The sun was barely about to set over the lonely down of Sherringham when the bell of Monty's Meat House rang as the door opened. A stocky, middle-aged man entered to the unpleasant smell of raw meat. Monty Wilson, the shop's namesake looked up from cleaning the counter and quietly greeted the man who had just entered.
"Hello, Rick, what brings you to my shop?"
"Cut out the fake pleasantries," Rick snapped." You know very well why I am here."
"That I do know," Monty continued in his quiet, calm tone." I was hoping you will give me more time to raise the money."
"How much more time do you need?" Rick Porter asked incredulously. "You were supposed to pay me back half a dozen months ago!"
"Business has not been going well, this town's population is small enough, on top of that people prefer the go to the new butcher shop near the town center," Monty said, bitterness evident in his voice.
"I can't help that. Peter will be heading to college soon, I need that money!", Rick said urgently.
"Two weeks. I just need two weeks more, Rick, please-" Monty was cut off.
"If I don't get the money today, I will involve the police, I am not kidding!", Rick threatened.
As soon as the word "police" was mentioned, Monty looked up and stared at Rick thoughtfully for a moment. An awkward silence followed which Monty soon broke.
"All right, Rick, I will repay you today, "Monty said.
"Thank you," Rick replied in a tone of relief.
"Come into my kitchen, won't you? I keep my cash in there," Monty explained, beckoning Rick into a room which he called his kitchen. He used it for chopping meat, owing to the room being covered in blood usually but now it was squeaky clean. Monty had cleaned it up minutes before. He had no intention to cut up another animal that night.
Rick entered the room hesitantly. Monty then went inside, closing the door after him.
There was a strange gleam in his eyes.
At about 7 o'clock the same evening, Monty heard the tinkling sound of his door opening and saw a woman entering his shop.
It was Mona Porter.
"Mr. Wilson, you haven't seen Rick anywhere, have you?" she asked worriedly.
"Can't say I have, Ma'am," Monty said, surprised with the smoothness of his lie.
"Curse the man, I told him to come back home by half-past 6. He was supposed to bring to me some meat for tonight's supper," Mrs. Porter explained." Can you please pack up three pieces of steak for me?"
"Of course, " Monty replied and went inside his kitchen.
After some time he came back with three shocking red pieces of meat.
"I say!," Mrs. Porter exclaimed. "That's some gorgeous steak cuts you have got there!"
Monty smiled in a secretive way," I cut it up not half an hour ago, Ma'am."
Mrs. Porter paid Monty and sighed," I do wish Rick will not be late tonight, we will have an early dinner since Peter is going to London first thing tomorrow morning."
"Don't worry, Ma'am, all things return home," Monty said, thinking of the sharp knife which lay at his now blood-stained sink. "One way or another, they always return home."