Shady Pete | By: Ken Makepeace | | Category: Short Story - Children Bookmark and Share

Shady Pete

   There was just silence - where had Danny got to? That's what Jodie wanted to know. She looked around the playground, but there was no sign of him.
   She made her way through the gap in the fence and onto the estate, when she heard, 'You OK?'
   She knew it wasn't Danny by the sound of the voice. She wanted to run, but instead she turned round to see who it was. She was frightened.
   She saw the big shabby man standing in front of her. All his clothes were torn. Who was he? He laughed at her loudly, then walked off. Jodie felt relieved.
   'Where you been?' she said to Danny, when she caught up with by the shops on the estate.
   'To get a bag of crisps. Are you all right?'
   'No, I'm not. I just ran into this big creepy man. He laughed at me, then walked off. He looked in a right state.
   'That'll be Shady Pete,' Danny said to her, munching away on his crisps. 'He lives around here.'
   'Why do they call him Shady Pete?'
   'I dunno. Come on, let's go home.'
   The two made their way towards home. They both lived across the road from each other, and had known one another since forever.
   Once they had arrived in the road they lived, they said their goodbyes and then went into their own houses.
   'Who's Shady Pete?' she asked her mum, once inside.
   'How do you know him?' her mum asked.
   'I ran into him on the estate.'
   'He's always been known as Shady Pete, but I don't know why. He went a bit strange after his mum died. He was quite hadsome at one time.'
   Jodie couldn't imagine Shady Pete ever being handsome.
   Next day, Jodie was off to the estate again, this time to her friend Maria's house, and as usual she passed this large, untidy house as she was making her way, but this time she had a surprise - she saw Shady Pete standing on the doostep. There was no doubt that it was where he lived. She went up to him and said hello. But the place was a mess. There was rubbish everywhere, and in the front garden she saw a supermarket trolly with a dog lying in it. The trolly had carpet in it for a bed for the dog.
   That night jodie lay in bed thinking. She felt sorry for Pete, then she had an idea. She was going to get some of her friends together and go and clean Pete's house.
   'Gonna help us clean Shady Pete's house?' she asked Danny next day.
   'No, I'm not. Do it yourself,' he said to her.
   She ignored Danny and asked her sister to hepl her.
   They arrived at Pete's loaded with cleaning stuff, but after knocking his door, they couldn't get an answer.
   'Your'e wasting you time,' his neighbour said to them.
   'Why?' Jodie asked.
   The neighbour gave her a serious look. 'He died last night,' she told Jodie.
   Jodie was sad for days, then she saw the announcement in the paper and it said when the funeral was. She decided to go and, suprisingly, Danny said he would go with her.
   The church was packed when they arrived. They thought they were going to be the only ones there, but Pete was more popular than they thought.
   A few weeks after the funeral, Jodie noticed that his house was being tidied up. She later found out that it had been left to his nephew. But one thing she never found out - why did they call him Shady Pete? Jodie just hoped he was happy, wherever he was.

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