The Fog around our family was clearing. Dianne's secret boyfriend had been exposed, George's future was back on track, and we we're all truly aware of the threat Drew Peters held against our delicate family.
Alice wasn't ours, she had a strong claim to Drew, and if dad was convicted, we would have to say goodbye to our newest sibling. So we all decided we had one option, to prove him innocent. And to do that, we had to discover who was guilty. Solving this crime was never more critical. The last thing we needed was for mist to follow the fog, but us British people never could control the weather.
It was a Friday afternoon. Dad was in bed (in the room above the pub where the drunks slept if they couldn't get home), Flo was working in the local boutique (we were short of money now dad was practically immobile), George was at work as well, doing chores for the neighbors. It was just me and Dianne, so really, I was home alone. I was watching a documentary on Richard the 3rd when Dianne showed her face. She ran down the stairs, ecstatic, actually seeming alive for once.
"Michael, I need your advice. No. I need your help." She seemed on edge, and was blushing like crazy.
"What's up?" I asked, slightly concerned at her sudden mood swing. I even paused my programme to look her in the eye.
"Zach texted me. He wants to come over. Like, now." She paused in between the statements, in a slow panic. I didn't know what to say. Flo would have sympathized with Dianne, and helped her refuse his request. George would have straight up said no, and bolted the doors. Dad would have shrugged, and got another beer from the cupboard. And mum, well... it doesn't matter what mum would've done. But I was Michael, so what would Michael do?
"We'll need to plan it carefully. If George or Flo arrive home before he leaves, both our necks will be on the line. I'll make sure Dad's asleep...and Alice for that matter, we don't want too much attention on her. You text Zach an tell him to hurry over, once he arrives stay in the basement. I'll then give you two some privacy." I decided. She stared at me, taken aback by my boldness and quick-thinking situation.
"Michael... are you feeling alright?" She checked.
"Never better" I smiled at her, "let's get going." So she replied to Zach, giving him the go ahead.
I checked on Alice, who was being a little angel in her crib, and Dad, who was being an over-grown ogre in his bed. They were both out like a light. I started to prepare some drinks, I figured it could get a little awkward. The kettle had just finished boiling when the doorbell rang. Dianne was at the door a millisecond, allowing me no time to answer it on her behalf. She quickly fiddled with her hair, which was odd, as it ended up looking exactly the same. She didn't seem to notice this though, as she smiled into the side mirror, and swung open the door.
"Hey Zach" she lent slightly on her left leg, letting her hair fall to one side.
"Hey beautiful, you look great, as always." He smothered her in a mixture of flirtatious looks, and sleazy comments. She twirled her hair in response, giggling. Was this the same Dianne who had his the SD card in my camera because she was against me photo-shopping my school project? This girl was a walking Photoshop model. I cleared my throat, shifting their attention.
"And whose this? One of your siblings?" Zach checked.
"George" Dianne cut me off, "he's George Kroft. My big brother." I glared at her, and she glared back, only harder. Why did she want me to pretend to be George?
"Isn't he a little short to be older than you?" Zach stared at me.
"He's just small I guess" Dianne shrugged.
"Yeah, all the time I spend kicking a ball around in a field for no apparent reason doesn't help me grow" I added, taking I dig at George, the desire had simply grown too strong. Dianne scowled at me, they ignored the two extra steaming mugs on the table and went straight down to the basement. So I, George Kroft, the football maniac, sat down drinking my tea alone. It wasn't fair of me to think of George the way I did, he was trying hard to get his life back on track, he just needed to try harder...
waah waahh wa-ha-haaar
I jolted up from my chair. Alice's cries wailed around the entire diameter of the house. I quickly ran upstairs. She wriggled in her crib, her face was bright red, and her tiny mouth was emitting a huge sound. I picked her up, trying to hush my younger sister, but she definitely had mother's stubborn nature. I carefully edged downstairs, hoping not to be interrupted.
I got about half way when Zach appeared at the top.
"Is that her? Alice?" He asked me, I had half a mind to lie to him.
"It is" Dianne answered for me, "do you want to hold her?"
"I don't think that is a good idea..." I intervened.
"My arms have equal right as yours. She's my half-sister too, just a different half." He interrupted me. I tried to think up a way to argue with his logic.
"Fine" I gave in, "but only for a minute, and off these stairs." He agreed, and once we were safely down the steps, I handed her over to him. She'd stopped crying by now, and didn't re-act to the change of grasp.
"So...beautiful" Zach murmured, gazing at her admirably. In that moment, Zach didn't seem to be foreign to this family at all. With Alice in his arms, and his gentle nature around his half-sister... Zach could have been easily mistaken for a Kroft.
But just for a moment.
Because after that, the door swung open, and Flo entered, George by her side.