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The Renter

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Afbeelding 1

October 11 1924

He came in one night, it was a rather unpleasant evening while it was raining hard and thunderclaps filled the sky. The thunder made my little frail desk at the entrance hall shake as thick drops of water bombarded down and collapsed in loud splashes.

He was a rather inconspicuous man who, if you would see him in a crowd would not really be noticeable among the flock. Tall, middle aged and well-dressed in a sharp gray-striped suit, a thin tie and a black stylish hat. He carried two leather suitcases.

"Good evening," he said in a soft gentle voice, "excuse me for my unflattering appearance."

I smiled sparingly at him as he wrenched his hat in between his hands resulting in water hitting the floor.

"How can I help you?" I asked.

"I am Mr. Carson," he said, "most likely you have me already registered, I called."

I scrolled down the list of names.

"Ah yes," I said "here you are sir. You would like to rent a room?"

"Very much so." the man replied.

"For how long do you intend to stay?" I asked.

"One month," he answered.

"Very well sir." I said as I noted the formalities. "I expect the room will be to your liking," I continued, "it is small but with all amenities you will need."

I escorted him up the lapsed wooden stairs to the room I intended the gentleman to stay in. "You are my only guest sir," I told him, "so I put you in the room right above my own."

We entered the small room which was lit by an oil lamp. The room was old, and slightly dilapidated. There stood a table and chair, a bed, a linen closet and a nightstand with a water jug. "I hope you are comfortable here, Mr. Carson."

"Do not worry, I will." said Carson. "There is plenty of storage space." I bid Mr. Carson goodnight and left him. As I was walking down the stairs I thought I noticed a strange smell coming from Carson's suitcase.

Downstairs, I closed the lodging house as I decided it had been a long and tiresome day. I sat down and opened the evening newspaper. As I read the paper it began with a rather gruesome headline: "Girl brutally murdered." I shrugged. Would I even want to read that? Eventually curiosity got the better of me. The article read:

"Police forces are baffled to discover another gruesome murder this evening. The victim has been identified as 11-year old Elle Jennings, she was found in an alley by a passer-by. It appears her throat had been slit and much of her blood has been lost. A more horrific detail is that her eyes have been forcefully removed."

I stopped reading and laid the paper away from me. This was the umpteenth child killing in recent months. As far as I recollected there had been five, now six. There was a murderer on the prowl and it made us all uneasy. I decided I would not think about it anymore and go to bed.

October 19

Mr. Carson has been here for a couple of days now. I have come to know him as a very calm and demure man. We do not speak much, but whenever we do he is always very polite and alluring towards me. He is usually out. I want to get to know him a little better. What I don't find to my liking is that he is very noisy at night.

Often I hear heavy sounds as if he is dragging the cupboard and other furniture around restlessly. Also it sounds as if doors are opened and closed all the time. I want to talk with him some more. I have the feeling that he is a more intriguing person than he seems to be.

October 22

Panic increases, as there have been three more murders in two days. Two children were found in an abandoned warehouse not far from here. They had both been raped and their throats had been cut. Much in the fashion of the previous murders, their eyes had been gouged out.

A disturbing detail was that their bodies had been posed, embracing one another. The other was a little girl who had been stabbed savagely, eighteen times and her stomach cut open. The intestines had been removed. Whoever was doing this was completely deranged.

I talked about it with Mr. Carson that evening.

"Do not worry about it too much sir," he said, "It is but an expression of humanity in its purest form."

I found it strange that Carson thought of brutal murder as "an expression of humanity." Somehow suspicions began to grow in my mind. But they made no sense. Certainly Carson had a queer opinion on the subject but I should not think badly of my guest.

However, I still felt uneasy when I heard the sounds again from his room. It sounded somewhat like growling.

October 29

The most gruesome discovery yet was made today in a meadow a few miles from here. A young girl, throat cut, eyes removed and her body impaled on the pole of a fence. Hysteria is growing in the area, no one feels safe. With each victim this person is getting more brutal. Only Mr. Carson seems unfazed by it all.

He maintains his usually calm charming behavior. I also began to notice when he was out and I was cleaning the rooms, an ill stench coming from Carson's room. I tried the door but it was locked.

October 30

Carson had been out all day when he suddenly came barging into the lobby late in the evening supporting a young man who could barely stand. The young-man was around twenty-three years old and was from the looks of it either homeless, or an alcoholic. I expected the latter, as I could smell heavy beverage around them both.

