(WARNING! A lot of disgusting shit happens!)
It broke Sinbad’s heart to look at Shark crying.
It hurt even more to know he caused it.
After Dennis left to run errands, Sinbad had bore witness to Shark crying himself into an uneasy nap. The whole spectacle caused him to shed a few tears himself.
Shark was still trembling out of sadness. He lay on the floor now, curled up into himself. Sinbad could hear him whimper.
Sighing heavily, Sinbad wandered back into the bedroom. Grabbing his work clothes and a blanket, he came back out to see no change in his fiance’s condition.
He tied on his work apron, and then threw the blanket over Shark. He didn’t stir from this.
“Sorry I made the doggy leave, Shark,” Sinbad whispered in an unsteady voice. He was then out the door, getting things done before going to work.
Annette was quite pleased at the selection of wedding dresses that the salon offered. She also wondered if any of them were gently used, though.
Behind her, Amy bit her lip and rubbed her enormous belly. In a nearby seat, Sagebear was seemingly on guard.
“Are you sure your dog needs to be in here?” There was an air of nervousness in her voice, most likely from last time she saw her. “I mean, this isn’t really a dog-friendly establishment.”
Annette gave a wry smile. “She’ll be fine! She knows when to behave herself.” Then she glanced down at the pregnant woman. “So tell me…what makes the father a no-show?”
The question made Amy even more visibly uncomfortable. “Uh…What makes you think he is?”
“Well, last time we spoke, you didn’t name names…”
Amy just sighed. “He isn’t a no-show. I just have one of my friends pose as the dad. It’s not his though, obviously.”
“Really now? And no chance of this friend fathering any adorable babies?”
“Nope. He doesn’t want kids, and he’s engaged to another man.” Amy shrugged. “And he said himself that he wouldn’t be a good father. But that’s just him so…”
Twirling around in her current choice of dress, Annette inspected herself before resuming the question. “So if he didn’t father your baby, then who? Another friend?”
“Yeah, I guess you could call him that.” She crossed her arms, and pouted at Annette. “You’ve met him! Your dog bit him!”
Hearing this news, Annette couldn’t help but be awestruck. “That Goodwin creep? He fathered your baby?”
Before Amy could respond, both of them heard the door to the salon slam closed. Amy’s eyes widened when she saw Jenni standing there.
The expression on Jenni’s face confirmed that she’d just heard what came out of Annette’s mouth. She didn’t stand there long, before turning around and running back out of the salon.
“Jenni, wait! She was just kidding!” Amy tried following her, but not before looking over her shoulder back at Annette.
“Thanks for helping me clean the back of my truck, you guys,” Sinbad said as he watched Dennis and his two lady friends scrub up his ride.
“Eh, no problem! Ya caught us at a good time, at least,” Blaise cheerily stated while wringing out her towel.
“Imagine, Mister Rotter, if you’d come five minutes later than you did.” Dennis scrubbed as hard as he could in the place he was kneeling over now.
He just waved the man’s comment away. “Yeah I know, Boss. For what it’s worth, though, I would have still knocked.”
Chuckling at this now, Alma glanced up at him. “Good to know you have manners, Mister Rotter. Though far be it from me to wonder, why was Dennis’ older brother in here naked in the first place?”
“Bill? He was plowing some blue chick.”
Everyone in the truck stopped what they were doing, and stared incredulously at him.
“‘Blue chick?’ Was this that drifter with that dog I saw the other day?” Sinbad nodded. Now both women turned to look at Dennis. He just raised his arms in resignation.
“I’m as surprised as all of you are. But let’s not think about it too much, and just clean up the aftermath.”
Jenni had ignored Amy’s shouts the entire way home.
After reaching her house, she ran inside and into her room. Like a jilted ex-lover, she threw her face into her pillow, and howled in grief.
Jenni was told it had been possible, but she simply ignored the warnings. Now it seemed like it had been true after all. Her emotions were roiled with a mixture of sadness, betrayal, and new hatred.
Next to her, she could hear somebody blowing a raspberry.
“Well, you can’t say I didn’t warn you, honey.” Sitting atop her dresser was the strange figure from a few months before.
Jenni raised herself up onto her hands, and looked at them. “It’s you! Why are you here?”
They just shrugged, before snapping their arms into an unnatural angle. “Why aren’t I here? Sometimes I just like to hide in people’s houses and watch them. Anyway…”
Jumping off the dresser, the being cracked their arms back to normal. “Look, I told you what was going on, and you didn’t listen. Now you know, and it’s upsetting you.”
