March 26, 2023 · 7:45 am
They hadn’t met since college or perhaps high school. Perhaps both (variable realities). No, let’s go with college. Amos was 2 grades up from Edward, but they stayed in the same suite in the same dorm at New Hampshireville State Institute of Klubs. Actually let’s go with Crabwoo — Crabwoo University, commonly abbreviated Woo U. Woo Woo U. some say, because that particular institute specializes in the study of the weird and kooky, like the Loch Ness Mobster or the New Jerseyvania Devilburg Man. But it wasn’t all fantastical criminals. There were the saints as well, and Edward knew several, growing by the moment. All females of course. Amos knew one. His future wife. The late great Edith Pickey, always picking at her food after the others had long finished and thus her nickname for a name. Shelley would remind Sandman greatly of his former partner.
She spied him from the pool while Edward kept carousing with Penny and Sandy, drawing them closer and closer to the blows that would come later, with one black eye and one blue arm the result. “That up there on the balcony is the man who left the party,” she said to herself, staring up, almost meeting his eyes but not quite. “The one Edward called The Great Antagonist. Why?” She had to find out.
(to be continued)
March 26, 2023 · 7:11 am
In the past, Amos T. Sandman had always been invited to the Hook family parties, always brought over presents like a seafaring Santa or something. Tradition, let’s say, honored down through time since Benny and Marsha Hook moved here from Pennsylvaniaboro over to the west of the south of the continent. But this party was thrown not by the parents but the daughter. Two of ’em, in fact, since Penny really had become an adopted sister to Sandy in the past couple years or so, at least up until this particular shindig when the dispute over Edward finally drove a wedge between them. Edward, in his sadistic way, actually enjoyed stringing the two along like this, knew his powers of attraction. He looked across at Shelley when thinking this, knowing she was the same, even though she didn’t realize it, at least most of the time. Penny, Sandy — didn’t hold a candle to her, he thought in the moment, staring at her, not noticing the Umbrellas in her eyes but getting there. If they would just step out of the light and into the night he could see. But this particular revelation would be left up to Sandman.
Anyway, back to him. He saw the lights of the party, instantly thought that his lack of invitation was an oversight — happened once or twice before as he recalled — and loaded his boat down with the presents and headed over. Boy at the dock: unresponsive. Girl in the hammock chair just up from him: the same. Even had to dodge her legs to get to the next level and still: nothing. He had a glimpse of The Void even then. Meeting cold Penny and her lack of words was the last straw. To the bar! he decided. I’ll at least get a few drinks under my belt before I make my exit back to my lonely, neighboring abode. Bartender Rose was the only one there he met who paid him any attention, a paid friend as it were.
Then Edward showed up and things went from bad to baddest, skipping right over the middle degree.
(to be continued)
March 26, 2023 · 6:16 am
Penny kept leaning over, even stealthily unloosening her blouse front a little bit. But Shelley saw (of course). So did non-Umbrella eyed Sandy. It would cause quite the fight later between the two. Housemates no more after that. Edward just had that much power with his looks.
“Ohhhh, Penny, Sandy,” he uttered, making sure to mention both of the hosts, “can’t eat another *bite*. How about you, Shelley? You done?” Shelley was still picking at the last of her meal but she knew this meant they had to move to the next stage of the party beyond food. Edward had what he wanted from this location. The sweeper appearing behind him mysteriously muttered “fo’ fo’ fo'” just as Shelley was thinking this.
March 26, 2023 · 5:21 am
“Soo *Edward*,” half giggled Penny Mart at the table. The salad Benjamin Bright tossed was about to be served again, like it had 16 times before in his short life as an animesh cook from Drakaina. “What’ve you been doing with yourself lately?” Obviously Penny had a crush on the handsome boy with his rugged features. Housemate Sandy Hook on the other side of him too. Across-from-him Shelley wasn’t jealous of the attention paid to her escort to the party by what she thought were prettier girls than herself. Not really. And, anyway, she could make this part of her romance novel. She was almost 1/4th into her 5th. Hubby Arthur didn’t know about all those things yet.
“Oh, this and that, here and there,” he vaguely answered with a smile, soaking in the admiration. He was also still basking in the victory over Sandman down at the docks. Shelley, with her ultra sharp Umbrella Club funded eyes, saw it all from her chair at the house. Edward didn’t know about those things yet — couldn’t see them from his angles of observation; hadn’t hit the right light yet. Starless. Bible black.
Shelley reviewed it in her mind as Edward kept talking about recent frivolities: the face to face confrontation, the lack of presents in the boat, and then, from even a further distance, this Amos T. Sandman, as he called him afterwards, opening the final present to find a box within the box. Lavender. This was foreshadowing pure and simple.
Edward was finished. He looked over, suspicion in his own eyes, although he didn’t know what of yet. Just a hunch. That girl is up to something, he knew.
(to be continued)