Annette’s was still crying in grief and anguish, as she carried Julian somewhere into the forest to bury him.
Unbeknownst to her, The Twin followed closely behind, making sure she didn’t try anything too drastic.
She was still shaken up from earlier, seeing what Sinbad did to who was in essence his own son. Eventually, she reached a clearing.
“Huh…?” To her surprise, a few other mounds were set up already. One of them was clearly done in haste, given that an arm was sticking out of it.
At a spot of hopefully soft soil, Annette set Julian down and began to claw away at the dirt. The more she dug, the more her hands hurt.
Somewhere close by, she heard rustling. Annette briefly stopped to listen, but heard nothing. Going back to her digging, she heard it again.
“Hello? If you’re another of those…whatever the hell you are, I don’t taste like blueberries, for the record.”
Whoever was out there didn’t answer her. When she got back to her feet, Annette dusted her hands off and went to investigate.
“Oh, Mister Relevart…”
As much as neither of them wanted to, Amara and Amelia carried Emit to the nearest intact table, and covered him with a sheet.
While they did so, Emit’s special glasses fell off his face, revealing his lifeless grey eyes staring at them. The very sight caused Amelia to nearly drop him.
“Easy, sister,” Amara said to her. She tried to ignore the pain in her still bloody eye socket as they got Emit into a somewhat dignified position.
After they were done, Amelia stepped back and started weeping again. Amara just took her in her arms and let her cry.
When the twins were taking longer than expected, some of the group went looking for them.
Dennis and Blaise walked the darkened way back to Emit’s house while holding each other’s hands. Marc and Sagebear were close behind them, Sagebear dragging Marc by the pant leg.
“This dog is a bodybuilder, I’m assuming,” Marc said to the couple as he tried not to hit his head on the ground.
Blaise looked behind her shoulder and smiled. “That’s nothin’! One time she dragged out the couch with both Denny and Sharky on it!”
The humorous mood quickly dissolved when the four of then reached Emit’s now internally demolished home. Fearing the worst, they all ran in to find the twins.
“I can’t wait to bring this teapot home and put it to good use,” Harwood told Sinbad and Shark. “After the town is restored, of course.”
Then he held it up off his head, admiring it up close. “Yep, I’m going to break this beauty in with some black tea and youtiao. It’s the perfect combination.”
Gesturing towards Harwood, Shark quietly asked Sinbad, “Why didn’t he go with the others?”
Sinbad just shrugged. “Beats the hell out of me. Maybe he’s keeping an eye on us in case he thinks we’re going to get nasty later.”
Then they were quiet again, listening to Harwood still loudly suggesting what kinds of tea he was going to put in his new teapot.
“Maybe we all should have gone with them. You know, in case something goes wrong.” Shark’s concerns were at least acknowledged, if not slightly brushed off.
“I’m sure they’ll be fine,” Sinbad told him as he held him closer.
Once Sagebear ceased dragging Marc along the ground, she waddled over to the front of the group, and began sniffing the ground.
“Oh, that’s a smart puppy,” Dennis told her as he and the other two followed. “Sniff out the girls. They can’t be far.”
Sagebear led them through the nearly pitch-black corridors, some points through smell and sound alone.
What little all of them could see involved macabre words and pictures on the walls. Once in a while, they stepped on something and broke it.
In just a short time, they reached where the girls were. Amelia was crying into her hands, and Amara stood sadly over a bloodied sheet.
“Oh, hell…I got a bad feeling I know who’s under that…”
Without saying another word, the group helped the girls take Emit to a place nearby to bury him. Sagebear ran ahead and began marking what she decided was the ideal spot.
She already had a head start on a grave when the rest of them caught up with her.
Annette was already regretting following her curiosity. She didn’t think she was able to back out now, though.
Several more steps, and she was back in the forest proper. Every pace she took brought a more ominous and foreboding feeling.
“Maybe I really was hallucinating, or something-” At that moment, Annette was then knocked over onto her side. The sudden blow took the wind out of her.
“Ow, watch it! You see me pushing you out of the blue-” She was stopped by what exactly it was before her.
The resemblance was eerily uncanny. Whoever it was gave her a menacing, disturbed grin. Then she held up a dirty teapot and asked her in a thin, reedy tone:
“Want to have a tea party?”