A/N: This is the last chapter. I hope you enjoy or survive through this last part of the story. (I made it longer... just because)
Horrible pain surged through Coraline's ears.
'What is that?' she was able to think over the pain. The blue haired girl's chest tightened as she realized that the Beldam's--or Irene's--inhuman screeches were causing the pain in her ears. The noise was so unbelievably loud, unlike anything she had ever heard.
When Coraline stabbed the beating heart in the box, it dissolved into a murky, black liquid. If Coraline hadn't been so disorientated at the time, she would have made a face at its disgusting appearance. Letting the box slip through her fingers, she looked up.
The Beldam was writhing around on the floor, her features becoming more and more skeleton like. The monster's hair had completely fallen out and now her head greatly resembled a cracked skull. "If I must go there, then so shall you!" she screamed in something that barely sounded like a voice. Coraline wasn't even sure if she spoke at all.
Coraline was barely even able to register the fact that the floor below her was slowly disappearing. Everything around them was turning into the white nothingness that Cat and her once walked through. Unable to make any loud noise, she whimpered at the sight.
The needles in Coraline's hands disappeared just like part of the floor, leaving behind not a trace of it once being there. She snapped her head up and noticed that the wall beside her was becoming transparent as well. She could barely see the soles of shoes above her.
The Beldam's screaming had become almost a silent noise in the background to Coraline's ears now. Even though the beast's heart had been stabbed and destroyed, she still attempted to crawl across the room.
"Go and die!" Coraline yelled, running out of the cramped workshop. 'If I don't get Wybie, his Gramma, and Cat out of here soon, we're done for!' As Coraline wobbled up the stairs, wincing, she suddenly remembered something.
Coraline's heart sank at the thought of the troubled doll. Where was he? 'Don't think about him now,' her foggy mind told her. 'You need to save everyone else first!'
Finally making it to the mirror, she saw that the barrier to the little room was barely visible. She could clearly see Wybie, Mrs. Lovat, and Other Wybie staring back at her. Their expressions were horrified, for they knew that the world around them was about to disappear.
"Where's Cat!?" Coraline still felt the need to scream as she frantically looked around. The sight of Other Wybie wasn't enough for her. "Is he nearby!?"
Coraline froze when her eyes lie upon Cat's dead corpse. Before she could start screaming even louder, Other Wybie stepped out of the transparent wall and covered her mouth. He put a gloved hand to his lips, and pointed in the direction of the living room with his other hand.
Wybie's expression was confused for a few moments, then Mrs. Lovat and him stepped out of the small room for themselves.
"Her world is vanishing!" Mrs. Lovat said with wide eyes. "We must escape; quickly!"
Before Coraline started to run in the direction of the door, she caught something out of the corner of her eye. Through the next room's transparent floor she was barely able to see the Beldam clinging to the floor. Half it had vanished, and the Beldam was holding onto the end as if it were a cliff.
Although the Beldam's button eyes had disappeared, Coraline could sense that the monster's head was turned in her direction. With one more eardrum shattering scream, the Beldam fell into the white nothingness below the house.
That was the last time Coraline saw the Beldam.
"C-Coraline, focus! We need to get out of here!" Wybie cried, shaking Coraline gently. Nodding her head stiffly, Coraline led the way to the small door.
The 12-year-old girl had never been so happy to see a door in her life. The door which had caused her so much trouble was opened slightly, ready for them to crawl through the tunnel that lay inside.
Wybie tripped over a neon insect chair, before being helped up by Coraline. Normally she would have made a insulting comment about his clumsiness, but her mind was far from anything like that.
"Mrs. Lovat, you go first!" Coraline quickly opened the door for the elderly woman. Mrs. Lovat crawled through the door at a fast pace, telling Wybie to go in after her. "Wybie, you heard your Gramma, go!" Flinching at Coraline's tone, Wybie went in after his Gramma.
Pausing to take a nervous breath, she spun around to face Other Wybie. His only button eye was on her. The only hand he had, his right one, was playing with the fabric of his shirt. The frown on his face was unbearable to look at to Coraline.
