The Chump

“You were supposed to be dead,” a bystander screams glaring at my formerly lifeless body resurrect from the ground.

“I feel like it,” I mumble, patting my hands over my chest taking stock of my body.

I think I’m ok. But how? When someone shoots you in the chest, you’re usually not ok.

I look for something in my breast coat pockets that could’ve stopped a bullet, like you see in the movies. But there’s nothing.

Sitting there amongst the now busy city streets I realize, I wasn’t shot at all. But it wasn’t my imagination that knocked me down. It was a force. Maybe it was a warning or a horrible mistake.

It all started a few nights ago. It was a regular Friday night at the bar, until she came in.

She was put together in all the right places, as if someone drew her on a canvas or erected her as a skyscraper. She was built.

Even though my stool didn’t spin around, my head did a quick 180 when she walked through the door.

And did she walk. Not just putting one foot in front of the other, she glided like an angel on gossamer wings. I was captivated.

She sat down next to me and asked me for a light. I was happy to oblige and shot her my best come hither smile. She returned the favor.

A couple hours later, we talked about everything under the sun, including the kitchen sink. I’m not subject to romantical flights of fancy, but in those moments with her, my head pictured a little Whitney color house with a picket fence and a new Ford in the garage. It was the perfect dream.

She asked me for a ride home. I was happy to get a chance at a good night kiss. Or maybe something else, who knew. But something else is what I got.

I realize now, I was a chump. A stooge that fake femme fatal easily wrapped around her little finger and led right into the gates of hell. She was good alright.

She spun a tale worthy of a golden man named Oscar and I fell for it hook line and sinker. I was a willing piece of putty in her manicured hands.

She said her former boyfriend was stalking her and wouldn’t let up. I have no problem understanding why he wouldn’t let her go.

She was afraid to go home unaccompanied and asked me if I was packing. That should’ve been my first clue, but again, my dumb imagination conjured a steely knight on a cream horse. I should rap myself in the jaw for being so gullible.

She went in for a kiss to thank me and the next thing I know, I wake up to a screaming broad in the street outside her apartment building. Boy was I a patsy. 

I must’ve just been knocked out…and good. But I could’ve sworn I heard a gunshot.

Then I see two cops in my scope.

“Officers, I’m OK. No permanent harm done,” I say getting to my feet.

“That’ll be for the judge to decide. You’re coming downtown with us,” they order as the handcuff and throw me in the paddy wagon.

Now I’m in the soup for sure. I have no memory of what happened. And even worse, I don’t know her name. What a sap.

They put me under the glaring bulb and tell me I murdered a man in cold blood and left the gun with my fingerprints next to the body. That was news to me. They say it’s an open and shut case. I could fry and I don’t know why. They’ll never believe my story. Even I don’t. No one could be such a stooge to be fooled by a beautiful dame. But I was. Now my goose is cooked.

(c) Suzanne Rudd Hamilton,2023

Author’s Note: This story is written in noir style of 1930s to 1950s urban slang. I enjoy these movies and this type of storytelling.

Published by suzanneruddhamilton

I write anything from novels and children's books to plays to relate and retell everyday life experiences in a fun-filled read with heart, hope and humor. A former journalist and real estate marketing expert, I am a transplant from Chicago, now happily living in southwest Florida to keep warm and sunny all year round. You can find me at

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