What remained of Sophia slumped awkwardly in her bed. Swashes of blood, splatterings of brains, and bits of skull clung to everything. And as Harold looked on at this from the doorway, he couldn’t help but feel like he made a huge mistake by stopping for gas.
Now. To be perfectly fair to Harold, Eunice’s near-mint wood panel Ford station wagon was one Hell of a gas guzzler. And the trip from their home in Buena Park to that manor by the sea was already a good hour-long trip down the 5, give or take. Between the forty-year old fuel efficiency standards and some inexplicable bumper-to-bumper gridlock that began and ended for seemingly no reason whatsoever, Harold had zero chance of arriving in time for some heroic save. In fact, Harold realized this back in Irvine. But he also realized that he was a failed photographer in his thirties, living in his elderly grandmother’s garage, and having a summer fling with a married woman. So when the congestion blinked out of existence somewhere around Lake Forest, Harold steered the Ford off the freeway, put several dollars worth of gas in the tank, double-backed a bit, and eventually made his way up to Sophia’s bedroom doorway where he continued standing about like he wasn’t at some grisly scene worth reporting immediately to the local authorities.
“Good thing you dropped your phone,” Oliver said from somewhere behind Harold. “Otherwise, this could have gone–“
Harold ignored this, and broke Oliver’s nose with a wild and wholly lucky punch.
Oliver pinched at his bleeding, crooked nose. “I suppose I owed you that.”
“I’m only getting started,” Harold growled, looking for something large and heavy to beat Oliver with, repeatedly.
“You know,” Oliver said. “I completely agree.”
Harold blinked. “What?”
“Harold,” a familiar voice said.
“Brennifer?” Harold replied, turning to a pink faux hawk in sweatpants and a tattered Bon Jovi tee looking back at a very confused man seized on the fresh surgical incisions wrapped around her head. “What the Hell did he do to you?”
“These?” she replied, her fingers gliding over the stitched lines binding raw, swollen flesh. “Do they bother you?”
The thing wearing Brennifer stepped closer. “It’s like I told you, Harold. Oliver’s a magnificent surgeon.”
A hot pinch in his neck sent a cold shiver down Harold’s spine, his body grew limp, and the world darkened. “Why?”
“Turns out,” she said, pulling an emptied syringe from Harold’s neck, “when the clock stops rolling back, you can just get yourself a new clock.”
Harold collapsed to the floor, and stayed there.
“Did you see his face?” Oliver said, tending to his broken nose. “I think we broke his little mind.”
“Right?” Sophia gushed with Brennifer’s voice, then turned to what used to be her in the bed and on everything else. “But did you have to do that to my body?”
Oliver looked upon his work, and shrugged. “You’re not the only one who loves a little theatrics, Sweetie.”
Sophia shook Brennifer’s head, and sighed. “Shut up and help me move him.”