Mr. Carson took him up the stairs. I did not ask any questions since I figured it was none of my business. In retrospect, if I had, the poor boy might still be alive today.

Later that evening I heard the bed above me shriek and I could hear painful grunts. A while later, a loud sharp thud sound as if a blunt object struck a surface with immense force. After that, silence. I was too scared to move, sleep did not come.

November 11

Exactly one month after Mr. Carson had first checked in to my lodging there was a breakthrough in the murder case. A girl had been assaulted and had managed to escape.

She stated she was walking home when a figure attacked her. She described him as a middle aged well dressed gentleman. He held a large, sharp butcher knife. He stabbed her several times in the side and leg but she had managed to outrun him and now had given the police a detailed description.

The sketch of the murderer had been published in the newspapers. When I saw it I was certain my suspicions had been correct. The man in the sketch looked identical to Carson. Now I knew what I had to do. It would take too long to contact the police. I had a revolver. It had to end, tonight.

I was terrified to learn that the child murderer had been my guest all this time. But he would not make any more victims. He had to die. Until late at night I waited. I contemplated if I should not still call the police, but I came to the conclusion, will it not reluctantly, that I had to do it. I took my revolver from a drawer underneath my desk and loaded it. I knew Carson was home as he had not left his room all day, at least I had not seen him leave. Awfully slow, I ascended the treads of the stairs.

They creaked horribly and I prayed Carson would not hear. When I came to the door, the stench of rot hit my nostrils. The odor of rotting flesh emerged from behind the door. My bravery began to deteriorate rapidly.

Slowly and as quietly as possible I opened the door. I stepped into the room. The revolver fell out of my trembling hand. I could not move. I was nailed to the ground from the sheer ghastly horror I beheld.

The walls of the room were splattered with blood. Some was fresh, some a few weeks old. The sheets on the bed were ripped and the furniture had fallen over. Blood dripped off the walls and all through the room lay limbs and decomposing lumps of flesh scattered around.

Arms, legs, and a decapitated head that stared lifelessly at me with hollow eye sockets. The body parts were rotting and decaying and the smell was sickening. Some had maggots crawling over them. All body parts wore savagely deep bite marks.

Carson himself sat on the floor behind me, hunched over on hands and knees. His face buried in something that was lying on the floor in front of him. It was the corpse of the young-man he had taken into his room. He was bent over a raw flesh wound in the side of the body. I saw him gormandize the boy, ripping off big pieces of flesh with his bare teeth and eating them while making grotesque sounds.

He was devouring the corpse in the same manner a wild beast does its prey. I noticed there were bites all over the young-man. I realize I could have shot him at this moment, but was too terrified to do so.

Then, Carson noticed me. He turned to me, and I gasped for air. I was trembling and could not move a muscle. His mouth smeared with fresh blood as were his cheeks, chin and hands. His eyes were empty, devoid of any civility, any humanity. He growled at me like a wild animal, blood staining his teeth.

He grabbed a sharp large knife, laying next to him, and launched at me. I managed to regain my senses and duck away. Carson stabbed me in the leg; I repressed a scream as the pain seared through me. Carson grabbed my leg and began to suck blood out of the wound. I kicked him away, and fell backwards.

Carson scratched my chest with the knife. I smelled blood in his breath.

"Why?" I managed to stumble.

Carson replied in a horrific inhuman voice, "I...need...life."

He raised the knife above his head.

Then, I must have lost consciousness because after that I remember nothing.

I awoke in a hospital bed surrounded by doctors and police investigators. I was treated in the hospital for my wounds and afterwards seen by and talked extensively to several psychologists and psychiatrists who helped me as well as they could. The greatest shock came to me however when I was eventually told Carson had disappeared without a trace.

It was a mystery why he left me alive. I was told that the severed parts had belonged to several earlier victims. I was treated well and long. Eventually I could return home.

I still woke often at night, covered in sweat because of terrible nightmares, but little by little I could move on with my life. I abandoned my lodging house of course, never again could I trust someone.

October, 1930

I sat in front of my window one evening when I noticed something laying in my front yard. It rained very hard but despite this I went outside to take a look. As I approached the figure I noticed it was human. When I reached it, I moved backwards.

It was the dead body of a small boy. His throat had been cut from ear to ear. His eye sockets empty and small pieces of his flesh missing. In terror I looked up.

On the other side of the street I noticed someone looking at me. It was a tall, middle-aged, well-dressed man.

I started screaming uncontrollably...




Written by: Noah D. Glimmerveen 

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