“Your parents didn’t die of natural causes.” That would be scary even if the man speaking hadn’t been somehow waiting for Janet in her house and bleeding. Except that her parents were living in Florida. If you can call that living.
“What?” she said.
“If my parents had been taken from me, I’d want to know how they died. I’d want to know why.”
“Well, yeah,” said Janet. “That sounds reasonable, I guess.”
“I’d want to know it wasn’t an accidental gas leak.”
Janet’s mom hadn’t shut up about their solar heating in five years and hated gas stoves. “Look,” she said, “Are you going somewhere with this?”
“I rigged the gas,” he said. “I’m sorry. It was about money, but I wasn’t in control. I--.” Janet got out her phone. “Wait, don’t call--”
“Wait a sec.” Janet made a call. “Hi, yeah. No, don’t, just. Listen, there’s someone here who wants to talk to you.” She tossed the phone over. “It’s my mother.”
He caught the phone, paused, then hung up. “Adopted?”
“I have his nose and her boobs.”
“Is this... 1272 21st Street?
“East or west 21st?” asked Janet.
He was gone before her mom could call back.