This is a story about a serial killer I met once. He was old, with a dog, living in a little white house at the end of our street. He was that neighbour who knew everyone and everyone knew him by some weird circumstance or coincidence and he was kinder than so many other killers I’ve met. For the purpose of the story and to keep the identities of the characters hidden their names will be changed, his name will now be Ervin and his dogs name will be Erik. And the story begins.
It started out like most days do with a planation to much of coffee and an intrusive sun peaking in through our windows uninvited. It took more than a little procrastinating than we had anticipated but we had finally gotten out the door, even if it had only been to run down to the shops for a snack it was probably considered a win. We were about half way toward the white house when we spotted him, mowing his lawn as Erik lazily flopped onto the clean-cut grass, half not to get in the way and half because it probably smelt amazing, cut grass always did. When we walk past him we raise a hand to wave but didn’t actually, more like we are calling help when we get caught in a rip tide and we yell ‘mornin Erv’ and he’d yell it back to us, straighten his glasses, and continue mowing. It seemed like a pretty peaceful life, on this occasion however he didn’t stop at the greeting and instead started speaking to us, admittedly a little strange but he was nice and easy to talk to. We talked about Erik for most of the time, in our dog case actually talking to him which might have been a little rude on our behalf but well, talking about dogs was a lot easier than talking to the dogs, or about anything else in every other circumstance. Besides, there conversation was about too many things we couldn’t have hoped to understand, things about the war in Syria and the economic crash that we could look forward to in the very near future, boring things like that. It turns out Cassie, our dog, was just as old as Erik who had also begun to grow the little flecks of grey speckling his muzzle and the strange disgruntled look he liked to give, well, to anyone. He said ‘can’t even finish his bones now days, doesn’t have the teeth for it so I give him the meat and leave the bones, got so many bones in my shed’ then he perked up a little suddenly with a flash of brilliance in his eye, ‘mind if I give you some, your dog will like em right?’ he said a little enthusiastically. Actually, Cassie always loved bones which was great because we loved lamb’s legs but hated the bone that came with it so the dynamic was perfect, but lately we haven’t given her any bones and she was frankly a little annoyed at us for leaving her alone for so long, so of course, we agreed. Now when he said that the bones were in his shed he really meant it, he curved the corner into his shed, being careful to close the door behind him, we didn’t ask or question why and came back out later with a bag full of bones, fresh and still bloody. He handed it to us with a smile so we thanked him and took them back home with us, only then did we really think about what just happened. Old man, lives alone except for his dog, knows everyone and has a shed filled to the brim with bones. Only one conclusion, Erv was a serial killer. That’s it, that’s the only logical explanation, even if the thought had led to more than a few nightmares about how his victims had been found and taken, or maybe he just got rid of the bodies for someone else, giving the neighbourhood dogs the bones so he was equally distributing the body was actually a genius idea now that we thought about it. That was perfect. The fact that we were now admiring a serial killer may have been somewhat of a worry but it actually scared us more to find that it hadn’t changed our image of him in the slightest. Every day was the same after that, we’d walk by, wave, and when we got back we found a bag of fresh bones lying on our porch for us, we would then thank Erv, go inside and the cycle would repeat.