“Stand down, spirit. You’re no match for me.”
“We’ll see about that. It’s a pity your mother’s quest for vengeance has corrupted your heart and contaminated you with this rage you feel. But you can fight it, Simon. You’re not a vengeful spirit. I can sense it. You’re like me, but she changed you. She made you this way. You don’t have to kill anyone else.”
“You don’t know anything about me.”
As the two spirits stared each other down, the ground quaked and the winds blew more violently, threatening to destroy everything in its path.
“Grams!” Logan yelled. “Help us get out of here.”
With the flick of her wrist, she threw a barrier around us before turning to Ty. “This is a matter between me and my son. Do not intervene.”
With a heavy breath, Ty relaxed his balled fists, causing the tremors to subside. “Help them get out of here, then. It’s the least you can do.”
Edith glared at her son. “You’ve already taken one of my grandchildren—you will let this one go.”
“You’ve imprisoned my soul, Mother. You will now suffer the same fate.” Simon threw up his hands and brought them down, causing the inner part of Spirit Mountain to crumble. And with that, the protective barrier that Edith had thrown around us dissolved.
Logan yelled in my ear, “We’ve gotta go or we’ll be trapped here, too.”
I nodded. We took off running, his hand wrapped around mine. Dodging branches and tree chunks crashing down around us, we moved through Spirit Mountain’s hurtling debris. The rain poured as the ungodly skies cracked with lightning, spitting out more hailstones at our feet. I glanced down as the alarm on my phone rang, causing us to pick up our pace.
“We’re not going to make it,” I shouted.
Logan struggled to catch his breath. “Run! Run! Run!”
When we reached the portal opening, we ran our hands along the wall, but it was closed. Nothing there. “It’s closed, Logan! The portal’s closed!”
Panicking as sheer terror filled our hearts, we both relentlessly pounded at the wall. “Aunt Vine! Uncle Ernie, please!” I screamed in despair. “Let us in!” I knew they couldn’t hear us, but it was my natural instinct to call out to them. I had to reach them somehow.
Running out of options, I spun around. I yanked on Logan’s jacket, directing his eyes toward what I was witnessing—Spirit Mountain was imploding right before our eyes as the ground cracked, sending ripples of earth toward us. “We’re not going to make it.” My tears mixed with the pelting raindrops. I slid down the wall, crying.
Logan sat beside me, wrapping his arms around my shoulders as he pulled me close. “It’s okay, Beth. We’re here together.” He hugged me tightly as we both closed our eyes and waited for the impact that would take our lives.
When the rain stopped plummeting down on us, we both glanced up to see a translucent image of Ty, his arms extended like wings and draped over us in a protective manner.
I closed my eyes again and waited for our fate.
The climate instantly changed. One second, the area was being pummeled with trees, rock, debris and rain, and the next, everything was dead quiet, except for the howling of the wind. Our eyes closed and our heads down, we both waited, uncertain what we’d see when we finally opened our eyes.
My head ached, more so because it was riddled with questions. Were we dead? Had we also become trapped inside Spirit Mountain forever? What would we see when we opened our eyes?
“I’m here.” He squeezed my hands.
“Are you ready?”
We opened our eyes to darkness. The only light cast down was from the full moon and star-speckled sky. Our backs no longer rested along a wall, but instead, we sat against an icy rock, our butts planted in a pile of snow. The frigid air chilled me to the bone and within seconds, I could hear and feel my teeth chattering.