Coraline and Wybie are standing side by side holding hands as the minister closed his book and smiled at the two.
"I now pronounce you husband and wife," the minister announced. "You may kiss the bride."
Wybie gulped nervously as he put his hands on Coraline's arms, and stepped into her personal space. Coraline smiled and rolled her eyes, amused by his quirks, finding it quite sweet.
As Wybie leaned in slowly to kiss her, Coraline grew impatient. She put her hands on his cheeks and stepped in to kiss him instead. Everyone cheered and clapped from the chairs.
Coraline removed her hands from his cheeks and broke the kiss.
"You are a moron, Why-Were-You-Born," Coraline said quietly, holding his hands as he blushed. "But you're my moron."
"I-I wouldn't have it any other way."
Coraline also blushed as they locked hands and proceeded down the aisle.
...Several Years Later…
Charlotte got out of the backseat of the small sky blue convertible, staring at the pink apartments. She groaned annoyed as her parents emerged out from the car.
"This looks like an old retirement home," Charlotte said with an attitude as she kicked a rock.
Coraline sighed and rubbed her daughter's curly dark brown hair as she pouted and folded her arms. Charlotte is a mixture of both of her parents. She had the same physical features as her mother, and had the same color hair and skin tone as her father. Her eyes are also dark brown like her mother.
"I know this doesn't look like much, but trust me honey, it's a great place to live," Coraline explained as her daughter scoffed and rolled her eyes. "Your father and I grew up here. Your great grandma and her sister did as well. It's been in the family for generations."
"If it's such a great place to live, why couldn't they at least do a paint job?" Charlotte snapped, stubbornly. "Hang up some curtains?"
"Renovations will happen, Charlotte," Wybie added in walking back to the trunk of the blue car and opened it to unload some boxes. "No one's been here for years, and it was bound to get a little rusty."
Coraline and Wybie glanced at each other and sighed.
Coraline put a hand on her shoulder and squeezed it gently, "Why don't you go and explore the area? There's an old well that you might be interested in."
"An old well?" Charlotte asked facing her mother. "What am I going to do, throw a penny and make a wish?"
"Why not?" Wybie asked holding a few boxes in his hand. "It might be fun."
"Yeah, right," Charlotte said with an eye roll.
"Go on," Coraline said giving her a little nudge on the back. Charlotte took a deep breath, put her hands into her pants pockets and began to walk down the dirt path. She looked around and the scenery felt very unsettling and gloomy. She jumped down from the edge of a rock and continued down the path. A moment passed and she heard a low "meow" growl, and felt her heart rate beat faster from her chest. Charlotte looked around and didn't see anything.
"Hello?" Charlotte asked loudly. Silence. "Anybody there?"
She repeated her question even louder, "Hello?!"
Still no answer. She sighed and walked away, not thinking much of the growl she heard. Whatever it was must've left. Not a moment too soon, the sound was heard again, but this time it was like a scream. Charlotte gasped, and instantly stopped where she was and looked up in the tree on the left side of the path and saw a black figure rustling in the branches.
"Who's up there?" Charlotte asked, scared, picking up a rock off the path. The black figure sat in the large branch not moving a muscle.
Charlotte gulped, "Show yourself, or else I'll throw this rock, and I'm not afraid to do it!"
The black figure still sat in the tree, unmoved and hasn't made a peep. Charlotte gripped her hand on the rock and threw it up in the branch and it hit the animal. It screeched in pain. Charlotte screamed when it rustled through the tree to get down. She ran down the path for a while and slipped downhill in the mud. She groaned and slowly brought herself to her feet.
"Really?" Charlotte said to herself, wiping off the mud on her clothes as best as she could. "This really isn't my day."
Before Charlotte knew what was happening, two boys ran to her and shoved a camera in her hands. She got confused and looked up seeing a small boy with dark green hair, and pale skin wearing a light brown raincoat. The other boy standing next to him had pale skin and dark green hair as well bit with a dark brown raincoat. Charlotte figured these two boys were brothers due to the similarities between them.
A black cat jumped on the taller boy's shoulders. The cat was skinny, and had a flat face with short prickly fur.
"Hey kid, can you take pictures of us with this cat?" The smallest boy asked her. His voice sounded slightly high-pitched and judging from her first impression of the kid, he looked around ten years old.
"Um, ok," Charlotte said feeling slightly uncomfortable because they came off kind of strong. She took the pictures of the two boys making ridiculously weird poses with the cat, but to an extent, it was quite amusing so she chuckled a bit.
"Thanks um-" The older boy responded taking the camera back from her, and stood there awkwardly because he didn't know her name.
I'm Charlotte… Charlotte Lovat," She said introducing herself in a polite voice. "I just moved into the pink palace."
"The pink palace?" The Older boy asked with his eyebrows raised in mouth agape, surprised. "Is it true what they say about that place?"
"You mean the legends?" Charlotte asked with a slight chuckle folding her arms amused because this isn't the first time she'd been asked that very same question. Both boys nodded nervously. "No, the story of the evil spirit behind the secret door is just an old tale made up by children a long time ago because they thought the palace was haunted."
