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Chapter 2: Coraline

  It's getting old to visit Margaret's castle. Since I started to do inexplicable things, I needed to look for answers. I was five years old when I started dreaming about light getting out of an old well and jumping into a lake full of blood. At the same time, my Mom disappeared, and Elliot and Maribel started taking care of me.

  Esther is an old lady who knew my Mom. Elliot was always watching me, ensuring I couldn't go anywhere out of the village. That's why she always visited me to tell me stories about Mylestown. This old lady told me a story about a place out of town with an old well. She said that something magical with the light came out of there. I have always been curious about that place. And maybe something from there is calling me, and I must listen. 

   Elliot prohibits me from going anywhere outside this old village but most certainly near the place with an old well. "You need to stay away from there. - he always warned me. - That's the place where the soulless wolves leave. And they can devour a being with one single bite. They are the reason your Mom, my beloved friend, disappeared. I'm glad I got there first and converted you before you got killed by that beast. - I know he and my Mom were close friends. And that is why he protects me so much. He always seems like a soul full of sadness every time he talks about her. 

   When I turned fifteen, I had the same dream, but I was the light getting out of that old well this time. I was able to see the whole town below me. I closed my eyes and jumped in the air. I started feeling the wind running from my skin. My heart was beating as if I was running, and I started hearing wolf sounds until I got trapped in a lake full of blood. I started hearing a woman yelling my name desperately. - Coraline! - Until everything was all gone. 

    I woke up outside of the village, confused. I was curious to know how I got there. I stood up from the floor and started walking towards my village. I stepped with this handsome guy. His hair was dark as the night, and his firm, tanned body almost made me faint in his arms. He looked like he didn't belong in this world. He was a god in the middle of this wreaked town. He was wearing a curious pendant with a sun in it. I got scared and ran away back to my village. It was my first time outside of town, and I was scared to death. I saw everyone yelling at him to get out. So I got curious about him. Why did no one want him here?  

    I kept thinking about how I woke up outside the village and how everyone yelled at this guy I had just met. When I got back home, Esther was waiting for me. 

  • Where were you? - Esther said. - Elliot is mad and worried about you." She knew me so well that she saw in my face that I was scared, confused, and full of doubts. "What's wrong, Coraline?" - Esther asked with a worried look.

"I remember closing my eyes in bed." - I said. "And this morning, I woke up outside of the village in the woods."

       She got so worried that I could sense her terrorized soul screaming about what I had just said. "Come, let's take a walk. -- just tell me in detail what happened," she whispered, looking inside my house. She walked towards me, and we started walking away. 

"I had the same dream I had when I was five. But this time, I was the light." - I said and started to tell Esther what had just happened. She was intrigued by what I was saying, but her face suddenly changed instantly. 

"When I woke up, a guy, out of nowhere, appeared near me. And he stared at me for a long time. I felt these deep dark eyes taking over my soul. Like it was destiny playing her cards to put two spirits together. But I got so scared. I ran away." - when I mentioned that the guy I came across in the woods was wearing a pendant with a sun in the middle, she looked as if she knew something. - "What is it?! What's wrong?" - I asked her, looking at her more confused than I was earlier. - Do you know him? 

"Well… the thing is that…"- Esther starts avoiding the conversation, trying to distract me, but she can't. - "Esther, please, what is it?" - I pleaded.

"Well, there's a story from two decades ago; something magical happened in the woods near the old well." - Esther started telling me about the same thing she was always telling me. 

"I already know the story. - I said with an annoyed voice. "Can you just tell me something I don't know?"

"Coraline, I have been telling you your entire life to go and check that old well place for a reason. Now you are asking me again for something I've told you to do for a long time." - I was surprised by her response, so I started listening. "Outside of the village near Mylestown, there's this old well that wolves have protected…" - She started telling me the story.

"…People said you walked into the woods when you were five years old with your Mom. A wolf saw you two walking around that place and killed your Mom. Thank God Elliot was around to save you. That guy you saw this morning in the woods is the son of the wolves' leader. His father is the one who the town blamed for such murder. But the wolves have defended him because they believe he didn't do it. The people of Mylestown banished him and his entire pack, including his son, outside in the woods. They are not welcome in the town anymore, but the young guy with the sun pendant can visit his Mom's castle once every ten years. He's no longer welcome to this village either since it's still part of Mylestown." - she finished. 

When she finished telling me the story, I was more curious to know more. But something was stopping me from going to that old well. I was terrified to find the truth about myself. All I know is that Elliot converted me into a vampire because a beast tried to kill me. And now she's telling me that this guy's dad killed my Mom. 

I needed to go, once and for all, to this old well place. As Esther said, I may find the answers to my questions. But I started to think about all the stories Elliot and Maribel had told me about this place that I was so scared to go to that I didn't dare to do it. I hated myself for being such a scary cat.

    I'm twenty-five years old, and three months ago, I started to have the same dream again, but this time I was saved by a man. This man had a familiar face. It was as if I knew him. He gave me a blue book and told me to run as fast as possible and hide inside Mylestown Castle. When I woke up, I woke up inside Margaret's library. I tried to sneak out, but she found me. 

