Victoria Winters does see something in Doctor Hoffman's crystal - something more than a beam of light and a swirl of color. Something in a teardrop shape, its color a bright, vivid red against the lights inside the crystal. It's blood. Victoria hears the scream dully in the back of her head, but physically, she does not fight it.
She thinks she is being led, but she is not quite sure. The image in her head persists, the red droplet sliding down something pale, leaving a loud trail behind. There's a puncture there, Victoria realizes. The blood flows from it. Another drop comes forth and follows the same trail as the last. There's another next to it. The two drops meet at a dip in the surface, and the image in her head clarifies until Victoria realizes it's a neck. A dark lock of hair flows over her shoulder. The blood stains a long, white dress and when Victoria realizes that she's picturing herself, she stops. She feels herself falling forward, becomes aware again of her heart racing in her chest, but then there's something - someone's hand - on her arm and she's walking again. Breathe, she hears. Breathe, Vicki, and follow me.
But the Victoria in her mind is no longer breathing. She lays there, head lolling to the side, blood flowing past her neck and chest, the only motion evident. Her eyes are shut, her body growing more pale by the second. Her lips are open, though if in some kind of silent scream, Victoria cannot tell. The scream in her head stays low and ignored. Julia has told her to breathe, and Victoria must comply.
There's a coffin now. It's more than a picture. Victoria can reach out and touch it if she wants to. Julia almost seems as though she does want her to, but Victoria can't. Julia speaks of Barnabas, and there he is in her vision. Tall, black hair mussed and expression pained, and all Victoria wants to do is reach out and touch him, to take his pain away, but then she sees the blood on his mouth. Smeared, but Victoria knows it's hers. She forgets anything that Julia said about breathing. The imaginary Victoria's eyes flutter open, and they're red instead of green, angry and narrowed, no longer wide.
The coffin could be hers. That's what Barnabas wants. And she sees herself, rising up from the narrow box, flowers pressed into her dark hair - the very ones she'd meant to give Barnabas only minutes before. And now Barnabas has been her murderer. The flowers are dead now, all signs of life drained from them as from her. Victoria does not seem to mind, not in this dream, she does not think. But suddenly Victoria has lept from her coffin and pinned Barnabas to the staircase wall. Her teeth are bared - fangs, Victoria sees - and Barnabas has his hand around her throat. He does not mean to kill her, not again, but Victoria knows that somehow it would have no effect. She is already dead. She cannot be killed again, but perhaps she can kill him. Her imaginary self's anger courses through her suddenly and her mouth opens wider - unnaturally so. Victoria wonders if her jaw should unhinge, what purpose it serves, but she sees Barnabas and those dark eyes and she sees his hand falter.
That's all she needs. Perhaps Victoria lunges forward as the girl in her vision does, but in reality, there is nothing for her teeth to clasp around, no murderer's shoulders for her hands to grasp onto, to pin to the wall and refuse to let go. There's blood again, a true fountain of it, but Barnabas does not die, he does not slump, he only cries out. A splatter hits the wall behind him and away from the dream, Victoria gasps, letting air fuel her once again. The vision disappears, leaving only the coffin and Julia's somber, serious form.
Victoria backs away. The ground moves beneath her feet, her heart beats in her chest, blood pulses through her wrists, and air fills her lungs. All signs of life - because she is alive. And she will stay alive.
She will not let him kill her.