Author's Note: Well, well, well… where has this story been? Your guess is as good as mine. I'm not sure anyone is even still reading this. If you are… please drop me a note let me know what you think.
Song: Demons sung by Jasmine Thompson
Chapter Eleven: Intermission
The night before they leave she dreams of death. It is nothing distinct. There are no faces that she recognizes. In fact there are no faces at all. But she knows it is death all the same. Death has a distinct feeling. A coldness that is so much more intense, than anything she has ever known. The chill reaches beyond her bones. It goes so much deeper and settles somewhere in her very center. It is an unwelcomed inhabitant that feels every much like the intruder that it is. It clings to her; follows closer than the entity of her own shadow and she swears that when she breathes she can taste it on her tongue. It is faint, a slight bitterness that lodges itself in the back of her throat like a pill that has gotten stuck partway down her windpipe. And as she rouses from slumber she finds Sheila Bennett sitting at the foot of her bed.
She blinks slowly and then again as her Grandmother stares at her. Hands in her lap, clothing dark and indistinct. Running a hand through her tangled bed hair she exhales. She is not surprised by her presence. But then again there is very little that surprises her these days and seeing her deceased grandmother staring back at her doesn't cause the panic that it might have one year ago.
For a few seconds she thinks perhaps Sheila has come to retrieve her soul. That somehow during the night something has snuck in and snuffed out her life and she would be lying if she said there wasn't a minute amount of relief at the idea. In fact the comfort that it provides disturbs her more than anything.
She has no idea what she plans to say after that. The word simply hangs between them for endless moments until Sheila inhales deeply as if breathing in her own name… breathing in the energy of life… the only real life in the room.
"I'm here to warn you…Don't go to that island Bonnie."
Of course she was here to warn her. Isn't that the only reason the dead showed up in your room in the middle of the night, dressed as if they were headed out to some Gothic get together? Either to warn you or haunt you.
"Do not involve yourself with things that have nothing to do with you. This is not your fight… it is none of your concern. Go home Bonnie. Leave here and go back to your life…"
"I can't…" She begins. "I promised…"
"Damn them!" Her voice is sharp and cuts the air between them. She is startled by the force of her words. "You will not find what you're looking for on that Island. Do you hear me? I don't care what you think you owe them! I don't give a damn what promises you have made! How many broken promises has your heart had to endure?! There is nothing there for you but darkness."
How could she explain to her Grandmother that this was something she had to do? This one last thing in order to strip herself from the guilt that she felt. Because she did feel guilty. Guilt for turning Elena without her consent; guilt for wanting the man that her former best friend was now in love with. So much guilt and for some reason this was her way to atone for all those things. One last act of being benevolent before shutting the door on her former self; her former life. And if it did cost her, her life well then…
"I'm not afraid." She whispers softly. "I'm not afraid to die."
As if seeing the conflict in her countenance Sheila reaches out, her hand is cold, crisp and yet still more comforting than anything Bonnie has felt in a long time. Looking up she meets her grandmother's eyes. Her dark pupils are filled with anguish and fear. "Oh Bonnie… my sweet… naïve Bonnie…" Shaking her head sadly but knowingly she fights back the tears for what's to come…"if only death was the worse you had to fear." Caressing her cheek she exhales deeply and then all at once she is gone and Bonnie is alone.
She blinks and she is awake. The sun is bright cascading light through her room, warming her face from the chill that her dream has left behind. She doesn't sit up right away but simply stares at the ceiling above. The slight hum from her ceiling fan is like white noise serving as the background to the thoughts in the forefront of her mind. Her grandmother's final words echo in her head as if on repeat and for the first time in a very long time Bonnie feels fear creep through her.
Whatever happens… somehow she knows… none of them will walk away unscathed.