“Remind me again which house is Chipper Shredder Boy’s,” Debra asked her best friend, Arlene as the two of them shared a pot of tea in the latter’s dining room.
“Three houses down, in the direction of Killaly Street,” Arlene replied.
“Do you really think that he’s a serial killer?”
Arlene had been telling people all about her weird neighbour ever since he moved in a year ago. Maybe he wasn’t a serial killer, but he was definitely a freak. She came to that conclusion three days after he arrived. Within hours of unloading the moving van, Arlene’s new neighbour had his chipper shredder machine going in full force. Nothing strange about that, she thought at first. New owner, maybe he hates the landscaping and wants to clean up the yard. The next day when she heard it running she thought that he must really hate the yard. It was the day after that when she first suspected something was up.
“If he’s cutting back trees,” she asked herself, “then how come the yard doesn’t look any more bare than what it did three days ago? And why doesn’t he just toss the brush into the woods behind his house? That’s what all of us on this side of the road do.”
Day after day, Arlene continued to hear his chipper shredder run. She began to notice other strange things about her neighbour as well; like the security cameras mounted on the roof of his house, the No Trespassing sign on his front lawn, and how he waited until after dark to mow his lawn. When winter came, he never bothered to shovel his sidewalk, but Arlene always saw him shoveling the woods out back after each and every snowfall. She also made note of the super tall shed that he built, even though he has a two-car garage.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s an ice house,” Arlene told Debra. “He likely stores the bodies there until it’s warm enough for him to fire up the chipper shredder again.”
“If he is a serial killer,” Debra said, “then how come we haven’t heard about any missing people?”
“I don’t know,” Arlene responded. “Maybe he’s a hit man for the mob. They’re not about to report anyone missing, now are they?”
“I guess not. Hey wait, I read something in the paper not too long ago about all the cats that have been disappearing lately. You don’t think that’s why he runs his chipper shredder so much, do you? Yuck!”
Just then, Eloise MacDonald from two streets over opened her back door and called for her cat. “Fluffy! Dinner’s ready. Come inside! Fluffy? Where are you, fluffy?” Meanwhile, three doors down from Arlene, Chipper Shredder boy was cranking up his favourite toy.