Chapter 2 in "Peter"

Jannie went back to Grapely Drive the next day. She wanted to find some information about Peter. She figured asking a few of his neighbors. She started with the man who was washing his car and sneered at her. She figured that she would get a cynical response, but it was well worth it. Jannie spotted his house by his '94 Honda with a duct-taped window and then knocked on the man's door. 

The door opens slightly to reveal the fifty-something-year-old in his underwear, a white t-shirt, and a skimpy, red, plaid robe. The door was opened as far as the brass chain lock on the door would allow. "Who is it?" he said in a surly manner - short enough to let Jannie know he does not want to be bothered, but long enough to let the reek of three-day-old beer escape from his mouth.

"Hello. I'm Jannie Jensen, and I work for the Mossfield Press. I've come to ask you some questions about this child named Peter. He lived in the house numbered 64-"

"Yeah, I know where that kid lived. Why do you want to know about him?"

"Well, you see, he fell out of a tree with a bloody back and I called an ambulance. He died yesterday."

"Oh God! As if my life couldn't get any worse! Come in."

The man unlocked the door and opened it so Jannie could come into his house. "Name's Greg, by the way."

"Oh, why thank you, Greg," said Jannie, trying to hide her disgust with the horrible living room. The wallpaper that was put there in the 80's was peeling off, revealing hideous water damage. Some places had huge holes that showed the old insulation. An ancient sofa, folding chairs, and a thirty-year-old TV with rabbit ears standing on a meager stand were the only decorations in the small room.

Jannie sits on one of the folding chairs and Greg on the sofa. "Ok, this kid's story is sick. He was from this rich family called the Laroches. They were philanthropists and nice people and all that. Well, these workers for the company they owned plotted against them and broke into their house and killed them. They chased after Peter, but he got away quickly. He settled into that boarded up house to hide from the killers. He was about five or six at the time. Amazing story."

"Wow. That's interesting. Do you know why the garden is so nice all the time though?"

"Well, he had someone do it for him. One of the former workers who worked at his family's estate. I think his last name is Ramos. You should look him up for some more info. I'm sorry I don't know too much about Peter. He was kinda scared of me - well, everyone in general. I think the killers scared him for life."

"Ok then. Thank you so much," said Jannie, "but how come you know so much about this Peter Laroche if you've never really talked to him?"

"Stuff goes around in this neighborhood pretty quickly," said Greg, "Oh, it's such a shame little Peter had to go away like that. Breaks my heart."

Jannie and Greg gave their leave-takings and then Jannie leaves the poor house. "Ok," she thinks to herself, "I got so much information from this man. First, I got his last name. Now I can research his family and find out what happened to their estate and money. Also, I have to find this Ramos person. Hopefully he has some more info on Peter. But I still have some questions: Why was the house only sorta dusty? How did he eat and bathe and all that? And why was his back all bloody? What was he doing? Oh, how I want to find out all these answers!" Jannie, excited by her now clearer task, raced to Jenna Fitzgerald's office.

The End

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