AN OCTOBER AFTERNOON by Peter DiChellis

“You’re listening to KFBM radio, hot jazz floating on an autumn breeze. And now, an important news bulletin…

Police are warning Westside residents to stay inside their homes and lock their doors. The deranged knife killer known as the ‘Phantom Butcher’ is roaming that section of the city. Police have evidence the ‘Butcher’ has committed at least four brutal murders since last November. But until recently, authorities and witnesses could not give a clear description of the elusive serial predator. Police now describe him as tall and muscular, with a shaved head, a scraggly beard, and elaborate tattoos covering his arms and neck. He is also described as wearing tattered denim jeans and a stained t-shirt. If you see a man fitting this description, remain calm and call 911 immediately. Again, all Westside residents should stay inside their homes with the doors locked until police can apprehend this vicious killer.

We’ll be back with more hot jazz after this short break…”

***

[RING TONE]

“Hello, sweetie. Me? I’m enjoying a beautiful day in the back yard, relaxing on my lounger. That’s what retired guys do, right? Yeah, I just heard about it on the radio. I’ll be fine, stop worrying.

Where are you? Well, at least you’ll have fun on your ocean cruise next week. No, I haven’t forgotten. Leave the dog with me while you’re away. No problem, I already bought some kibble and a chew toy that looks like a little dinosaur!

Oh, and guess who started a new diet? The doctor says if I can lose another twenty pounds I’ll be okay for someone my height. Not great, but okay. I’m exercising too. Walked all the way around the block yesterday. And I might try it again tomorrow.

Wait a minute, sweetie. Someone’s coming. It couldn’t be…Jesus, is that him? He just came through the gate into the back yard! No, I can’t go anywhere, sweetie…the yard’s fenced in and my back pain is murdering me today.

Oh God, it’s him. Call the police, sweetie. I’ll stall him. I know what I’m doing. I’ll be okay.

Hi. You must be the new neighbor. I’m Jim Winderson. Been living here twenty-five years. Spent my whole career in sales, so watch out, I’ll talk you to death if you let me! By the way, I’d get up and shake your hand but I’ve got such back pain today. I’ll bet you’re doing some gardening? Maybe weeding with that knife? Hey, I’ve got some tools in the garage you can borrow and some crabgrass in the front yard you can pull. Ha, ha. Kidding about the crabgrass, but not about the tools.

Uhhnnn. God, that hurt. Uhhnnn. I can’t feel my legs. Uhhnnn. Is all that blood mine? Uhhnnn. Uhhnnn.”

***

“And now, more KFBM news…

Police arrested the ‘Phantom Butcher’ just minutes ago, but not before the psychotic killer claimed another victim, Westside resident Jim Winderson. Acting on a tip from the victim’s daughter police stormed into Winderson’s back yard. They discovered Winderson’s dead body sprawled on the lawn and the ‘Butcher’ relaxing on a blood-soaked chaise lounger, listening to the radio.

We’ll be back with more hot jazz after this short break…”


Peter DiChellis concocts sinister and sometimes comedic tales for anthologies, ezines, and magazines. His story “Please Remain Calm” appeared in Flash Bang Mysteries in April. Peter is a member of the Short Mystery Fiction Society and an Active member of the Mystery Writers of America, Private Eye Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. Visit his site Murder and Fries at http://murderandfries.wordpress.com/


This story is an original work of creative fiction. All people and events described or depicted are entirely fictional. Any resemblance to actual individuals or events is unintended and coincidental.


Copyright © 2016 Peter DiChellis. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of the author is prohibited.

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