“Thanks for the ride, Cressida!” Sinbad waved good-bye to Marc’s girlfriend, as he drifted into the hospital where Harwood and Marc were said to be.
Stopping in front of a window, he combed his fingers through his hair, and made himself look as presentable as he could. When he looked all right to himself, Sinbad then made his way into the lobby.
“Yeah, hi,” he said while trying to make himself seem as pleasant as he could. “You got a guy here, last name Brandt?”
When he didn’t get an answer, he clarified. “Came here with his dad? …Did an old guy come in with a younger guy on his back?”
Asking that got him Marc’s room number. When he passed all the other rooms, he saw at least one where someone had apparently just died. He then tried looking away, believing that tonight that could’ve been either him or Marc.
Much to his relief, Marc was very much awake in bed. Harwood was nowhere to be seen, though.
“Hey.” When Marc saw his brother at the doorway, he reached his arms out for a hug that Sinbad was happy to give him. “So I didn’t die, like I promised.”
“Did you get here all right, bro? Got one of my people to bring you here?”
Sinbad nodded. “I’m glad you ain’t dead. So where’s the old man?”
To answer him, there came a flush from the bathroom. Then another flush, followed by kicking and Harwood yelling:
“Who uses a low-flow toilet from the 20th century anymore?! Damn cheap hospitals…” He tried flushing again, and again. Then Harwood began to delve into Cantonese cuss words.
Trying not to snicker too loudly, Sinbad gestured to the bathroom door. “He been in there for very long?”
Marc rolled his eyes, and leaned back and grabbed the TV remote. “You have no idea.”
-a few hours later-
After walking the last few miles, the family had at last reached Bridgeport. Shark could be heard visibly sighing in relief, as could Dennis and Blaise.
“Well, let’s catch ourselves a taxi, and look for the place we’ll be staying,” Dennis suggested as he rubbed Sagebear’s back.
Finding a cab wasn’t as difficult as they thought it would be. They did have to flag one down, and get through the hassle of letting Sagebear in, though.
When the family piled in, all of them glanced out the windows at the sights. The sun was beginning to rise, being seen over the ocean and against some skyscrapers.
A few people were already milling about the mostly empty streets, several of them dressed to go out dancing. Some of the stores were opening.
Shark looked out in awe at the enormous TV screen affixed to the side of a building. A couple were playing DDR from the looks of it, albeit failing terribly.
As though she didn’t want to miss out on the unique sight, Sagebear pressed her paws against the window and looked out with Shark.
Eventually, the cab pulled up to a small house. After paying the driver and getting out, they approached it.
Blaise whistled in amazement. “Ain’t exactly what I was expecting. Is the inside any better?”
“No idea,” Dennis said as he went to unlock the door. When he pushed it open, he looked to Shark and gave him the okay to set Sagebear back onto the ground:
“All right boy,” he said with a chuckle, “release the beast.”
Annette had been resting on the bed when she heard the front door open.
Panicking, she slid off the bed and scrambled behind a dresser to make herself scarce. She clearly heard the voices in the other room.
“So do we unpack now, or go see the city and do it later?” Shark asked who she presumed was his father.
Then came a noise of indecision, before Dennis spoke up. “Well, I suppose we could leave Sagebear here to hold down the fort, while we go sightseeing. We’ll be here for quite a few days, so we’ve plenty of time later to unpack!”
Then the talking receded. Annette still kept herself where she was, to be safe. She froze in place when the bedroom door was pushed open.
Much to her confusion, she didn’t hear anyone yelping in surprise. All she did hear was the sound of bed springs creaking, and panting.
Hazarding a look, Annette’s eyes widened when she saw just who exactly it was on the bed, rolling around in delight.
“Sagebear!” She cried out in jubilation at seeing her dog again. Jumping up, she embraced the little dog on the bed, noting how much weight she’d apparently gained in the time since she’d seen her last.