“What is chlorophyll?” Leep said aloud.
He was correct. And he gave the answer in the form of a question, so that was like, 800 dollars. He was in third (not last) place at the moment. Two of the contestants were sharp, especially about sports and U.S. government, which were not Leep’s strongest categories. He enjoyed biology, history, and world geography the most. He knew mostly every world capital, and the ones he didn’t know he learned by watching Jeopardy! He had a great idea: they should teach things in school by having the students play Jeopardy! It would be fun. Why shouldn’t school be fun?
The doorbell rang. Leep glanced around his living room. It was untidy, but generally clean. He turned off the TV and picked up a navy blue nylon jacket.
Albert Demarco stood on the step. Leep had met him once, as he was leaving Deborah and Lizzie’s house after putting a transcript of Hootie’s interview on The Nightly News with Mark and Marsha into Vincent’s binder.
Marsha: It must have been dreadful for you.
Hootie’s face was shiny. Why hadn’t they put makeup or powder on his face? Leep wondered at the time. He did not put that detail in the transcript. Just the words.
Hootie: Well, I —
Mark: At what point did you think he was going to kill you?
Hootie: I guess when he pulled out the gun.
Mark: How would you describe this man?
Hootie: Well he was dressed all in black, with his face covered. He was a big guy, kind of threatening.
Ha, though Leep.
Marsha: Could you see into his eyes?
Hootie: Well, he—
Mark: The Eyes of a Killer.
Marsha: He spoke to you, what did he say?
Hootie: He said he killed Vince, and would kill me too.
If you didn’t hurry up and run away.
Marsha: Would you recognize this killer again? Would you recognize his voice?
Hootie: Definitely. It was a deep voice, but kind of hoarse.
Mark: Have you tried to pick out the man in a police line-up?
Hootie: What? No.
Mark: Do you think the police are doing all they can to apprehend the murderer of Vincent Demarco, and who also seriously wounded you by shooting you as you ran?
Hootie: He told me to run. And sure, they are looking for him. They have some fibres or something.
Mark (to camera): There you have it. Exclusive details from the man who witnessed the Evil in the Eyes of a Murderer, and lived to tell about it.
Marsha: Thank you, Hootie.
Hootie: Thank you, Marsha.
“Are you busy?” asked Uncle Al. He was a big guy, and threatening, so he fit Hootie’s description of the killer more than Leep did.
“I kind of am,” said Leep. “Just about to head out.” He zipped up the nylon jacket.
Uncle Al looked displeased, Leep assumed, though Leep avoided making eye contact.
“Where to?” said Uncle Al.
“Just to meet a friend.” He looked at his watch. “Late.”
“That’s too bad,” said Albert.
“I’m really sorry, Mr Demarco,” Leep said. “Is it important? Can we meet another time?”
“It is important, Leep. But we can meet another time. Tomorrow?” So they agreed to meet tomorrow evening, at Leep’s house again.
Leep headed off down the street towards town, his hands in the pockets of his jacket. He could feel Uncle Al’s gaze follow him. He wondered if Uncle Al and his friend would follow him in their car.