Harwood was practically drooling at the selection of various teas before him. Marc wasn’t as enamored as he was, but still admiring of the inventory.
As for Dennis, he was inspecting the rest of the place with the twins close by. He was alone otherwise, Shark and Sinbad having gone off someplace else. This time, they made sure the others knew.
“Oh, I was never the best at shopping for another person,” Dennis lamented as he looked at the stock. “Not even for my own wife! Isn’t that sad?”
Amara put a hand on his shoulder to calm him. “I’m sure it can’t be that difficult. Do you know what music she likes? Maybe TV shows?”
Now Dennis had some kind of idea. “She does have an unusual love for The Red Green Show. Anything based on it that survived to this era?”
Amelia took the chance to see how Marc and Harwood were doing.
“Is everything all right over here?” She asked them, snapping Harwood out of his reverie. He almost dropped the box of tea he’d been holding. Then Harwood and Marc nodded.
“We’re good,” he said to her. Then to Marc, he said, “When I die, you better be drinking this at my funeral.”
Marc was now rendered speechless by this request. Harwood went on, grabbing a teapot he apparently had his eye on.
“On second thought, when I die, I want to be cremated and put in here instead of an urn. And maybe sprinkle some of my favorite tea in there with me.”
“Uh…” Marc still didn’t know exactly what to say.
To emphasize this, Harwood shook the teapot in his face. “I don’t want to come back as a ghost, either. I know cremation was probably frowned upon by Laolao’s people many years ago, but this is a different time.”
This entire time, Amelia couldn’t help but giggle at Harwood’s eccentric demand.
“Wouldn’t it have been a better idea to come here with your dad and brother? I mean, they definitely have an artistic incline…”
Shark was still fascinated at the works of art from eras gone by. Some were quite elaborate in nature. Others were simple, but still thought-provoking.
While he waited for Sinbad to answer him, Shark noticed he seemed occupied with a certain piece of work. He was glaring at it as though he were trying to will it to life.
“I think they found one of your Uncle Bill’s drawings, man.” Pointing to it, Sinbad waited for his response.
Shark was just dumbfounded by what his fiance said. “But that’s impossible! Didn’t everything get destroyed when the mansion burned down?”
“Apparently not. I mean…” Now Sinbad gestured to the entirety of the crude yet provocative artwork. “Don’t know anyone else who’d draw a naked blue chick with bazongas the size of your head.”
Upon a reluctant closer inspection, the picture did indeed greatly resemble Annette. Shark didn’t look at it very long before he turned away, seemingly upset now.
“Can we go now? I think this place is going to close soon, anyway…”
Blaise and Sagebear waited to see if Emit was coming back. Thus far, he had not. Assuming they would be left alone for the night, Blaise settled in and tried to get some sleep.
This was not to be, however. Just as Blaise managed to start dozing off, she heard something crashing nearby.
Sagebear was up right away, growling and taking a defensive stance. Blaise just patted her on the back to calm her.
“Easy, little girl,” she whispered to her. “Just stay right here. Grandma’s gonna go and see what caused that.”
Getting to her feet, however, was excruciating. Blaise tried not to fall over in agony as she hobbled over to the door.
A peek out into the hallway revealed nothing. Besides a few glowing fluorescent streaks, it was dark. She hazarded a few steps out anyway.
“Y’ello? Mitty? Ya there?” No one answered her. She did hear what sounded like flesh being ripped apart.
Taking a few more steps, Blaise looked for a light switch. The only one within reach, however, only seemed to be a black light.
It was in a neon purplish light that she saw the horror before her.
Emit was in an even worse state than before. His hair was now caked with dried blood, as were his clothes. A corpse next to him appeared to be the source of it.
Dipping his hand into a still warm puddle, Emit now began writing a phrase she didn’t understand. He still didn’t seem to notice she was there.
Blaise took the chance to slip away, wincing over her abdominal menstrual pain. When she got back to the room, she picked up Sagebear and held her close.
“Come on, little girl. Let’s get outta here before he sees us.” With that, Blaise scurried out of the room and toward the nearest exit.