(WARNING! More torture, vile insults, and some other things that should not be said in polite company, if ever)
Sinbad held Shark closer as he thought over what might have been going on in his mind.
“You sure you wanna go see your mom in prison, man? ‘Cause, you know, the reason she’s in there in the first place…”
Shark nodded. “I know. I’m going because I feel like I need to. I might not get another chance to say what I need to say to her.” After that, he was silent.
After a few moments of wordlessness, the door to their bedroom squeaked open. Out walked the blanket they used on their bed.
“Uh…” Sinbad raised an eyebrow at the sight of their blanket strutting around. It paused, before letting out a loud sneeze. It dropped down a bit, revealing it to be Sagebear.
When she saw where they sat, Sagebear trotted over to them and placed her front paws up on the couch. She remained mostly still as they pulled the blanket off her, albeit wagging her tail.
“Good girl,” Shark whispered as they brought the blanket up.
Trembling, Goodwin could only watch as he saw his now detached scalp being displayed in front of him.
“Yeah, I’m gonna make me a nice wig out of this when I get back-” The Builder stopped mid-sentence just to puke onto his face.
When they stood back up, they wiped their face with their arm. “So chances are your kid ain’t sitting well with me.
“Strange,” they said while picking their teeth with their knife now, “that Zainichi guy I ate stayed down pretty well, and I’m pretty sure he had the same little skank of a mom! Must just be your fault.”
Through the mess on his face, Goodwin saw Horse-Face fall back, holding himself. He was clearly unable to continue much longer.
“Builder, please! How much longer is this going to take?” Ox-Head remained silent, and just opted to scratch himself while humming creepily.
The Builder clearly didn’t like bring rushed. “Ehhh, a while. Why? Don’t tell me the two of you are pussing out already.”
Both masked assistants shook their heads. In response, The Builder handed Ox-Head Goodwin’s scalp, and grinned unsettlingly.
Both men lay on the couch now, holding each other close. Shark was practically purring as he felt Sinbad’s fingers comb through his hair.
Thinking this was a precursor to harder activities, Shark leaned in for a kiss. Much to his surprise, he felt a hand push to his lips.
“Dude, what the hell?” Sinbad put the perfect words to what Shark was thinking right now.
Shark waited until his hand drew back before speaking. “I…I thought you’d up for it tonight.” He was given a naughty finger wag for his suggestion.
“You just got out of being tortured by your sister. You’re going to see your convict mother, and your mindset from all that is to fuck?”
Then Sinbad just sighed. “Look, sex is great and all, but…”
He then poked Shark in the middle of the forehead. “I ain’t touching you until this…” His finger pointed down towards Shark’s lower half, “can clearly agree with that. Sound good?”
“Now let’s see…Which method would be the most cathartic?” The Builder dragged their knife over Goodwin’s body, making certain to leave cut lines.
Ox-Head now crawled over and sidled up next to Horse-Face. It appeared both of them were terrified at what could happen next.
After a few more moments of exploration, The Builder then tapped the stained knife to their mouth. A few seconds or so later, they knew what they wanted to do to him.
“Well, since those eyes of yours keep looking at what they shouldn’t…” Bending down, The Builder then abruptly jammed their knife directly into one of Goodwin’s eyes.
Horse-Face covered Ox-Head’s ears so as to nullify the ear-splitting keening that followed. In return, Ox-Head began letting loose with a few screams of his own. Astoundingly, his drowned out Goodwin’s.
After getting bundled up by himself, Shark watched from inside the blanket as Sinbad frittered around the kitchen area now.
He could hear him mumbling, “that’s a lot of heavy cream” at one point, but he was otherwise silent.
“What are you making?” Shark asked behind his miniature blanket fortress. Sinbad looked at him, then held up a half-filled pitcher.
“Figured you’d need something holiday-related tomorrow. And for…” Sinbad waved his hand towards the front door to indicate someplace else. “You know.”
Shark just nodded. He then got to his feet, and shuffled over to see better. He then leaned his head onto Sinbad’s shoulder.
“I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas. And I can’t believe I have to go see her. Here I thought I could finally have a decent Christmas without resorting to watching all the cheesy holiday specials.”
Reaching over, Sinbad patted Shark on the back. “Just try to get through seeing her, and I’ll do my damnedest to make that happen.”
He looked back, and cringed at the selection of ingredients. “Might have to go with that store bought eggnog, though. This shit doesn’t look appetizing, and I’m no expert on making this stuff.”
Gripping the knife in her hands, Annette stomped around the base in search of her target. So far, her sleuthing brought up nothing.
Nearly every room contained something different. All of them had one thing in common, however: None of them contained Horse-Face.
When Annette reached the cellar, the smell of alcohol was overpowering. Clearly, The Builder kept this place well-stocked.
“Hello? Horse-Face, where are you?” Annette tried to disguise the fury dripping from her voice, to no avail. All she could do was wander through the cellar, until she came to another door next to some crates of sangria.
Said door was fairly nondescript, except for a plaque bolstered on it stating ‘CLONE ROOM’. Underneath this, a smaller sign was hastily written to say, ‘ONLY THE BUILDER ALLOWED PAST THIS POINT! VIOLATORS WILL GET STUNG’.
Ignoring the warning, Annette pushed past it to find a room she didn’t think would be there.
The only lights in the room came from the glow of large tubes, each holding a body within. The tube nearest her contained a face she remembered all too well.
“No way…” Her fears were confirmed when reading the information on the front of the tube. The subject himself appeared to be missing his arms, and hooked up to a breathing apparatus. He had one eye open, as though he were looking at her.
