"Coraline… It is time for you to come with me…"
"Your time has come, Coraline… And you are living on borrowed time already…"
Coraline's eyes shot open, her hazel irises growing more pronounced as her pupils contracted to the light. She looked around to find herself lying on the floor in the dim sitting room of her parents' apartment. Everything was the same, but somehow… everything was different. The world seemed to have taken on a cold blue edge.
As she climbed to her feet, she looked down and realised that the entire floor was completely covered in a thick white mist.
"What the hell...?" the girl murmured, clutching herself for warmth. The room was as cold as ice.
As she wandered through the silent house, she found no sign of anyone.
"Guys?" she called. "Wybie? Anyone? Helloooooo?"
There was no answer.
As Coraline came to the dining room, she looked through the glass panes of the French doors that lined the external wall to see that it was still night-time outside.
How much time has passed since...?
Her train of thought was cut off when she looked down the main hallway toward the front door and nearly screamed in fright.
Standing in the middle of the hallway was a dark figure.
By the scarce light coming from the dim ceiling fixture, she could see that it was a very old man. He was dressed in an immaculate black suit and tie. His face was grey and withered, and he gazed at her with dark and empty eyes, beneath a mop of grey, stringy hair.
He was… something else.
"Coraline," the creepy man said. "It is time for you to come with me."
The mist swirled around them.
"Stay away from me," Coraline said warningly. "I-I won't let you kill me, or take me, or whatever it is you do."
The old man smiled in a soothing manner, but something about his expression only served to unhinge her further. "I am not about to do anything unless you want it to happen. For now, I express only a desire to speak with you."
"Okay, fine. We're talking," Coraline said, her voice shaking. "What the hell do you want to talk about?"
The man took several steps toward her. She flinched and tried to take a step back, but found herself frozen in panic.
"How death is nothing to fear." He gently took her hands in his own at these words.
She felt a numbing sensation spreading throughout her body.
"Your time has come, Coraline," the man continued. "And you are living borrowed time already."