Moira was terrified of heights, absolutely petrified of them. Along with demons infesting he dogs, the rodents that had taken her Giles, the shadow man and the drag queens, this was the absolute worst on her list.
Her hands were slipping on the branches and she knew she could hold on no longer. She was too afraid, too petrified, even after all that she’d been through. Moira wondered if it was easier to stop fighting and just let go. They had been on the first floor of the apartment building, but the trees needed to be traversed, to be scaled for safety.
Moira didn’t think she could do it and was about to let go when she heard a voice she recognized, one she had longed to hear again. “Don’t let go yet, Moira.”
Edward spoke from around her instead of inside her head. “I’m so tired. So afraid.”
“Now is not the time to be afraid. You have to be strong, sweetheart. Your man is waiting for. You only have a few more feet to go, just a few more feet and then you can fall to safety. You can do it.”
“No, I can’t.”
“Yes you can or you’re not the woman I married. Just a little further.”
With all her strength, she pulled forward. The building and the trees seemed to have grown while she climbed. 69B was bigger than it was, almost as if it had grown due to the evil inside it. Ignoring the wind that rushed past her, she went forward again. She was almost there, almost. Then there was the sound of birds wings. She tried not to look, but it was impossible, she had to. Hundreds of black birds, she suspected ravens and crows, flew at her. She screamed and did let go; but she didn’t fall.
Looking to her left and right, she saw that she was held up by the birds, who had taken her clothing in their beaks. She looked behind her and above her and saw that Shane, Justin, LaWanda, Diane, Petunia, Corey, Jo and Valhalla were all surrounded by their own flock of birds and they were all heading to the ground. Expecting to be dropped into the branches and brambles of the trees, she was surprised when she touched down softly.
“I knew you’d make it, honey. That’s my girl.”
Giles was in front of her, holding out his hands. He was fully formed again and she was able to touch and hold him. “How is this possible?”
“You’re love for me kept me alive. I don’t know how else to explain it. He can’t abide love. He couldn’t even touch me.”
“Nothing is impossible.” Giles said and held close to him. She welcomed his embrace. She would have stayed there forever if the ground hadn’t started to rumble, making her look towards 69B through the trees.
The rest of them turned to look too, and they all saw the same thing. In every window was a blinking red eye and the front door had elongated itself into a wide slit of a mouth. The broken windows were it’s teeth and they were covered in blood.
“Come back!” What was left of Oliver sounded like the creak of floorboards. “You can’t leave the stage before the games are over!”