There didn’t seem to be any progress being made, no matter how long the group walked. Not even Sagebear could seem to pick up anything useful.
“Okay, so is there any reason we’re all in the same dream?” Sinbad asked the others at some point. “This is some Yume Nikki level shit going on.”
Marc just scratched his head. “I don’t remember switching my medication to Pregabalin, either. Is it a future thing, you think?” None of them knew the answer to that.
Soon, all of them reached a four-way fork in the area. Each of them tried to get an idea of what lay ahead, but nothing.
Dennis sighed frustratedly. “I hate to say it, but…Looks like we’re all gonna have to split up.”
Making a reluctant and uneven division, all seven of them proceeded to traverse down the paths.
Annette once again found herself in a place besides the jail cell. She couldn’t place where she was now. She simply knew once again that her deranged state hadn’t followed her.
“I’m thinking The Builder’s making spiked tea or something,” she remarked as she got up and tried making sense of her surroundings.
Nearby, the edge of a forest could be seen. Next to where Annette came to was a small stone building in a clearing, that looked like a sort of mausoleum.
Taking a deep breath, Annette pushed open the heavy door and entered. Inside were a few dimly lit candles, barely illuminating the place. Covering the walls and even the ceiling were various illustrations, many depicting death and darkness. Somehow, she wasn’t disturbed.
The painting on the ceiling was unusually elaborate, in ways she couldn’t completely comprehend. Several figures were shown to be reaching toward a particularly immense and monstrous-looking being.
Annette was weirdly enchanted by this one, when she heard noises coming from outside.
“Huh…?” She quickly hid behind one of the still opened doors, and peeked out to see who it was.
“Sagebear, wait up!” Shark presumed it was being in a dream that was making it hard to catch up with Sagebear.
Puffing along like a little furry locomotive, Sagebear wandered over to the stone building in the clearing. Right away, she put her paw up on the door like she were trying to push it.
“Be careful, Sagebear! You don’t know who or what might be in there…” As he reached over to pick her up, Shark caught sight of something blue.
“Eh?” As he was properly distracted, Sagebear ran over and began sniffing a pair of feet.
With her cover blown, Annette stepped out from behind the door. Right away, she bent down to lavish attention onto Sagebear.
“I know I’m dreaming, but…Sagebear!” She cried out as she wrapped her arms around the chubby dog. “Oh, I missed you ever since I had to leave you back in Bridgeport.”
Shark could only stand there awkwardly as Annette cooed lovingly to Sagebear, apparently forgotten and ignored.
“I guess even now, she prefers Annette over me…” Now Shark could feel a sharp pain in his chest, and hot tears sting his eyes.
“You’re my special girl, aren’t you, Sagebear? Yes, Mommy missed you,” Annette said sweetly as she began to give the dog a belly rub.
Clutching his hand to his chest, Shark ran off in the direction he came from. It was only then that Annette finally noticed he was even there.
(Song where the chapter title comes from: )