Disclaimer; Neither CANDY nor myself own Coraline. How so very sad. :'(
10. Murder – (noun) Law. The killing of another human being under conditions specifically covered in law. In the U.S., special statutory definitions include murder committed with malice aforethought, characterized by deliberation or premeditation or occurring during the commission of another serious crime, as robbery or arson (first-degree murder), and murder by intent but without deliberation or premeditation (second-degree murder).
Coraline didn't remember going back to her own bed after meeting Eve. She was just woken up by her very worried father opening the curtains. She shielded her eyes from the light pouring in through the newly opened window by burying her face in her pillow and mumbling 'go away'.
"Coraline! Come on, you're going to miss the tests!" He said, moving to Wybie's bed, and waking him up too. Coraline rolled over with a little moan. She was so tired. Charlie shook her shoulder roughly.
"C'mon lazybones…" He said, ripping the covers off. "It's your last one."
"Ugh" she moaned, dragging herself out of the bed. By the window, Wybie did the same. They dressed, and had a quick breakfast, all in silence.
"Right, get going, and I'll be here when you get back for lunch" Charlie said.
"You're not going anywhere today?" Coraline asked, and he shook his head.
"That doesn't matter, now get going" He said, ushering them out the door. Coraline and Wybie headed towards the elevator at the end of the hallway. She stole a glance at him, remembering what Eve had told her the night before. Would he really give up one of his eyes for her? They were friends, sure, but hadn't even been that close over the last few years.
The thought made her feel like crying. He had no idea that he was dying for her. If he knew, would he still agree?
"Jonesy?" She looked up to see him holding the elevator door open for her.
"Oh, sorry" He just gave her a tired smile, and fell into step beside her. They watched all the kids head into the hall, chatting softly amongst themselves. Coraline caught sight of Claire's odd white hair. No one in the group even suspected a thing about her.
"Are we going to the tests?" He asked quietly, and Coraline just shook her head. She couldn't concentrate on them before all of this, let alone after. She started walking, not sure where, but she knew she hadn't already been down there. Eventually, they found a rather large set of big double doors, and Coraline pushed right through them. She squinted a bit as sunlight blinded her, but realised that they'd stumbled across the hotel pool.
"Never knew this was here" Wybie said, looking around. The water was crystal clear, like most hotel pools, and it was warm outside, so there were a few people stretched out on the randomly scattered banana lounges.
"Neither…wanna hang out here for a few hours?" she said, pulling off her t-shirt and just wearing the singlet underneath. He shrugged.
"Wybie! Coraline!" They scanned the pool for the familiar voice, and spied Bonnie sitting in one of the chairs, beside Doug. She was waving at them with that big smile on her face. Coraline couldn't help but think...could that grinning girl actually have killed people? And Doug?
Wybie was already on his way over to the pair, so Coraline had no choice but to follow. He sat down beside Doug, and she took the seat beside Bonnie.
"Isn't so nice today? Way too sunny to be in those boring tests" The redhead giggled. She was wearing a denim-print bikini, with a pale blue sarong tied at her waist. It was only early, but it also looked like she was a little sunburned. Doug was wearing a pair of plain black boardshorts, with a red and white stripe going down either side.
"Mmm…like it should be when you're on holidays" Coraline replied with a little forced smile.
"Even though we're really- hey!" Wybie jumped as something small and tan-coloured jumped into his lap. The others turned to look at him.
"That's Dexter" Bonnie said with a bright smile. "He's my cat. And down there is Bert, and Loki has Duchess, and then Alice has Chief" Dexter was only a kitten, with big eyes and long whiskers. Sitting on the ground beside Doug, stretched out on the warm ground was a ginger tom, tail twitching lazily in the sun.
"He's cute" Wybie smiled, scratching Dexter behind the ear. It was like his front legs buckled instantly, and he rolled onto his side. The boy laughed, until Dexter found his shoelace and decided that he was going to play with it.
"He looks like a baby, but he was very helpful with my Other Mother-"
"Beldam, Bonnie" Doug reminded her.
"Whatever, Doug" She replied, rolling her eyes. As Bonnie chattered away, Coraline leaned back on her chair, closing her eyes. She heard most of what they were saying, wary of them, but mainly just went over her adventure from the previous night, everything Eve had told her, and everything she'd seen. Could she be trusted? She still wasn't 100 percent sure.
After a while (No one had noticed that she hadn't been paying attention) Wybie made a strange sound that made her sit up. Dexter was sitting upright in his lap, ears pricked. The orange tom was doing the same thing.
