(Warning! Briefly-described abuse!)
Now, instead of a school, Annette found herself in someone’s house. Whoever it was had to have been fairly well-off. Several expensive-looking paintings were hung up on the wall, alongside a gorgeous large vase or two.
She couldn’t help but be impressed as she reached toward one of the paintings. She then pulled her hand back once she heard a door open from below her.
With her curiosity piqued, Annette leaned over a banister, and looked down at the first floor of the house.
The woman who had come in, holding a bag of groceries, had a certain charm about her. Her black hair was pulled back in a ponytail, so as to make sure it presumably didn’t fall over her glasses.
Something about her just radiated ‘goodness’. Annette found herself drawn to her, for whatever reason.
As she began going down the stairs, though, Annette heard another door open, this time from the second floor.
The teenager who had entered the room looked to be a typical emo wannabe, with a black metal band T-shirt and black eyeliner and everything.
“Mama?” He called out to the woman, who looked up at him. “You’re home kind of late. And you know how he gets when dinner isn’t ready in time.”
“I know, Marc,” she said to him in a rather soft voice. “But he knows I’ll make it for him in the end.”
As they spoke, Annette felt a strong sense of ominous foreboding take hold of her. She turned to look at a wedding photo hanging above the stairs, and her worries were made reality.
Though she was only seeing the bride in the picture for the first time right now, she recognized who the groom was. The only real difference was that the groom looked distinctly less vampiric in the picture.
But she’d know how Troy Lithgow looked no matter what species he was, regardless of whether he was immortal or not. The entire time she’d looked at the photo, Marc’s mother hadn’t stopped trying to reassure her son.
“He won’t be home for another hour, anyway. I have plenty of time to make something for him, and-”
Melanie stopped when she heard a car door slam outside. Her skin went pale, and her eyes practically bulged out of her head.
“Uh oh…” She frantically looked about the kitchen, then turned to her son. “Marc, go back upstairs into your room. And don’t come back out until things calm down out here.”
The way she was speaking, tone and all, sounded unusually urgent. Marc tried to ask her why, but she kept shooing him back up the stairs.
Now Marc was terrified over what was going to happen. But he also didn’t want to disobey his mother.
As soon as he was back in his room, Melanie turned to face the front door. Annette went back up herself and practically hovered by Marc’s bedroom door.
It felt like an eternity before the front door opened. When it did, it revealed the man himself, in some kind of mortal glory while smoking a cigarette.
“Troy!” Melanie did her best to keep the fear from creeping into her voice. “You’re home early. How was work?”
Her question went unanswered. Troy just slowly approached her, putting his cigarette out on his own arm. Then he asked his own question.
“Why hasn’t dinner been started, Melanie?” The way he spoke made it evident he’d been smoking for years.
Melanie tried to explain herself. “Um, well, you see, Troy…I just got home about a couple minutes ago, and I didn’t expect you to come home so early, and…”
She trailed off when she saw just how imposing and intimidating Troy was in front of her. Troy didn’t say anything to her explanation, but his hand began curling into a fist.
Annette let out a sharp yelp when she saw him suddenly strike Melanie across the face. The poor woman collapsed to the ground like a felled tree. But clearly this wasn’t enough for Troy.
“Disobedient little bitch,” he growled at her, before he stepped forward to kick her in the chest. All Melanie could do at this point was scream in pain as her own husband assaulted her.
It got too much for Annette to bear. It was so unpleasant to keep watching, she fled into Marc’s room.
But the sight in there wasn’t much better. It had Marc curled up in the fetal position, covering his ears to try and block out the sounds of abuse coming from downstairs. Tears were streaming down his face, causing his eyeliner to run terribly.
“You poor kid…” Was all Annette could really say as the sounds got even worse.
Once again, however, she didn’t stay to see the aftermath. Now she was already switching into the final memory.
This time, she knew right away where she was. However, she kept the grin on her face from getting too big, remembering why she was there.
At the sliding front door, a now older adult Marc let himself in, holding a bouquet of white flowers consisting of Lily of the Valley and Star of Bethlehem.
“I’m such a fuck-up,” Annette heard him mutter to himself. He trudged up the stairs to where Amy’s bed was.
Without seeing what was going on, right away Annette could tell what then happened from what she heard.
“Marc! What are you doing here?!” Amy shouted to him.
“Me?! What’s with the blond guy?! What’s he doing here?!” Marc’s apparent cluelessness cause Annette to facepalm, and shake her head in disappointment.
Then came an argument that consisted of little more that shouting and accusations of infidelity. It came to a head when Marc suddenly began wordlessly hollering in extreme pain.
Annette then watched as he stumbled back downstairs, clutching his groin. He was barely able to keep himself walking as he left the property.
She then looked up at the top of the stairs, seeing a completely naked Amy trying to cover herself with her arms and hands. Next to her was Goodwin, standing in his shorts while crossing his arms.
“Well,” she said to him, “that was my ex-boyfriend. I guess he didn’t get the message that he and I aren’t together anymore.”
Goodwin just scoffed at this admission. “No wonder you broke up with him. He doesn’t seem to have a spine.”
Just listening to him talk angered Annette so much. She tried not to look at him as she ran outside to the deck.
As she expected, Annette saw Marc crying at the foot of the stairs. It was rather evident that his heart was broken into numerous pieces.
She was cringing when she returned to reality, the last thing she listened to being Marc’s animalistic cries of emotional pain.
It was a stark contrast from then, to his state now: a spirit calmly awaiting Annette to say the magic phrase. Somehow being in an incorporeal state didn’t really help the fact he’d lost an arm.
Finally, Annette said her line. “You know her sins, now give your verdict.”
A twinge of sadness went through her as he gave the thumbs down, before disappearing. For some reason, part of her wondered what it would have been like had she gotten to know him a little better in her world.
Then she put the thoughts out of her mind as the next door opened, and she went on through.