(Illness be damned, I’m posting this fucking chapter)
(Warning! Uh…Hoo boy…You’ll see when you get there. Just brace yourself)
“All right, Baron von Chugsalot. Down the hatch,” The Builder said as they stirred the concoction around in a glass. The recently reanimated zombie didn’t resist as his head was tilted back, and the cocktail was poured down his opened mouth.
Sticking their tongue out in focus, The Builder made certain that they didn’t spill anything. For special measure, they rubbed his throat to make sure it went down.
“For the record, no. I don’t know why you just consumed something that I’m pretty sure helped kill The Rev.” They waited for his reaction to being given such a foul mixture.
Said reaction was to regurgitate it back at them violently, in a torrent of black bile. The Builder merely stood there, covered in the mess, before coolly asking him:
“Is that your final answer?”
Sinbad looked confused and worried at whatever it was on Marc and Harwood’s plates. The other two seemed perfectly happy to munch on it, though.
“Uh, so…” He watched as Marc poked at what he presumed to be some kind of pancake. “That’s supposed to be edible…right?”
“It is,” Harwood replied before shoving a small piece of banana bread into his mouth. “Just wait a little longer, then we’ll go to the hospital.”
Earlier, Sinbad was practically blindsided when Harwood gave some frankly bizarre requests. Marc tried to clarify by saying he had to do the same thing himself, but it was still weird.
Sinbad was mainly peeved over not getting to eat, or even brush his teeth. He now sat on the couch, waiting for them to get done.
“What am I even supposed to have done there? And I can eat after we get back?”
Marc swallowed whatever was in his mouth before speaking. “Yeah, you can. Eh, relax. They aren’t gonna poke you with needles, I don’t think.”
His talking didn’t stop Sinbad from hearing his stomach growl.
“Are you quite sure it’ll be all right to leave him alone in the station, Dudley?” Dennis was apprehensive as he and his brother were traveling to the park, Sagebear walking in stride alongside them. Sagebear herself was still vigorously squeaking the rubber dog toy.
With a quiet nod, Dudley did his best to reassure him. “Anything dangerous is locked up. If something bad were to happen, he won’t injure himself, or worse.
“And besides,” he added as he cautiously pet Sagebear’s head, “He might appreciate the quiet time. And I’d like to be out of the station for once, selfish as that may make me sound given the circumstances.”
Upon reaching the park, Dennis gently took the squeaky toy out of Sagebear’s mouth, only to throw it for her a distance away. Sagebear took off after it as if she were running a race.
“We all need time to sort things out, I suppose,” Dennis said as he waited for her to get back. “Like, besides Shark learning about our family history, I’ve got my own situations to work with.”
“Likewise.” Dudley crossed his arms and leaned against the nearest tree, watching Sagebear sniffing around for her toy. “There’s the matter of the family’s money, for one…”
“Does she ever show signs of waking up?” Horse-Face’s companion quietly asked The Twin in regards to their mother. “Like, maybe open an eye or lift a finger?”
The Twin just shook their head, and looked on at The Mother’s comatose state. They knew the reason why she wouldn’t awaken, but didn’t want to tell it to this young man.
“That’s…sorry.” He then tried shaking himself out of that line of thinking, and instead tried following a different line of questioning.
“If Horse-Face hadn’t come back that night, would I have…?” The Twin put a hand over his mouth, as a way to silence him for some reason.
Why they did this became immediately clear. In a nearby room, Horse-Face had begun shrieking in agony. He could barely be heard over a monotone groaning.
Then came The Builder admonishing someone:
“Hey! Hey! Hey! Drop him! Drop him!” A delay came, followed by a thump to the floor. Both of them waited until a door was smashed, followed by The Builder shouting, “No, don’t go into the cellar!”
“The one talking…That’s your twin, right?” The young man made sure to keep his voice down when he wriggled away from their hand. The Twin only nodded in response.
Against his own better judgment, the companion got to his feet and went to check what was transpiring.
The pictures and information that Shark was looking over now just got more sinister by the second. Most of what he’d seen so far were mug shots, and papers listing various crimes his relatives had committed.
The crimes attributed to his grandparents and Uncle Bill were to be expected. It was the heinous acts attached to his father’s name that he wasn’t aware of.
Quickly scanning the list, Shark found the words ‘drug trafficking’, ‘gun cartels’, and other not-so-nice atrocities. He grit his teeth, wanting to put his fist through the table now.
He was about to do so when a folded piece of paper fell out from between the papers he had. Picking it up and reading it revealed it to be a letter.