"Bert?" Doug said, petting his head. He didn't move, except for his tail twitching a little.
"Is there a bird or something?" Wybie asked, looking around. They couldn't see anything that might cause such strange behaviour. Then Coraline spotted him. A tall, thin man with a pointed chin and goatee, wearing a pair of very dark sunglasses was walking towards them. He had a towel draped over one arm, although it didn't look as though he'd been swimming.
She widened her eyes, almost in warning. Don't come over this way! If he noticed her warning, Cain just ignored it. What was he even doing here?
"Good morning, children" he said with a smile as he passed. Both Bert and Dexter had flattened their ears against their skull, and Dexter had puffed up his fur a little. Doug was surprised to hear his cat give a little hiss. Then he vanished into the hotel, and they settled down. Dexter started washing his face with his paw, and Bert stretched out in the sun again, still a little wary.
"…wow" Bonnie was leaning forward in her chair. "Who was that?"
"Dunno…" Doug said. "Should we tell Alice?"
"Probably" The redhead replied. "Cats know stuff we don't…"
"Well…if you go tell Alice, we can follow him and see where he goes?" Wybie offered. Bonnie nodded enthusiastically.
"Good idea. Quick, before you lose him…and don't forget we're meeting tonight!" Wybie jumped to his feet (leaving a very disgruntled Dexter behind) and headed towards the doors, waiting for Coraline to catch up. When they were out of sight, she grabbed his elbow.
"You know this is pointless, right?" She told him, and he turned to face her.
"Because if he is working for her, then he's not gonna let us find him, and the chances are more than likely he's just a hotel patron" She said, crossing her arms.
"But you saw the cats…"
"Yeah, well…cats sometimes just don't like people" she frowned. He sighed.
"Well fine…what're we gonna do now?" As if in answer to his question, the doors to the hall opened, and all the students poured out, thrilled about having no more tests. Most were discussing the Halloween party the next night. They spotted Claire, as she headed upstairs.
"I don't know" She said. "Go upstairs? Have some lunch?"
"…I still think we should follow-"
"Lunch it is" And with that, she headed towards the elevator. He hesitated for a moment, before following her inside. There was only one other person in the elevator – a tall, thin woman with glasses, a pointy nose and a pencil skirt. The look on her face expressed her dislike for the two children. Her presence meant that they couldn't talk about the Unstitchers, but Coraline had plenty to think about.
When they went into the room, Charlie started congratulating them on finishing, and telling them how proud he was of them. Coraline gave a tired little smile, and sank into one of the chairs. Wybie sat beside her.
"Now, because I know you weren't listening, Alice says we're meeting in the car park again tonight, to discuss what's going on at the Halloween thingy tomorrow" He said in a soft voice, so Charlie couldn't hear. He was ordering them something to eat.
"Okay" She replied. "Do…you have any idea what they're planning?"
"No" He replied, but she could see a little something in his eyes that convinced her that he wasn't telling the truth. "They haven't told me anything…why would they?" She didn't reply. He raised an eyebrow. "Are you okay?"
"Fine…" She snapped out of it, and got to her feet, although she wasn't sure why. "I… um, need the bathroom…scuse me" Coraline vanished into the room, locking it behind her. She stared at her reflection in the mirror for a moment. Why would he even bother dying for someone like her? She was a brat.
"Should I tell him?" She asked out loud, sitting on the closed toilet lid. She looked up at the mirror, as that familiar, elegant red script appeared.
"Eve?" Coraline got to her feet, and quickly wiped off the word. It occurred to her that maybe the Godmother couldn't hear her, so she picked up the lipstick, but then found that to be absurd. Of course she could hear. "Don't let them hurt him" She said softly. That same word wrote itself on the mirror.
Coraline and Wybie were sitting in their beds, in the dark, listening to Charlie snoring. When they were sure he was well and truly asleep, they tiptoed around the room, pulling on shoes and jumpers. In silence, they snuck through the empty halls of the hotel, and slipped into the elevator. When they were inside, Wybie let out a little sigh.
"That never gets old… sneaking out" He said with a smile. Coraline yawned, and her hand covered a little smile afterwards. She was a little distracted by the task Eve had given her the previous night. She didn't know how to do it. Wybie didn't notice that Cat was on his heels until they were basically in the carpark, where he scooped him up and started to scratch him behind the ear.
The first thing Coraline saw as they approached were two, green cat eyes that had caught the light, making them glow.
The rest of the Unstitchers came into view, and she realised that the eyes belonged to Alice's scary cat. Chief, Bonnie had called him earlier.
"Thankyou for gracing us with your presence" Alice said, playing with a pair of scissors. It looked as though she'd been cutting holes and rips in her denim skirt to pass the time.
"Sorry…couldn't get out any earlier" Wybie said, and Coraline nodded in agreement. Bonnie and Dexter were sitting on a bench beside Doug and Bert, while Loki and Alice both sat on a car, their cats sitting quietly beside them. Claire was sitting on the ground beside the car, with Gray in her lap.
"Well…I spose we should let you in on the plan" Alice sighed, as though she really couldn't be bothered. Coraline quickly stole a glance at Wybie, but he didn't show any signs of fear, or regret, or anything. He just looked like his normal self, paying close attention to whatever the dark haired girl on the car was going to say. Claire stood, so that she could see, and reached out to gently pet Chief on the head.
It happened very quickly, after that. The tortoiseshell's head whipped around, and he bit down on Claire's hand. She yelped in pain, and jumped away, her back facing the car. But even Coraline could see the sawdust trickling through her fingers, so there was no way the rest of the Unstitchers missed it. Alice just stared for a moment, in disbelief, almost. She jumped off the car, and onto Claire, knocking her to the ground, her face livid. Despite Claire's struggles, Alice tore off the eye patch, and threw it on the ground.
The button glinted a little, and Loki leaned forward on the bonnet of the car so he could see. Beside him, Chief's fur was bristling, and his dark, suspicious eyes never left Claire. His tail was curled around Loki's wrist. Duchess just looked bored. Alice seemed to shake with fury.
Coraline gripped Wybie's arm in fear for the poor girl. The others just stared, shocked, as Alice screamed in rage, and brought down the scissors she'd been playing with earlier into Claire's stomach. She cried out in pain, but Alice didn't stop at that. No, she tore it open, dragging the scissor blade through her skin. Coraline's grip on Wybie's arm tightened…surely that sound would stay in her mind forever. She should have stepped in… stopped Alice from going too far. But she was rooted to the spot in fear.
The dark haired girl watched as sawdust spilled out of Claire's stomach, a look of utmost disgust on her face. She continued to hurl insults and threats, and swear words as she stabbed, and slashed at the poor girl. Her chest… her neck. Eventually, she even tore open Claire's pretty face, ignoring the cries, and screams of pain and fear. Coraline could only hear that awful ripping sound, and buried her face in Wybie's shoulder.
Alice used her fingernails to tear the button eye out, and Claire's screams died down. She stopped struggling. Like a balloon with a tiny hole in it…she just deflated. Coraline shuddered, knowing what the sudden absence of screaming meant, feeling tears threatening to fall. Wybie just looked stunned. Alice stood up, and wiped her hands on her skirt, throwing the scissors on the ground in a rage. Then she kicked the sawdust, like a child having a tantrum.
But she still managed to make it frightening. Alice stormed off into the hotel, swearing to herself, and leaving the rest of them behind.
"…wow" Bonnie whispered, moving closer to Claire's body – or what was left of it. She knelt down.
"So she was a spy the whole time" Doug frowned, and Bonnie started to play with the sawdust a little.
"Does this mean that the plan is off? I mean, the Queen Beldam might know everything" Bonnie said, looking up at Loki, who shook his head.
"We didn't tell her the plan." He slipped off the car, and into the sawdust. "So, the Queen knows that something's up, but she won't know what to expect"
"Is that safe?" Doug asked, and Loki shrugged.
"Probably not. But we won't have another chance to get her" Bonnie stood up straight, standing at Loki's shoulder.
"He's right. We've got to get her now" Wybie agreed, and Coraline stared at him. "She'll be angry when she finds out what happened to Claire"
"Right. So…we need to work quickly. I'll talk to Alice, maybe change the plan around a little bit, and we'll get back to you" He scooped up Duchess and headed inside, followed by Doug and Bonnie, who were talking together in hushed whispers.
"Jonesy, are you okay?" Wybie asked, watching as she knelt down by Claire. She felt something brush her leg, and looked down to see Cat. His big blue eyes were sad.
"That was… the most awful thing…" She said, picking up the glass eye.
"Well…it had to be done"
"What?" She turned to face him, slipping the eye into her pocket.
