It had to be hidden in the body somewhere; the factor that caused tooth decay. My shadow flickered against the wall of the basement in the early evening light; I needed a new bulb for the lamp. I strained to read through my notes again. Testicles had drawn a blank, so had the mammary glands, and the blood tests were inconclusive.
I had a thought. The samples could have been faulty - yes that was it. I needed more...
My father’s death changed my life; my mother became engrossed in her cats and ignored me most days; I felt isolated and rejected. I withdrew into my world of research, and felt like God each time I killed a living thing, be it a rat or deer in my quest. I dreamt of the time I would experiment on a human – it became an obsession that gnawed its way into my mind. When Wells Fargo foreclosed my business it triggered off a chain of events that led me to Old man Jackson, my first victim.
Now, experimenting on live bodies was an addictive drug…
‘Are you there?’ My mother was calling me from outside. She rarely left the house except on fine summer days when she lounged reading her paper on the front porch while she soaked up the warmth of late afternoon.
‘Coming,’ I shouted. I put down my notes and left the basement, padlocking the door behind me as I moved across to the steps leading up to where she sat.
‘I need some more bones for my cats,’ she said, when I came into view. She was wearing the same worn-out housecoat.
Fuck the cats.
‘I’ll hunt around,’ I said.
She waved a hand to dismiss me ‘Just make sure you get bones and not more of that offal. Cats like to crunch.’
I climbed up the steps to get my coat from inside the house. ‘I’ll eat out,’ I said.
I timed it to arrive at the butcher’s shop by the docks just before it closed down for the night. The butcher, a round, florid man with a cheery smile and white teeth, would have been ideal prey, and I watched while he packaged up some spare ribs for me. I felt my excitement rise, but then the doorbell jingled and another customer came in. I tossed a modest sum on the counter and told him I’d be back another day.
A cheap restaurant was open nearby, and I ordered a dinner of beef stew with a chunk of fresh bread. I looked out of the window; it was not ideal hunting ground. Plenty of prey, but they had safety in numbers. Kingsbury Run would be better, but then I had another idea. There was a patch of woods near over the river at Big Creek, Brooklyn, where hobos camped.
And that’s as far as I got, folks…