[Writing] A Good Man [Short Story]

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Author's Note: I actually think this was my best piece of them all (so far). It has the same grit as Nort's Hunt and then some. Something came over me as a wrote this one. I think my mind was temporarily replaced with some sinister mafia crime lord. Or not. That'd be weird.

***Note: This story contains mature language***
(Yes, it's a bit un-yuyu like. ;9 I had to walk in different shoes when writing this one.)



By Deanna Coulton
Theme: Mystery
Word Count: 1,600


   Jason stared into the very eyes of the devil himself. The man was a giant, tall and large, with two stone-faced companions that stood in the back of the room as they awaited the command of their master. Jason and the important fellow were seated across from each other, and he had greatly regretted the view of the dark eyes upon his weak soul.
   “Do you know who I am?” Jason flinched as the big guy began to speak. He was too afraid to answer, so the beast continued.
   “Here's a hint: I'm a pretty fucking important guy. Ya got it?”
   “Y-yes, sir...”
   The man chuckled, “'Name's Johnny McCullen. Ring any bells, kid?”
   Jason nodded. How could anyone not recognize the name of the most infamous crime lord of the city? The cops couldn't touch this guy with a two-thousand-foot pole.
   “Do you know why I've brought ya here, Jason?”
   Jason shook his head the opposite direction this time.
   “No? That's a bloody shame. Wasn't it your bitch that killed my guy?”
   “She didn't kill anyone,” Jason spat, finally mustering courage, “and don't you dare fucking call her a 'bitch'!”
   After a brief second of soaking in what he had just slipped up and said, Jason secretly cursed himself. He was sure that he was a goner now.
   Instead of lashing out at the cowardly man, the boss let out a more hearty laugh, “Oh, man! You're a riot, kiddo!”
   Johnny's laughing ended in a smug grin, “You know, there really ain't anything to incriminate her, anyways. I was a bit...inconvenienced...at the thought of offin' a lady without solid proof. It ain't classy, y'know?”
   “Wh-What?! She's in police custody!”
   “Oh, please,” the man waved his hand through the air, “I've got...connections in the police department. Surely I could get away with killin' a broad behind bars.”
   To the sound of these words, Jason felt his heart sink. His eyes began to blur.
   “I guess that's where you come in, eh?” One of Johnny's goons brought a cigar to him and lit it. He continued, “there's a security tape that caught the exact moment of the crime, according to my sources. The problem is, your fiance is the one that hid it.”
   Johnny looked to the guy that brought him the cigar, “don't that sound like a killer to you?”
   The goon nodded in agreement with his master – he was probably more afraid of him than anything.
   “So, can you guess why I brought you here?” He turned back to Jason, “convince your gal to turn in the tape so I can figure out who's really behind this. Otherwise, I might just have to assume it's her.”
   Jason swallowed, his throat beginning to feel like it was closing in on him. He nodded slowly.


   Luckily, Jason had a friend of his own in the department.
   “Dammit, Ben. Let me talk to her.” He growled at his buddy.
   “I don't know if I can do that,” Ben stated with a bit of a cold stare.
   Jason was not convinced, though. He knew just how much of a pushover Ben could be – even more so than he himself.
   He looked his friend in the eyes and spoke with the most pleading voice he had, “Please, Ben. If anyone can convince her to cooperate, it would be me.”
   For a moment, the two men did nothing but stare at each other, waiting for the other one to give in. Eventually, Ben unfolded his arms, looked around for a second, uttered a curse, and then turned back to Jason.
   “Fine, fine. But make it quick.”

   Jason looked at his fiance from behind bars. Thirty-two years of being on earth could not prepare him for the anguishing pain of the reality before him.
   “Please, Charlotte” he whined at her, his eyes filling with tears, “I need you to cooperate with them.”
   “Jason?” She looked up from her dark corner, where she had been in a fetal position on a dirty-looking jail bed.
   “There's a recording of the crime, isn't there? Why won't you tell them where it is and put an end to all of this?”
   “I already told them: there's nothing on that damned tape,” she desperately whispered in a shaking voice, “how do you even know about it?”
   He ignored her question. “You didn't do it, right? So, let the evidence speak for you,” he spoke in a sweet tone as an attempt to persuade her.
   “I...I can't do that, Jason.”
   “Why the hell not?” He quickly lost his patience, “you look like you're covering for the damn criminal!”
   Charlotte didn't answer him, but began to cry instead.
   “Please, Charlotte! They think you killed that unlucky bastard!”
   Ben made his way into the room, “easy, fella. If anyone hears you yelling, I could get in trouble.”
   Charlotte continued to sob uncontrollably as Ben escorted Jason out of the room.

