I saw something that shocked me.
There was a man standing over a young girl. Her hands were tied behind her back and she was lying on a tree stump. The man was holding an axe in his hands. It looked like he was about to kill her.
“Hey you, Stop!” I shouted. “Drop the axe or I’ll shoot!”
He didn’t pay any attention to me.
I fired a warning shot into the air.
The man didn’t even look at me. There was a strange madness in his eyes.
“I’m warning you!” I shouted.
I raised my rifle and took aim.
The man raised the axe above his head.
I pulled the trigger.
Bang! A bullet ripped through his chest, knocking him to the ground.
I ran over to the sobbing girl. The man was slumped beside her. His lips were moving and he was trying to speak.
“Jennifer…” he croaked.
Then, his eyes closed and he breathed his last.
I wanted to check the girl to see if she was alright, but the instant I laid eyes on her, I recoiled in horror.
It was the most hideous sight I had ever witnessed. Her face was horribly deformed. It made my stomach churn just to look at her.
“Are you alright?” I gasped. “Did he hurt you?”
The girl was unable to speak. It seemed like she couldn’t understand anything I said.
I wanted to go to the authorities, but I was afraid the police wouldn’t believe me. What if they accused me of murder? There were no other witnesses. The girl couldn’t tell them what really happened. I had no choice.
I decided to keep it all a secret. I left the man’s body where it lay and covered it with leaves. I brought the girl home with me. There was nothing else I could do.
I thought my wife and kids would understand, but the moment they laid eyes on Jennifer, they were horrified. I told them she would be staying with us for a while.
The next few weeks were a living hell. The children couldn’t bear to look at Jennifer’s disgusting face. My wife begged me to get rid of the hideous creature. She said it was tearing our family apart. We couldn’t sleep. We couldn’t eat. Life became an endless nightmare. All because of Jennifer.
I tried to bring her to an orphanage, but she refused to leave the house. Every time I tried to take her, she would cling to the furniture and bite and scratch and kick. Then, she would look at me with those bulbous eyes and tears would start streaming down her distorted cheeks. I gave up. I just didn’t have the heart to get rid of her.
My wife eventually got tired of the excuses and she left me. She took the children with her.
I was determined to get rid of Jennifer once and for all. I went to a travelling circus and convinced the owner to take her. I told him he could exhibit her in his freak show. I gave him directions to my house and handed him the keys.
I stayed away from home for three days. When I eventually came back, the house was empty and the keys were under the doormat. I breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, I was free of her.
I was going to call my wife and tell her it was all over and she could bring the kids home. First, I wanted to get a drink. I opened the fridge and screamed in horror.
The mutilated corpse of a man was stuck inside the fridge. It was the circus owner. He was covered in blood and his intestines were hanging out. He had been partially eaten.
“Jennifer,” I croaked.
That night, under cover of darkness, I buried his body in the back yard. Jennifer just stood at the window and watched.
I was at my wit’s end. There was no getting rid of her now. She stayed by my side, weighing me down like an anchor around my neck.
I started drinking heavily. I didn’t want to think anymore. I didn’t want to remember. In my alcohol-fogged mind, each day bled into the next.
Then, one day, I saw the newspaper.
“Another child missing,” the headline read.
I got a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I went looking for Jennifer, dreading what I might find.
The cellar door was ajar. When I opened it, I was greeted by a horrible sight. Jennifer was crouched at the bottom of the stairs. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I saw what she was doing down there. She was feasting on the mutilated body of a little boy.
What happened next was like a dream. I remember picking up an axe. I remember grabbing Jennifer by the arm and dragging her out of the house. I remember her staring up at me with those hideous eyes.
Then, somehow, we were in the woods, far, far away from my house and I was tying Jennifer’s hands behind her back.
I laid her body across a tree stump and picked up the axe.
As I raised it above my head, I heard a man’s voice yell, “Hey you, stop!”
I was too intent on what I had to do to pay him any notice.
A shot rang out.
Then, suddenly, I was lying on the ground, coughing up blood. The man was standing over me.
As the life ebbed from my veins, I tried to warn him, but I couldn’t speak. All I could utter was a single word.