“Everything,” Leonard whispered, and then it all made sense. Why he wasn’t able to talk about his death, or his past so easily; why he didn’t like being away from Aronne for too long; he was just scared. He was scared of himself and he was scared of his loved ones being stolen from him but, most of all, he was scared of the house. The Inn had killed him. It would slowly kill everyone.
“I’m…scared of everything.” And he gave a small laugh. Years of egotistical mania were fading due to death and nightly flashbacks of terrors and darkness. Everything he had become to be was disappearing because of this Inn. “I want to cross over. I want to cross over so bad.”
Those words were the words that tended to terrify Joel to the core. Chilling his spine, the man almost choked on his own breath. Cross over? Why on earth would he do that? Maybe it was just Joel, but he saw all the things Leonard was living for. Or maybe he was just the bold definition under selfish.
“I—Leo, don’t talk like that.” The man clung tighter to the boy—his ‘son’—as if he were going to cross over as he spoke those wretched words that scared Joel more than the depths of hell.