got a little curious and took a look at her phone. I found the address for the Kroeg Building in a text message and I decided to go exploring. That was my second mistake. During my expedition, I came across Harper’s body. It threw me into a panic and I lit out of that place like a bat out of Hell. I didn’t call the police because I didn’t want to give my reason for finding it. That was my third mistake.”

            Moore continued to listen. His face was emotionless; he just took in the story. He had to be a fantastic poker player.

            “You see, Mark had received some information about Mary’s extracurricular activities. She had been getting Valium from James Tomas for quite some time. Tomas had a good thing going, giving Valium to Mary, because she could always afford it. However, Tomas got talked into biting the hand that feeds him. Daughtry wanted Mary for his own, and he’d use any means necessary to have his way. Mark was an obstacle that he needed to get rid of; so he used Tomas to extort Mary for sex and money. Daughtry took pictures of Mary and Tomas in the act and sent them to Mark. The information on the Valium was insurance that Mary wouldn’t go to the police herself. Having the daughter of a congressman who is vehemently against prescription drug abuse exposed as a Valium addict would be a blow the family could never recover from.

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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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