His thread-bound eyes quickly scanned the area to be sure the coast was clear, examining the house's perimeter discreetly behind the tombstone on the furthest edge of the graveyard. A gray but otherwise placid day; no rain storm would be muffling his movements so he had to tread softly. He tiptoed past the crinkly brown lawn guarded by a half-decayed feline, and a few stale muffins at a brisk pace, scanning the perimeter again once he was safe behind his target. Not a soul for miles—outdoors.

He hoped those thumps and bumps his body made against the tree weren't loud enough to call attention to himself. He heaved himself up the trunk and sat on one of the closest branches; a few of the sturdier ones had been sawn off, Lenore loving the great oak too much to allow Taxidermy to timber it down. Such a thoughtful heart she had…

She was sitting at her mirror again, humming a little nonsense song while she ran a small bone-white comb through her hair—which was probably made of bone. She had such a beautiful voice.

Sitting there, minding her own business with all the pureness and innocence an angel like her could only have. He sighed silently as he watched, as now he could only watch. Oh, he came prepared should this time be different: a large bouquet of various posies and a heart-shaped box of chocolates in the shapes of all her favorite animals; kitties, spiders, snakes, etcetera. Time had not changed her youthful appearance, though she was well over a century old. Many times he used this as a justification for his pursuits, but they would not listen. Nobody understood his love for her, not even Lenore—but he forgave her.

He forgave her for that, and for the incidents that befell him each and every time their paths were to cross. Of course that doll embodiment of a vampire and metal-headed demon certainly saw to it that he could never reach his angelic Lenore. Oh the scars he had acquired from previous encounters with the two of them—but none, not even the skull impalement from the triton or the rearranging of his bowels, could compare to the fragile strings she plucked from his heart. God how he envied the two of them, constantly in her company, especially the doll. How she would incessantly drag him along on her ventures, if not command him to; sometimes pleading for him to play with her in that adorably playful voice that made him shudder; running to him for comfort (sometimes from him…); and hold him, the sack-covered man ever nostalgic for the feel of an embrace in her arms.

And the foolish bastard had no idea how lucky his circumstances be. Not a day went by he didn't ache, didn't pine for Lenore—her voice, her touch, and just the overall cutely demented aura she sent off. He put a hand over this forehead to shield his gaze from the glare of the window and thought but only one thing: Why?

Could it be that…she had already made her choice? And he had lost to a being who was barely half her size and over 3 times her age? But that would be calling the kettle black, wouldn't it?

His face pressed to the window and he just watched her silently, seeing her run the toothy comb through her lovely blonde hair. He vaguely remembered how it felt under his hands.

He glanced down…just in time to see that dollpire and demon burning him with their stares from the ground below, and he was well aware of what was in store if he came down—doubled the consequences if he didn't. Still, if he was going to be tortured either way, he would gladly stay up here until time itself earthed the tree—he vaguely heard the sound of a chainsaw from below—and just watch his little Lenore, who had now turned at the noise and shrieked in fury once she saw him. She ran downstairs, that blonde hair forming a knot where she'd forgot to yank the comb out, coming back up with a large blade in her pale, delicate, so so soft hand, and lifting up the window pane. The chainsaw stopped.

Mr. Gosh did not move as she raised the knife above her head and in one quick move found it buried right between his button eyes. He fell to the ground in a painful slump…

And heard the chainsaw starting up again.