"What are you doing here?" - Margaret asked. 

"I don't know how I got here." - I said.

"Guards!" - She yelled. 

"Don't worry. I know the way. But wait, …" - I couldn't leave without answers. "How did I get here? Why did it happen again? I dreamt about this castle, and then, I woke up here."

"You need to go now!" - Margaret started to act so nervously that I left with many doubts. 

    I can't understand how I got to this place, traveling by dreams who constantly torment me every ten years. On my way home, I took a shortcut that made me get to my village faster. I was amazed at how I could recognize places I had never been. 

   I entered my home and heard Maribel and Elliot talking. I kept listening to their conversation without them noticing it. 

  •  He was looking for her in the village. The neighbors told me. - Elliot was saying it while sitting on the couch, looking worried. - He's back in town again. 
  • Elliot, you worry a lot about something that will not even happen. You know he's banished. And Coraline is too young to understand these things.
  • Understand what?- I came to the living room, where they talked about me. 
  • Coraline! - Maribel surprisingly called my name. - We were just talking about you. And about how much you make Elliot worry about you. - She said with an annoying tone. She was always trying hard to start a fight with me. But I, as usual, ignore her. 
  • Why are you worrying so much about me, Elliot? 
  • You shouldn't have left town. - Elliot interrupted me - You don't even know all the troubles you have caused. - He stood up and looked me in the eyes. - I thought you knew better. You are not a person who disobeys the people who care about you. 
  • I'm not a kid anymore, Elliot. 
  • That, we all know. - Maribel added to my sentence. 
  • But - looking into Maribel's eyes- if she allows me to explain, you would understand. -I paused- That's the thing with you two. You only want me to do what you think is best for me. But you are not seeing the big picture. There's stuff already happening inside me. Stuff that I cannot explain. And you two, instead of helping me understand, kept hiding the truth. I'm going away where there are people who can truly understand me and allow me to be myself and are not worried about what I can do or what I cannot. 

   I ran away outside of the village to Esther's home. I can't explain how I knew where she was, but I needed to talk to her about all this. When I got there, I was about to knock on her door when I heard her from behind. 

  • Coraline. What are you doing here? How did you find me? - Esther asked while looking everywhere. 
  • I've been doing things I cannot explain, and I'm ready to look for answers. Like this one, for example. How did I know where to find you? 
  • She started walking towards me and grabbed my hand. - come on, Coraline. - she said - let's talk about it in a safer place. 

   I follow her into the woods inside a hiding little old house in the middle of nowhere. I saw her turning on the chimney. It was getting dark and cold. I could hear the wolves' sounds in the distance while sitting in front of that chimney. She warmed two cups full of tea. 

- Drink up. This tea will let you be warm and help you leave the tension out. - Esther sat in front of me. - Now, let's talk about those questions. What is tormenting you? - she took a sip of her teacup and stared at me, wanting to hear what I was about to tell her. 

  • I had the same dream again. And this time, an older man gave me a blue book. He told me to run away and hide inside Mylestown's castle. When I woke up, I was inside the library of Margaret's Castle. I got so confused and scared that I ran away. I don't know how on my way back, but I learned a shortcut to get back home into the woods. - She started to act more intrigued with what I was saying. So I just continued - I listened to Elliot and Maribel talking about how worried they were about me being outside. They just don't understand everything that is happening to me. They want to hide me inside that village for life. But I'm never coming back. I prefer to be alone in the woods and find my true self than continue being with them, living a lie. 

    The old lady stopped staring at me, put the tea cup down, and started talking: It is time for you to listen to me and visit that place I always told you about, with an old well outside of town. Over there, you will be able to find answers. But only go when you feel ready. Not because I'm telling you to do it. And you don't need to be alone in the woods. -she hugged me. - you can stay here as long as you like. 

    I always loved Esther like the Mom I never knew. And she always treated me as her daughter. And despite what Elliot said, I motivated myself to go to this place with an old well when the sun goes down. So I waited. I stayed there for a few months, until this very moment. 

     Walking to that mysterious place that Elliot prohibited me from visiting, I started to see lights approaching me and hear wolves around me. I got scared, and then I ran away. I stumbled upon a man while running and fell to the ground. When I looked back up, I saw the face of an older man. His face looked familiar to the one who gave me that blue book in my dreams. 

           "Coraline, What are you doing here?" - he said. How does he know me? I wasn't able to react. "You need to get out of here. Follow me." - the old man said while guiding me to a way out.

           "How do you know my name?"- I asked him. I was so confused. 

           "My name is Augustine. And I know you because you are a special being. You were made out of a love affair between a vampire and a wolf. Wars have been fought over you." - I was shocked when he blurted that out.

           "That's impossible! Elliot told me he converted me because I was about to die from a wolf bite." - I said, looking at him in disbelief.

