The Kroft Family - The Murder of One

-The First Book in the Kroft Series- Michael Kroft's life wasn't perfect. He shared a home with his irritating sisters Flo and Dianne and annoying older brother George. His father was an alcoholic with anger issues, and his mother was pregnant with, yet another girl. Then Alice was born. And things went from bad to worse. Because Alice wasn't Alice Kroft, she was Alice Peters. And the day his father found out, his mother was murdered. Now with his dad the prime suspect of a murder investigation, Drew Peters asking for 'his daughter' back, and social services against them, Michael must unite his siblings so they can raise Alice as a Kroft, and keep Drew Peters grubby hands off her.

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11. Dianne

"Do we pick up?" I asked the group, all of our hands lingered over the screen.

"I don't think we should..." George trailed off, unsure.

"We shouldn't" Flo agreed, "we should confront Dianne before we confront Zach. They might just be in a normal relationship."

"Or..."

"Or what George? You think she murdered her own mother?" Flo snapped. Flo angry was a rare sight, an was often sparked by feelings of betrayal, rather than being ticked off. I looked up into her sharp eyes, and questioned what she was feeling at that moment. To have been so quick to defend the same person, a sister in fact, who had withheld such a troublesome truth, what sort of emotion could trigger that?

"I never said that Florence. I just think that...maybe there's a reason she kept this from us? It might not even be related to mother. But, ya' know, there has to be a reason why." George fumbled, trying to expand upon his point, and failing.

All this time, the phone still rang. Did ringtones usually last this long? Instead of replying to George, Flo looked at the phone, and we all did the same. Eying it as though it were a venomous snake. Waiting for it to again be silent. Waiting.

To our immediate relief, the ringtone ended quickly, and we all relaxed. That decision over, on to the next. How to confront Dianne. Dianne was, interesting. When she was younger she was apparently very young, she used to wear tutu's and dance to her pink stereo. I can still remember sunny days in the garden, she used to dress me up in her old costumes and force me to dance with her. That's the only thing that's stayed the same, her fire, her force. Now, she's an all black shut door. Reasoning with her would be like prying open a locked chest with manicure scissors.

"Let me do the talking, I'm the eldest." George offered, getting up from his seat.

"Let me, I'm the smartest" Flo argued, also standing up.

"How about me? If I can handle dad, I can handle Dianne." I put my name in the hat, but they hardly heard me.

"You never let me take the lead, just this once, trust me" George tried to sway Flo. He held his gaze on her, waiting her out.

"Fine" she gave in, "but I will step in if you start to make a pigs end of it all", and with a small sigh and a flick of her hair, she followed after an ecstatic George.

*~*~*~*

No one ever went in Dianne's room. It was suicide to do so. She was extremely private about went on in there, if you asked she'd just glare. So it's fair to say George's 'alpha male' act was coming back to bite him in the but. And he knew it.

Looking at the bolted door in front of me, memories of my nearest childhood began to surface. When I was 10 and 11, and Dianne started to change her ways. I would ask her what was in her room, and she would fill my head with stories that would cause reoccurring nightmares and paranoia. Stories of the monsters in her closet who had come out to play, and stolen her soul. Stories of the thing under her bed that had claimed her spirit in an ancient ritual. Stories of the tooth fairy being shot at her window, dead. I hadn't gone near the room since.

George took a slight step back, but Flo just shoved him forward. It was funny to think how afraid we were of our own sister. Eventually George found the bravery to knock 3 times on the decaying door, pausing after each.

"What do you bunch of wimps want?" A muffled voice groaned from within.

"Um, you left you phone downstairs" George replied, speaking into the still shut door. We heard a thud as she clambered out of bed, and heaving footsteps as she plodded over to the door. She opened the door by a crack, her droopy head blocking all view of her room. 

"Thanks" she snatched the phone. Before she had a chance to slam the door Flo cut in.

"You missed a call" she blurted. Dianne froze. 

"Who from?" She asked. We all looked at one another, neither George or Flo wanted to say it. I decided to be the bigger (though physically smaller) man, and speak for the group.

"A certain Zachyboo wants to talk to you" I told her. She looked up at the three of us, hints of fear in her eyes, as though she felt intimidated. I realized she probably did. 

"You better come in" she invited, opening the door wide.

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