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A Good Man

A good man is hard to find. 

and a bad man is easy to sniff out.

A Good Man by J.B. Stevens

Jimmy hated feeling the delicate orbital bones splinter, but he didn’t have a choice. He was a good guy deep down. He just needed to be free. It was so damn unfortunate; wrong place, wrong time. If he was out and got a job he could send money to Sarah. A decent man did anything for his kids.

That’s what all this was all about.

He hated fucking up the missionary. It was not fun watching the eyes go chalky. But he knew any man, at least any good man, was willing to kill for his family.

He got the body into the thick brush beside Highway 17. The clothes fit well, except the shoes. He had to keep on his jail-issued sneakers. He looked down at the black polyester slacks, short-sleeve button-down shirt, red-patterned tie, and name tag. It said Elder O’Callaghan- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He grew up in Utah and knew the Mormon Missionary thing inside and out.

He drug the naked body a hundred yards into the fragrant green womb and walked out the other side, clean.

The coyotes would clean up before it started to stink.

The area was rural, not many houses in the humid South Georgia countryside. After walking for an hour, he came on a small beige trailer. A woman sat on the front steps. He couldn’t tell if she was thirty-five or sixty.

She looked him up and down, eager. His twenty pounds of jail muscle, deep tan, and dark features meant conning middle-aged women, or men, was cake. She sat up straight and tamped out her cigarette. There was no wedding ring.

“Hello, sister, you heard the good news?” Jimmy said, extending his hand. They shook warmly.

She held on far too long, smiled, and trembled slightly. “Jesus is my savior, but do you want to tell me more?”

“I would love to, sister. My name is Joe O’Callaghan.”

“I’m Roberta Hansen-Ford. Pleasure to meet you. Give me one moment to straighten up, then you come in and I’ll get you some lemonade.” There was hungry look to her. After fifteen minutes, she called, “The door’s open, sugar.”

Jimmy entered and looked around. It was a standard white-trash homestead. Plastic lining over a cheap plaid sofa accented by a press board coffee table holding a King James Bible and a Book of Mormon. There were some military awards on the walls and a few places where the paint was darker, marking photos recently taken down.

“You getting ready to move, sister? Do you need help?” Jimmy asked, laying it on thick. He hated doing it, but he needed to get out, support his little girl. This was how he did the right thing.

“That is so kind of you to ask, but no. I’m recently divorced. The pictures of my ex-husband were painful. I removed them, helps in the healing.”

This was going to be too easy. “I understand. I see you already have Joseph Smith’s works?” He stood close, letting her feel the heat of his body.

“Oh yes, the Book of Mormon. Another missionary came by a few months back, a nice young man from Mexico. He left the book but didn’t have time to chat.”

“Sometimes my brothers get overwhelmed spreading the news. I promise to take my time, take care of you.”

Jimmy laid in and she ate it up. He talked about church shit for fifteen minutes, then started flirting, light touching. Soon her hand was planted on his upper thigh. She brought out wine. He played good Mormon boy being led astray. She was loving being the temptress, the betrayer, and he let her live it up. After two bottles, she took his hand and led him to the bedroom.

They made love. After, he ran to the bathroom, sat on the toilet, and pulled up tears. “I can’t believe that happened! I’m a horrible person!” He said, really selling it.

“No, you were just doing the right thing, bringing me comfort in a time of need, you’re a good man.” She massaged his shoulders. “What can I do to make you feel better, sugar?”

His chance.

“Do you have a car? Can you just drive me home? This is all too much.” He looked down.

“Of course, let me get the keys.”

She walked out of the bedroom.

He looked for something heavy to knock her out, kill her quick. He wasn’t a monster, he didn’t want anyone to suffer. He found a little bust of Julius Cesar. It was solid. He was ready.


It felt like a baseball bat hit him across the back. The world turned white as a thousand hornets buzzed in his ears, then stung him in unison. As quick as it came, it was gone. What the fuck was that?

He heard Roberta. Her voice was different. “Listen to me carefully, where did you get those clothes and why are you wearing prison shoes?”

“Prison shoes? What are yo—”


The pain returned, overwhelming. His mind stopped. He pissed a little.

“Stop fucking around. That was ten seconds. Next ride is twenty.”

“Ma’am, you got it wrong, please I’m a good person, stop-”


She started crying. She jolted him with the electricity again. His whole world was pain.

He looked up, something small and black was in her right hand.

He saw a flash, but didn’t hear anything. He felt his right eye sting. It didn’t hurt. He heard Roberta crying.

Then the dark came.

The Author lives in the southeastern United States with his wife and daughter. He is a former Captain in the U.S. Army Infantry and currently works for the U.S. Marshals Service. He has been accepted for publication by Mystery Tribune, Story and Grit, The Deadly Writers Patrol, As You Were, and The Report: O-Dark-Thirty.