Flying out of the portal, Annette tried to regain her footing when she hit the ground. She spat out any grass and dirt that got into her mouth.
“Why couldn’t I have been part cat?” She muttered when she brushed herself off. Seeing that she was back at the cabin, Annette snuck around to the other side.
Annette took a peek through it, seeing a far less explicit scene than the one from earlier. Shark and Sinbad were snuggling up against the couch, exchanging kisses. A now empty pizza box sat on the table in front of them.
Weaving their fingers together, Sinbad leaned his head in and asked Shark something that Annette couldn’t make out. She saw Shark nodding, and then both men getting up off the couch.
She then saw them walk back to the bedroom, holding hands. Assuming they were going for round two, Annette decided this time not to watch them.
Instead, she trudged the long way to the graveyard on the other side of the city. Once she was surrounded by the cold comfort of tombstones, she curled up on the ground and went to sleep.
All Annette could hope for right now was not to be dragged back to the base in her slumber.
The next morning, Shark awoke in Sinbad’s arms, naked once again. Moving around, he ended up gently jostling Sinbad into stirring himself.
“What’s going on?” Sinbad asked in a groggy voice. Shark just sat up and rubbed his eyes.
“I guess we slept in the whole night here. I hope our relatives aren’t looking for us-” He then gave an expression of worry. “Oh, crap.”
Now it was Sinbad’s turn to sit up, yawning before speaking. “What?”
Shark crossed his arms over his bare chest. “I don’t think my parents know we’re here…”
Happily wagging her tail, Sagebear consumed her little breakfast of scrambled eggs, while the other four took the more vegetarian route.
“I must say, Mister Harwood,” Blaise said as she was in between bites of hashbrowns, “Ya actually got me to eat some kind of vegetable!”
Harwood was about to thank her for her interesting compliment when the phone rang. Before he could stand up to answer it, Dennis got to it first.
“Hello? Oh, good morning to you, Mister Rotter! What’s that? You want to know why I’m the one answering the phone? Well, funny story…”
As he talked, Sagebear waddled up to Harwood. Smiling, he reached down to scratch her behind the ears.
“Aren’t you a good girl?” He then pushed himself back and patted his lap. “Hop up. Come to yeye and let him pet you.”
Sagebear complied, jumping up onto him and giving him kisses. When Marc walked by with the dirty dishes, he gave her a pet on the head.
“I got a cute niece, I do,” Marc said as he kept walking toward the sink.
When Annette woke up, she was covered in morning dew. Trying to wipe it off, she then cracked her back.
“I’ve slept in worse places, I guess,” she muttered to herself. Looking around, she concluded that the graveyard looked a bit less spooky in the daytime. “Not that I want to spend the night here again…”
In the distance, she then saw what looked like a bunch of festival booths. They had to have been constructed sometime during the night, and rather quickly.
Curious, Annette took a few steps out of the graveyard to try and get a better look. But she didn’t stop where she expected to.
Rather, she kept walking. It were almost as if she were being drawn toward the festival. Trying to keep herself from tripping, Annette clambered down the steps out of the graveyard.
After cleaning up the shack along with themselves, Sinbad and Shark were dressed for the day and now on their way to the park in Sinbad’s truck.
Shark was smiling so demurely, as he reclined back in the passenger’s seat. He felt so content right now, as if he were truly at peace with the world.
“You know Sagebear?” He asked with a soft voice. Sinbad nodded to let him know he was listening. “She got really chubby. You might be surprised to see her.”
Sinbad then snorted. “Well, that’d be a sight to see.”
Eventually, both of them reached the park, where the others were waiting now. The moment both men got out, Sagebear clambered over to them.
“Damn!” Sinbad exclaimed when he saw her. “You were not kidding.” He then knelt down and started petting the now very happy Sagebear. “How you doing, dog?”
As he lavished his attention on her, Marc and Harwood came over to greet them. It was more Harwood clearing his throat to get Sinbad’s attention, but still a greeting. Marc just scratched the back of his head and looked around awkwardly.
“Huh? Oh right.” Standing back up, Sinbad extended his hand to them. “Shark, meet my dad Harwood, and my older half-brother Marc.”
When the meet-and-greet was out of the way, all seven of them wandered around the festival grounds. Though there wasn’t anyone manning the booths yet, it was still fun to explore the place.
The entire time, the group was unaware of Annette watching them from a few yards away, hiding behind some trees.