Friday, September 27, 2013

"Confessions of the Cuckold" by J. David Core (Novelette)

Genre:  Noir, Mystery 

Type of Short Story:  Novelette

Summary:  The last person Eric Dadjov would have expected to confide in was the bounty hunter sent to take him to court, but his wife has betrayed him leaving his life in shambles. A careless moment purging his anger has led to formal charges, so when he learns that he might have more in common with the forlorn bounty hunter than he thinks, a frustrated Eric just begins venting.Gradually, the details of Dadjov’s story begin to suggest that he has a sinister plan for revenge brewing. Is the bounty hunter complicit, a dupe, or is he the next victim of the cuckold?

When I first met Eric Dadjov he was thin and his eyes, set back in his skull, were rimmed in dark rings. His hair was overgrown and unkempt. His pants were dirty and his hands shook. If I hadn’t known why he was being taken into custody, I might have assumed it was drug related. As it was, he had simply missed a court date on a charge of vandalism.

I walked up on the porch and knocked on the door. Eric said, “Hello,” when he saw me with none of the usual suspicion that normally greeted my presence.

“Eric Dadjov?”

“Yes,” he said.

“I’ll need you to come with me. You missed your court date, and I’ve been contracted to make sure you appear before the judge this afternoon.” I turned so that he could see the weapon I had holstered on my hip.

“Are you going to handcuff me?”

“Should I?”

“You may as well. That way my humiliation will be just about complete.”

We drove in relative silence for the first several blocks. It was not until we had left his neighborhood that he began loosening up. “I know you probably don’t care, but I didn’t skip court because I was trying to run.”

“That’s pretty obvious,” I said. “I assume you were just too embarrassed to go in. That happens a lot.”
“It just bothers me that I am going to have to make restitutions to that asshole.”

“You smashed his car window, right?”


“Then why shouldn’t you have to make restitutions?”

“Because I have no legal recourse to demand the restitutions he owes me.”

“Sure you do. I mean if he destroyed something of yours …”

“He destroyed everything of mine.” Eric said as tears filled his sunken eyes. “He destroyed my life. He broke my future, so I broke his windshield. I shouldn’t have to pay for that.”

“This is beginning to sound like a domestic …”

“That’s exactly what it is. Let me ask you something, if somebody stole your wife, wouldn’t you feel justified in smashing his car window?”

“I’d probably feel justified in smashing his knees, but the law …”

“Of course the law; I understand that. But if I’m justified in smashing his window, shouldn’t he just man up and pay for it?”

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