“Not very big, is it?” Mark said.
The opportunity for a wicked retort was there, but I grudgingly passed on it. That would be inappropriate, considering who I was talking to. Instead, I opted for, “You know what they say about the best things…”
“Coming in small packages?”
Again the opportunity. Again I passed. “Something like that.”
He gently shook the tiny, gift-wrapped box and, bizarrely, sniffed at it. As he did so, a low moan escaped his lips.
“What does it smell like?”
“Smells like nothing. Paper.”
“No clue about what’s inside?”
“Good. Open it.”
He didn’t need to be asked a second time, and quickly set about tearing the wrapping paper off his special gift with aplomb. I watched with pride as the contents of the parcel were exposed, and his excitement turned to confusion…and was that just the smallest hint of disappointment?
“It’s a fork.”
“It sure is.”
Mark was frowning now. “You got me a fork for my birthday? Not even a full cutlery set, just a single fork?”
“And it looks old.”
“It’s definitely not new.” This was the part I’d been looking forward to the most. Seeing Mark try to piece the puzzle together. He turned the fork over and over in his hands, looking for markings, trying to guess the significance. I should give him a clue. “Russia, 1978-1990?” I said wickedly.
There was a spark of understanding. Then it melted away. “I don’t…”
“I know you don’t. Not yet. How about another clue?”
“Give it to me.”
“You want it?”
“How bad do you want it?”
At that, Mark actually squirmed in anticipation and his hand instinctively went to his cock. “I want it so bad,” he said, voice quivering.
I didn’t answer immediately. Instead, I looked at his face and let the tension build for a moment. Then I said, “Fifty-two confirmed kills. Though the real figure was probably a lot higher.”
Marks eyes widened. Now he was getting it. Russia. Fifty-two confirmed kills.
“Chikatilo?” he said hesitantly. “Andrei Chikatilo? The Butcher of Rostov? The cannibal who ate his victims?”
“There it is.” I felt my face redden slightly with a mixture of pride, satisfaction, and something else I couldn’t define.
“Obviously, there’s no sure-fire way of knowing whether he used that particular implement to eat anyone. But it came from his house and considering the general lack of kitchen utensils, there’s a reasonably high chance.”
Suddenly, Mark erupted. “This is the best Christmas gift EVER! Do you hear me?”
I couldn’t help but giggle. “I hear you, honey.”
“Chikatilo is, like, my favourite serial killer of all time. I like him more than Dahmers, more than Gacy the Killer Clown. To tell the truth, I like him even more than Pedro Lopez!”
This surprised me. “More than Lopez?”
“Yeah, I always felt kinda sorry for that guy. He might have raped and murdered over three hundred little girls, but he never really got the credit he deserved. People just thought he was nuts. They did let him go, though, which is something to be grateful for. If he’d been born in America they would have killed the fucker for sure. Where the hell did you get it?”
“A trading site on the Dark web,” I said. “I’m a policewoman, remember? I have access to a lot of resources. And I know how to use them.”
“You are the best mummy ever!”
“Thank you, baby boy.” There was no greater feeling than making your only child happy. Seeing the elation spread across his face when you did something really special just for him. “I’m going to put dinner on. Pork medallions with potatoes and chick peas. You know what they say about pork, don’t you?”
“That is tastes a bit like human flesh?”
“Indeed. Maybe you can use your new fork.”
C.M. Saunders is a London-based freelance writer and editor. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he has nine long-from releases under his belt, the most recent being the charity novella No Man’s Land: Horror in the Trenches. He is represented by Media Bitch literary agency.
Copyright © 2017 C.M. Saunders. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of the author is prohibited.