Today’s bizarre and chilling story comes from a series of emails allegedly written by a man named Leonard Tomlins — copies of which were obtained from police records in a 2014 missing persons investigation. Though officials attached to the case still consider Tomlins a “person of interest” in connection with the disappearances of Sarah Lither and Samuel Tomlins-Lither, they also suspect that Leonard Tomlins is no longer alive.
The first email, sent to a friend named James Lang, reveals that Leonard was preparing to leave his house to visit someone named “Sam” when he was surprised to find a lone dog sitting by his front door. The ragged-looking animal looked like a stray, except for a hand-written note attached to a string around its neck.
The note read “GIVE IT EVERYTHING.”
Leonard assumed someone had anonymously dropped off the animal in the hope of finding a new home for it. Feeling sorry for the scrawny little pup, he took it in and looked after it, canceling his planned visit to Sam — along with a pending discussion about an undisclosed “case.”
The next email, dated several days later, is addressed to one Helen Ansbury, receptionist at an unnamed clinic where Sam — now revealed to be Leonard’s young son — had exhibited violent and destructive behavior in the waiting area; he even reportedly bit Ansbury on the hand.
Leonard apologizes profusely, further revealing that Sam told Ansbury a strange story about the mysterious dog, claiming his parents had bought it for him two years ago, and that he was upset about their plans to euthanize the animal. Leonard claims none of Sam’s story is true, that the dog is not his, and that he and Sam’s mother have been separated for many years.
From here, the emails take an even darker, more mysterious turn.
The next entry, dated May 27 2014, is addressed to a man named James Lang, who is apparently imprisoned for an undisclosed crime, but has been granted limited email access due to good behavior.
In this message, Leonard is clearly becoming distraught about his son’s odd behavior, particularly where the dog is concerned: the boy is somehow convinced that the dog has been in the family for years, and that Leonard would kill the animal if Sam misbehaved. Leonard decides to adopt the dog for real, in the hope it will calm his son’s increasing distress.
The only problem is, Leonard has a bad feeling about that dog:
When Sam’s not here it sits and looks at me, and almost never moves… It’s just not right. It doesn’t move right, or behave right. When Sam does come here it acts normal, but only around him, and even then it’s like it guards him from me. I check in on him at night, and it sits on his bed and just stares, and if I come too close, it growls. There’s some other, really weird stuff too: I’ve checked a hundred times, and I’m desperate to hear other ideas, but I swear this dog hasn’t been to the toilet at all… and the damn thing eats so much. I must be missing some piece of the puzzle, like maybe it digs a hole and buries the mess? You used to have dogs, is that something they do?
The next email is dated about a week later, in which Leonard follows up with Lang (who is still in prison) after a phone call. Apparently, Lang had offered some suggestions on how to monitor the dog’s strange behavior patterns, including sprinkling talcum powder on the floor to see where it’s going when he’s not watching. The results were not at all what he expected.
“The marks just got real weird,” Leonard writes, referring to the dog’s paw prints. “They started out looking like a dog’s, but changed with each new print, and next thing you know… I’m beginning to think this is actually Sam.”
He goes on to describe his son’s increasingly bizarre behavior, which includes a growing obsession with the dog, sitting next to it for hours on end and refusing to let anyone come near them. Sam was also starting to make strange, animalistic noises, and at one point Leonard caught him letting the dog lick the blood from a cut on his arm; it’s unclear as to whether the boy deliberately cut himself, but he told his father that the dog was “hungry.”
He also revealed something very unsettling Sam once told him: the boy claimed the dog couldn’t come with him when he returned to his mother’s house (she had custody of Sam on alternating months), and insisted that the animal stay with his father… “to make sure Daddy behaves.”
Circumstances worsened considerably when Leonard attempted to take the dog to the vet for a checkup and vaccinations. According to an email dated June 6, the dog savagely attacked a veterinary assistant, biting her and knocking her to the floor, where she received a concussion as well. In the process, another client’s dog was killed; the details of this are a bit sketchy, but the injured assistant claimed the dog swallowed it whole… “like a snake.”
The next email from police records is dated over three months later: Leonard writes again to the incarcerated James Lang, and this time it’s revealed that Sarah has gone missing sometime during that interval, and that police and volunteers have been searching for her. With resources stretched to the limit, investigators still had not produced any useful leads, and now Leonard himself appears to be the only one seriously dedicated to finding his estranged wife.
The message to Lang ends on an ominous note: apparently, following Sarah’s disappearance, Sam’s mood seemed to be steadily improving… when the boy learned he would now be living with his father full-time, he began to shout for joy.
“I knew he’d fix it,” the boy said repeatedly, his voice cold and confident.
Leonard Tomlins’ final, chilling email — at least according to what police have on file — was again written to Lang, and sent November 21. It begins with a heartfelt apology for failing to stay in communication with the man who seems to be Leonard’s only remaining friend.
Then, the message becomes a mysterious warning…
I just want you to know that they’ll come and ask questions. They’re going to comb this house, and they’re going to want to know so much and they’ll think I’ve got the answers but fuck man… I don’t. You’ll believe me, won’t you? You know I would never hurt Sam, or Sarah.
He goes on to explain that he’d just stepped out for a moment to go shopping, leaving Sam and the dog behind… and when he returned, they were gone.
But it was worse than that — the house was also in complete disarray, looking like it had been violently ransacked, and reeking with a horrible, rotting smell.
The nauseating odor was apparently emanating from a strange, oily, red-black substance that was splattered across the floor and walls of every room. It was if something had exploded, spraying the walls with gallons of clotted blood and shit.
Then Leonard saw something embedded in one of the stinking mounds adhered to the wall. On closer observation, he realized it was a human tooth.
Choking back the urge to vomit, Leonard saw more objects stuck to the mess on the walls… including a woman’s ring. Sarah’s ring.
He also spotted a dog collar on the floor.
Leonard confided to his friend that he fears he has gone mad… and isn’t entirely sure he’s innocent. All he knows is that he still hasn’t found any further traces of his wife and son… and that the whole unearthly nightmare began when that dog appeared at his front door.
The final paragraph is also the last anyone has heard from Leonard Tomlins:
I won’t be here when you get out. If they ask you about me you can show them this, it won’t help much though. I’ll be dead. I’ve got nothing left. Sarah’s gone. Sam’s gone.
I think I get it now though.
GIVE IT EVERYTHING.
[Spoilers begin below]
“Give It Everything” is the first of several chilling short stories by author Christian Wallis, and it has recently risen in profile among the creepypasta community thanks to its subtle, sinister presentation and chilling twist, which flips the script on our common perception of dogs and their supposedly unconditional love for their human companions. Expect more terrifying tales from Wallis in the future!