Both the Slogar and the Blackwater families were rocked by tragedy this week. Although the Slogar family didn’t much notice their loss, to be honest.
Balthazar took Grogar for one of their long walks, carrying him gently in his mouth as usual. This time he wandered back to the lake where he’d first found Grogar, but to the other side where the ground was boggy and marshy and there were so many interesting smells. Balthazar chased birds and Grogar flapped in his mouth while he ran, both getting wet and muddy. Balthazar wished he could catch one to show Grogar, and then—
A furry animal-thing darted out of the grasses in front of them. Balthazar barked and took off after it, determined to catch this one. He chased it for a while, but then it disappeared into the water at the edge of the lake, right under a tree. Balthazar waited for it to reappear but it never did. He barked a few more times and then turned away, and that’s when he realized that he had dropped Grogar. He followed the scent of the animal-thing back to where he’d first seen it. On the soggy ground where he’d dropped Grogar there was just a puddle and one large bubble of air. Balthazar pawed at the puddle but there was no bottom to it, and he could not find Grogar. Grogar had become waterlogged on the wet ground and sunk. He drowned in a bog.
Balthazar’s mournful howls echoed through the mansion for days. The Old Dam’s irritation, always at a medium simmer, rose to the boiling point one evening at dinner three days after Grogar’s death. “Willem!” she bellowed around a mouthful of food. “Take that damn dog ou—“
But Willem Stark was out with his latest love interest, and Balthazar hadn’t heard her yelling over the sound of his own howls. So there was no one to notice when she broke off mid-bellow, and no one to help her when she choked on a bone. She died at the dining room table, alone with the bitter truth. If only she hadn’t killed off so many of her relatives, perhaps there would have been someone there to save her.
So right now the scores stand like this:
Lord Slogar -45
Professor Helena Slogar 0
Melissa Slogar 0
Elias E. Gorr -5
The Old Dam -25
Cousin Mordecai -10
Willem Stark +10
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