The boys looked at each other and took a deep breath in relief that the legends weren't true.
"Thank goodness," the youngest boy replied with a small smile.
"Oh this is my brother Larry, and I'm Wyvern," Wyvern introduced the new girl to him and his brother with a smile. The cat jumped from Wyvern's shoulders to Larry's.
"Pleased to meet you," Charlotte said before looking at the black cat who shook its head slowly at her. "Um, is this your cat?"
"Oh no, we found him wandering around our house, so we decided to feed and give him milk… and the cat's been with us ever since," Wyvern explained to Charlotte who looked at the cat suspiciously and tried to examine it further.
"Um, ok," Charlotte said snapping out of her strange thoughts and sudden uneasiness towards the skinny cat. "I'm looking for an old well. You two know where it is?"
"You're standing on it," Larry said pointing to the rocks placed in a circle around Charlotte. "If you jump too hard you'll fall right in."
Charlotte gasped scared and jumped backwards noticing the the circle of rocks. Wyvern bent over and lifted the trapdoor up as mud was rolling off it, revealing the wooden, round door.
"They say that the well is so deep, you won't be able to hear the splash," Wyvern explained standing up again.
Charlotte smiled and scoffed slightly, "Huh, really?"
Larry tapped Wyvern on the arm, "Wyvern?"
Wyvern leaned down to his brother's height and faced him.
"Should we tell her about the other story?" Larry asked as Wyvern stood back up and instantly shook his head nervously. Charlotte caught on and got very curious.
"No, we don't want to scare her!"
"You'd be surprised how easily I don't get scared," Charlotte said folding her arms with a smirk. The boys looked at each other and sighed. "Come on, what's the story?"
"Ok... don't say I didn't warn you," Wyvern said feeling quite scared as she rolled her eyes. "You know that evil spirit behind the secret door, you told us about?"
"Uh, they say that a child went to destroy the key to the secret door by throwing it down this well…" Wyvern began to explain as Charlotte tried to not give them the satisfaction that she was getting slightly creeped out. "And… she got attacked by a hand… made of needles… which was all that was left of the evil spirit… and um, tried to drag her back to the secret door to-"
Wyvern stopped talking and gulped nervously, debating whether or not he would be able to continue with the rest of the story. As he was retelling the story, he was scaring himself and his brother whose legs were shaking. Charlotte got impatient fast by tapping her foot. She just wanted Wyvern to get the story done and over with, not to keep her in suspense.
"To what?" Charlotte asked with impatience in her voice.
"Lock her away and eat her soul," Wyvern said quietly with uneasiness. Charlotte looked at both of the boys with wide eyes and jaw dropped open, surprised about how this story relates to the legend she heard about the pink palace. "She was saved by a boy who smashed a rock on the needle hand… and it broke. They say that the the two kids wrapped the key, needles and rock in a blanket and threw it down the well."
"W-wow…" Charlotte stammered unable to comprehend this story which she had to admit, was a pretty scary and creepy story. But, she thought that this couldn't just be a coincidence that this well story and the legend of the pink palace is very relatable. Were those two children the same two mentioned in the legend? A lot of unanswered questions entered her mind, but knew she wouldn't get help from her parents who strictly tell her to not get mixed up with these made up legends.
"Legend has it that the soul of the evil spirit is trapped inside the blanket, floating in the well until the end of time… but.. they say that the spirit can be set free by a child who makes a wish," Wyvern finished the story as he saw that Charlotte was unsettled and Larry looked like he was going to faint.
"So any kid who makes a wish can set the spirit free?" Charlotte asked along with a nervous laugh. "That's kind of stupid."
Larry shook his head and gulped, "No Charlie, it has to be a specific kid. The monster has marked it's revenge on the two children who have locked it away in the well. So, the monster is waiting for that kid to set it free."
"Oh…" Charlotte mutters under her breath, getting very uncomfortable about this whole conversation on the evil monster thing lurking around in an old well. They all sat in awkward silence as Charlotte glanced at the black cat who is on the ground, looking as if it's going to be sick.
"Um… I think your cat is not feeling well," Charlotte said breaking the silence, glancing at the black cat who shook its head slowly at her.
"Maybe it's hungry," Larry said picking it up in his arms. "See you around, Charlie."
As the two boys were running away towards the hill Charlotte got angry at the remark Larry made and yelled, "It's Charlotte!"
Wyvern and Larry were out of sight, and Charlotte looked down at the well. She sighed and got down on her hands and knees, and crawled over to it. Charlotte knocked on the wooden door and pressed her ear up against it, hearing the echo bounce back to her.
"There's no such thing as evil spirits… that's ridiculous," Charlotte said out loud trying to convince herself that these stories aren't real and it's just old tales to scare people. She grabbed a small pebble and took a deep breath as she dropped it down the burnt hole in the wood. She pressed her ear against the door and listened for a splash.
A moment passed and she heard a very faint splash. Charlotte smiled to herself and whispered, "I knew it wasn't real."