(WARNING! Homophobic slurs and attempted filicide! Proceed with caution!)
Of all the days for the shower to stop working.
Sinbad was surprised they even had a kiddie pool somewhere in the house. If they didn’t, he certainly wanted to know where they found one.
“All right, you two comfy?” Dennis had the garden hose in hand, having just turned the water on.
“Uh, define ‘comfy’, boss.” Sinbad had to contend with Shark sitting dangerously close to him, in a space not meant for two young men.
Dennis shrugged. “Well, can I get to your hair after it gets shampooed all nice and lathery?”
“Sure, Dad.” Shark then bent forward to grab at the hygiene products nearby.
This sudden movement caused Sinbad to grip the sides of the pool, and utter sounds of distress. The combined situation of their close proximity made things awkward for him now.
“Dude! Dude! Potential unwanted boner!” Shark looked over to see what his boyfriend was flustered about.
Indeed, Shark’s rear was quite close to Sinbad’s face. Off to the side, Dennis was shaking his head and rolling his eyes. He then directed the still going hose toward the redhead.
Somehow the force given didn’t take the skin right off Sinbad’s face. It did, however, manage to knock him out of the kiddie pool. He was blasted again with cold water for good measure.
“Thanks boss,” Sinbad said whilst dripping wet and on his back.
Early the next day, the three of them had entered the old mansion, rifling through a hidden compartment that one of them had just recently found.
“Boss, what are we doing here? How did we get in here?” Sinbad asked while looking over some old papers he discovered to be incoherent tirades demanding that Paul McCartney be removed from the Beatles.
“Well, the handyman is at the house, and I’d rather do something else besides make small talk while he fixes the shower…And the sink…And the toilet…” Somehow, in the middle of the night, everything in the bathroom decided to quit working properly.
The result complicated things, to the point where Sinbad contemplated urinating in the kitchen sink. It took both Dennis and Shark to convince him to go do it at the neighbor’s house instead.
“Anyway, I assumed the folks won’t care that we were here. It’s not as if we’re going to tell them anyway,” the patriarch added as he looked over old documents.
“Where are Grandma and Grandpa, anyway?”
“Your grandparents are at the hospital, or so I’ve been told. Apparently your Uncle Bill mistook a glow stick for a popsicle. Last I heard, they’re trying to figure out how he isn’t dead.”
After some more picking through old memories, presumably the kind that the Racket elders wanted hidden, a noise came from somewhere in the house.
Initially, all three assumed they heard something not actually there. When the sounds persisted, Shark got to his feet to investigate.
“Hello?” The brunet slowly wandered down the hall, calling out to anyone who might have entered the mansion. “Grandma? Grandpa? Uncle Bill?”
No answer. Shark bit his lip, fearful of the situation he might have gotten into. “If it’s any of you guys, I’m sorry that we came here without telling you. And if that’s you, Lolly, knock it off. It’s not funny.”
Again, no one responded. He did notice someone walking, in the limited space he could see of the lower floor.
Shark quietly padded down the stairs, trying to figure out who the mystery person was. Halfway down to the main floor, he got the sinking feeling that this was a bad idea. A feeling that he needed to turn back and rejoin the other two.
He would’ve done well to go through with that feeling.
“Hrmm…” Dennis leaned out of the doorway, looking in the direction Shark had gone into. “The boy’s been gone an awfully long time.”
“Maybe he went to take a leak, and didn’t know which bathroom to use.” The older man shook his head, indicating that couldn’t be the problem. “You sure? ‘Cause last time I was here, there were like a million bathrooms.”
Again, Dennis answered in the negative. “Even if that were the case, he’d have been back by now.” Sinbad joined him at the door. “Come on, let’s go find him. Make sure he didn’t catch sight of a squirrel in the yard or something.”
They didn’t get much farther than Shark did. When they reached the main floor, they did not find the musclebound brunet.
However, they did find themselves hit in the head with something hard.
The first thing Sinbad noticed upon returning to vague consciousness was that he could smell a mix of gasoline and detergent.
What confused him was that last time he took note of this smell, it meant a place he found to have very unpleasant events happen to him.
“Oh, I recognize that stink,” Dennis groggily muttered behind him. “Either Bill rammed a golf cart into the laundromat again, or we somehow wound up in that disgusting excuse for a garage.”
Both men tried to get up, but found themselves unable to, for they were tied up in chairs with shared rope. A few feet away, there was a sight that both relieved and frightened them.
The relief came from seeing that it was Shark.
The fright came from the woman standing next to him.
“Oh, hell, no…” The blonde woman by Shark had clearly been drinking. She held a gleaming, sharp knife dangerously close to his face. Her hair was unkempt, her makeup garish and smeared.
“Hello, Dennis.” The raspy voice of his ex-wife sent chills down both their spines. “It’s so good that you came for a visit. This makes what I’m about to do even better.”
Sinbad groaned in fear. “What the hell are you going to do?”
“Oh, nothing,” Silver said with mock slyness, “Just something I should’ve done years ago.” As she spoke, the blonde woman yanked her son’s hair roughly, forcing him to look up at his father and boyfriend.
“Which is…?” Dennis tried to keep his voice steady, attempting to hide his increasing panic over the situation his son was in.
“You could call it an…’overdue termination’”, she said, letting a demonic grin cross her face.
The last two words brought forth a stunned reaction from all three men.
