The Solution

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The sun was shining bright that summer day at the Swedetown festival. The air was thick with the surrounding moisture from the Everglades. The streets were crowded with people elbow to elbow. The smell of corndogs and popcorn filled the thick air. Vendors shouted out to the crowd for people to come play their games. Everyone waited for this yearly festival, especially the students of Swedetown high school. Peter and Michael were no exception.
The walk from Peter’s house to the festival is a bit of a long one so Michael decided to spark up a conversation. “Hey Peter?” he asked curiously. “What’s up Michael?” Peter responded. Peter’s blue eyes shone in the bright sun and his long brown hair swung in the air. “What do you want to do when you grow up?” Michael asked. “You already know I wanna be an architect but you never told me what you wanted to be.” “Huh, I guess you’re right, I never did” Peter started. “Well I want to be a botanist and see how certain plants can affect the body.” Michael seemed confused. “Why would you want to do something like that?” “Well I find it interesting how we’re almost always surrounded by plants and we don’t know if some of them can hurt us or help us.” Peter replied. “That’s a good point Peter, maybe one day those plants of yours may take over a building I put up.” Michael chuckled. They both shared a little chuckle but Peter seemed a little off today.
Peter and Michael arrived at the bustling festival in no time. Many other students from Swedetown high were there. Swedetown high was your stereotypical high school. All the football players and cheerleaders hung out. The band kids had their group and everyone had their place. Except for Peter. Michael had friends in all groups but Peter could never truly seem to fit in. Peter was always kind of jealous at the fact that Michael fit in everywhere he went. Peter was also envious at the fact that Michael had a girlfriend. Ever since Peter could remember he had a crush on Hayley. Her long black hair and sky blue eyes always captivated him. However, she was taken. Peter saw Hayley a few minutes after they arrived. She came up to Peter and Michael with a big smile. She hugged Peter. She also hugged Michael, then she kissed him. Peter’s heart sank every time he saw Hayley and Michael together. He was happy for Michael but was always jealous. Peter’s jealousy would sometimes get to him too much though. So much so that he would sometimes think of ways to break up Michael and Hayley so he could have her for himself. Peter had an idea that he knew would work, but it required patience.
About two months ago, after a bad day at school, Peter took the long way home through the woods. He loved to be in nature and see all the plant life. He could identify almost if not all of the surrounding plants. He studied these plants for years and knew almost every detail about each one. He knew which ones had healing qualities, the ones that had no effect, and the ones that could hurt, poison, and even kill. Peter was partial towards the deadly Nerium Oleander and Aconitum. The nickname of “Devil’s Helmet” for Aconitum was appropriate. Peter studied these plants for months after he first saw them. He found it interesting how these small little flowers could cause so much damage to a human. Oleander could cause irregular heart beat by speeding it up first and then slowing it down until it fully stops. The Aconitum could cause paralysis to the whole respiratory system. Their beautiful white and purple colors captivated him as well. He always compared them to Hayley, beautiful and captivating but deadly in some way. This could be the reason he fell in love with them. He was so entranced in fact that he took the seeds from both of them and starting growing them himself. He set up a miniature grow bed in his room. Peter also loved the old skill of alchemy. He loved to take items such as plants and crush them together to make medicine. Peter set up a small alchemy lab in his room as well and had almost mastered the art.
Peter’s jealousy of Michael and Hayley brought him to a terrible idea that he couldn’t escape. He would take these flowers and mix them together to make a deadly poison that he would use to kill Michael. He would then have Hayley to himself and she would see that he was meant for her. For two months this thought never lost his head. He would stay normal around Michael as to not rouse suspicion but anytime he saw Michael and Hayley the thought would become more prominent. Peter knew he had to wait for the right moment. He just had to be patient.
After Michael and Hayley got done kissing, Hayley asked Peter how he was. “Good” Peter replied. Hayley seemed puzzled. “You never answer me with just one word Peter, are you okay?” Peter quickly replied “Yeah I’m fine, just have some stuff on my mind is all.” Hayley seemed satisfied with this answer and questioned Peter no more. Peter’s mind was racing but only one thought was prominent, “Today is the day”. The poison was in his pocket, a vial of green liquid capable of killing someone within the matter of minutes. All he had to do was have Michael ingest it somehow. Peter offered to buy drinks for everyone to achieve this goal. As he got the drinks his mind stayed racing, “How am I gonna pull this off?”, “There are too many people here”, “What are you gonna do after he’s dead?”, “How are you gonna escape?” Then Peter felt his heart drop more than ever before.
Peter discretely took out the vial and poured it into one of the drinks. As he returned he saw Michael and Hayley sitting on a bench laughing and smiling. He saw they were truly happy. Peter approached them with a big smile on his face. This smile was for once a true smile. Michael made a toast and they all took a drink at once. Peter’s smile stayed and Hayley chuckled “What makes you so happy?” Peter simply replied “You”. Then suddenly Peter fell. His body was shaking violently and his breathing was rapid and unsteady. Hayley and Michael called for help. By the time help arrived Peter had already been dead for five minutes. The toxins from the plants ravished his body in no time. A tear rolled from Peter’s eye as he lay dead but a small smile broke his lips.






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