Coraline bit her lip. "You'll turn to dust if you come with us, won't you?"
She barely saw Other Wybie nod, for the movement of his head was little. His gaze went to the barely visible floor, studying something that wasn't there.
"But if you stay here, you'll die too," Coraline said slowly, not able to take this all in.
Other Wybie was going to perish either way. The look that was crossing his face clearly said so. He took a step toward her and mouthed, 'I'm sorry.'
Coraline's eyes grew wide as she realized he had mouthed something. Other Wybie had never done something like that before. "D-Don't be," she told him. He silently took her hand for a moment, savoring the moment.
"Coraline! We don't have much time!" Wybie's voice came from deep inside the tunnel, along with an incoherent statement from Mrs. Lovat.
Coraline called back, "I'm coming!" She turned back to Other Wybie, letting go of his hand. "I'm sorry we have to leave you like this... It's not fair for you."
Instead of replying, Other Wybie took a few steps back. The cliff-like thing that had formed at the end of the room was getting dangerously close to his feet. The wall and part of the floor had disappeared, and was replaced by white nothingness.
"Wybie? What are you..."
The troubled doll merely stared at her as he reached the edge of the remaining floor. Coraline's mouth dropped open and she put out a hand. "Wybie, don't--"
Before she could finish, Other Wybie let himself fall into the white abyss below them.
That's when Coraline fainted.
'Did something scare her?'
'She's got awfully bad bruises and cuts, I'm afraid.'
'I don't understand... she was fine a few minutes before!'
Coraline remembered being shaken violently on the floor before blacking out. The slight sensation of being carried was felt, but the blue haired girl saw nothing but blackness after that.
'She's got an interesting bump on her head. Maybe she hit something?'
'No, she was... Ah, she's stirring!'
Coraline groaned as she slowly opened her eyes. The horrible pain in her throbbing head was back, and it was impossible to focus on the people in front of her. "W-Where am I...?"
Shortly after saying this, four people merged from the blurs in front of her eyes. Wybie, Mrs. Lovat, and Miss Spink and Forcible stared back at her. Their eyes were wide and concern was written all over their faces. Miss Spink held an ice pack in her hand, slowly retracting her arm from Coraline's head.
"You're in y-your room, Jonesy," Wybie said, a small smile settling on his lips. It was quickly replaced by a grimace, and he looked away from the multiple cuts on her face and arms.
Coraline scrunched her eyebrows together. "But we were--"
"We were all at my house," Mrs. Lovat cut in. She turned to the two elderly actresses. "My grandson and Coraline were riding on his homemade motorcycle--I constantly tell him it's unsafe--and while riding, Coraline managed to fall off and hit her head badly. The fall also gave her many cuts and bruises."
Coraline slowly understood, and she painfully nodded her head. "I can't remember much after that, but that's what happened."
Miss Forcible shook her head. "My goodness, Coraline. We leave for a couple of hours, and look what happens to you!"
The 12-year-old girl nearly jumped out of bed. "Coraline? Did you seriously just call me that?"
"Yes, of course, dearie. It is your name," Miss Spink said casually, putting down the ice pack. "We were very worried to find you in this state when we returned from the theatre!"
Coraline glanced from Wybie to Mrs. Lovat, surprised. "Um, well... okay. But you were only gone a few hours?"
Miss Forcible crossed the room. "Yes, yes. Didn't you realize? My, that must have been a nasty fall..."
Coraline silently thanked the Other World--as much as she hated the place--for its ability to alter time as it wished. Remembering the Beldam's last attempt to kill her, she said, "It was."
"Well, I think it's best we be on our way. Coraline needs her rest," Miss Spink replied, following Miss Forcible to the door. "We'll be downstairs if you need us, dearie."
The remaining people in the room waved robotically, until the two ladies had left.
"Right now... I'm really confused." Coraline rubbed her forehead, exhausted. The way everything had played out made no sense to her, especially the part where Miss Spink and Forcible--of all people--actually got her name right.