Annette clapped a hand to her mouth before reading out loud just exactly what was posted before her:
“Type of flavor: Zainichi. Notes: Conscious, but brain-damaged. All other organs are in otherwise good working condition. May possess unusually delicious liver, due to past clone experience. Name of subject:”
Dropping to her knees, Annette swallowed as she read the last two words:
The Builder yanked their knife out of Goodwin’s other eye socket, bringing forth a burst of blood. Horse-Face could only watch as the young man before him was brutally disfigured to the point of non-recognition.
At some point, Ox-Head was knocked out cold to stop with his screaming. He lay behind them now, occasionally twitching to show he was still alive.
“Okay, what else can I cut off of you to teach you a lesson? Oh, I know!” The Builder then kicked what was left of Goodwin onto his back, and messily hacked off his dick.
Horse-Face actually had to look away while it was happening. As he did, he moaned in disgust and crossed his legs in a bizarre show of sympathy pain. He was amazed at just how loudly Goodwin was still capable of screaming. Then came the maniacal laughter that could only have come from The Builder.
“Builder…” He croaked out. “Hasn’t he suffered enough?”
The Builder turned to look at him incredulously. “After all the shit he’s pulled? Hell, no!” They switched their attention back to Goodwin, now writhing in even more pain. “Though I am getting to the point of boredom with this guy, so…”
Hazarding a glance, Horse-Face watched as they stuffed Goodwin’s now detached manhood into his own mouth. They then jammed their knife into his throat, and cut deeply.
Silently, Horse-Face hoped this last gruesome act would end it for Goodwin. When The Builder yanked his tongue out through the incision, he breathed an uneasy sigh of relief when Goodwin finally stopped moving.
Getting to their feet, The Builder finally noticed a pair of female legs that clearly didn’t belong to Goodwin. They cocked their head in thought, then made a sound of wonder.
“Don’t know what he was gonna do with these, but…Waste not, want not.” They then slung the legs over their shoulder, and pulled their knife back out to slice through back to the base.
Horse-Face scrambled to pick up Ox-Head, and made sure to be able to follow them. He took one last look at the now defaced corpse, then shook his head and kept going.
Leaving the clone room, Annette walked back through the cellar, and up to her shared room with The Builder.
On her way, she could hear Moony whispering to someone, presumably Sunny.
“I dunno what’s she planning with that knife. I just hope she returns it when she’s done with…whatever in hell she’d planning with it.”
Then he said nothing. Curious, Annette peeked through the ajar door she heard his voice coming from.
She saw their two masks set aside, and Sunny holding Moony close. As much as she didn’t really want to admit it, a pang of jealousy overcame her.
Annette then stepped back, resuming her search. When she returned to her room, she was confronted with the sight of her sociopathic spouse.
The Builder grinned smugly, as they held up a pair of legs that Annette instantly recognized.
“Look, Marge! Maggie lost her baby legs!” Annette was shocked enough to drop her knife. “Oh, and don’t worry about that one blond douche anymore. He’s been taken care of.”
At this point, The Builder pushed past her. “Now then, I think it’s high time I have a taste of pure, untainted bulgogi with these! Where the fuck is Moony…?”
The next morning signaled Christmas Eve. Dennis ended up having to start the day bringing his son to the police station.
Shark walked behind him, his face downcast over having to even be here. The two said nothing as they approached Dudley’s station.
“Well, a good holiday morning to you both!” Dudley said as he stood up to meet them. Dennis shook his head at his brother’s insistence on working on the holiday. “I suppose you’re here to see your ex-wife, brother? Don’t know any other reason.”
Dennis pointed behind him toward Shark. “I’m not seeing her. But he is. She specifically requested to see him.”
Knowing the implications, Dudley nodded. “I’m aware.” He came over to the other side of the desk, and put a hand on Shark’s shoulder. “Would it help if one of us went with you to stand by? Just to be safe?”
Shark just quietly shook his head. “I can do it on my own.” Understanding what he was trying to say, both older men nodded.
“All right, then. If things go south, just holler.” Dudley then gave his nephew directions, and watched as he strode off in the direction of the visiting rooms.
When Shark was out of earshot, Dudley then directed his attention to Dennis. “Oh, hell! I just remembered. That partner of mine? He hasn’t shown up for work, and I’m getting worried. Figured I’d go check on him.”
Dennis indicated he was listening with an ‘uh-huh’ before speaking properly. “If the boy’s confrontation takes a while, well…mind if I tag along? I mean, he can always just call in case of emergency, right?”
“That’s true. And to be quite honest, brother…I wouldn’t mind having the company.”
“Hey, hold on! I don’t have the hat on right.” Sinbad was trying his hardest to get Sagebear to remain still. A few cartons of eggnog sat on the table, waiting to be consumed.
Sinbad was honestly unsure what got him to dress the dog up for the day. Perhaps it was his hope that it would put a smile on Shark’s face when he got back.
Reaching back towards the counter, Sinbad pulled out a bag of dog treats, and shook it in front of Sagebear. As expected, Sagebear’s ears perked up, and she sat down patiently.
Taking the chance, Sinbad finally adjusted her hat to an acceptable angle. As a reward for waiting patiently, Sagebear was fed two treats out of his hand.
“There you go, dog. I know how much Shark loves you, so maybe this’ll take the edge off of seeing his mother.”
Shark remained standing at the door in front of him. Despite trying to retain his composure, he felt himself trembling in fear and anger.
It had been months since he’d seen or even talked to his birth mother. He knew he’d not get another chance like this to make his true feelings known.
Now he regretted coming alone. But Shark had insisted on dealing with this head on, with only himself to say what needed to be said.
He looked through the small window on the door. His mother hadn’t yet noticed him, and was looking down at the table like a vulture awaiting its next victim. Her blonde hair was messy, and her face bore no signs of makeup.
Taking a deep breath, Shark steadied himself. He then took hold of the door handle, and turned it.