“Overdue…Are you out of your fuckin’ mind, lady?” The grin quickly faded. Silver thrust the blade in Sinbad’s direction.
“You shut your mouth, you disgusting corrupted queer! He had a chance of being fixed before you came along!”
“Being fixed?” Dennis was somehow more horrified at what his ex-wife was saying. “Silver, that is our son you’re talking about!” Silver then diverted her attention to Dennis.
“Our son. Our son.” Silver mockingly parroted his term for their child. “The son, also known as the real reason I got stuck with you and the rest of this genetic defect lottery you call a family!”
The woman wasn’t finished. She now turned to her son, still too scared to even cry out. “And you…I should’ve aborted you when I had the chance. Maybe I could’ve had some fun in my life. But no. You just had to be conceived and ruin everything!”
Before any of them could react, Silver plunged her knife straight into Shark’s stomach. The brunet shrieked out in abrupt pain, inciting Sinbad into a complete rage.
“Oh, that’s it! You’re goin’ down!” The redhead snarled, attempting to snap at her.
“What are you gonna do about it, you disease-riddled weasel?” Silver pulled the knife out, only to plunge it into Shark’s chest.
Shark’s cries of pain turned into outright howling. He looked up at his mother with tearful eyes. As loud as he could, he tried to tell her to stop.
“Stop? You want me to stop? Then tell me you miss me.” She let go of the handle, only to grab hold of his face. “Say you miss me! Say you miss Mommy!”
This whole time, Sinbad was attempting to break loose from his bindings. Dennis leaned in and said as quietly as he could, “need a little help?”
Sinbad didn’t know what exactly happened, whether Dennis indeed helped him, or if the rope snapped of his own accord. What he did know was that in under a minute, he was free and tackling Silver.
“Get off me, you fag!” Silver tried to kick Sinbad off, but he held tight. Dennis took the opportunity to look for his phone. While calling 911, he knelt down next to Shark.
“Come on now, boy. Stay with us. Don’t you dare die here!”
It was hard to believe that the last time they were here, it was for something as minor as an air mattress incident.
Actually, at this point, that would’ve been welcome. Instead, Dennis and Sinbad now sat outside of the emergency room, waiting for a good sign.
“I’m aware no news is good news, but this is agonizing.” By the time an ambulance reached the mansion, Shark was barely conscious. “Of all the people, it had to be my own son?”
Sinbad remained quiet. He instead gripped the arm of his chair, still seething with anger towards a woman who dared call herself a mother. The last time they saw her, she was once again in the back of a police car, spewing obscenities to anyone near her.
The redhead then felt a hand on his shoulder. “Calm yourself, Mister Rotter. I understand you’re angry, but it will do no good at this point.”
“I should’ve strangled her,” he said with a barely concealed hatred. “Who the fuck does that to their own kid?”
Dennis said nothing. At that point, a nurse came out of the room Shark had been ushered into. She looked at a clipboard, saying nothing.
The two men got to their feet, waiting in anticipation for her answer. When she looked up, she smiled and put a thumbs up.
Sinbad and Dennis breathed a sigh of relief. She stepped aside to let them enter the room.
“He did lose a lot of blood, but he was able to pull through,” she whispered. “He should be waking up soon.”
When Shark opened his eyes, he found himself in a hospital room. The only difference was that this time, it was him in the bed.
“Hey, welcome back to us,” he heard Sinbad’s voice nearby. The bright lights of the room caused him to squint. “The doc said you ain’t supposed to leave for a while.”
Shark didn’t seem to care about that. He did look down to see a good amount of bandages covering his abdomen. The amount of blood seeping through was strangely minimal.
“Yeah, the doc said you needed a blood transfusion.” Despite trying to hide it, Shark could see a definite band-aid on Sinbad’s arm. “Uh…Yeah. He also said the fact you’re still alive is a miracle. If she’d stabbed you any more to the left, you’d have been dead.”
The brunet tried to open his mouth, but his voice didn’t sound right to him when he spoke:
Sinbad motioned behind him. “Gift shop. Guess he wanted to get you something to cheer you up. And he had his phone out, and he was calling his brother, so…”
Shark didn’t want to ask his next question. “And Mom?”
“Police station. Hopefully this time there won’t be bail posted.”
Just imagining his mother now brought tears to his eyes, both of fear and sadness. He sat up in bed, despite Sinbad’s protests.
“She…She basically told me I should never have been born. What kind of mother says that to her own child?”
“I’ll tell you,” Sinbad moved closer, next to his boyfriend. “A shitty one.” He carefully wrapped an arm around Shark. In turn, Shark buried his face into Sinbad’s shoulder. The redhead felt his shirt start to get wet, followed by the younger man trembling.
“You’re gonna be okay, man,” Sinbad whispered. “Trust me, she ain’t gonna hurt you anymore.” He listened to the heartbreaking sobs and whimpers.
Oddly, he didn’t shift to set him down right away. He instead waited until he wasn’t shaking so much, then lay him back down.
“Don’t go,” Shark whispered to him. Sinbad joined him next to him, and let him cuddle back up to him.
“I ain’t going anywhere. Just get some more rest, if you want to.” The brunet nodded. A few more sniffles and tears, and it stopped.
Sinbad didn’t get up right away, not wanting to interrupt Shark falling back to sleep.
It was a good long time before he got back up again.