           "That's a lie! I begged my old friend Elliot to make you believe that. For your good. - the older man said. - Now you are ready to face the truth. 

           "So what? You're saying that I'm a hybrid?." - I don't know what to believe anymore.

           "Not just a hybrid, you have something more inexplicable, the power of nature in your hands. We believe you can unite us all as one, but others think you can be the end of us all. - I saw his wolf pack getting out of the shadows and bowing to me. I was so confused. How can someone like me, who has not harmed anyone, unite or even destroy a whole town? 

  • And now, my child, you have started a complicated love story that you must stop before it is too late. - Augustine continued saying. - For your safety and his. He's wearing a Sun pendant his Mom gave him when he was born. His name is Jay, and I'm his dad. I believed my beloved son had imprinted on you. He will be a distraction for your purpose. -he's started to wipe out, and I started to understand he was referring to that handsome guy I met in the woods ten years ago. - Now, run away from him, - he continues saying. - If you ever see him again, turn the other way. He can hurt you as much as you can hurt him and his entire family, too." - Augustine explained. 

           "But-." - He's stopped me from talking more. 

           "Now go, and look for your answers. You know in your heart where to go." 

   On my way home, Elliot appeared from the woods as if he were following me. - you were in that place. I prohibit you from going. 

  • I was so mad at him. I started saying: - Yes, I went. And I thought I was able to get my questions answered. But instead, I have even more questions. Why did you lie to me? - he tried to talk to me, but I stopped him. - All this time, I've been telling you about this dream, and you knew everything about who I am since the beginning. But instead, you decided to hide it from me. You were trying to hide who I am. Why Elliot? 
  • I just did it to protect you. You've been with us since you were five, and I have been watching you all this time. You mean a lot to me. More than you can imagine. I love you, Coraline. - He hugged me, and I hugged him back. I felt a warm fatherly hug. It felt like I belonged in his arms. He continued, "You want answers, then I shall help you look for them. Let's get Maribel and let us come with you to Margaret's castle to look for those answers. I heard they are having a ball just about now."

   We went to get Maribel, but she was already walking towards us. - Don't worry about me, guys. You just confirmed what was obvious. Let's just get this over with already. - we were so confused about her reaction. - let's get your answers, Coraline. - And she started walking towards Mylestown.

   We followed her to Margaret's castle. And again, I was there for the second time looking for answers. But she can't throw me away this time as she did before. Because I was accompanied by two powerful vampires everyone respects in this town. They are the ones the founder of Mylestown trusted as guardians. 

When I first entered, I wasn't expecting him out of everyone to be there, so imagine my shock when I saw him wearing the Sun pendant his Mom gave him when he was born. I honestly thought my immortal heart just came to life and would beat out of my body. Elliot and Maribel stayed behind in the ballroom while I went to talk to Margaret. The first and last time we made eye contact, I ran away, but I couldn't do that this time. His Mom and I must have a chat. Of course, Elliot and Maribel didn't go unnoticed either. Everyone just stopped and was just awed by us.  

"Hello, Margaret. We meet again." - I said. 

"Yes, unfortunately, we do." Said Margaret with a bitter tone.

"I'm guessing you know why I'm here, right?" I asked.

"Yes, I do, Coraline. Your visits make me very uncomfortable, may I add. But I'm guessing what you are looking for might be able to find it inside the library. Just do it fast, and please get out of my home." Said Margaret with an annoyed look, which I guess it's acceptable. After all, she knows what we are and what we are capable of doing. 

   I entered the library and headed straight to the shelf. I found what I was looking for, soaring through the books. The blue book Augustine told me about in my dreams. I started to open it when I felt someone following me, and there he was. This handsome man with the pendant sun is spying on me. Since I stepped foot in the castle, he hasn't stopped staring. It makes my dead heart just come alive. 

   Ever since we met in the woods, I felt like we had this inexplicable connection, and even though it was just for a few moments, it was there. Now that we saw each other again, everything in my body trembled, starting to betray me. 

  • I know you are following me, Jay. I just don't know why. - I said to him while looking through the pages of the blue book.  
  • I am so sorry to disturb you. - Jay started talking to me, and I almost melted. - I didn't want to. It's just because you seem so familiar. How do you know my Mom? How do you know my name? 

I cannot tell him why I'm here. Augustine will kill me if I do. - Let's just say I'm a good friend of your dad. - please walk away. I said to myself.  

  • Wait, you know my dad? How? 
  • That part is the one I am trying to figure out. 
  • What do you mean? 

     I closed the book, stood up, and with the book in my hand, I walked away. I stopped by the library's door and stared at Jay. I wish with all my heart to tell him all the truth. But Augustine warned me about all the horrible things we can do to each other. I mustn't. 

  • If I were you, I would stop asking questions. - I said and walked away. 

     I know he's confused, but there's too much going on. I would love to know him more, but I know myself, and I cannot trust myself around anyone. There are feelings I'm having that I don't understand. There are things I do that I have never seen anyone do. And now, knowing I can find the truth about my story, I won't let anyone or anything distract me. 

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