It seemed as if Sinbad wasn’t the only one who was upset over being yanked out into the dark night.
Dennis and Lolly sat in the raft now, alongside Sinbad and Shark. Lolly glared at the lantern they’d brought along, still dressed in her pajamas under her raincoat.
Sinbad paddled toward Blaise’s house. When they left the house, Dennis voiced his concerns for the red-haired woman, hoping she wasn’t in any trouble because of the weather.
Going by, his fears were indeed unfounded.
“Aw, yer checkin’ up on little ol’ me?” Blaise was inexplicably awake at such an unholy hour, standing at a second story window. Oddly, she didn’t share their crankiness. “Ya didn’t have to go and do that!”
“Oh, just worried about you is all, Madam,” Dennis called out to her. “And, well, we were going off to investigate something. Perhaps you’d like to come along if that’s all right with you?”
Blaise turned to look back into the room, nodding and saying something that couldn’t be heard. She then returned her gaze to the group under her. “I’ll be right down!”
Although the raft was going a bit more slowly from having another passenger added, no one seemed to notice.
“So, two questions,” Blaise quietly whispered to her boyfriend, “What brings ya out in this forsaken weather, and what’s eatin’ those two?”
Her second question was accompanied by a pointed finger towards Shark and Sinbad. Both of them were unusually quiet, with Shark hunched over himself.
“Well, one,” Dennis responded, “we’re thinking the dam’s in bad shape. And two, I’m gonna say one’s upset at the other for something related to all this.”
Blaise’s response to this was to simply give a nod.
After that, no one said much of anything. There was the occasional complaint about the downpour, but that was really about it.
Upon reaching the dam, everyone grew shocked at the abysmal state it was in. In the time it’d taken Shark to go back and get them, it seemed to have split even further.
“Now what in the hell…?” Dennis crawled over to the other end of the raft to try to see it better. The color drained from his face when the reality of all this set in.
“Holy shit! I guess that is a good reason to drag us out here,” Sinbad said as he gawked at the dam breaking right in front of them. He looked over to Shark to say something, but the brunet just seemed to retreat deeper into himself. “So what do you think we should do?”
Dennis made a sound that indicated he wasn’t sure. “Obviously, we can’t patch that thing up ourselves. That thing’s too far gone for us to do any good.”
“Then what are we supposed to do? Just sit here and drown like unwanted rats?” Lolly leaned closer to her father, irate at his seeming lack of helpful ideas.
“Of course not, child! What we can do is warn the higher ups in this town about this. Then we look for shelter. Then…” Dennis paused, as if trying to think of any other alternatives. “Then I suppose we wait.”
Everyone was confused when Sinbad began taking the long way to their destination. He hadn’t told them what he was thinking of doing. Rather, he just stated that he’d forgotten something back at the house.
“I’ll be right back.” He ran into the house, right after glancing over at his still huddled over boyfriend. While he was gone, Dennis leaned over and tried to reason with his son.
“Come on now, boy. Are you still upset over Mister Rotter getting mad at you?” Though it was hard to tell, Dennis was sure he received a nod from Shark. “Well, try to think of it in his mind. You did come out here all by yourself earlier, is that correct?”
The sound that came now sounded like, “Uh-huh.”
“And now how would you have felt if it were him that went out in this without telling you?” Shark only gave a half-hearted shrug, indicating he probably wouldn’t have known how he’d react. “Look, this is probably not the best time to discuss this. Let’s just find shelter first when Mister Rotter returns.”
The second floor of the train center was surprisingly clean, for a place that was supposedly abandoned. Sinbad knew the true reasons why, but kept them to himself as he browsed the fairly old bookshelf.
In the other room, Dennis could be heard making phone calls. The first was to the mayor, and the second was to his brother Dudley. Both calls started with an apology for waking them up, and ended with hope that they’d find refuge.
“Is Miss Drill going to be okay?” Lolly quietly asked Blaise if her teacher would be safe from the potential disaster that could likely occur.
“She’ll be fine. I told her what she should do before I left. She’s a smart lady, this won’t be too much of a problem for her,” Blaise responded with utmost confidence in her roommate.
The redheaded woman looked over at the two men, wondering if giving them privacy would help their own personal situation. She gestured toward the door while tapping Lolly on the shoulder.
“What do ya see we go look for any board games or something in this place, eh?”
Once they were gone, Sinbad took a seat next to the still melancholy brunet. He put a hand on his shoulder, but it was promptly shook off.
“Hey, if you’re still thinking I’m mad at you…” The redhead stopped, trying to figure out how to go about this. “Look, I was just worried, all right? I didn’t…”
Sinbad tried to make sure his voice didn’t sound furious in the least. “I didn’t know where you’d gone off to, or if you were in trouble, or…” Somehow that sounded accusatory to him, which the redhead didn’t want.
Apparently, this was mutual. Shark hadn’t responded once to him. He didn’t even look up to say something, which was starting to break Sinbad’s heart.
“Look. Here,” the older man said as he turned to pull something out from inside his raincoat. Unsure if his boyfriend could see it, Sinbad set it at his feet. “If we’re all going to die, at least die with that next to you.”
Sinbad got up to leave, mumbling about how terrible he was at apologies. When the door closed behind him, Shark was left alone in the room.
He now finally looked around the empty room, then down at his feet to see what Sinbad had left for him.
The familiar expression looked up at him, almost as if it were saddened at what had just transpired. Slowly, Shark reached out to touch the soft brown fur. He then took hold of the bear, and held it close.
Even in the midst of an occurring state of emergency, Sinbad bothered to grab such a cherished item. It may have been at the worst time, and it put all of them at risk, but he at least knew what was important to him.
Holding the bear to his chest, Shark got to his feet and went off to find Sinbad.
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