What She Was Feeding Him Crime Flash Fiction By Dominic Turnea

What She Was Feeding Him: Crime Flash Fiction By Dominic Turnea

Dominic Turnea, author of “What She Was Feeding Him”, is a writer of science fiction and horror. His work has appeared in Coffin Bell Journal, Dark Alley Press, and Anti-Heroin Chic among others.


Patrons of the Rosewood Grille watched Eliza shove two fingers down her throat before purging all she had eaten. This action, she would later defend to friends and loved ones, had been maternal instinct.

Two minutes before the act, Eliza was simply content. She had been enjoying a salmon risotto by herself, the late May breeze cooling away her steaming dish before every bite. Her half-empty water glass sat patiently off to the side, eagerly waiting for the busser. The guests and staff around her paid no mind. But now everyone watched, dumbfounded and terrified, as Eliza screamed and choked on her own two fingers as if she were trying to exercise every organ out of her body. No one would yet understand why.

Her phone was across the table which, prior to the public incident, she had been scrolling through anxiously. The phone received three new messages, all containing the same link to an article that had been published minutes ago:

Breaking News,” the article had read, “Eight bodies have been found in a freezer on St. Claire.

 Two minutes before the act, Eliza was simply content.

Eliza had lived on St. Claire for three years, now approaching a fourth year. She never thought to leave the area. What she loved about St.Claire were its quiet mornings and busy nights. It was the kind of neighborhood meant for the dreamers that once dreamt of suburbs, but created something more memorable. The kind of homes where working families could be raised, though—and oftentimes-–life was tough. A place where the streets were covered with chalk sketches and hopscotch; where bicycles were left in the front yard while cars parked atop gravel driveways. Eliza had lived in these spaces all her life. A familiar home in childhood and adulthood, now ruined.

Around 3 p.m. today, forty-two year old Albert Langsbury was arrested in his St. Claire home. Witnesses reported a young man, later identified to be eighteen-year-old Harry Ward, running out of Langsbury’s garage, naked, his skin purple, screaming for help. Ward had been declared missing since May 10.”

Eliza didn’t care to know the Ward boy. He was one of thirty students in the Intro to Psychology class she taught three semesters ago at the local Tri-C community college. He was in the post-secondary group—upperclassmen knocking out their basic college electives and high school courses with one class. Eliza admired these types of students, yet deep down envied their opportunities. She wished she would’ve taken a similar path herself, rather than spend four years in a private college working towards a psychology degree.

            She did know Albert Langsbury, though.

Two minutes before the act, Eliza had stared at Langsbury’s name on her phone screen, quietly shaking. She knew his face and knew the kind of smiles he put on: bushy brown eyebrows that raised when happy; an ugly scrunching face while he focused. He had a slim, everyday figure, although there was a time when he seemed much too frail for his own good. She even remembered what he was wearing the last time she saw him, which was a pair of blue jeans, navy-blue flip flops, and a green-striped flannel he always wore around the house.

His house. Her house. Their house.

            “‘They’re in the freezers. All of them are in the tool shed!’ Ward screamed as he ran down the street…”

She married Albert two summers ago, unaware of his past. He had lived in the home already. He was a make-it-yourself kind of man, and the tool shed he built himself was old, shoddy work. During that time there were no clear signs of his crimes. Eliza only entered the tool shed the first year of living together, knowing he had already claimed it as his “office”. Frankly, Albert was never suspicious or secretive of the space, and Eliza found his only quirks were for the shed’s organization. He always idolized the tools with a dedication she felt was borderline obsessive. They were always neat and organized by size, hanging on a blue pegboard he installed himself. A bookshelf of vintage VHS tapes stood above the large deep freezer that hadn’t, in his own words, worked for years.

For their first year living together, she would enter the shed each morning before teaching, carrying a scalding cup of coffee he would often leave cold and undrunk. He was always too busy filing invoices for the construction company he worked for. After dinner—which he always prepared some odd butchers meat he never had the receipts for-–Albert would retreat back into his shed and work. Eliza found this worker-bee mentality to be charming at first, something she could respect, though she always suggested utilizing the space more efficiently over time.

“A swing set would be nice. For the kids, some day,” she once suggested. He told her he’d think about it.

Eventually, she decided to leave him to his work at night, knowing he would always return to the house by midnight, shower, and slip into bed with her. Oftentimes they would make love this way.

“I’m so happy with you,” he would tell her when they finished. He only began telling her this the year she stopped visiting him in the shed.

“Police and investigative units recovered eight dismembered bodies that had been stored on ice in a deep freezer inside Langsbury’s shed. Several of the limbs have had their skin removed. It is highly speculated that these were to be consumed by Langsbury…”

That was the last sentence Eliza Langsbury read before she instinctually threw down her phone and shoved her fingers down her throat. In and out, again and again until she felt someone kick inside her. A pounding of a fist, she guessed, or perhaps a leg. She placed her hand below her stomach, shaking. For a long and terrible moment, she wondered if the six-month old boy growing inside her wanted more of what its father had been feeding them.


If you’ve enjoyed “What She Was Feeding Him”, you can visit our free digital archive of flash fiction here. Additionally, premium short fiction published by Mystery Tribune on a quarterly basis is available digitally here.

For online archive of short fiction (longer pieces) on Mystery Tribune website, you can visit here.

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