They took on a contemplative expression. “And I guess you’re going to go and tell everyone in town now, aren’t you?” Jenni nodded. Her wordless answer drove them to sigh.
“I have to…Can you help me…?” She awaited their answer.
It came in the form of them grabbing a nearby scarf, and wrapping one end around their hand.
“Sure, I can, darling. Come here…” Speaking in a menacing tone, they approached her.
After making her choice, Annette was now en route to finding a job in town.
According to Bill, he would be making preparations at City Hall tomorrow. Or at least, that’s what she assumed he told her. Holding her wedding dress in her arms, Annette traveled to the nearest building.
By coincidence, it happened to be the Bistro. Seeing no one else she actually recognized, she entered the establishment.
“Hello-!” She stopped when she saw a familiar face behind the counter, grumbling about how it took so long to clean his truck.
When he noticed she was there, his face contorted in what seemed to be pure hate and anger.
“Oh, it’s you. What the fuck do you want?” Sinbad practically spat out every word towards her. Annette should have expected this from him by now. She was still unnerved by his nasty behavior.
She pretended not to be bothered by it, and kept herself calm. “I thought I’d come looking for a job here.”
Her declaration just further incited his fury. “I thought you said you were gonna leave town!” He ripped his apron off and threw it onto the counter. “Now you want to stay?! Make up your fucking mind, Cortana!”
Each word, and his voice seemed to rise in volume. His co-workers behind him began to look nervous.
“Sinbad, keep your voice down,” one of them whispered, “Mrs. Baker might think you’re harassing potential customers.”
Heeding her advice, Sinbad took a few deep breaths. “Right, sorry.” He calmed himself down, but was still clearly upset and mad.
“Look lady. Even if we were hiring, do you honestly think I’d want to hire you? Someone who screws my fiance’s uncle in the back of my truck, and then triggers my fiance himself?”
Annette watched as her fists clenched, and his co-workers took their places behind him.
“Sinbad, is that true? This woman triggered Shark?” The other said as both women began pulling him towards their boss’ office.
He just nodded. “She’s been here a few days, and all she’s done is fuck things up for us.” He snarled to them both as they left Annette alone.
Goodwin definitely appreciated the early days off. It meant he didn’t have to deal with the citizens that he had gradually come to despise.
He also loved coming home to an empty house. Ever since Sinbad left a few months ago, he now had the quiet time to think to himself.
Today, however, seemed different now that he’d come home.
Goodwin could’ve sworn the front door had been opened recently. He instead ignored it and went inside to unwind. Pulling out his phone, he checked to see that there weren’t any messages.
It was then he smelt the pungent odor of something foul. Goodwin wrinkled his nose, then pinched it. He thought removing his shoes would help cover the stink.
Much to his dismay, it didn’t.
Now it became a matter of trying to figure out where it came from. The fridge and Sinbad’s old room yielded nothing. After rooting through the bathroom, Goodwin’s blood ran cold when he finally recognized the stench.
Throwing the door open to his own room, Goodwin was then confronted with a grisly sight:
Seeing the body of his fiance Jenni hanging from the ceiling. Pinned on her shirt was a note simply reading, “I Know.”
This macabre sight drove him to scream in terror.
“Can you believe what they said, Sagebear?” Annette was now storming away from the Bistro, her canine companion by her side now. “I didn’t think word could travel that fast, but well…”
Sulking a bit, she now pet her. “Not only did I not get a job, but I was banned from the premises! And if I ever set foot there again, they’d call the authorities. Can you believe that?”
Now Annette glanced at her wedding dress. “At least I have something to look forward to for tomorrow.”
Just as she spoke, a police car sped by her, apparently in a desperate hurry. Seeing that it didn’t stop for her, she resumed walking.
“Good thing they don’t act like complete assholes, I suppose. Now, where can I find a place to stay for the night…?”
Shark had woken up some time after Sinbad left for work. Sleepily touching his face, he didn’t feel any puffiness from crying.
He was also alone in the house. Pushing the blanket he didn’t remember being there, he got up only to sit on the couch.
The TV was once again on to the news channel. But Shark didn’t stay on the channel long enough before switching to Netflix.
He didn’t even bother cleaning up the grey fur that had been shed on the couch.