Wybie sat down on her bed next to her. "You fainted w-when the house was disappearing in the Other World. Gramma and I had to drag you through the tunnel as quickly as we could before everything disappeared. You're heavier than you look, you know."
Normally, Coraline would have given him a good punch for saying that. She stared back at him. "Other Wybie... he fell off the edge of the floor before everything disappeared."
"On purpose?" Mrs. Lovat asked. She had settled on the other side of Coraline's lying body.
Coraline let her eyes linger on the wall for a moment, then nodded. "H-He backed away from me until he fell. I don't know why." 'He couldn't bare to see me any longer,' her mind told her, but she decided not to say that out loud.
There was an awkward silence for a few moments, until Wybie decided to ask, "So how did the Other Mother... er, die? Did she just fall through the floor in the end?"
"No. I found her heart that you were talking about. I destroyed it and I think that's what caused everything to disappear," Coraline explained, poking the largest wound on her arm. "Cat... must have fell, too."
Wybie nodded. "I... think he still needs a b-burial, even though we don't have his body. Y'know... because of trying to save you and stuff."
"He did save me last time."
"You're right, Wybourne, a last farewell is needed," Mrs. Lovat replied. She got up slowly, making her way toward the door. "We should go get some things to make somewhat of a memorial for the helpful cat."
"Lets go!" Coraline attempted to get up, but was soon stopped by Wybie. Mrs. Lovat had already exited the room, muttering something to herself about spiders.
"Coraline, you're o-obviously not well enough to run around outside," Wybie said.
Coraline folded her arms, wincing slightly. "What makes you think that I can't get up? I just defeated a giant spider witch in this condition, so I think I have enough energy to walk."
"Even when you're almost a zombie you still want to explore. I'm impressed."
She smirked. "That's just how awesome I am." Her expression quickly changed to serious. "But really, you have no idea how much I appreciate your grandma and you attempting to help. Without you telling me what to do, I probably wouldn't be here now."
Wybie tried not to grimace of the idea of Coraline being killed by the Beldam. "W-We couldn't have just stayed here and let you run around in that insane place. You needed some extra help."
Wondering why in the world she would do this, Coraline leaned over and kissed Wybie quickly on the cheek. "You're right, I did need some help. Thank you."
Wybie, who was now in shock, merely stared at her.
Coraline gave him the most annoyed look she could muster. "Well? What are you waiting for? Since I'm apparently too 'hurt' to go outside, you can go now." She made a shooing-like motion.
A blush creeping onto his cheeks, Wybie clumsily made it out of the room.
As soon as he was out of sight, Coraline grinned.
"Do you think it's enough?"
"Don't be an idiot! It's perfect, Wybie."
With her hands on her hips, Coraline stared at the little memorial made for Cat by a nearby tree. A large rock had been placed beside it, and written in chalk on the top was: 'CAT. R.I.P, OUR TIMELESS FRIEND'. Smaller pebbles and various flowers had been placed around it.
Coraline knew this statement on the rock was true, for the black cat that once wandered around the area seemed to never grow older. His agelity and sense of hearing was as good as a very young cat. She smiled at the words again, taking a step back.
Wybie awkwardly messed with his skeleton gloves, then said, "M-Maybe we should go back inside. You're not--"
A soft, cat like noise was heard behind them. Sucking in her breath, Coraline spun around. What she expected to be Cat, meraciously alive, was a black kitten much smaller than the deceased feline.
The kitten's bright green eyes stared back up at them, and it merely said, "Meow."
Coraline exchanged shocked glances with Wybie. The kitten had just appeared out of no where, and Coraline didn't remember seeing anything black out of the corner of her eye.
"How...?" That was all Coraline could get out of her mouth. The kitten responded with another meow, then began to rub itself against the blue haired girl's legs.
"I've never seen this k-kitten before," Wybie replied, staring blankly down at the animal. It was purring now, weaving around the two of them.
"Where do you think it came from?"
The next look that the kitten gave her held the same knowledge that Cat's eyes had. It didn't make a noise this time, but stared at them as if to say, 'I know everything.'
