It was dark by the time Lisa and Ashish arrived at the house. There were others working on a search warrant, but nothing was forthcoming, yet. Lisa paced in front of the gate and tried her best to be patient, but her instincts had her insides churning.
“Women who are going bald get wigs,” she said. “And women who wear glasses can get colored contacts.” She was about to say something more when she heard a faint cry for help. It came from the other side of the house, from the back yard.
Ashish heard something but thought Lisa mumbled something. He began to speak in response, but she shushed him. The cry came again, and Lisa leapt the fence. For all her teasing with Emily, Lisa was in fact a mother who knew the cry of a child when she heard it. Ashish would follow, but even if he had been young and in perfect shape he would not have been able to keep up.
Lisa rounded the house and found there were several poles set back among the trees where they would be invisible from the street as well as invisible to neighbors with prying eyes. Two of the poles had figures in the dark tied to them. They were small figures, like children, and tied above a platform that kept them from being dog meat.
Lisa spun around at the sound of a growl. How could she have forgotten? She whipped out her gun, but one of the dogs leapt and clamped down on her arm. It bit right to the bone and the gun fell to the ground. Lisa screamed, but kept her head. As the second dog leapt at her throat, she knocked it away with a strong punch to the head. Then she pulled out a knife and rammed it deep into the neck of the one who had her arm pinned. The jaw loosened as the dog howled and whimpered, but it did not let go.
The second dog was on her again, but Lisa pulled out her knife and slashed at the dog and it backed up to look for a better position. Lisa stabbed the first one again, but this time it clamped down harder. She was in tears from the pain, but managed to lift her arm which raised the dog on its hind legs. Then she gutted it, and at last it let go as the second dog bit her thigh.
A gun went off, and the dog, which only cut her thigh, let go to snap at its own rear. Lisa took advantage by stabbing the beast in the ear. She drove her knife right through the skull, where it snapped off in the dog’s head, and the dog collapsed.
Ashish came running up and had his handkerchief out to wrap her arm. Lisa limped, but could walk. She handed Ashish her second knife so he could set the children free while she picked up her gun and limped to the house. The lights had all come on, and the woman Dot Guinness, alias Elena Montrose came out the back door dressed only in a nightgown and robe.
“You there,” she yelled and pointed at Ashish. “You leave my fertilizer alone.”
“Back inside,” Lisa pointed her gun at the woman, though the woman was weaponless. “You need to answer some questions.” Lisa pulled Ashish’s wrap around her arm tight to stop the bleeding from several holes. To be honest, she wanted to faint from the pain, but her determination overruled that consideration.
The woman did not resist, and on recognizing the detective, she gladly invited her in. She wanted to show off her things. She was very proud of all she had accomplished. The only thing Lisa could think was how unsterile Ashish’s handkerchief was. Then she almost could not go inside because of the smell.
Dot Guinness had a living room full of machinery including a meat grinder and a wood chipper which she said was wonderful on bones. “Of course, the best bones go to my boys. Speaking of which, where are my boys?”
“Outside,” Lisa said in a very flat voice.
“Oh, that’s good. They will guard the fertilizer.”
“So tell me, do they die of exposure or starvation?”
“What? Oh now don’t be silly. Fertilizer doesn’t die.”
“You know, the last thing my husband said was the Lord will provide. And you know, Ed was right.”
Lisa felt the red flag. It was palpable “So what happened to your husband?”
“Oh, I killed him and ate him. I mean, who wouldn’t? He was delicious. But it turns out he was right about a lot of things. Who knew? When he bought that big freezer in the garage, I said he was crazy. He said he was going to fill it with venison, but I knew he wasn’t a hunter. But you know, it has come in real handy over the years, yes it has.”
Millsaps came in the front door at that point with the search warrant. She directed two officers to the freezer in the garage, and Dot yelled after the men. “You’ll find everything in order there.” She turned again to Lisa. “I have everything dated and marked M and F.”
“M and F?” Millsaps asked.
“Male and female,” Lisa guessed.
“That’s right. The females make good steaks. Goodness, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. But the males are sometimes tough. They need to be baked and sauced like a good barbeque. I have found some excellent recipes over the years. I would be happy to share them with you.”
“No thank you,” Lisa said as she limped to the door and went back outside. The loss of blood was beginning to have its way, but the ambulance pulled up and she was sure she could limp that far, at least. Ashish met her by the door, having had the good sense not to bring the children through the house. She leaned on his shoulder.
“You are hurt pretty bad,” Ashish nodded.
“This?” Lisa held up her arm. “This will heal in a few days and probably not even scar.” Ashish nodded and helped her to the ambulance. “Won’t the girls be surprised to see me?” She said, before the ambulance drove her off.