   “I know it wasn't her.” Jason pleaded.
   “And how wouldja know that? All you heard were a couple of gunshots.”
   It's true. Jason was also at the party – where the murder occurred – but all he could remember were the gunshots. How was he supposed to defend her?
   “But she didn't even know the bastard,” Jason reminded his friend.
   “So? 'Don't mean the prick couldn't have tried to make a move on her. That'd give her a motive, don'tcha think?”
   Jason had to admit that it was a good point. He was running out of time and growing desperate.
   “C'mon, Ben. Can't I at least say good-bye to her? I promise I'll be quiet.”
   Ben stared at Jason, sighed, looked around, and uttered a curse again.
   He whispered, almost inaudibly, “fine.”

   Charlotte looked up at the sound of footsteps once more, her face still covered in tears.
   “I'm sorry,” Jason whispered, “I just don't want you to suffer for a crime that you haven't committed.”
   Charlotte looked at him sympathetically and forced a smile, “You're such a good man.” She then looked away from him and he heard her voice say, “that's why I can't give you the tape.”
   “Please, Charlotte.”
   Her back continued to face him until he whispered, “I promise not to show it to the police.”
   For awhile, she was staring at him, but not saying anything.
   “Just...trust me, honey. Please.”
   “I really shouldn't, but...I can't lie to you anymore. Just promise me that you'll fix everything, Jason.” Her shattered confidence became obvious through her tone.
   He felt a little frightened by this, but nodded anyways.
   She leaned in, and he did, too.

   On his way out, Ben stopped him.
   “I saw her whisperin' to ya. What'd she say?”
   Jason turned to Ben, “she told me to fuck off. It looks like even I can't get through to her.”


   Jason made a pit stop before going home that night. The first thing he did upon his arrival was firmly seat himself on the couch and stare at the blank television screen across from him.
   His hands trembled as he reached into the abyss of his jacket pocket, pulling out  something black and rectangular. The tape looked so mundane, yet he knew its contents would put an end to all doubts.

   With great hesitation, he pressed the “PLAY” button on his VHS.

   It seemed like an hour had went by, with nothing but fast-forwarding and an empty room. Finally, Charlotte was seen on the screen. For a little while, all she did was powder her face. And then, the victim walked in and Jason could feel his stomach beginning to turn.
   The man on the tape stumbled over to Charlotte, who backed away instantly. There were a couple words said that the tape couldn't pick up, but Jason was sure that she was screaming. Mere moments after, the only door in the room swung open and another man entered, struggling to hold his balance. Both men were obviously drunk.
   They seemed to be just yelling at each other, until the second man raised his arm, gun in hand, and fired a shot that instantly killed the other one. Charlotte was cowering and crying as the second man fled the scene.

   Jason watched the screen with a face nearly pure white, ignoring an overpowering scent of smoke that crept towards him. From the shadows behind him, a dark, deep voice was heard. He turned, slowly.
   “You're one helluva shot, kid.” In between the fingers of the large man was a cigar that he eloquently puffed. “...even when you're drunk.”
   Jason didn't speak. He was still pale and petrified.
   “So, what's your game? You or the girl?”
   He stuttered, “I-I'm not going to let her suffer any longer...”
   “Of course you won't. You're a good man, Jason.”
   Johnny took the cigar to his mouth again, his eyes fixed on the television screen. “I'll go ahead and pass the tape along for ya. I don't think a woman should suffer for a man's crimes, either.”
   Jason nodded. His head felt light and his body felt weak.
   “I can't say my pal didn't have it coming,” Johnny spoke almost sympathetically, “but that don't make me miss him any less.”
   Jason closed his eyes just before he felt the cold steel of a barrel against his chest. He imagined Charlotte's smiling face: free of tears, and free of the oppression of bars.