I had your uncle slip this in at some point before now. By now, you’ve no doubt seen the things I’ve done. There’s also what your other relatives pulled, but I’m not them.
All of this? This is what I was trying to keep hidden from you. I thought that if I kept all this under wraps, you still had a chance.
Then I realized we had to leave the mansion for that to mean anything. That place was nothing more than a world of corruption. The riches were ill-gotten and filthy. It just wasn’t a place meant for you.
For almost twenty-one years, I kept silent on the matter of the family business. I did it all so you’d have a chance for a happy life. And I’d rather you be poor but happy, than rich but miserable.
I was hardly ever around to watch you grow up, but even so I wanted to make sure you don’t suffer like I did. And if that meant taking something I’ve always known (unwillingly, of course), and cutting it out of my life as best as I could, so be it.
No matter how much you hate me now, just remember: I’d do anything to make sure that you, my only remaining child, can live a life worth living; something I wasn’t able to do.
Your father Dennis
“For the hundredth time, man, there were no aliens in Two and a Half Men!” Sinbad declared to Marc while they were waiting for the doctor to show up.
Marc didn’t sound convinced. “Are you sure? I swear, there was an episode where Alan kept getting sent forward in time every ten years.”
“It’s not even the same character! Or the same show!” The whole time they argued, Harwood sat off to the side with an amused expression. At some point, he rolled his eyes and snorted.
The jabbering stopped when the doctor walked in. Knowing what was going to happen, Sinbad made sure he called in for a day off to be safe.
When he was told to open his mouth, Sinbad did so. He tried not to close it again when he felt a swab press to the inside of his cheek.
Annette hadn’t been out of the cellar very long when Horse-Face scurried by her. He didn’t stop to hear her say anything, clutching his neck under his mask all the while.
“Uh…Okay,” she said to herself. Instead of continuing on to her next destination, though, she turned to go back to the cellar.
What she heard downstairs was a cacophony of shouting, growling, and bottles being smashed.
“Hello?” Cautiously, she approached the stairs. The door that once stood almost always closed lay splintered and broken about her.
When she didn’t get an answer, Annette took the first step down back into the cellar.
“Well, aren’t you a real piece of work?” The Builder sarcastically quipped as they watched their latest specimen down an entire bottle of alcohol. “First, you smack me in the face. Then you nearly pop my assistant’s head off! And then you smash one of my doors to smithereens! Now you’re drinking all my booze!”
The zombie ignored them and continued to chug, stopping only to vomit once or twice.
“Also you need to quit doing that,” they pointed out as they pulled out a bottle of something they used to make the earlier cocktail. “What are you puking on everything for, anyway? I didn’t think I used that much…Ipecac?!”
Upon closer inspection, The Builder realized they had indeed used Ipecac instead of flavored syrup. Scratching their head, they realized that had to be why the zombie was throwing up.
“That explains so much…” They didn’t finish talking, on account of hearing their wife’s voice again in the cellar. Realizing her past connection to the man currently drinking all the alcohol, they poked him in the back.
“Hey, big guy. Your Aunt Roberta- I mean, Aunt Annette, is here…” They took another glance behind her to gauge how close by she was getting. “I’ll leave you two to catch up.” With that, they disappeared in a puff of menthol-scented smoke.
She thought for sure she was only having a horrendous nightmare. Nonetheless, Annette kept edging toward the behemoth that had his back turned to her.
“Uh, hello? Can you, I don’t know, say something that isn’t ‘get me to quit drinking this shit’.” He didn’t answer.
When she got close enough, Annette reached out and took hold of his wrist. It was only then that she finally knew who exactly it was before her.
The man swiveled around, revealing his eyes had been stitched shut. His bared teeth were stained with a black substance she couldn’t quite figure out. His brown hair was matted, and filthy.
Even then, she knew who it was. Annette only wished it wasn’t in the state he was currently in.
“…Shark? Is that you?” She let go, and tried stepping back a few paces. He only stumbled after her, surprisingly quickly for someone in his condition.
Annette had no time to react before she felt him grab hold of her shoulder. He then let out an inhuman howl, before delivering a right hook to her face.
Trying to recover after falling to the hard floor, Annette looked up in time to see him looming over her. He opened his mouth again, rasping out words that probably hurt just as bad as her now bleeding nose:
“I hate you.”
(I have no idea if the chapter title actually pertained very well to the actual chapter. Nonetheless, the song I got the title from: )