(Warning! Another meltdown)
“Well, that looks to be the last of it,” Dennis said as he watched Sinbad and Blaise haul Lolly’s bed into the junk heap. It followed the rest of that which belonged to her.
Blaise scratched her head, looking over the furniture that now joined the rest of the junk. “Hey, Denny. Wouldn’t ya be better off selling yer daughter’s stuff instead of scrapping it?”
“Nah. Too many bad memories. I don’t want another family to have to own something of hers, and somehow suffer for it.”
He crossed his arms and leaned against the truck, and was soon joined by her. Some ways away, Sinbad began searching through one of the smaller junk piles for any hidden treasures.
“So what are ya gonna put in that room now that she’s gone?” Blaise watched him shrug and mutter in thought.
“Either I move my own bed in there, or let the dog have her own room.” He looked at his fingernails as he talked. “You know the boy would be all for that. Just need to get her a proper bed, and some toys…”
Here he chuckled. “Well, damned if I don’t sound like a long-time grandpa already.”
Shark was a touch bamboozled at Sagebear’s insistence at walking in a certain direction. He knew it to be the same direction the truck went, but didn’t know why she wanted to go that way.
Besides a stop to relieve herself, Sagebear was intent on reaching her destination.
“Do you know where you’re going?” Shark questioned her. Apparently, she did.
Suddenly, they stopped at the grocery store, with Sagebear taking a good whiff of the display stands. Her nose hovered over the pears longer than the rest of the produce.
“No, I don’t think we’re having fruit parfait for dessert tonight,” he muttered as she pushed her nose deeper into the fruit selections.
Internally, Shark hoped they never had fruit parfait again. He knew that it happened to have been his sister’s favorite food.
He didn’t have time to think about it, though. Soon, Sagebear was raring to keep going. It didn’t take long for them to reach the next destination.
Dennis put his hand up to shield his eyes from the sun, as he caught sight of his son coming towards them.
“Oh, and here they are now!” Sinbad looked up when Dennis declared Shark’s presence. He then leapt out of the junk pile he was in, holding a box for a microwave.
“Hiya, Sharky!” Blaise lifted a hand in greetings. She then bent down to greet Sagebear by rubbing her head. “And hello to ya too, little girl!”
Sagebear was pleased from the warm welcome she was receiving, judging from the force her wagging tail generated. When Dennis joined Blaise, she licked his face.
“Awww, giving Grandpa kisses, eh? Oh, you’re such a little sweetheart. Make sure you do the same for Miss Blaise, now.” As if she heard him, Sagebear complied.
When Dennis got back to his full height, Shark handed him the dog’s leash. Before he could ask, Shark gestured toward Sinbad as a way to request privacy.
Understanding what he wanted, Dennis nodded and began to take Sagebear back to their house. Blaise was at his side, linking her arm in with his free one.
Evidently, The Builder was away from their base too long.
It hadn’t taken long before they and Annette were back, scaring the assistants in the process of entering. The Builder was in such a poor state, they had to hang off Annette to stay on their feet.
After the usual friction that came with their return, things had settled down. Once again, Annette was left to wander by herself while they recuperated.
For once, the base was quiet. Risking any potential trouble, Annette quietly peeked into one of the assistants’ bedrooms.
Somehow, she’d assumed that they’d awake. They were not. All she saw before her was Moony partially hidden under a multitude of blankets.
Moony didn’t stir, save for retreating under said blankets further at hearing the door open.
Quietly, Annette stepped into the room, before a gun aimed at her throat was thrust towards her.
No trace of Lolly remained in the room now.
Dennis unhooked Sagebear’s leash before he and Blaise entered it, now stricken by the contrast from just a few days.
“I know I’ve probably asked this before, but…how ya holding up, Denny?” Blaise waited for Dennis to lean onto the wall before he answered.