   A single shot rang out into the night.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2015, 09:19:31 AM by boe »
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:V

...no ;_; he don't go to war
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I know that we showing that several times. We as surprisingly modest queen. Thanks for sharing your work. He sees something behind each story is published, but yo will read them mayor things going on in the writing process, so demonstrate laughing at you. Burn today ....
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For going the distance for a balanced breakfast.Project of the Month winner for June 2009For being a noted contributor to the RMRK Wiki2013 Best WriterSilver Writing ReviewerSecret Santa 2013 Participant
Nice work, Kid! That was awesome!

Okay, so the ONE critique I have for you is this line: "Eventually, Ben unfolded his arms, looked around for a second, uttered a swear, and then turned back to Jason." Instead, correct usage requires the noun "curse" or "oath" instead of "swear".

Now that that's over with...

While unlike what I have come to expect from you, I am pleased to see you expanding your repetoire. It was a smooth read, which started appropriately and kept pace through to the denoument. The characters were perfectly dimensional and the plot was nice and tight.

I saw no spelling or grammatical errors, either. I was taken to the sleazy, smoky room where the "meetings' took place, and the cell. I totally didn't see the tape's contents coming. I mean, he's such a wimp, right? A wimp with a gun and a chip on his shoulder! When I saw the line at the end about the gun, I felt afraid and excited; I felt like it was MY life about to end, and I had no time to convince anyone of otherwise! Jesus, this was good stuff here.

It's really good material, yuyu. I'm glad to see you express your darker side; it's healthy to do it like this.

:M00sApproved:
Bang!
« Last Edit: March 29, 2014, 06:13:57 AM by EvilM00s »
:tinysmile:

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The Hero of Rhyme
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Replaced the "swear"s with "curse"! B) Good eye, sir!

A very gritty story, indeedie! Although it's not my preferred coffee, I actually felt a strange sense of joy in putting myself in the shoes of something completely opposite of me! It's an interesting world to walk out of, for sure. I'll make sure not to adopt habits of "whackin'" people and "makin' 'em sleep wit da fishes".

Your critique has inspired me once more! ;o; I can't tell you how nice it is to see that schtampf of approval! B)

I'd also like to extend lots of love to LadyJ, who helped me figure out some of my weaknesses on the original form of this story. The one you see above was basically the entire story flipped upside-down and rearranged. B)

And, of course, Lord Stark - who helped to point out things that sounded off!

You guys are the best. ;_;
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Hey, I'm fine with looking at a different yuyu; you're still yuuuuuuuuu to me no matter what. :roph2:

Anyways, brilliant stuff here, as always. The shift from your usual stuff is apparent here; the very beginning makes this evident, but in a good way. The dialogue and writing are quite well done, and appropriately mature and thought-provoking, but not overtly so. I felt sympathy for Jason throughout, as something in me really wanted him to win, even in the most menial way possible.

And, of course, the tape was quite unexpected. Overall, you've proven to be very capable with juggling different styles, and that's good!

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Dang girl! You dun good! The changes you made really made a diiference. I'm so proud of you for branching out and demonstrating your versatility. I agree with everything m00s said. Keep pushing your boundaries! You're going places kid ;)

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Thanks, everyone!! I seriously can't even begin to explain how much better I feel after writing this, haha. I'm proud of it. ;~; Even though it doesn't quite depict my tastes, it's got something I was able to learn from. For some reason, I was able to look at this story objectively, because its so different than what I'm used to. There were a lot of things that I picked out from it and *knew* needed to be changed. Normally, I'm blindfolded and biased towards my own stuff.

If I ever come back to edit this one, I think it'll mostly be to add more detail in the character and scenery descriptions! B)
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I'm already screaming  :moar:!


That was FANTASTIC! ^^
Everything was in even pace, characters descriptive, and the story and ending intoxicating! :3
I, too, didn't expect the ending, but it was a perfect loop that explained everything.

I enjoyed the new taste, it was exciting to read!
And you proved that walking in new shoes really can work!
You tore through a new side of yourself. That's amazing, to say the least. :3

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Awww, thanks!! :ladyj: I gotta say, you guys sure are encouraging! ;_;
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 he shuld go to war in the next won :o
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