The half-plucked chickens.

Early on a Thursday morning, at around 3:30 in the morning, an elderly woman woke to severe pain in her back. She had been suffering for weeks and had been waking up frequently during the night. She struggled to reach over and grab her bottle of painkillers. She fumbled with the lid and managed to pop out a single pill. She swallowed it with a gulp of water from the cup by her bedside.

She lay back in bed, propped upright by her pillow. After a few moments she began to feel the relief brought by the pills. She didn't like taking the medication - she knew painkillers were usually quite bad for your health, especially if you took them night after night (which she did). But she had no other choice - her doctor had prescribed her a multitude of different medications, but it was such a problem to handle that the elderly woman couldn't manage it all.

Sighing, she lowered herself carefully back down on the bed.

She closed her eyes and waited for the relaxing power of sleep. However, as she was drifting off, she heard a horrific scream coming from outside. She sat up, sweating. She looked over at her clock and saw that it was 4:15. She had fallen asleep after all. Comforted by the thought that the scream was part of a dream, she settled herself down again and closed her eyes. No sooner had she done that, she heard the scream again. She sat bolt right up in bed, but as she did so, a hot streak of pain shot through her back, and she collapsed.

Pain searing through her body, she lay as still as she could, and listened.

A few minutes later, another scream echoed across the street outside. However she realized it wasn't a human scream - it was that of an animal. Perhaps a bird of some sort. Could there be some sort of dying animal outside?

She looked over at her clock again.

It was 4:30. She knew she wasn't going to fall asleep again. Slowly, she raised herself off of the bed, and took another painkiller. She then proceeded to get dressed. By the time she was at the front door, cane in one hand and torch in the other, it was 4:45. Slowly, she opened the door and ventured outside.

It was still pitch black outside. The only light that was provided was by her torch. She swept the light over the road, looking around to see if she could find the origin of the scream. Seeing nothing out of the ordinary, she took a slow walk down the road.

She suddenly fell a chill. What was she doing out here, wandering the streets in the middle of the night? She should be in bed, reading a book. Not out the dark, hunting what was probably a figure of her imagination. But she had always been curious from a very young age, and had always needed to know more. Swallowing her fear, she slowly crept forward along the street. Shadows danced around her, and her anxiety grew.

Suddenly the animalistic scream echoed across the street again. She spun round to face where it had come from, and she couldn't believe what she saw.

For years there had been an old abandoned slaughterhouse sitting on a hill besides her house. But, this night the lights were ablaze with yellow light.

Silhouetted in the window was a man holding a knife.

Terrified, she stumbled backwards and fell. Her cane and torch clattered loudly across the road. As she trembled on the road, she noticed the figure in the window turn his head ominously. Then suddenly he disappeared, and the lights went out.

She froze, listening. She could hear a voice, whispering to her. Suddenly she realized that it was the scream she had heard earlier, but it sounded muffled. She looked around desperately. Her house was close, she could run - but her back was tearing up and she couldn't move properly.

Suddenly a shadow fell over her.

She looked up, and standing in front of her was a tall man. His dark hair was greasy and dirty, sitting unevenly on his misshapen face. He looked like he'd just finished working in a sawmill - he was oily and covered in wood chippings and strangely...feathers. His clothes were ragged and patched, with several rips showing through to ugly ripped skin. He wore a cracking leather watch. The hands on the watch were ticking back and forth insanely, as though they were being twisted by invisible hands.

But the worst part about him was his eyes...and the blood. Blood seeped through his clothes, staining his gloves, one of which held an old rusty knife. His eyes were speckled with red dots and his pupils were pure black. With a cry of fear, the elderly woman tried to scramble backwards. The man lifted the knife and plunged it straight through her body. Her scream was cut short as her spine was splintered and her blood splattered across the ground.

Police Report Summarization: An hour after Mrs. Scarlett's disappearance was reported, police investigators arrived on the scene. After finding nothing in Mrs. Scarlett's house, they found the blood of what was believed to be Mrs. Scarlett. Later they found a trail of blood that led to an old slaughterhouse. Inside they found the disturbing site of Mrs. Scarlett mangled body.

Her head had been removed with a ragged cutting knife, and her open neck had been stuffed with chicken feathers. Several other bodies were found in a meat locker, similarly stuffed with chicken feathers. All over the slaughterhouse half-plucked chickens were hung on hooks. Hundreds of chickens covered the slaughterhouse ceilings.

No evidence of the killer was found.

Three weeks later, the two policeman went missing while out on highway patrol. When a group of policeman were sent to close the slaughterhouse, they found the stuffed bodies of the policeman. The slaughterhouse was burnt to the ground, and the case was closed.

But...does that mean that the story is closed? Oh, no, no. The killer lives on....

You may ask, how do I know this? How do I know what happened to Mrs. Scarlett before her death, when nobody else knows? Think about it, and maybe you'll realize how.

- CW