A group of various teddy bears greeted Annette in the next room. Their sweet, adorable smiles almost took the edge off of what she had been doing.
Then she remembered the reason she was even in here. Annette tried to alleviate her burgeoning by picking one of the bears up, holding it close.
“Why am I not surprised?” She asked herself when she saw who the juror was this time.
Shark’s arms dangled over the sides of the chair, as he remained propped up on it. If she hadn’t known any better, she’d have assumed he was only sleeping.
When she reached out after getting close enough to him, Annette was slightly startled when he took a hold of her wrist. The face Shark was making went from expressionless to somber.
“Are you sure you want to help me, Miss Annette?” His voice sounded pained, and uncertain. Annette frowned at hearing this, but remained quiet and slowly closed her eyes.
When she opened them again, Annette found herself in the last place she ever wanted to be in.
“Did Racket Mansion always have the feeling of dread hanging over it? Jeez…” Something about the place felt different, though. It didn’t feel as grandiose as it usually did.
Nearby, Annette could hear a television set playing a cartoon from the early new millennium. A young boy’s giggling could be heard from time to time.
After a brief walk to that room and peeking in, Annette could now see a chubby little boy with brown hair, sitting on the couch in the room. He was dressed in his pajamas, and had a teddy bear next to him.
The way he giggled just made his face light up in joy, as he watched what were probably Saturday-morning cartoons.
“Awww…” Annette didn’t have much time to think about how cute little Shark was. By this time, a little girl entered the room and confronted him.
“What is it, sis?” He asked rather innocently. Within seconds, Annette could see little Lolly’s face scrunch up with some sort of negative emotion. Rather than tell him what she wanted, though, Lolly stepped over and grabbed hold of his teddy bear off the couch.
“Mine!” She declared as she held the bear tightly to her chest. When Shark tried to reach towards her to take it back, she said it again, this time far more shrill: “Mine!” This little spat alerted the nearest Racket adult, who unfortunately was the children’s mother.
Silver looked rather irritated at being woken up, with her facial mask and hair done up in curlers. She groaned in frustration at the sight before her.
“Junior, share your toys with your sister,” she grumbled out, in an attempt to keep her daughter from creating a fuss. Now Annette could see Shark’s face break into dismay.
“But she has a whole room full of them, and she never plays with them-”
Silver slammed her fist against the wall to silence her son then, a snarl beginning to form on her face.
“Don’t you dare talk back to your mother, you ungrateful little snot! You want to be grounded for a month?! You keep that up, and that’s what’s going to happen! Now quit being a selfish little brat, and let your sister have the damn bear!”
Now realizing he was pretty much out of luck, Shark sat back and away from Lolly. This drove Lolly to smile happily as she skipped out of the room, dragging the bear behind her.
As Silver walked out of the room behind her daughter, Annette could hear her muttering about how she should have aborted when she had the chance.
“Ouch…” Annette said to herself. “So was she always unpleasant?” No one answered her, as the scene changed.
As it was transitioning, Annette could see Lolly now tearing the bear apart, and throwing its stuffing everywhere.