Coraline knew that if a 'normal' person had looked at this kitten, that they would think nothing of it's look of wisdom. She managed a smile, and said, "I think it's a friend of Cat's. There... must always be another cat to watch over this house and the people who live in it." She picked the kitten up, and scratched its ears.
"That could make sense... after everything I've seen," Wybie mused, smiling slightly at the kitten.
Nodding in acknowledgment to the rock, Coraline turned to the Pink Palace. "Shall I fetch you some food, Kitten?"
She was sitting in a large chair, not too far away from Coraline. Despite what had happened earlier, a hint of a smile rested apon her features. Instead of the monster-like appearance, she was merely in the form of a little girl... the person who she once was. After placing her hands on her lap, she said, "Do you know why I have summoned you here?"
Coraline, who would normally be afraid, stared back at the child in annoyance. "I thought we were finished. I'm tired of you bothering me in my dreams." The blue haired girl stood in white nothingness, for it was the only thing besides the chair that surrounded them.
The Beldam's smile went away. "This is the last time you will be seeing me. My body has completely been destroyed, but my spirit will linger until I'm finished speaking with you." Before Coraline could ask, she added, "I'm not aware of the reasons for this."
Coraline stood in silence for a few moments. The Beldam's constant tapping of her fingernails wasn't heard, and the usual smirk that lay upon her lips wasn't present. She appeared to be telling the truth. "No, I don't know why we're both here. Care to explain?"
"You won, Coraline. You escaped my clutches twice, which is hard to believe. The other children I captured never even got past the sewing. They were too naive and innocent to see past my facade. But you... you were very clever and were able to save the children and destroy me. That is a big accomplishment."
"Your point is...?"
"Since you defeated me, you have a choice." The Beldam's green eyes seemed to glint just as her previous button eyes once did. "My world is open for you to use. You can take my place and create whatever your heart desires with the magic that I put behind the door. There are many others like I was, Coraline, and you could become one of them as well."
Coraline's stomach twisted at what came from the monster's lips. 'You can take my place...' "No," Coraline shook her head. "I'll never become like you. You've murdered innocent children and ruined their families' lives. No one deserves to be hurt like that!"
"You don't understand, Coraline. Since my world is without an owner--a ruler to control and create things--it will call to you. You will be tempted to return and take my place as a witch."
The thought of being tempted to do things like murder people and create replicas of friends and family made Coraline even more disgusted. "I won't believe you," she spat. "I'll live a normal life and I won't let that... that nightmare control me."
The Beldam stood up, and strode over to the blue haired girl. "You won't last long. The need to be in that world will only grow stronger. It will take the person who seems best for the job... and that's you. I know this, because unspoken knowledge came from my transformation. Other beings like me exist. Everywhere. There is always room for another."
"This is only a dream," Coraline said aloud. "It can't be real!"
With a small smile, The Beldam replied, "Sometimes ridiculous ideas end up being the most realistic."
Coraline shot up in bed. Her mouth was agape, but the usual scream didn't come out. The moonlight protruded through the window, making the setting around her look ghostly and somewhat beautiful. The covers, which she expected to be in a tangled mess on the floor, were spread neatly on the bed. Everything was... normal.
It was late at night, still in the day in which Coraline had defeated the Beldam. Her parents were not expected to come home for another 3 days. It was hard to comprehend that everything happened in a very short, 2 day time span. If no one had informed her of the date and time, Coraline would have thought a week or two had passed.
Taking in a breath, Coraline brought her knees to her chin. "It's all okay," she assured herself. "Mom and Dad will be home soon and everything will be normal again." Normal. Coraline longed for life to be normal again, but this house made the word seem impossible.
Before she could attempt to go back to sleep, something went off in her brain. She wasn't sure what it was... a creepy sensation that was indescribable. No, it wasn't that feeling she got when she was sick or was utterly afraid. It was something she had never experienced before.
She had the sudden desire to go in the living room.
There you have it. The crappiest ending in the world! Basically you decide how it ends. Does Coraline go back to the Other World and take over? Or does she end up being able to stay away from the door?
Any comments? Questions? Snide remarks? If so, please leave a review.