Dudley Do Right by R Thomas Brown

“Look, you’ve got it wrong.” Dudley tried to stand up before the officer pushed him back into his chair.

“Sir, remain seated while we evacuate the endangered areas.” The officer kept his hand on Dudley’s shoulder and motioned to his weapon.

“There is no damn endangered area.”

“Sir, did you inform officers that you posed a threat and that there was something in your trunk?”

“Yes, but…” He tried to stand again. The hand didn’t move.

“Sir. Remain where you are.”

“Fine, but there’s no fucking bomb.”

People continued to file out of the Comal County Jail into the back parking lot. Drunks, hookers, strung out vagrants and Texas State College students being taught a lesson filed out under the occasional eyes of officers who had their attention on the car.

The white sedan looked at home at the station. Large, wide, and very white. Officers in bulky green garb huddled near the car, one of them controlling the robot that edged toward the vehicle.

Dudley looked out the window to view what he could from a distance. He wished he had parked closer to the station. “Hey, is that fucking robot gonna hurt my car?”

The officer didn’t speak.

“Looks like that thing from the stupid Steve Gutenberg movie.” He waved his arms. “Number Five is Alive.”

His laughing was stopped with a forceful squeeze of his shoulder. “Geez, calm the fuck down.”

The officer glared at him. “My friends are risking their lives out there, so you stop talking.”

“No one’s risking their life.”

The robot popped the trunk open.

“There’s no bomb.”

No boom.

An officer pulled off his helmet and peered through binoculars at the trunk.

“See, I told you there wasn’t no fucking bomb.”

The officer pulled his hand away absently. “Then what’s the problem?”

“The problem is some people can’t just leave you the fuck alone, you know?” Dudley adjusted in his chair and rubbed his shoulder. “They just keep on you, no matter how many times you say no.”

The officer outside stepped up to the trunk and waved for help while staring at Dudley across the lot.

“Sir, what did you do?”

“What do you mean?”

“Why are you here?”

“I told you, to turn myself in. I tried to figure my way out of it, but I just couldn’t. Thought I could make it all go away with a trip up north to the casinos.”

“Casinos, sir?”

“Yeah, the one’s right across the border in Oklahoma. Huge, these fucking places, but the slots are tight.”

“You came to confess to gambling?” The officer looked outside and saw several officers heading his way.

“No. Fuck no. That’s not illegal. I just hoped it would make me forget. I tried to make it up to the universe you know. I mean, I even fed the damn cat. Two days.”

The officers entered the department. “Who is that?”

Dudley exhaled. “Finally, no more fucking bomb talk.”

“Who is it?”

“Just some old fucker who kept coming at me. Kept trying get me to handle up on his old wrinkly dick.”

The officer next to Dudley looked down at him. “What?”

“Yeah, old perv. So I told him I needed car help, and beat his ass with a tire iron. I mean he was a nice old man, but fucking leave me alone.”

The officer began stating his rights.

“Yeah, yeah, I know. I came to confess. Guilt is a bitch. I mean, I cleaned him up, laid him out all nice, I even fed his fucking cat, like I said. Twice.”

The officer led him back to a cell.

“Still, couldn’t stop thinking about it.”

The officer opened the cell and nudged him in. “Turn around.” He removed Dudley’s cuffs through the bars after the door was shut.

Dudley turned around. “I mean, for once, I try to do right by someone, and fucking guilt gets me.”

“Do right by someone?”

“Yeah, I mean, I just cut up the other old fucks and shoved them in the freezer.”

BIO: R Thomas Brown spends most of his free time having fake sword fights with his three kids and quickly cleaning up before his wife gets home. He squeezes in writing and a job that pays into the other hours. To see his thoughts about short crime fiction and other stuff, you can visit rthomasbrown.blogspot.com


David Barber said...

Really enjoyed this one, Ron. Very well written and the dialogue carried it along perfectly. Killer last line.

Well done, Ron!

Paul D Brazill said...


S.K.Adams said...

There was no Bomb but still they put him in a cell, man that is harsh.

Is euthanasia illegal? What!

Great story, kept me guessing.

C.J. said...

Nice. Am I a sick person because it made me chuckle?

Julia Madeleine said...

Made me chuckle too. Great stuff :)

Chris Rhatigan said...

Ha! Fantastic. You know how to get to the point, Mr Brown.

Bruce Harris said...

I wasn't sure where this one was going, but the ending didn't disappoint! Nicely done.

Mike Miner said...

Yeah, this one kept me pleasantly off balance - like a lot of your stories - until the very satisfying ending.

Robin Billings said...

Love how he 'tried to do right' and the 'fucking guilt' got him.
A hard-done-by wack job (so to speak) - made me grin.

Good story, with good visuals derived from the conversation.

Bill Baber said...

wow, "killer" last line... good stuff!!