If regrets were horses, she would have a whole stable by now. It would be filled with swift ones and dark ones. Others would be mysterious and fleeting, but she doesn't give in to regret. She can't allow herself to think of it.
She's no longer a child and hasn't been since the day her parents died in the fire. She feels old now, even though by the calendar she's still just a young woman. She knew things had changed when those around her, those hopeless adults who were supposed to protect and help her, stopped defining words for her. Now her soul is as barren as an old maid's womb.
It is barren and just as alone. Violet had lived to reach her adulthood and the granting of her inheritance. Yes, Count Olaf had been defeated, but not before he took one last strike against them all. He had taken Sunny and Klaus with him to his death, leaving her as the sole surviving Baudelaire. If that was considered a victory for her, it was one most hollow.
The years had intervened, running through her fingers like grains in the hourglass of time. She had been so alone that her fundamental character was repressed. Violet no longer needed a ribbon to hold back her hair when she invented. She did not invent, and she had shorn her hair. Violet was only half-alive, walking through her life like a zombie.
Mr. Poe had encouraged her to buy a house with her money, and she did just that. Her siblings had still been alive then. Count Olaf had still been somewhere plotting another of his schemes. The trio had not lived there long before Olaf had his evil success.
Violet examined what remained for her here. In what had been Sunny's room, there was nothing left to bite. There had been nothing to show that she'd learned to be quite an accomplished cook for someone so young. There was only pervasive emptiness, and the last remaining Baudelaire wandered on like a ghost in her own house.
Taken logically from the room of one sibling to the next, she went to Klaus's inner sanctum. Violet looked at the books on his desk. She hadn't disturbed them since he'd been murdered. It was a small shrine to the researching mind of her brilliant brother.
Books had always been his love, and his collection of books left open at the time of his death showed a shocking similarity. Violet examined them closer than she had before. First was the fiction of The Time Machine by H. G. Wells. Other books near it were ones by Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity and A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. It was the stuff of deep research that Klaus dearly loved.
Violet wandered down silent halls into her own chambers and slept. She no longer took comfort in dreams. Dreams were for people with hope, and Olaf had finally taken all of her hopes away.
As Violet slept, something different than hope began to work in her mind. The gears of an inventing mind, almost rusted now, began to move. Slowly, slowly, they moved until Violet woke with an idea, slim at its best.
Waking quickly, she swiftly walked to the kitchen where she found some hard carrots to bite. Sunny would have approved of her choice. With her carrots in hand, Violet moved to Klaus's room to the books on his desk. It was not her strength, but she had done research when it was needed of her when they were at the lumber mill.
With her carrots and her books, Violet read and read. Her eyes grew tired, but she resisted the pull of sleep. She'd been living in limbo too long. If she was right in her thoughts, it was time to change into a person who could feel again.
Taking her old ribbon out of her pocket, Violet tied up her hair as an act of ceremony with an attitude of final determination. She didn't know if she would succeed. In all her other inventions, she'd had the support of her parents and then her siblings. Too long she'd been a slave to circumstance, and finally she was going to bend time to her will.
Money meant nothing to her without those she loved. It was money that had had been the cause of the unhappiness in her life. She then used all the money she had to create her one last grand invention. The objections of the banker were ignored in favor of her own vision.
At last, after long days and hours of work that melded together without distinction, Violet Baudelaire stared at her time machine. With it was a one-way trip into the past. She would fix the trail of tragedy that had befallen all of their lives. With a sigh of expectation, she slid into the seat in the chamber of the machine.
"Begin at the beginning," she said out loud. Then as she thought of what she really could do if this invention worked, she changed her mind. "Begin before the beginning."
Violet reached up and switched on the gears. Lights inside the machine began to glow. She closed the door, locking her into the time machine.
"I will see you soon," she said to the burned photographs of her family that she had placed inside the cockpit.
She finished the starting sequence of her machine and went into the black. Violet Baudelaire was going home.
A/N: My first Series of Unfortunate Events fic. I had the first two paragraphs, but I'm not a fan of drabbles. Therefore, I expanded it. Be honest, but don't be cruel. Thanks for reading.