Estimated reading time — 6 minutes
“Oh thank you so much for coming at a late notice,” the woman said as soon as she answered the door.
“No problem, miss. It’s my job. What can I do for you?” I replied naturally with a smile.
“Well my sink’s been acting up lately. I’ve tried fixing it myself but it’s no good. Please, come in. I’ll show you the way.” She stepped aside, making a gesture to invite me in. I nodded with a smile, ready to provide service as usual. She led me into the living room.
“My son is sleeping in his room. Can I ask you to try to keep it quiet?”
“Yes, of course. I’ll do my best.” I couldn’t help but notice that she was missing two fingers on one hand. Not wanting to be rude, I made no mention of it.
“That would be much appreciated. Would you like a drink? A cold soda or maybe just water?” she offered.
“Oh water is fine, thank you.”
“I’ll be right back then. Go on and take a seat.” She slowly made her way into the kitchen but not without glancing towards the hallway. I couldn’t help but notice how pale and weakly thin she looked. The poor woman wouldn’t have the slightest chance if a robber or a murderer happened to sneak in her house. I wouldn’t be surprised either. It truly was a nice house.
I turned my head to the hallway and took a deep breath. Then I noticed it, a faint odor. Whatever it was, it didn’t smell so inviting. I could tell though that an effort was given to cover the stench with air fresheners. I would know, I’ve done it before… I was making a move to get up when she walked back in with a glass of water.
“Here you are.” She placed it gently on the glass table and while doing so, revealed what looked like a small, ringed bruise on her forearm.
“Miss, is your arm okay? I thought I saw a bit-”
“I’m fine,” she answered hurriedly, retrieving her arm to her chest. “Would you like to see the sink now?” she asked- insisted, rather. I got up and followed her after sipping on the glass of water. We passed by the hallway and I heard muffled shuffling in what seemed to be the first room to the left. I saw two shadows on the foot of the door.
“…mommy? Can I have it?” a small voice asked softly behind the doors. The woman stopped in her tracks and turned with a bewildered look that was quickly masked by a smile.
“Honey go back to bed,” she said with a cold tone that didn’t match the smile on her face.
“Mommy can I have it? I’ll be good this time. Please?” her son, I assume, pleaded.
“Ma’am I think your child needs something,” I said, hesitant.
“He’ll get it in a bit,” she said to me then to her son, “sweetie just be patient. I’ll get it to you later, I promise.” Immediately, she walked away and I followed, a little uncomfortable now. There was scratching behind the doors.
“Was that your son?” I asked with caution when we arrived in the kitchen.
“I think it got clogged when I dumped some left overs there. I wasn’t thinking clearly and instead of putting them in the dispenser, I tossed the food down the drain. It was just cut up meat so I figured it wouldn’t be a big issue. I guess I was wrong,” she explained, completely ignoring my question. I decided not to push it.
“Well let me take a look.” She moved aside and I began taking out some tools. She stayed in the kitchen, leaning by the fridge, watching me. After a while she walked to one of the drawers and opened it, pulling out an item. I couldn’t tell what it was as I soon disappeared under the sink.
After a few minutes of silence, she asked, “You like helping people right? Isn’t that why you decided to go for this job?”
It was actually a lack of ambition and non-caring parents but seeing as I didn’t want to be rude, I merely nodded and even tried to play off as the good guy. “Yeah I like helping folks. Nothing better than knowing you’ve made someone’s life easier. Right?”
“Right. Yes. Service.” More silence followed, which lasted longer this time. I popped my head out for a bit and reached for a wrench in my tool box. She noticed the ring on my finger.
“I see that you’re married. Any kids?” she asked, hands behind her back.
“Two, yeah. My wife just gave birth to our youngest two weeks ago,” I answered with a genuine smile.
“That’s lovely. Congratulations.” She paused, opening her mouth as if to say something, only to go back into silence. With the look on her face, it seemed as if she was contemplating something in her head quite seriously, struggling for the right words. And then I saw on her face something I probably already did at the moment of our meeting but ignored. Exhaustion.
“Look, you seem like a nice man so-”
We both snapped our heads in the direction of the hallway. I was about to speak when another thud stopped me, louder this time. The woman looked at me with hesitation. After one lingering look at my ring, she stepped forward.
“You better go,” the woman said coldly, trying to ignore the sounds that now have much shorter pauses in between.
“But I’m not finished-”
“Leave. Right now.” I could see the unsettling look on her face so I obeyed and packed my things right away. When we passed by the hallway, the door to the boy’s room began to rattle wildly.
“Mommy please!! Let me out!! Can I have it now??!! I want it mommy!!”
“Goodness, you have your child locked in there??” I asked with such shock. She was pushing me towards the door now with the hand that was missing two fingers. I turned around sharply and she pulled out the knife she’d been hiding behind her back. My widened eyes met her frenzied ones.
“If you take a single step towards me, I won’t hesitate to hurt you. I’ve done it before. Done it plenty of times. Oh yes I’ve killed a lot of men. But I was just doing my job you see! Just doing my job… Isn’t it a mother’s job to protect her child? Huh?” I stood there, my feet frozen and glued to the floor, not knowing how to respond.
“ISN’T IT??!!” she yelled suddenly, causing me to jump. The door stopped rattling and returned to creating loud thudding noises. The boy was repeatedly throwing his body against it.
“Listen, let’s just be calm and talk about this. Put the knife down and we’ll-”
“No. No more. This has to end. No more of this. I’ve sacrificed enough. I’m tired…” She solemnly turned towards the hallway. Right at that moment, I could have easily disarmed her and turned the situation around. Things might’ve ended differently. But something in me was screaming to just run out and call the police. “I’m sorry sweetie. I’ve done my best…but I can’t keep doing this. It isn’t right. It isn’t right….” She turned back to me, knife lowered, eyes pleading. “Go home to your family.”
I bolted to the door without even thinking about it. I didn’t bother to close it either. With one last glance back, I saw her opening the door in the hallway, knife raised high.
“I’M FUCKING HUNGRY YOU BITCH!!” I refused to believe that it was the boy that said this. It couldn’t have been… Yet it was. Screams from both child and parent were heard.
I threw myself into the work vehicle and drove a couple of blocks before realizing I had to call the police.
“Oh my goodness did you hear on the news?”
“A plumber called the police after fleeing this one house he was working at, which is near the area by the way.”
“Let me finish geez! So the police arrive there and the first thing they see is a woman’s mutilated body on the living room floor. She was all chewed up! Her face was barely recognizable and her stomach was ripped open with the innards gone. They investigated the house and found a room with rotting corpses that were in the same condition as the woman’s body. A lot of them were workers like plumbers, electricians and whatnot. There was a broken chain leash right beside the pile of bodies.”
“Oh Jesus we’re eating… This is why I would never get a dog!”
“Oh no no it wasn’t a dog. They examined the woman’s body since it was the freshest, just died a little before they arrived apparently. She had bite marks on her limbs. Human bite marks. They were also pretty small. Too small to be an adult.”
“You’re not saying… No that’s messed up.”
“They found out that she has a son. A little boy. He’s missing.”
Credit To: Pandora