(Warning! Yet another tantrum/meltdown)
Dennis sat alone on the fountain at the town park. He dreaded going home, knowing what awaited him. He knew he could try stating that it wasn’t part of their lives anymore, but he didn’t know exactly how true that was.
Behind him, there were still remnants of a New Year’s Day celebration. Though they once promised a joyous occasion, now the decorations hung limply throughout the park.
When his phone suddenly rang, Dennis almost fell backwards into the fountain. Grabbing onto the edge to prevent doing so, he answered. “Hello?”
There was a delay before Blaise answered. “Ya all right, Denny?”
He sighed. “I’ll not lie to you, madam…No. I am not all right.”
“Do I really have to watch all these at once?”
That was the question that Annette gave to the others in the room with her. The twin shook their head, knowing the subject matter of the videos.
With that, Annette stood up, and quietly left the room. She still made note to remember where it was, for the next time there was movie time.
After rounding the corner, all that remained of the earlier confrontation was what she presumed to be Ox-Head’s blood. It made her deeply uncomfortable to know what caused that.
Ox-Head himself could be heard behind the closed door of her room. His incessant jabbering didn’t seem to have any sign of stopping.
At least, it didn’t stop until the shattering of glass could be heard, followed by The Builder’s shouting.
“Shut your fucking mouth! I’m checking out my haul over here, and I can’t appreciate it with all that damn yammering!”
When she entered, Annette saw The Builder standing at the side of their bed. An array of weapons and supplies were laid out in front of them. On the other side of the room, Ox-Head was huddled next to a headless corpse.
The Builder was salivating when they ran a bony hand over a China Lake Grenade Launcher. They marveled over it like it was the finest piece of weaponry on the planet.
“Who shall get to help me take out a hipster town? Why, you shall! Yes, you shall!” Their attempt at baby talk was unsettling. When they turned to continue gloating, they were jolted out of their reverie.
“When the fuck did you get here?” Annette wished they’d actually dropped the grenade launcher and blew their own head off.
She raised an eyebrow at their stupid question. “Uh…Just now?” Annette glanced over at Ox-Head briefly, then looked back at them. “Look, was assaulting him really necessary?”
Instead of answering her, The Builder put up a finger to tell her to wait. Setting the launcher back onto the bed, they turned their head away, and let loose with a fiery belch.
The heat that was generated from the blaze was astounding. Annette could only watch as they turned the nearest chair into a pile of soot.
When they were done, The Builder pointed at the former chair and gloated, “And that’s why I shouldn’t swallow lit matches anymore! Now then…”
They pushed her out of the way to reach the door, then turned back to her. “Best I continue work on my newest project, eh?” Annette stood still as they then jabbed a finger toward Ox-Head, instantly hostile.
“If I find your prints on my stuff when I get back, I’m taking a meat tenderizer to your fingers! You got it, you lousy cambion?”
Ox-Head, for once, didn’t answer them as they left.
“So what got you thrown out, if you don’t mind me asking?” Marc questioned Sinbad as the latter threw his bag of clothes over his shoulder.
Sinbad grunted. “Can you hold off on the interrogation tactics until I’m settled in here? It’s bad enough my ex subjected me to one a few hours ago.”
The short walk to Marc’s house revealed some disturbing visuals. The most obvious one was Sinbad’s old house, with the police tape all around it.
Across from it, Amy’s house had all the windows blasted out completely. As a result, snow had begun to get inside and ruin everything. He grit his teeth at the mere thought of her. The next two houses were completely dark and empty. Both had “For Sale” signs on the front lawns.
The last house was actually a bit welcoming to come into. Throwing his bag onto the floor, Sinbad then collapsed next to it. He grabbed hold of his own head, trying to hide from Marc now.
“What? Hey, I’m not asking to share a bed,” Marc stated for clarification, “but you do have to either sleep on the couch or in a sleeping bag-”
“It isn’t that!” Slapping his hands against his clothing bag, Sinbad began crying again. “It’s…”
He threw his head upwards, in a mix of grief and rage. “Do I seriously have to move in with some stranger on fucking New Years?!”
His outburst didn’t seem to ruffle Marc’s feathers one bit.
“I guess so,” was what he said in response. “But if it helps, I have seen you around town a few times. Usually with some brown-haired guy, I’m thinking-”
“Yeah,” Sinbad interrupted him again, “My ex-fiance.” He stood back up, only to kick his bag over and spill all his clothes out.
Like a dutiful servant, Marc picked up everything. “Say no more. But still: Couch, or sleeping bag?”
Waiting for Sagebear to use the bathroom proved worrisome. Shark hoped that no one would come in the middle of the night for whatever reason.
It was at least entertaining to watch her make tunnels through the snow, like a little furry submarine. It also proved to be a good way to keep his mind off recent discoveries.
There was nothing but pure hatred for his father and ex-fiance now. He certainly didn’t want to be involved with, let alone betrothed to someone who likely murdered other people.
Burying his face into his legs, Shark let loose with another, albeit muffled scream. He then began hiccuping and pounding his head with his fists.
He blamed Dennis for never telling him about the Racket family past. He then blamed Sinbad for being an accomplice in this secret. In all of this, he blamed himself most of all for being so incredibly stupid.
“Stupid, stupid, stupid! I hate you, I hate you, I hate you…!” The words went back and forth between coherence and unintelligible rage.
Not even a snow-covered Sagebear, sniffing and licking his toes, brought him out of his meltdown this time.
After his phone call ended, Dennis had once again found himself at Blaise and Alma’s house. With the same warmth as all the times before, Alma welcomed him in.
“Blaise got into the shower right after you hung up,” she explained to him as to why Blaise hadn’t been part of the usual greeting. “Though she did explain your plight.”
“She did, huh? Then I suppose you’d have a suggestion as to what to do?”
Alma shrugged, and led him to the couch in front of the television. Dennis tried ignoring the massive crack in the TV screen as he heard what she had to say.
“I’m just saying this as his former teacher, I’ll admit, but…” It seemed not even Alma knew how to word it right. “I think that whatever it was that has him mad at you? Do the opposite.”
From the bathroom, Dennis and Alma heard the shower turn off. Dennis began talking now himself.
“So in this case, tell him the truth and disclose decades of secrets to him?”
Alma nodded. “If you can tell two women you’ve only known for a few months, I’m sure you can tell your son somehow.”
Dennis was about to ask for more advice when the bathroom door opened, revealing a towel-clad Blaise.
“Hey, Alma! We’re out of that shampoo I like! Hope you don’t mind I used yers,” she said while drying her hair.
Looking over, Alma smirked. “I can always get more next time I’m at the store.”
Blaise returned the grin, then finally acknowledged her boyfriend. “Hi, Denny! Ya got here earlier than I thought. Talking with Alma about what to do with yer son?”
“Yes, we are,” he confirmed. “Any suggestions from you, though?”
(Chapter stops here, because otherwise it’s going to go on forever if I don’t)