Again, Dennis gave a half-hearted shrug. “I don’t know what to make of it. I know my daughter didn’t take the change in financial status well, but I didn’t think she’d…”
He looked at his hands, then slumped to the floor. “I know she’s my youngest child, but a part of me hates her for what she did to Shark.
“I just don’t think it’d be right for a parent to hate their child, for any reason. Because…”
He paused. Blaise sat next to him, placing a hand on his shoulder. “Because?”
Now Dennis pinched the bridge of his nose. “I don’t know for sure. I guess it’s because if I hated my children, then I’d be no better than my own parents. And I’m sure you remember what I’ve said about them…”
“That I have.” Now Blaise wasn’t certain what to say to him. “I guess let part of yerself hate her for what she did, but love her because she’s yer kid. Find a compromise within yerself?”
Sagebear lay between them, sprawling out as a way to say she wanted a belly rub. Dennis silently mulled over Blaise’s words as he gave the dog what she wanted.
Annette was stunned at having a LeMat Revolver pointed at her in this situation. Last she checked, she hadn’t done anything to warrant this reaction.
“What the…?” Looking up, she craned her neck skyward to try and make contact with Sunny’s mask. She put her hands up in an attempt to appease him.
It appeared to have succeeded. Sunny lowered his arm, and stepped away from her.
Annette was now left confused and still on guard. “Dare I ask what entailed that?” Sunny didn’t speak, but instead pointed toward Moony. Not once had he stirred. “Oh…Just worried for his safety, maybe?”
Sunny gave a slow nod.
“I mean, I could’ve done without the gun and all.” He handed it to her, in an odd state. “…A gun that appears to not be loaded. Would that really have worked?”
He just turned away from her, seemingly ashamed to look at her now.
Shortly after Dennis and Blaise left with Sagebear, Shark had wrapped Sinbad up in a bear hug. Sinbad felt himself being lifted up off the ground.
“Dude! I wasn’t gone that long. Are you really that happy to see me?” But Shark’s face wasn’t displaying any signs of emotion, positive or otherwise.
Then, Sinbad felt himself unceremoniously dropped to the ground. Before him, he watched Shark go down around the same time he did. The only real difference was that Sinbad didn’t subsequently turn around and curl up into a ball.
“What is it, man?” Shark took hold of his wavy brown hair, and looked about his surroundings.
“This is where I belong, after what Lolly did…” He began shaking and crying, telltale signs of a dreaded tantrum.
Sinbad tried to stop it from happening. “No you don’t, man. That wasn’t your fault. I highly doubt you asked to be tied up and tortured.”
His words had gone unheard. Shark slumped down even further, and slid his arms out in front of himself.
Waiting with bated breath, Sinbad was left frightened anyway when Shark balled his fists up and started pounding the ground.
“I do belong here! I can’t do anything right! And…” Shark almost immediately regretted his next words, even in the midst of his meltdown.
“And I don’t deserve to be loved!”
Sinbad continued waiting, albeit even more upset from what Shark just said. When Shark finally showed signs of calming down, he felt Sinbad’s arms wrap around his waist.
“Why the fuck would you say that about yourself?” Sinbad’s voice was trembling as he whispered.
Despite her efforts to get a word out of him, Annette left when she couldn’t carry on a conversation with Sunny. She did peek back in later to see him and Moony sharing a bed now.
Seeing them together made her feel a slight pang of jealousy. Annette kept wishing she’d have been able to have her life with Bill back, regardless of whatever The Builder told her.
“Not all of it could have been true, could it?” She didn’t get an answer, but then again she hadn’t expected one.
Much to her shock, Annette came back to find her bed empty. There was no sign of The Builder, even if their health meant danger for them to be away.
Deciding she needed to be apart from them anyway, Annette just brushed it off and lay down. The stink of menthol was thick in the sheets, leading her to lay on top of them as she tried to go to sleep.
(What I listened to while writing parts of this (admittedly) brief/filler chapter: ) (Note: Spoilers for To The Moon in video)