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Eat. Prey. Love

By , Nashota, WI

Shawn sat down across from the fifty-two-year-old white male who slouched into his chair. He laid two manila folders down on the metal table. “Don Palumbo.”

The man tilted his head at the sound of his name and let a little smile slip from his lips. “Detective.” They paused and exchanged silent stares. Don narrowed his aged eyes.
Shawn sat up straight. “Yesterday you confessed on tape that these twenty-three murders were tied to you.” Opening the top folder, one by one he slid the photos across the table. “Michelle Young, January first, 1983. Christopher Reed, October 30th, 1985. Jenny Jones, April 16th, 1999. Roberto Fernandez, November 24th, 2001. And so on...” Shawn continued to pass the photos of limbs spread across bathroom floors and bent knife blades lying next to sheets of human skins.
Don leaned in and pushed his cuffed hands across the metal table. He reached for the photo nearest to Shawn and paused. The echo of heavy clinking chains filled their ears. He picked it up and sat back in his seat. The longer his eyes melted over the paper, the larger his grin grew. He ran his fingers over the glossy varnish and closed his eyes.
“Amanda Beaumont, December 25th, 1992.” Don opened his eyes and looked up at the ceiling. “She had the best scent.”
Shawn pursed his lips and snatched the photo from the prisoner’s hands. “Did you think that before or after you gouged out her eyes and ripped out her tongue?”
Don chuckled. “Afterward, of course.”
Shawn swept all the photos into one pile and stuffed them back into the folder. He opened the second folder. Only one picture lay inside. He held it up to Don’s face. “Wendy Palumbo.”
The door to the interrogation room swung open. A female police officer walked over to Shawn and handed him 2 photos. “Detective, Forensics just delivered these photos that were taken from the last crime scene on July second. There was a malfunction with the printers last night. They apologize for the late arrival.”
Shawn studied the photos as the officer left the room. They were both a picture of the victim’s body lying in pieces across the living room floor. He narrowed his eyes, holding the photo of the hands and feet closer to his face. The rusty gears in his mind began to turn. Shawn paced back and forth in front of the one-way mirror and mumbled to himself. “Matt Green, May 14th, 2016. Feet, toes, hands, fingers…” Shawn stood still and looked at his hands. His eyes widened as he looked back at the photo. “The fingers.”
Shawn stomped across the room towards Don. He slammed the photo of the frozen amputated fingers on the table in front of him. On the fingers were 4 small imprints with barely noticeable bruising. He paused before pointing at the imprints. In a deep voice he said, “You attempted to eat your last victim?”
Don’s nose flared open and his hands formed fists. “Tell me something I don’t know.”
“Why don’t you tell me?” Shawn glared down at the murderer. “Where is your wife, Don?”
Don rested his hands on his stomach and let out a small burp. “I don’t know. Predators only keep track of their prey… not their meals.”

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