Candy Will Die
A/N: Don't know why, but I just felt like updating another chapter to this. Thanks for all the reviews for the first.
Candy stared down at her bare legs, turning golden in the sun, half buried in the sand. Her trousers she had rolled up above her knee to cool herself down. She had been travelling over the island of Nully, and even though the hour was early, the sun had already risen and was promising another hot and dry day. In the blue sky overhead, nothing marred it's perfect colour but an occasional flock of birds migrating back and forth from hour to hour. It was almost enough to make Candy smile, but she was tired, and aching. She doubted very much that anything on this odd island, filled with many marvellous treasures, would make her forget.
She had been travelling non-stop since her last dream, afraid to linger in any one place, determined to travel as far as possible before she was forced to close her eyes once more. She knew that he would be waiting for her; she could almost feel eyes upon her now, just waiting until she was forced to surrender. Candy knew it wouldn't be long; she had already been forced to stop here, her legs protesting against any further steps. And having rested, it was harder to push herself to her feet and continue.
Her mind began to scream two different arguments. Half of her was already surrendering, knowing that physical exhaustion would win out in the end, and it was fruitless to continue to fight. He might not even come to her this time, it could have been just a dream; a figment of an over strained imagination. But the rest of her forced her eyes to stay open. Her frightened heart told her not to give in, that he was there in the darkness, waiting, always with her, but always just out of sight. Keep going it said, she knew she wasn't ready to see his face just yet, no matter how hard her stinging muscles complained.
Walking along the sand, the sun beat down on the back of her exposed neck, and onto the backs of her calves. But Candy didn't notice, all her attention was focused on the next bend of the bay, and the small hut of a house she was slowly approaching. If she were lucky it would contain people that could help and feed her. With every step, her resolve to stay awake faltered. Suddenly she was desperate to sleep, even if it meant seeing him again.
The house was empty, dashing all of Candy's hopes for a good meal. The money in her pocket, enough to get her around the Abarat for a while, would not help her here. Looking around it was clear that the house had been left empty for a while, as there was thin layer of dust upon everything. In what passed for the kitchen Candy looked through the cupboards, and found cans of questionable content. Having no choice but to eat what had been abandoned along with the house, she took the nearest one. Concerned that perhaps the content was intended for the owners pet, Candy ate without pausing to taste and then searched for a place to sleep.
As her eyes closed, she felt herself drifting on the brink of consciousness. She felt as if she was being suspended between dreams and oblivion, waiting for one to win over the other. Finally she opened her eyes, but she did not see the same scene before her as had been there before. Now she was lying in a soft bed, in a room filled with dark mahogany furniture. Sitting up she looked around her fervently. He wasn't here, but that didn't answer any questions as to why her dreams had chosen this place.
Swinging her legs out of the large bed, she noticed that she was wearing a long white nightgown with pearls on the sleeves and collar. Her feet were bare, and the floor was cold beneath them. She didn't know what she was going to do, but as if her subconscious had answered her, a door creaked open across the room. She waited with baited breath, wondering what was going to come through it, but nothing did. Slowly she edged forwards, and pulled it open further.
"Hello?" she called.
There was silence.
Standing in the hallway, she hugged her arms around her body and held tightly. She walked forwards slowly along the wooden floor, to where a door stood ajar with a flicker of light behind it. She pushed it open with a shaking hand.
Her breath caught. Christopher Carrion was sat in a chair by the fireside, one foot upon a stool, the other resting on the floor. In his hand he held a crystal glass filled with a deep red liquid. Candy's eyes swept over him, taking in the heavy tread of his boots, to the flicker of fire in his eyes. His staring eyes were piercing, and Candy found herself frozen in panic.
"Would you like this back?" he asked.
Candy looked at the glass he was offering her. It wasn't wine. She stepped backwards but encountered nothing but the wall. The door had disappeared. She was trapped. It wasn't wine. But blood. Her blood. Candy shook her head.
"Why did you come here Candy?"
She shook her head again; no words would come to her. She hadn't come here, not by choice. She didn't even know where she was, only that she was trapped.
"I didn't," she whispered. "I didn't come here."
"I didn't call you here."
He stood and Candy flattened herself against the wall. She tried desperately to remind herself that she was dreaming, but the heart of the fire, and her fear were all to real. He walked towards her slowly, his hand with the glass turning, tipping the content on the floor, leaving a trail of red droplets in his wake. Candy felt her chest rising and falling without her control. He was so close that she could hear his breathing also.
Candy screamed as he threw the glass across the room, smashing into the wall, shattering into tiny places. She ducked out of his grasp and fell to the ground in order to crawl away.
"Why do you torment me?" he asked, his voice desperate and pleading. "Why must you come to me? Do I not suffer enough?"
Candy clasped her hands over her ears to block him out. His words shot through her heart like shards of ice, and the pain was fierce and biting. Why were they connected together in pain and fear, driving each other into despair and darkness?
The room turned dark, as if responding to Candy's thoughts, making her feel as if she was crawling through a tunnel. Something was following her, but it was not moving like she was, it was rushing across the ground, like a piece of silk being dragged across marble. Slowly it wrapped itself around her ankle and began to pull against her momentum, dragging her backwards.
"No, let me go. I don't want to go back! Please!"
But it was unsympathetic to her screams, dragging her back towards the light. Kicking against her invisible foe, Candy landed back in the doorless room, the light from the fire stinging her eyes. Christopher Carrion's image flickered in and out of her dream, one second standing before her, the next sitting in the chair. Only there was something wrong with each vision, as if the picture was confused. Candy struggled to her feet.
The she saw the dagger in his chest. Blood pouring to the ground, creeping closer and closer to her. Her speechless mouth opened in a soundless scream. What was happening? His eyes were wide and pleading, standing before her, shock across his face. He tried to pull the knife from his chest, and with it Candy saw the pain the movement caused him. He fell back into the chair.
Candy waded through the blood, staining her bare feet, and the bottom of her dress. She pushed his hands away from the knife.
"Don't do that, stop it, you'll make it worse," she said, holding him back from disturbing the wound.
His eyes found hers.
"Thank you Candy."
She let go as his eyes dulled and then closed. She stepped back, there was blood on her hands.
"I didn't do this!" she whispered. "I didn't do this!" she said again only louder. "I won't do it!" she screamed.
Suddenly a vision of herself, dagger in hand looming over him, plunging the blade into his chest, overtook her. Falling to her knees she retched and felt her tears falling, collapsing onto the blood soaked floor, she sobbed. She had known how it must end, they could not both live, one would die at the end of a blade, but fate had not yet decided who it should be.
Candy shuddered. She couldn't do it. She couldn't kill him, and watch the life drain from his eyes. She wouldn't take up a blade, not even to save her own life.
She sat up in a panic, sweat dripping down her back. She was where she had closed her eyes, the wooden hut on the beach. Lying down again she knew that she would never be free until she found him. If fate had not yet decided who was to live, then maybe there was still a way to change its mind against it all.