Downhearted and dejected, Harvey walked into the police station. He knew the moment he told them what he’d done, they’d book him. The trial would be swift. The jury would find him guilty. And he’d be executed for his horrible crime. He shuddered. But deep inside he knew it was the right thing to do. No sense trying to hide it.
“I’m the one who did it. I’m guilty,” he said to the Desk Sergeant, eyes downcast.

“What did you do?”

“I killed her.”
“Her who?” the Sergeant asked roughly, pressing a button under his desk to alert detectives.

“The woman without the red dress.”

“Where's the body?” the cop asked glancing at last night’s list of major crimes.

“I don’t remember.”

It had been a rare night: no murders had been listed on the Detroit Police Blotter.

“What’s your name?”

“Harvey Clutch.”

“Your address and phone number?”

Harvey gave both, then added, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to do it. But I get such overwhelming urges. Aren’t you going to read me my rights?”

“Not today. We skip it every other day. Gives citizens a break. Tell you what I’ll do. I’ll call you as soon as we find the body. Did you say she wasn’t in a green dress?”

“No. Red. Found it in my bed next to me when I woke up. Empty. I mean she wasn’t in it.”

“I see. You humped her and then she left without her dress.”

“Yeah, that’s right. Raped her fifteen times.”

A side door opened. “I’m Detective Hobs,” said a nasty-looking brute. “Need to talk to me, do you?”

The Sergeant winked. “No need. He just confessed to rape and murder. I’ve taken his statement. He’s guilty as sin. I just told him to go home until we find the body. You know, the woman who was murdered last night? The one without her red dress?”

“Oh her. Well, we just got in a new bunch of stiffs. All women. One of them didn’t have a red dress. They’re still dusting her thingee for prints. Soon as we find your prints on the body, we’ll call you. Can you get here within fifteen minutes after we call? Or will you need to eat first?”

“Oh no. I snack quite often during the day. Diabetic. I’ll be down here right after you call.”

“OK,” said Hobs. “Meanwhile, don’t skip town. We’ll be watching the busses, trains, and airports.”

“Oh, I won’t try to run.”

“OK, then,” said the Sergeant. “I’ll see you as soon as we get a make on your prints. Probably in a couple hours.”

“Should I pack a little bag before I come in?”

“Nah. We have everything here. The best brands. We’ll take good care of you.”

“That’s very thoughtful. I don’t deserve it. I’m guilty, you know?”

“Yep. I know. And we’re gonna throw the book at you.”

“Thanks. I deserve it. OK. I’ll see you later.”

“Bye-Bye,” said the Sergeant.

“Toodle-oo,” said the detective.

When Harvey left, they pissed their pants laughing.

The Sarge added Harvey’s name and general description to their list of obsessive confessors.

Such nice guys, Harvey said to himself. It’s gratifying to see my tax dollars at work.

Back in his basement apartment, Harvey removed the red dress from his bed, put it on a hangar, and hung it in a closet. Then, using a black marking pen, he wrote “PEOPLE’S EXHIBIT NO. 1,” on a 3 x 5 card and stapled it to the dress.

Popping a Coke can, he tried to remember where he’d stashed her body. He checked the park for freshly dug holes on his way home. Didn’t see any. He was certain he put her behind the oak tree. The one with all the initials carved into the trunk. Or had he been dreaming?

She wasn’t in the oven, or the clothes dryer. Not in the bathtub, either.

That’s odd. I thought there was a woman here last night. Or was that a dream?

When he checked under his bed he saw her decapitated head and the rest of her body. He also found the flexible straw through which he’d slowly swigged her blood. It looked reusable, so he rinsed it and left it out to dry.

Grabbing another 3 x 5 card, he carefully wrote, “PEOPLE’S EXHIBIT NO. 2,” and stapled it to her pallid cheek. “PEOPLE’S EXHIBIT NO. 3,” was stapled to her groin. The one he’d bounced on so joyously after her decapitation. Fifteen times. Three times more than the last one. The one without the blue dress.

"The Woman Without The Red Dress"
Copyright: © 2009 Michael A. Kechula
Michael A. Kechula is a retired tech writer. His fiction has won first place in eight contests and placed in seven others. He’s also won Editor’s Choice awards four times. His stories have been published by 114 magazines and 30 anthologies in Australia, Canada, England, India, Scotland, and US. He’s authored a book of flash and micro-fiction stories: “A Full Deck of Zombies--61 Speculative Fiction Tales.” eBook available at and Paperback available at


  1. Holy Shit! That was freaking awesome! Really great! Loved the story and your writing style.

    Thank you!

    Suzie B.

  2. fantastic story... great swing from light to dark... very, very, very well written!! this is definitely an author i hope we see more of here!!!

  3. Wow! What a well handled change of tone. Very nice and unexpected!