(WARNING! A grown man has a tantrum in public, and some implied gruesomeness.)
Shark was still bummed as he and Sinbad were back at the grocery store, buying another set of pumpkins to carve. His face still bore evidence of the tears he’d shed earlier.
“Dude, come on. Spending another few bucks on these things ain’t gonna put that big a dent in our finances. Probably just some vandals got to our first ones and thought it’d be funny to destroy shit.”
Sinbad’s words didn’t seem to do much good. Shark just stood next to him like some melancholy behemoth, wiping his face of residual tears and snot.
The whole time since they discovered the mess, he hadn’t put his bear down once. It stared from behind his left arm, the smell of pumpkin detritus still lingering about it somewhat. When he hiccuped, the bear seemed to jump with him.
“What is it gonna take for you to cheer up? Look, we’re at the store again. You want that dog costume you said looked cute? Wanna ride in the cart again?”
His suggestions were declined. Shark only clutched his bear tighter to his chest. Before Sinbad could think of something else to say, he fell to the floor.
Sinbad’s eyes widened as he realized what this signaled the onset of.
“Oh dude, no! Not here!” His begging proved to be in vain. Shark began punching his free hand to the floor, and started letting loose with a loud howling.
For the second time that night, Shark was crying.
Never had Sinbad felt so powerless to help him, than he did at this moment.
“I really wish you’d stop punching the television set each time a show you hate comes on.” Alma grunted while she hoisted the TV back up onto its display.
Blaise just sat on the couch eating snack foods. “Well, how else am I supposed to show my hatred for the crap they show in the daytime?”
Alma just shook her head and pinched the bridge of his nose. “You can change the channel. That’s why we got cable, so you don’t have to do that anymore.”
A noise of recollection was her response. Then Blaise looked off to the side, looking as though she’d forgotten something.
“The grocery store’s open 24 hours, right?” She suddenly asked, while Alma continued to reconnect the wires in the TV.
“I believe so. Why? You’re not going to buy more cheap Christmas ornaments, are you?”
Setting her box of snacks down, Blaise stood up off the couch and looked for her wallet. “Nah! I am gonna see if they have anything interesting, though.”
Frantically, Sinbad pulled out his phone, and dialed the house number. The whole time he did so, Shark’s hollering rose and fell in pitch.
“Hey, boss? Uh, we got a problem. Little help?” The tone of his voice hopefully came across as desperate rather than irritated.
“I know. I can hear him.” Dennis ended up giving his advice and suggestions. Meanwhile, Sinbad quick scanned the area to see if anyone was around to help them.
“Is that really going to be the best thing to do?”
Then came a groan of concern. “When he’s of a sound mind again, you and I can explain everything.”
After he hung up, Sinbad turned to face Shark again. Shark’s face was turning red from the ordeal.
“Oh shit, I really don’t know if I should do this…” Cautiously, Sinbad reached in, as though to hug him.
Dennis sat worriedly at the table now, waiting for Sinbad to call back with any updates regarding Shark. Tapping his fingers on the surface, he watched his daughter happily broiling something.
“It’s been so long since I cooked for my dad!” Lolly’s glee seemed rather dissonant, given the situation. “You like steak, right?”
“I do, child. Forgive me for not being more ecstatic right now.” He now slumped down further towards the table. “Your brother seems to be having an ‘episode’ right now.”
Lolly scoffed, keeping her gaze averted as she set the cooked steak onto a plate. “He’ll be fine. He’s got that other loser with him.”
Somehow Dennis wasn’t convinced. He still picked up his fork and knife, and proceeded to dig in.
Hearing the sounds of pain and crying was not something Blaise was used to. The place looked empty, considering the place was open all day.
“What the hell’s going on in here?” Peeking over the clearance shelves yielded no visual results.
No one else looked to see the cause of the commotion, not even any concerned employees. Warily, Blaise followed the noises.
She was eventually led to the produce aisle. Seeing the two men on the ground, along with the sorry condition they were in, led to her taking a step back in shock.
One of them looked up at her, seemingly in a state that was rendered speechless. His mouth was stained red, as were his teeth. Next to him, the other was clutching his shoulder in agony. A teddy bear lay between them.
“I didn’t… I swear, I didn’t mean to…” The one with the stained mouth handed her his cell phone. “Call an ambulance. Please.“