The cops were already gone by the time Shark and Sinbad got back with Sagebear.
Immediately, Sagebear ran over to sniff Harwood’s bare feet. As she did, the other three adults approached the two men.
“So what did y’all find?” Blaise asked as she looked over at her stepson for an answer.
It was Sinbad who answered her, however. “Nothing, apparently. Guess the dog was mistaken, or something. That, or her nose is just that strong.”
He then looked over at Sagebear with Harwood, and gestured with his thumb. “Right now I just hope the old man doesn’t have foot odor.”
After Catarina went back to bed, grumbling about the supposed injustices of the world, Sebastian remained awake and went back to his room.
Instead of going back to sleep, though, he pulled out some of his clothes, and got dressed.
Something told him to go back out and keep looking for his sister, regardless of the situation outside. When he was properly suited, he quietly snuck downstairs, to the front door.
Sebastian didn’t bother taking out one of his mother’s cars to drive. He wanted to make as little noise as possible.
The night was still fairly young, and the sounds of squad cars had long since faded. This time, Sebastian took the long way into the higher region of town.
On the way there, he looked over towards the house he’d looked into earlier. Once again, he sighed dejectedly and shook his head.
“So…What’d the cops tell you?” Shark asked his parents and Marc. “Can we go back in and go to sleep? They left awfully quickly, and the body’s gone.”
“Uhhh…” Marc scratched his head in contemplation. “They said… ‘We’ll keep in contact with you in case we have questions.’ ‘The paramedics will take her body now.’ Then they said…”
When Marc paused, this got Shark and Sinbad to worry. “What’d they say after that, bro?”
“Then the police said, ‘Sir, please cover yourself. You’re in public.'”
Before Shark or Sinbad could ask him this jarring information, Dennis clarified for them. “Mister Clay’s bedsheet fell off at that point.”
Given the way Harwood was grinning now, it looked as if he were proud of it. Nevertheless, he just waved at the others after he picked up Sagebear.
The next day, four of the group members headed uptown to pass the time. All of them were still rather shaken by what happened last night.
Dennis and Blaise were searching the pet aisles in the store to find new gifts for Sagebear.
“Boy oh boy,” Dennis said as he grabbed a large box of dog biscuits, “that granddaughter of ours sure is spoiled, isn’t she?”
“Yeah, but she deserves it,” Blaise said as she held out the basket they were using. “Oh, hey! While we’re here, ya wanna grab some of that Easter candy for the humans?”
Looking over at the selection of chocolate rabbits and packages of egg dyes, Dennis just shrugged. “I don’t see why not.”
As Blaise ran over to pick out some random choices, Dennis picked out a set of inflatable dog floaties. He didn’t know when Sagebear would ever need them, but it was good to be prepared.
Trying not to look directly at him, Marc was rather embarrassed at what Harwood was doing:
“Why do you have to sniff the cauliflower?”
When Harwood set down the vegetable he was inspecting, he just shrugged. “No particular reason. But if any of the employees show up, just tell them I’m checking for freshness.”
He then went back to smelling the cauliflower. Marc just took a few steps away, accidentally knocking into a fruit display.
“Uh oh…” Trying to keep from drawing a crowd, Marc proceeded to try and pick up as much fruit as possible.
Harwood looked over at him, and sighed. He then came over to help his son clean up the mess.
Sinbad didn’t know what to do with a now very sad Shark. Neither of them had gone with the others for different but related reasons.
“You took your meds earlier, right?” Sinbad asked his fiance sitting next to him.
Shark just nodded, staring at the TV in front of their hide-a-bed. The program currently on was muted, so that Shark could hear Sinbad talking.
At their feet, Sagebear was relaxed and looking at them. Carefully, Shark slid his feet under her belly to get them warm.
“Want me to make you lasagna, or soup, or…I don’t know, something?” Here Shark just shook his head for no. “How about a backrub?” Here he nodded again.
Then Shark leaned forward to let Sinbad behind him. When he felt his hands on his back, he felt like he was melting.
“Little lower, Sinbad.” Quickly, Sinbad complied. Here, Shark groaned in bliss and relief. Sagebear rolled over onto her other side and just watched them.
The Builder was tired of waiting in such a dusty and run-down house. It was evident by the puddles of vomited blood in the living room.
It was also difficult to keep their container of nitroglycerin from hurting their back now. Trying to keep themself from collapsing, they pulled their knife out again.
“Right. I’m just gonna keep Ol’ Drowny in that tub.” Spying a small bottle, a syringe, and a bloodied razor on the corner of the bathtub, The Builder picked them up and looked at them closer.
“Ketamine and a razor.” They then looked at who was in the tub, and shrugged passively. “I’d say you were asking for death, but…Hey, I ain’t the corpse in the tub.”
They then threw the items onto the floor, breaking the small bottle. Then The Builder ripped open a portal back to their base, for real this time.
As they left, they couldn’t help but feel a chill in the air.