Maybe it was because he walked like a robotic penguin, slopped up tangerine Jell-O daily, and coughed up a green glob of his lung every evening. Nobody like that could be dangerous, right?

But Robby and I knew. We’d been following Gramp’s keen path of littered bodies and unexplained disappearances for months. Evidence was stacking up: shiny shed tools, sketchy alibis, bulk orders of Clorox, and his new coffee table book, 50 Shades of Postmortem, wasn’t his own preparation for the inevitable.

Really, who knew? That George H. Buckland was a real murderer, a charming and calculating one at that.

We suspected his first victim was Mildred Denton. Those cotton-candy pink, puckered lips would never again try to tempt Mr. Buckland into the sack, then Lillian Galveston—bitchy little broad almost deserved it—Fran Pollock, William Moore, Betty Hanks, John Potter … the list was probably as long as his sentences.

Now it wasn’t to say that we wanted to see Old Pops fry in the chair, though we couldn’t help enact the scene with jawbreaker eyes and a limp, taffy tongue. If asked, we both would have said that we loved G. George more than anything. He taught us all that we knew, how to fish and gut it, hunt and skin it, even let us watch Sniper Diaries when we were just sticky obnoxious little shits.

It all made sense when you thought about it. So what were we supposed to do? Robby came over to my house one night, had Gramp’s old hunting rifle and a carving blade tucked into his belt. I knew what decision he had come to, always having looked up to the old man. So I thought to myself, as I’d done many times before, “What would Judge George H. Buckland do?”

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