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Bewildering Stories

The Creepy Guy

by Michele Dutcher

I enjoyed Tom Mahony’s “Windowless Van” because it wasn’t the usual “Did he do it?” kind of thing. The guy in the van makes it known that he did it, which leaves the reader thinking, “Well, how is the good guy going to tell the police?” Suddenly, the problem is gone and no one is the wiser for it. No one cares about some creepy guy in a van.

I live in an old part of town, where creepy guys hang out. It’s something I never thought of before: they really don’t have any power; they really could just disappear and no one would be the wiser.

Michele Dutcher

Copyright © 2009 by Michele Dutcher

Thank you for the feedback, Michele; I imagine it represents most readers’ reaction. You just know that the “creepy guy in the van” is going to commit another murder, whether he stays in place or goes somewhere else.

The story raises a couple of questions in my mind. For one thing, the “creepy guy” is dispatched too easily, without even a struggle. The author doesn’t have to depict a lot of thrashing about; in fact, it would be undesirable in such an interior story. But the narrator could say something like “He didn’t resist as much as I expected.” That would cover the missing scene and say a lot about the creepy guy as well.

The story does end with a murder, because the narrator ought to go to the police. And that raises the question: How willing is the reader to excuse vigilante justice? Because that is what it is...


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