The man she was accompanying exited the truck and stretched his legs.
"Uh, it might just be my imagination," Veronica started, "but it looks like your door's been knocked down."
"Shit!" The man, Jericho, rushed to the house.
Veronica followed a few steps behind. When he stopped at the doorway, she looked in over his shoulder. "The door was knocked outward," she noted. "The door would only be knocked outward if someone was trying to escape from the house, rather than break in."
"Shit, shit, shit!" Jericho groaned. He gripped handfuls of his brown hair, scowling.
"What?" the young woman demanded. "What is your problem?"
"Shut up! Just shut up, please." He stepped into the house and felt the wall for the light switch. When the light flicked on, the pair gasped simultaneously. "Dumpling!"
Lying on the floor a few feet away was Jericho's dog Dumpling. Her brown fur was matted with the blood that pooled around her mutilated body. Her intestines spilled out of a gaping wound in her side and belly.
Veronica cupped her trembling hands over her mouth, horrified. "Oh my God," she wheezed. Little footprints led from the dead dog to the door. On the fallen door were smeared handprints that were much too small to be an adult's.
Jericho shook himself out of his daze and hurried down the hall. He stopped when he saw the door at the very end laying on the floor. The room was empty except for a bare mattress and a broken chain attached to the wall. "That little bastard!" he ...
... middle of paper ...
... the hell's your problem?"
"You don't have t-- nevermind. I don't know why I even bother."
"Nom nom?" Dezi smiled up hopefully.
"Stop being cute," Jericho chuckled. "I can't punish you when you do that." He sat the boy on his feet.
Veronica looked up, tears slipping down her face. "H-hurts," she whimpered. "Jeric... Jericho!"
Dezi bounced happily on his heels, staring down at her with a wicked smile. "Can I eat now, Jericho?" he asked.
"Knock yourself out."
His smile grew. The blood splattered on his little body made him look like an imp from hell.
Veronica gasped as he kneeled before her. Disregarding the horrible pain in her skull, she tried to lift herself.
Dezi tangled his small fingers in Veronica's dark hair and yanked her closer. He opened his mouth to reveal small but sharp needle-like teeth before bending down and closing his jaw around her throat.
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