“I need a drink, god damn it. Whatever you got.”
“First tell me what’s going on. I’ll pour, you talk.”
“There’s a man in the building.” Maureen said. “He spoke to me on the phone. He said horrible things and Roswell was dead.”
“How can he be dead? I saw him the other day.”
“Well he was dead, but now he’s not. Oh god, Edward said to be strong, but I don’t know if I can do this, I don’t know. I could really use that drink now, if you’ve got it.”
“Coming right up.” Giles may not be a terribly good super, but he knew people and this was a woman in distress. He gave her a vodka on the rocks and hoped it would do, he didn’t have the much in the apartment.
She accepted it gratefully and took a big gulp. “Fuck I needed that. Thank you.”
“Don’t mention it.” Giles said. “Now, what happened Moira? Is anyone else hurt?”
“I don’t know, I don’t know what’s going on. We have to see if there are other people, if anyone else is in danger.”
“But what about the dogs?”
“We can bring them here, can’t we? Where we’ll all be safe. Do you have LaWanda’s number, or the other woman who lives on this floor? We have to warn them about the dogs. They’re still on the first floor.”
“You finish you’re drink, I’ll call them. I’ll try Diane first, that’s the other woman.”
He went looking for the numbers. As super of the building, he had never had to use them. All of his tenants paid their rent on time and submitted work orders on paper. He hardly ever saw any of them, much less talked to them. He couldn’t remember the last time he had spoken ten words to Moira, just a high and hello in the hallways, usually, and that was it.
He dialed her number. Moira picked up on the first ring. “H-hello?”
“Moira? This is the super, Giles. I’ve received information that there is some fucked up shit going on in the building. I’m calling to see if you’re all right.”
A voice started laughing on the other end of the phone. “You’d like me to come running into your arms, wouldn’t you? My tall, strong man, protecting woman who are so weak and helpless? How kind of you.”
“Diane? What’s going on?” It didn’t sound like Diane, not at all. He didn’t like this, not one bit. The voice was like a soft hiss in his ear and it sent shivers up his spine. “Oh, men can be so careless to what’s really going on, can’t they? And you’re about to die. I bet you didn’t see that coming did you, you big, strong man?”
“Who is this? This isn’t Diane, what did you do with her?”
The hissing voice laughed. “The question should be, what will I do to her? What will I do to everyone? That’s the question you should be asking yourself, don’t you think? I’m bored with this conversation, however. Time to liven things up. Lets play a little game. Do you like games, super Giles?”
There was a loud crack from his kitchen wall. He looked at it and watched as the crack ran down from the ceiling to the floor. Nothing happened for the space of a heartbeat and Giles wondered if that’s all that would happen. It was not to be, however. He saw on pair of eyes looking at him through the crack in the wall, a feeling of horror filling his stomach.
“Moira.” It came out like a whisper. He tried again. “Moira!”
She came running and he slammed the phone down back on the hook, breaking the plastic. A voice still hissed through it, menacting and full of hate. “The game begins now, Giles. Here’s a question though: who will protect you?” Then the voice went away to be replaced by a dial tone.
“Who was that, Giles? Who the fuck was that?”
“I don’t know.”
“I heard his voice in my head Giles. I heard his voice too. How is that possible?”
“I don’t know.” He said again. His voice was strained, full of strain. He stared at the whole in the wall as it grew and it drew Moira’s gaze. “What is that, Giles? What the fuck is that?”
Giles looked shocked. “You never swear. You’re a Wall Mart greeter.”
“Fuck furk fuckety fuck, Giles! I’m freaking right the fuck out, here! What the fuck is that!”
“I don’t know. I have no fucking idea.” He had to stop saying that. If this was the horror movie, he’d be the stupid shit that goes next. As he wsa thinking this, the wall cracked further still. Chunks of plaster fell to the floor and what looked like hundreds of eyes stared at them. All of the eyes blinked in unison.
Giles somehow managed to find his voice. “Run, Moira. Go to Diane’s, find Shane, find Justin. Find someone and get out of here.” He was already pushing her towards the front door of his apartment. He knew they only had a moment. His words came in an urgent whisper. “Find LaWanda. She’ll know what to do. Find LaWanda.”
“Giles, are you insane? I can’t go out there! The dogs are out there, My dogs!” She held out her hands to him and then clutched at him. “You can’t put me out there, you can’t! I could die!”
“Get out there and get help. Get out of the building if you can, but I don’t think you’ll be able to. Go and find Diane first, see if she’s okay.”
“Giles! I can’t! I don’t know what to do! You’ve always been there for me, please don’t go!” He wondered if she had noticed her slip up. It was as if she knew what was coming-not that he did, he had no idea what to expect. He had mere moments left, however, to give her a chance.
“Moira, I love you. Now get the fuck out of my apartment. It’s only next door for fuck sakes. You’re a greeter at Wall Mart. You face unmentionable horrors every day. Get to safety, Moira.”
He flung open the door and pushed her out into the hallway and was about to slam the door, but it was too late. The eyes, glowing red, belonged to a swarm of rats and mice. They crawled out of the hole in his kitchen wall, more plaster falling like chalk dust.
“Go, Moira! Go!” He shouted.
That’s all he got out before they were upon him. He watched as Moira fled into the hallway and then turned left, Giles let go. He was very pragmatic about these things. He knew that, for whatever reason, the darkness wanted him. It was the way things went, he knew this.
You win some and you lose some. He knew this, too. As the rats and mice tore into his flesh, there was hotness all over his body from where he was being bitten. His skin was wet and he knew it was a mixture of sweat and blood. Despite this and the shadows that wanted him, he still faught. He thrashed with all his might, feeling heads squish under his fist. Their shrieks were loud in his ear and were all he could hear. It sounded like thousands of pieces of breaking glass caught in a wind storm. The eyes glowed like jewels.
As the darkness finally took him, he took a few more of them, squashing them in his fists. “Fuckers,” he said. “You win some, you lose some, you fucking sons of bitches!” His eyes went dark and so did the world around him.