Peter pressed down hard on the doorbell. Behind the door, he heard the sound of rushed footsteps and the opening of the lock. The door swung open.
“Hey, Mrs. P!” Peter said cheerfully.
The plump woman standing in the doorway was wiping her hands on her pristine white apron. Her eyes fell on the plastic case in Peter’s hands. “Who is he this time?” The woman asked with an eyebrow raised.
Peter smiled and said: “Sherlock Holmes.”
Mrs. P stepped aside to let the boy in. Peter rushed inside and up the stairs, down the corridor, and towards the last door on the right. The boy didn’t bother knocking and just opened the door and stepped inside.
The stench hit him hard. Peter dropped the plastic case and his hands immediately went to cover his nose.
“Ah, finally,” Max said from the floor, “you’re here. Took you long enough.”
Max had untamed black hair and eyes that were just as wild. He sat cross-legged on the floor and all around him lay newspapers and on the newspapers were…different types of poo. He had his hands in a steeple and his chin was resting on them.
“What’re you doing?” Peter asked.
Max waved a hand. “Isn’t it obvious?”
Peter, hesitant to go deeper into the foul smelling room, stayed where he was. He gave a shrug. “Playing with animal shit?”
Max sighed and shook his head. “I’m trying to classify the different stool samples base on their smell and texture and size. With one sniff, I know what animal it came from, what that animal ate, and how old the stool is.”
“So…you are smelling poo?”
“Indubitably. Please don’t make yourself sound stupid by stating the obvious, Peter.” Max said clearly annoyed.