When Stanford Pines returned home from school that day, his father was miraculously nowhere to be seen.
“He just left for a… a breath of fresh air,” his mother said when he asked about it, and that was that. Didn’t even bother to shed a single glance at him. Her eyes were glued to the pages of her book instead. She’s trying to distract herself, he realized. It hurt, but he was used to it.
He wasn’t entirely sure what else he expected. Suddenly feeling much smaller than he really was, the young boy shoved his scuffed hands into his overall pockets─ too-narrow pockets, which were definitely not made to hide more than five fingers─ and timidly shuffled away.
“God knows when that bastard’s commin’ back anyways,” she muttered under her breath a short silence later. He guessed she assumed he wouldn’t hear. She was wrong, of course. He heard. Unlike Stanley, who had a knack for filtering out the negative, Stanford always knew when his parents were fighting.
The weary child half-limped to his room, and dropped his school bag at the base of the bunk bed. He vaguely heard a loud hoot of noise as his twin brother entered the apartment, but before he could react his spine stiffened─ straight as a stick─ as he noticed the figure peering hurtfully at him from the other side of the mirror on the far wall.