“Ox-Head?” Horse-Face was perplexed to find his partner scrubbing the inside of a prison cell. “What are you doing that for?”
Looking up at his job, Ox-Head dropped his brush and readjusted his mask. “I’m preparing.”
“Preparing for what?” He then realized he already knew the answer to that question. “…Ox-Head, I think you’re jumping the gun here a little bit.”
“Am I? Builder isn’t back yet, not back yet…” Getting to his feet, Ox-Head proceeded to initiate an odd dance.
All Horse-Face could do was watch awkwardly. “That doesn’t mean anything. She still has one day left to hide from them. No news is good news, right?”
This didn’t seem to have any effect. “But what if you’re wrong? What if this very second they’ve already found her?” The already unstable tenor of his voice rose in pitch and instability.
“Then I suppose…” Taking a deep breath, Horse-Face tried not to think of the disturbing reality that was likely to pass. “I suppose we assist her in any way we can.”
The next morning, Annette was once again at the salon, dressing herself up for the ceremony ahead that awaited her.
“I’m so excited! Are you?” She turned to see if Amy’s expression had changed at any point.
“Oh, come on! There’s a wedding going to start today! Can’t you be a little bit happy for me, at least?”
Amy looked up, indicating her dour expression indicated distraction. “Huh? Oh, sorry…” She now reached for a veil laying on a close by table. “Something happened yesterday while you were here, remember?”
Recalling how Jenni ran out of the building, Annette just shrugged. “I should, but…Humor me.”
Swallowing and trembling, Amy spoke while pinning her veil in. “That girl who was here? Her fiance is my baby’s father. She…Yesterday they found her…”
Amy didn’t finish. Instead she collapsed to the floor sobbing. Annette could only kneel down in front of her, and ask what was wrong.
“I’m sorry, Miss Annette. I’m just having a hard time celebrating someone’s wedding, when my best friend’s gone and killed herself!”
The last two words got Annette to recoil. “Now when did that happen? She was alive when I was here…”
“We don’t know,” Amy forced herself to say, while holding herself. “Nobody thought she’d do it. And now people are wondering what caused her to go that far…”
She then shook her head, and wiped her face. “Sorry. Didn’t mean to dump that onto you. Let’s just finish preparing you for your big day, huh?”
“Is that right?” Dennis was finishing up his buttered toast when Sinbad described yesterday. “So that Annette lady decided to make roots here in this pathetic dump of a town?”
“I guess,” Sinbad muttered while he half-heartedly pinched Shark’s toes. He then waved his free hand over Shark’s blank face. “You hearing this, man?”
Shark just kept looking up at the ceiling. “Hear what?”
A scratch of the belly got him to come out of his reverie. “The Annette lady’s thinking of getting married. That means Doggy might get to stay in town.”
The word ‘Doggy’ caused Shark to perk back up. “Really?”
Dennis cleared his throat to get their attention. “It also means that the dog’s owner will be ‘Auntie Annette’ to you and your sister. Think you can handle that?”
Shark looked at his father, remembering this fact. “I don’t mind, if I get to pet the doggy.”
Beside herself with jubilation, Annette strode up the steps to City Hall. Several of the workers there glanced at her, most likely entranced.
Or it just wasn’t every day a woman with blue skin showed up in a wedding dress.
“Could you tell me where the office of Bill Racket is?” Her question made her business known. Getting her directions, Annette prepared for what would be a day of endless bliss.
At least, it was supposed to feel that way.
When she approached his office, Annette thought she could smell something off. If Sagebear had been allowed in with her, she would have thought the same.
Disregarding the stench, she entered his office to find it empty.
“Bill?” Annette scanned the room, peeking in the various cabinets and hiding spots. “Now Bill, no need to be shy on your wedding day-”
She was interrupted by something dripping onto her face. The liquid, much to her confusion and horror, was a familiar crimson color.
“What…?” Against her better judgment, Annette looked up. The sight that greeted her defied actual explanation.
It wasn’t hard to know whose limbs and organs draped the large chandelier above her. She had only to see the dismembered head staring down at her.
Horror-struck, Annette couldn’t seem to find the voice to scream. The gory display left her unable to articulate her words.
“No…How…?” She didn’t notice the footsteps behind her until it was too late. She only noticed when an unwelcome hand clapped over her mouth, and a blood-stained knife dangling before her.
Annette could only stand there, frozen as the figure leaned in, and whispered a single word that she didn’t want to hear from them: