“A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor.
“It’s not much farther,” the grandmother said.
Just as the car turned onto the narrow gravel road, the grandmother’s cat, Pitty Sing, sprang from the basket in the floorboard with a snarl and attached itself to John McClane’ shoulder. John McClane squinted hard and swerved as the passengers were thrown from the car, landing safely.
“How can the same shit happen to the same guy again!?” John McClane screamed as the car rolled seven times and burst into flames.
* * *
“I wish I had seen him so’s I’d know if he really rose from the dead or not,” the misfit said. “Then I’d know if I really had. It ain’t right I wasn’t there.”
John McClane grabbed the Misfit’s gun. “Say hello to your brothers Hans and Franz,” he said, and pistol whipped the Misfit. Bobby Lee grabs the grandmother, and John McClane shoots through the Misfit and hits Bobby Lee. Hiram surrenders.
“You’re a good man,” the grandmother said. “And that’s hard to find.”
“I’m no good man,” John McClane said. “You know what you get for being a ‘good man’? Divorced. Your kids don’t remember your name. You get shot at and clawed by a cat. I’m not a good man. I’m just the only one who’ll do what needs to be done.”
* * *
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Raskolnikov sneaks into the old lady’s apartment, only to find her napping in a chair. Determined to prove himself to be above the laws of God and man, Raskolnikov approaches the chair from behind and raises his axe. Just as he’s prepared to swing, the chair turns to reveal John McClane.
“Sorry, Hanz,” John McClane says, headbutting Raskolnikov. Raskolnikov fights back, producing a gun, which he attempts to use to shoot John McClane. Instead, Raskolnikov shoots several windows out, showering glass all over the floor. Finally, a bullet hits the stove in the kitchen, igniting the gas, which causes the entire building to explode. John McClane drags Raskolnikov’s stunned form outside, screaming all the while. Outside, John McClane attempts to steal Raskolnikov’s shoes, but they are too small.
“Nine million disenfranchised Russian students in this town, and I get the one with feet smaller than my sister’s.”
**Originally appeared in Artichoke Haircut