"She was a spy! For the Beldam, Coraline, so she was probably going to try and sew buttons in your eyes anyway!" Wybie said, pulling her to her feet. She took a breath, and nodded.
"I know…but…she didn't have to do it like that" Coraline said, and Wybie put a hand on her back, taking her inside. The contact made her heart skip a beat or two as they walked back to their room in silence, Cat trotting along behind them.
Coraline was curled up under her doona, watching Wybie through teary eyes. When she was sure he was asleep, she got up, and slipped her feet into her slippers. She followed Cat through the halls, wiping at tears on her cheeks, and they stopped at the old dumbwaiter.
Cat gave a little yowl, nodding at the door. She nodded back, took a deep breath, and climbed inside. That familiar whooshing in her ears, plus that warm, sweet smell was the same as last time, as was the bright blue. The only difference was that it didn't seem to take as long. Probably because she was so hesitant to even see Eve.
The light appeared above her, and she grabbed the opening, pulling herself through. She stood in the empty kitchen, her arms wrapped around her middle.
"Eve?" She called, and there was no answer.
"She's probably working" Cat replied, sitting at her feet. Coraline nodded, and headed in the same direction as she had before, looking around. She heard a strange 'clack, clack, clack' coming from the other end of the hallway, and a proud dark Friesian horse rounded the corner, a man in a cowboy hat in the saddle.
"Miss Jones" He replied, tipping his hat and spurring the horse into a brisk trot down the hallway. It stopped just beside her, and she stroked its thick neck.
"How can I help you, lil lady?" He asked, in a southern accent, dismounting.
"Umm…where's Eve?" She replied in a quiet voice.
"Probably in a dream…what's happened?" His voice went back into its normal Bond-Villain accent. The horse tossed its head.
"Cain, take this uncomfortable contraption off" The horse said, twisting his head to bite the saddle.
"Abel?" Coraline asked, as Cain removed the gear.
"Indeed. How are you, Coraline?"
"I need to see Eve as soon as possible." She replied, as Abel turned back to his ordinary self. One of the golden doors opened, and there she was, in a stunning black qi pao. It was black, with gold trim, and her heels were the same bright gold. She held an empty tray of muffins.
"Sweet thing" She said to herself, closing the door behind her. She fixed her button eyes on the three of them.
"Who was that, Mother?" Abel asked curiously.
"…Little Eunice. Wanted a set of paints with every colour imaginable…even the ones without names. Her favourite is blueberry" She sounded almost close to crying.
"Eve…it's about Claire" Coraline went up to her, and held out the glass eye she'd slipped into her pocket. Eve put a hand over her mouth, and took it with the other hand.
Coraline stood there quietly, hands clasped in front of her, while Cain and Abel both shared a look of horror. In the back of her mind, she could hear a soft buzzing sound, but ignored it. Eve turned her back to them, and the sound grew steadily louder. She cleared her throat.
"Cain…Abel… please escort Coraline home" The two nodded, holding out a hand each for Coraline to take and they led her further down the hallway. Abel closed the golden door behind them, but it didn't mask the bloodcurdling shriek of rage from behind it, which sent a chill down Coraline's spine.
Hello all. What a frightful chapter D:
And I do apologise. I'm SOOOO sorry. In fact, I should be doing homework right now, but out of sheer guilt, I pushed it aside.
SPECIAL MENTION TO SAMI, who was the only one to pick the Mary Poppins reference, which was 'Spit Spot'. For shame, people =P Well done, Big Sister
I'm sitting here on my bed with my own dear cat, Lily (She's drooling all over me) [EDIT; and now Dexter], avoiding homework because I need to get this chapter up and running. So, this chapters question is; Do you have a lovely, loyal feline companion who would help you out with a rogue Beldam?
So yeah, Coraline's Other Mother's name is Mary. Now, even though it's not mentioned in the actual fic, of course all the other Other Mothers have names as well, so I thought I'd share them with you. Alice's was named Isis, and Loki's was named Frigga, while Bonnie's was Gaia, and Dougs was Durga. Obviously, Claire's Mother's name is Eve. Spot any connections? Only the greatest mothers in history.
So yes, again, I do apologise greatly for the delay. Start of the school year, plus a minor case of OCD (I wrote the scene with Claire FIVE times D: ) is to blame. Hopefully CANDY does a better job than that, huh?
EDIT: I fixed those few mistakes, pointed out by Sparkles. And also my A/N...sorry bout that =S
Amaze us, Mama.
Stay Shiny xx,