Cindy Malcolm loved her dachshund, Shanna. She got her as a pup for her 4th birthday and they had grown up together. It had been just a few days since she ran off and Cindy was a wreck.
“Where could she be, Momma?” Cindy desperately asked
“Hang in there sweetie, you put signs up, we’ve told everyone in the community, Shanna will show up!” Cindy’s mother said assuredly.
Suddenly, there was a knock at the door. It was Mrs. Nelson from down the hall who greeted both of them:
“Hi, Lisa and Cindy.”
“Oh, hey Cecilia, what’s going on?” Cindy’s mother asked.
“Um. I wasn’t going to say anything because I wasn’t sure if you knew him or not,” Mrs. Nelson replied.
“Who?” Cindy asked confused.
“Well, I saw a rather large man wearing all black yesterday and he seemed to be playing with Shanna,” Mrs. Nelson said.
“There was starting to be a shortage of animals that wouldn’t be missed…”
“I think he lives on the second floor in the complex. I’ve seen him for a few years now, but he keeps to himself. I believe on the courtyard side. I see him smoking cigarettes off his balcony sometimes,” Cecilia Nelson confessed.
“Thank you, Cecilia! I think we have to pay a visit to this gentleman ASAP, c’mon Cindy.”
Cindy’s mother was a no bullshit single parent who took a no prisoners approach when it came to her daughter.
“Let me walk you out and I can show you the balcony from the courtyard,” Cecilia offered as the three arrived in the center of the complex.
“That’s the one. Third from the right, I’m pretty sure,” Mrs. Nelson said while pointing in the direction of Gerald’s apartment.
“Okay, I think that is like 14C. Let’s go to the buzzer and get this guy’s name,” Lisa Malcolm charged.
Ms. Malcolm and Cindy looked up the room number and saw the name “Newstreet” and then proceeded to confront Gerald. She knocked and hollered:
“Mr. Newstreet we have a package. Mr. Newstreet?
Gerald snarled. After the fourth request to come to the door he grumbled:
“I don’t know what fuck that could be, I’m broke. I sure didn’t order anything.”
He was in a mood and that was because his Internet was on the verge of getting cut-off. He felt a bit hopeful it might be something unexpected at the door, though, or at the very least, he could blow off some steam and tell off whomever was bugging him. He looked through the eye-hole and saw an attractive black woman, but couldn’t see if she was holding anything. He unlatched the locks and opened the door.
“Can I help you?” Gerald asked.
“Um yeah, my daughter lost her dog, it was a little wiener dog, you know, a dachshund? And somebody said they saw you yesterday playing with one, were you?” Lisa asked
“I don’t know what you’re talking about?” Gerald barked.
Cindy peered from around her mother’s leg and looked to see Gerald tearing up. Then, something caught her attention: a brown lump was a few feet into the man’s apartment, but it was partially obscured by the kitchen island. Pushing past her mother and wiggling through the gap between one of Gerald’s huge legs, the little girl rushed into the apartment.
“Cindy! Get back here!” her mother yelled.
But she made it far enough to see the rest of what was lying on the floor before Gerald could turn around to grab her.
“SHANNA!” Cindy screamed.
On the linoleum was Cindy’s dog. There was a giant incision from the neck down. Its throat was open and the tongue poured out of the bottom of its torn open chin. Most of her insides were dribbling out of her torso with her tail amidst the collection of entrails. Her mother darted in after Cindy, glanced at the dog with absolute horror, picked her up and flew out of Gerald’s den of doggie death.
As soon as they got back to their place—with Cindy screaming her head off—Lisa called 911. When the cops showed up they immediately headed to Gerald’s apartment. Gerald looked through the fish-eye lens and freaked out when he saw two police officers standing on the other side of his door. He knew they couldn’t come in because there wasn’t any probable cause, yet. So they certainly couldn’t enter without a warrant. And he thought if he answered their questions, he would look less suspicious, not to mention he could avoid being harassed constantly in the future. Gerald quickly hid whatever he could around the apartment and cracked the door.
“Mr. Newstreet? We had a complaint from someone in the apartment complex about your involvement with a missing dog.”
“I don’t know about any missing dog, sir,” Gerald said defiantly.
When the door was ajar, the female officer caught a whiff of Gerald’s domicile. It was a mindboggling stench of decay. Just over Gerald’s shoulder was a blood splatter on the wall that faced them, which was also partially concealed by the shadow of the hallway toward the bedroom and bathroom. And in plain sight was a tool of some kind that was clearly covered in blood.
“Out of the way, Sir! We see some blood over there by a weapon!,” the male officer ordered.
As the officers walked inside after cuffing Gerald, what they witnessed could only be described as if serial killer Ed Gein finished his career as a veterinarian. Fur, hides, blood, and heads were everywhere. As they called for backup, they looked down at Gerald Newstreet on his knees. The female officer approached him and asked:
“Why did you kill all these dogs and cats?”
“I needed to eat. I was broke and they were all strays. I ate the kid’s wiener dog because I actually ran out homeless ones. I think I was doing some good getting rid of them,” Gerald answered.
A few days later, Gerald and his public defender stood before the Honorable Charles Sutton. Judge Sutton addressed Gerald:
“Now, Mr. Newstreet, I have never, ever in all my years on the bench encountered a pet serial killer. I’m at a loss, quite frankly. Do you have any explanation for as to why you committed these acts?”
“I don’t know, your honor. I don’t know. It was an urge. I can’t describe it. I was starving, but then it became an obsession. It was an addiction. I have some serious problems,” Gerald humbly responded.
“Well, addiction is a severe problem. But yours involves eating other living things with their hearts still beating. No matter how hungry you are, there is no excuse for that, Mr. Newstreet. I think ten years behind bars with regular food and a psych evaluation might rehabilitate you. Do you have anything else to say on your behalf.”
“Yes, your honor, one more thing. We all eat other living things every day. Every time we are cruel, we cannibalize, consume, mutilate and destroy all good things from the inside out. It’s just that we don’t have the decency to put them out of their misery.”
About The Author
Jason K. Smith is a professor at a small liberal arts college. After writing in an academic capacity for many years, he has shifted his focus to writing all kinds of fiction. Writing horror stories is a fun and creepy pastime for him.
Jason lives in West Virginia with his lovely wife and awesome boys (and won’t read some of the stuff his dad writes until they are much, much older and out of therapy). For the most part, he’s a pretty normal dude. Check out his book on Kindle “There’s Such a Thing.”