We were saved from an awkward pause by Tonner Edward limping into the room. "I need to... talk to you... for a moment, if... I could," he said between gritted teeth. And then he collapsed.
I carried him over to my bed and laid him down on a sham. "More pains? Different pains, or the same-old same-old?"
"The same as before," he said, "plus a new one... in my knee."
I gave him your classic o_O face.
"I really don't recall the knee being any particular seat of emotion," he agreed, and then he caught his not-breath again.
"Okay, yeah, this is just weird."
White Arwen did the best she could for him, but nothing seemed to work; she even summoned Fugagorn right as he walked in the door from his squirrel diplomacy mission. But the Hands of a King were of no avail. "It's because he's already dead," Fug insisted irritably. "I don't know how you can expect me to heal under these conditions--"
--then a ragged shout of pain, through which I was just able to make out the words It's everywhere now--I ran to get Galadriel--
"This is really strange," she said, after examining Tonner Edward for a few moments. You know. ~With her mind.~ Because that's just how she rolls. "This is not an ailment I recognize--this is not even an ailment within him, I don't think. It is dark magic, I fear. I can sense it."
And she touched several specific places unerringly--Edward rasped out that she was right, exactly there and there and there, it wouldn't stop, stabbing him over and over--and I was starting to get really freaked out. "We don't have any bad witches around here--I mean, I wanted that Tonner White Witch but it was a convention-only edition and I never did put in a bid on any of those auctions and Serafina would never do something like this--whatever 'this' is--what the hell is this?"
And as we stood there unable to think of anything to do for Edward's mysterious, excruciating vampain, I saw Lyra waving her dagger at me from the file cabinet.
"Miss Cleo! I gotta tell you something--she'll be mad but it en't fair, you ought to face a man when you fight him--"
Pan jumped onto my shoulder and whispered something in my ear.
"Go look, she's got it right now!"
So I marched into the bathroom and looked behind the half-open door--and there she was, stabbing cheerfully away.
"WHERE DID YOU EVEN GET THAT?"
She stared up at me, mouth half-uncertainly-open, unsure whether talking would get her into deeper shit or not.
"... There was a shop on Etsy."
"HOW DO YOU EVEN KNOW ABOUT ETSY?!"
"You left a window on your computer open, it was there... I started browsing."
"What, for VOODOO DOLLS?"
"Well, you know... you find things on the internet, one thing leads to another, the vampire hunter kit cost too much..."
And before I could even ask how she paid for it, I heard a fresh scream from the other room and realized she was quietly jabbing it in the eye even as we talked. "HAND IT OVER."
She actually hid it behind her back like I couldn't just reach down and shake the shit out of her.
"I SAID HAND IT OVER, WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU."
She heaved a sigh and held it out to me--then clutched it back to her chest. "If I'd stuck a toothpick in its heart, I bet I could have killed him!"
"GIVE IT TO ME."
She complied, bereft. "Toothpicks. If only I'd thought of it sooner!"
"GET IN THE CABINET, ANNA."
"WHAT? For how long!"
"UNTIL I DECIDE TO LET YOU OUT."
"THIS IS WHAT I'M SUPPOSED TO DO!" she howled through the heart-shaped cutout. "I'M SUPPOSED TO KILL VAMPIRES!"
"YEAH, WELL, HE'S SUPPOSED TO KILL PEOPLE AND YOU DON'T SEE HIM DOING THAT, DO YOU?"
"FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU AND THE VAMPIRE!"
"OKAY, YOU'RE SPENDING A MONTH IN THERE FOR THAT!"
And that is how Anna ended up serving an extended sentence in the Cabinet of Shame.
(Here's a question: what do you do with a confiscated voodoo doll? I mean, can you risk trying to destroy it? How do you know the victim's--I don't know, doll-y essence--hadn't bonded to it already? I couldn't throw it away, either, because then I'd have no control over what might happen to it. So I put it in the inner bottom drawer of my grandmother's jewelry box--you've seen it--and just hoped for the best.)
So I returned to Tonner Edward and his team of physicians, furious, and not really thinking straight.
"It's gone," he said in haggard amazement. "The pain, it's gone, all of it--what did you do?"
So I showed him, and the look on his face made me wish I hadn't. I'm sure some of it was indignation, even fury, and it's not as if there had ever been any love lost between him and Anna. But even so--what had he ever done to her? What had he done to be so hated and shunned and feared? What had he ever done to deserve such a raw deal from the fates? The look on his face was like--like the deep, bottomless toll of a lonely old bell.
And that, all those weeks ago, was when I decided that I would order him a Bella his own size the moment I had enough money to spare.
So I did. For Christmas. But she didn't come. And now Anna, with her brand-new trident, is at large again.
(Secret Life read-through; fan community; TV Tropes page)