(If the last little scene feels tacked on, that’s because it kind of was)
Looking through the questions, Annette was quite astounded at seeing how well they were answered. Under her questions were surprisingly well-written answers. No sign of mess or haste could be seen.
Even all the more personal questions were answered. It felt strange to know that The Twin knew what the middle names of her children were. It was stranger still to see what looked to be teardrop stains on the paper.
Then came the most personal question of all. Under it, the first part had been completely scribbled out, replaced by a different line of dialogue:
“I don’t have to answer that if you don’t want me to.”
Under this, there was a small caricature of The Twin, with zipped lips and a large X over their chest.
“So what’s the story over you getting super pissed and all?” Sinbad was sitting at the table now, watching Marc put a water-filled teapot onto the stove. “Something about a woman, you said.” On the table sat a few paintings that Marc had personally picked out to use.
“Yeah…It’s not a very interesting story, but…” Turning on the stove, Marc then grabbed a jar of peanut butter and package of crackers out of a nearby cupboard. Turning around, he handed them to Sinbad. “Yeah, sorry. Mister Clay usually never has company, so…These are the best I can do right now.”
Sinbad looked over the ingredients. He contemplated as to whether or not Marc expected him to spread the peanut butter with his fingers.
“Uh, I need a…” Marc was quick to hand him a butter knife next. When he took a seat himself, he then spread the paintings out in between the two of them.
Pointing to the one on the far left, Marc waited until Sinbad had made himself a few cracker sandwiches. Then he started to explain.
“I was in a relationship with this woman some time back. I’m not usually one for relationships, but I thought I could make an exception. She was…”
Marc dragged his finger over the brightly-colored first canvas. “Won’t lie. She was amazing. I had the best times of my life with her. At least, I thought I did.”
when Sinbad took an extended look, the subject indeed appeared to be Marc, smiling and holding a giant heart.
Taking a drag of their menthol cigarette, The Builder proudly inspected their handiwork thus far.
It had been a pain to extract the organs, but so far it appeared to be worth it. Now the subject was sitting up on a chair. Instead of organic innards, she was now stuffed with sawdust and other material.
“Man, you’re a pain to work with. But hey! Nothing I haven’t dealt with before, I don’t think. Now then, best I get to dressing you…”
Now The Builder took hold of a pair of pants, and began to slip them over the stuffed cadaver’s legs. Nearby, next to their tools, two rings sat side by side.
“Let’s see…Which one do I put on you first, and how?” After the pants were on, The Builder picked up both and examined them closely. “Can’t have both be rings, now can I?”
Taking the heliotrope in hand, The Builder then wrenched it out of its setting. They then held it up to admire it better. Knowing what the stone was made of, they chuckled to themself.
Now wouldn’t this make a lovely brooch for you, dear? ‘The blood of a hundred sinners’. There’s some good value in that, I’d say.” They turned to her again, and knelt down to meet her lifeless stare. “Wouldn’t that be a joy to wear? Huh?”
The poor girl said nothing. She only sat motionlessly as they grabbed the other ring, and slid it on her finger. They then pulled a shirt onto her, and began to work on a new piece of jewelry.
“So what happened with this chick you were so in love with? If things were great with her, then…?” Sinbad popped a cracker sandwich in his mouth, and proceeded to continue with his mouth full. “Why are you here instead of shacking up with her?”
Marc then drew his finger back, only to then press it to the second painting. This one still had bright colors, but the Marc in the picture was also being overtaken by what appeared to be inhuman creatures.
“Let’s just say sometimes I said things I probably shouldn’t have, and she got upset with me, and…” At this, Marc slammed his knee hard against the bottom of the table.
This action left Sinbad very confused. “And that means…?”
Both the follow-up question and subsequent knee pain got Marc to cringe. “Replace the table with my balls, and you got what happened. I don’t know. She usually didn’t get mad at me, but she was mad at me there.”
“So…Breakup happened because you mouthed off about something?”
“Nah. Infidelity.” Marc then dragged his nails across the painting, horribly defacing it in the process. “I guess I didn’t appreciate her enough or something. A few months ago, I go to visit her and…”
The way he spoke so casually was putting Sinbad on edge. “And…what?”
Now Marc pointed to the last painting, a complete mess. None of the brightness from the first picture remained. Marc now stood with a broken heart. Behind him, two grotesque demons were pointing and laughing at him. One seemed to be stabbing him in the chest.
“I found her in bed with another man.”
The last sentence intrigued Sinbad in a rather twisted way now. “So…she cheated on you. Then what happened? She cheated on you, and got mad at you for finding out?”
Marc ended up making a disgruntled sound. “Not the sharpest crayon in the box, she was. So I confront her about it, and…” He paused, before continuing. “Well, have you ever been kicked in in the private parts before?”
Sinbad claimed he had once or twice. Marc continued.
“Yeah, she kind of kneed me right in the groin. ‘Accidentally on purpose’, I guess.” He stopped again, presumably to dwell on the injury. “Doctor said it was so bad, I may not be able to have kids in the future.”
“Ouch,” was all Sinbad could think to say on this man’s issue. “So who was this chick, if you don’t mind me asking?”
Marc didn’t give him a verbal answer. He just pointed towards one of the demons in the picture. Looking closely, it was then Sinbad figured it out.
The demon with the knife had very familiar looking pigtails. Raising an eyebrow, he looked back up at Marc.
“So it was her, eh?”
“Yeah. I know it’s harsh to see her in that way, but…Well, you know. Rage paintings. I was mad. It’s hard to explain, it is.” Again, Sinbad could only nod. This time, however, he could feel the rage growing in his chest.
As soon as their ‘precious dolly’ was properly dressed, The Builder then proceeded to clasp on a now finished heliotrope brooch.
“There we are!” They stood back to once again inspect their work. “My my, you came out better than I thought. Maybe I should build you a life-sized dollhouse while I’m at it later on!”
As expected, the doll remained silent. Having finished up, The Builder then threw a sheet over her.
“All right, on to the next project. Now where’s my exhuming shovel and chiseling tools…?”
Putting the paper and envelope in a fairly obscure spot, Annette then ran out to find the hidden room from before. Since The Twin did what she wanted, now it was her turn to fulfill her end of their deal.
The room was still where she expected it, hidden in plain sight. Making certain The Builder was nowhere to be seen, Annette let herself in.
“Huh? What are you doing here…?” Somehow she wasn’t too startled at seeing Horse-Face’s companion sitting in front of her.
The young man didn’t look up from where he was huddled. “The Twin sent me in here while they were answering your questions. I guess they didn’t want you to watch these alone in an empty room.
“If it helps, just…Just ignore me. I’m not exactly the best at conversation.”
To this, Annette nodded. She then sat in front of the TV, and turned it on to watch the next video.
Another day of work had come and gone. Dennis was standing at the front door, looking through the window next to it.
As expected, he saw Shark brushing Sagebear, completely oblivious to the rest of the outside. He certainly didn’t want to interrupt the idyllic picture there.
Sagebear appeared to notice him through the window, and proceeded to wag her tail even harder than she was already.
“You’re gonna look so nice and shiny when I”m done, puppy,” Shark was heard cooing to her as he then pet her on the head. Next to them, a large bag of dog treats sat waiting to be opened.
Deciding not to continue feeling creepy, Dennis instead walked off and changed his destination.