The clanging of steel against steel seemed to be getting louder, as was the trash-talking.
Regina sat in the center of the pedestals, apprehensive over what could be the outcome of her daughters’ clash.
To try and keep her attention in one place, she stared at the door in front of her. Annette had been gone for quite some time now.
Given how many figurines were on display now, she was making some sort of progress. Regina was mostly worried at how much time was left, though.
“Please hurry, Annette,” she whispered to the door. “I do not know how much longer Meliora can last…”
Annette knew full well what the second scene was going to be, even before the setting materialized completely before her.
Instead of the exterior of the strip club, she was now standing before an abandoned barn, one she recognized quite well.
Now she saw her younger self, along with Sagebear and the woman from the bar, talking amongst themselves. It seemed calm enough, considering what had happened earlier.
The silence was then broken when a gunshot filled the air. Quickly, younger Annette and the bartender put their hands up in some kind of surrender.
Before them, the sight of Sagebear bleeding was painful to both versions of Annette. Her vigorous panting didn’t help matters.
Annette turned to who fired the gun, and her face scrunched up in anger at who was before her.
No matter the universe, Goodwin’s very image was a hated sight to her. She could see the presence of Lucifer himself in those evil blue eyes.
In his hands, he held the gun that fired the wounding shot. Given the angle, it looked as though he deliberately aimed at Sagebear.
Annette wished she was there in her current incarnation. But all she could do at that point now was to give Goodwin a well-deserved middle finger.
She held that stance as the scene shifted, but then dropped it once she realized where she was.
“Huh? This was…” The only part of this memory that Annette didn’t recall was seeing Sagebear by the bedroom door.
Then she heard her younger self talking to someone. “So you’ll do the right thing?”
Annette’s self-control was just about obliterated when she heard her Bill’s voice say a single word:
At this, Sagebear began whimpering, as if she could predict what was going to happen then. Annette saw her drooping visibly in the moments of silence between then and when it happened.
She still flinched when she heard the gunshot. This time, she didn’t want to see her husband’s brains splattered everywhere.
However, she was still tearful when she got back. Her weeping practically echoed throughout the room.
Wiping her eyes clean, Annette sniffled, and tried not to look at the empty space that normally would have had a body occupying it.
“I still don’t know who the mystery juror is-” But she halted in her lament when she saw who the ghost was.
Sagebear didn’t seem the least bit worried in her current condition. Rather, she just sat and happily wagged her tail, watching as Annette slowly approached her.
“Well, this is something that doesn’t happen every day,” Annette spoke in a quavering voice as she tried to regain her composure in front of a ghostly dog. She still couldn’t help but crack a smile at the role Sagebear got to play in all this.
“You know her sins, now give your verdict,” she asked Sagebear with a bit of a laugh in her voice.
Sagebear gladly took her left paw, and slapped it down to the ground in a gesture that looked to mean ‘guilty’.
And then she disappeared.
Annette was still grinning to herself as the next door opened, and she went on through with a bit of a spring in her step.