(A Change of Pace)


Michael A. Kechula


Copyright 2015 by Michael A. Kechula. No portion of this work may be reproduced in any form without express written permission by the publisher.



Hey you! Get out of the way!” yelled a cop. “Let the medics through.”

Jason realized the cop was pointing at him. He moved aside quickly when he saw paramedics carrying a stretcher. As they passed him, he almost threw up at the sight of the bloody, mangled mass that used to be a face.

“Looks like the Face Ripper struck again,” said the stranger next to Jason. “Another beautiful woman bites the dust. If this keeps up, there won’t be any good looking women left in this town.”

“Geez. I didn’t know you guys had a serial killer problem. Otherwise, I never woulda turned off the Interstate to grab a meal.”

“Doesn’t matter. He only attacks women.”

“How many did he kill so far?”

“Over a hundred.”

“What? How come I didn’t hear about this on Fox News, or see it in the papers?”

“Politicians keep it quiet. Otherwise, nobody would come here. That’d put lotsa people outta work. And the unemployment level is bad enough in this burg.”

Though the bloody sight should have killed his appetite, Jason found himself curiously excited and even hungrier than before. “Well, I stopped here to eat. Is there a half-decent restaurant near here?”

“Minnie’s Hash House is pretty good. Go down this street two blocks, turn left, and you can’t miss it.”

While enjoying a meatloaf dinner, Jason realized that the town might be the answer to his problems. Though he loved his stunning wife, Marcia, he was sick of her nagging. Plus, he had suspicions she was having a fling with an up-and-coming lawyer, who was ten years his junior.

When he returned home, he went to Wal-Mart and bought a dozen, hand-cranked LED lights. Then he drugged Marcia, put her and the lights in the car, and headed for the Face Ripper’s town. During the hundred-mile drive, he figured if he dumped her in the woods outside town, and lit up her body with the LED lights, the Ripper might easily spot it.

Arriving at the forest just outside of town, he laid her on the ground, cranked the lights, placed them around her to illuminate her form, and returned to the car. As he approached his Mustang, he thought he heard footsteps crunching the autumn leaves.

“Who’s there?” he called.

“Police. What’s going on here?”

“I was driving by and saw strange lights in the woods. See them over there? I went to take a look. There’s a woman laying on the ground. I think she’s dead. I was just going to jump in my car and drive to town to report it.”

The cop pulled his pistol. “Put your hands over your head and walk slowly toward your car. Now, put your palms against the car and spread your legs real wide.”

“But I didn’t do anything wrong,” Jason said.

“I’ll be the judge of that,” the cop said, slapping cuffs on Jason’s wrists. “Now turn around.”

The cop shinned a high-powered flashlight in Jason’s face. “Hmm. Anybody ever tell you you’re good looking?”

The next day, word spread quickly through town. A man was found dead in the woods with his face ripped apart, though a nearby, beautiful, unconscious woman wasn’t touched.

Nobody knew what to make of it.

They didn’t realize until four more good-looking men were killed that the Face Ripper was bored and needed a change of pace.

We hope you’ve enjoyed A CHANGE OF PACE by Michael A. Kechula, one of the stories from Kechula’s collection, REVENGE DAY AND OTHER TALES OF CRIME AND ESPIONAGE. You may buy the entire collection from your favorite eBook retailer at a price of only $3.99 or purchase it directly here, in multiple eBook formats. Click the Buy Now button below to purchase it now (processed by Paypal for your safety)