A bedtime storyDisclaimer: Coraline and her mother belong to Neil Gaiman and to LAIKA studios.
"Mom, can you tell me a bedtime story?" Coraline Jones spoke up as her mother turned around to turn off the lights.
"Aren't you a bit too old for bedtime stories?" Mel Jones enquired, looking at her daughter with one eyebrow raised. "Aren't you eleven years of age by now and all that?"
"Mom, please!" Coraline drawled in a way that would be adorable if she was several years younger, but now it was more of an irritating sound instead. "Please?"
"Oh, very well," Mel sighed. "What kind of story do you want?"
"A scary one," Coraline said, with a look on her face implying that she could handle any scare that her mother could throw at her.
"Oh really?" an odd look came onto Mel Jones' face but it was gone before Coraline could notice it in the shaky glow of her night lamp. "Very well, then, listen:Once upon a time there lived a girl, whose name was, um, Mel.
"Mel? Mom, that's your name!"
"Why, so it is. Listen on:Mel was very average girl – not the cutest, not the smartest, not the most talented – nothing special, in short. But she had a friend, whose name was, Nora, and that friend was actually something of a Goth by modern standards.
"Mom? You don't have a friend named Nora!"
"Well, who said that this story was about me? Just because the heroine and I are namesakes..."
"Namesakes? People who share their name... I mean, who have similar names. Now stop interrupting me!"And so, once upon an evening, Miss Mel told Miss Nora that she was tired of being so average and couldn't Miss Nora do something about it? Miss Nora admitted that she couldn't, but instead offered Miss Mel an adventure – and since the two friends were busy reading Lewis Carroll's Alice, they decided to make it a Mirror-Land adventure.
"You mean Wonderland adventure, because Alice went down a rabbit hole, not through a mirror," Coraline said slowly, and much quieter than before.
"No, that was her first adventure, down the rabbit hole," Mel said, smiling slightly. "In her second adventure, she went right through a mirror, see?"
"She had a second adventure?"
"Yes, but Disney™ hasn't yet made a cartoon about it, so not many kids your age now about it. Anyways—Miss Nora told Miss Mel that she was going to send Miss Mel through a mirror, where Miss Mel was going to meet her mirror twin – a.k.a. her magical counterpart. When Miss Mel enquired Miss Nora further just what made her mirror twin so magical, Miss Nora admitted that she had no idea, but because her great-granny wrote it down, then it must be thus.
"Coraline, you want to say something?"
"No."And so, Miss Nora did a magical chant, did a magical dance – well, more of an electrocuted chicken twitching dance, but you get the idea – and sent Miss Mel through the mirror. Oh, and she told Miss Mel to return back through the mirror before her mirror twin has to call out to her thrice.
"Coraline, you want to say something?"
"No."When Miss Mel went through the mirror – Miss Nora's spell had really worked, as I said above – she found herself in her own house, met by her mirror twin. The twin looked exactly like Miss Mel yet somehow was different, though Miss Mel couldn't quite put her finger on it. But, since the mirror twin was rather nice and subservient that she didn't dwell on it and instead began to explore the house, which was so nicer and better than Miss Mel's own house – much emptier too, but Miss Mel didn't really care about it...
"Coraline, why are you so quiet?"
"Because, um, you're such a good story teller?"
"I see... Well, anyways—And so, Miss Mel began to explore the house, and she had so much fun, that instead of going back through the mirror when her mirror twin called out her name the first time, she went out to explore the garden instead.
"And it was also a better and nice garden than the one Miss Mel had at home, right?"
"Well... why not. Make it a much nicer and better garden than the one Miss Mel had at home. In fact, it was so nice and great that Miss Mel forgot all about her mirror twin and ignored her, when the latter called out Miss Mel's name for the second time."
"But... what about the third?" By now Coraline was wide awake, and her eyes were wide open and staring. "She made it out on time, right?"
Mel smiled once again in a rather odd way – the fact that the only source of illumination was still Coraline's little night light didn't make it anymore better.After exploring the garden, Miss Mel ran outside of the yard's gate, into the big beyond, still not realizing that there was something different about the Mirror-Land, when it hit her: the Mirror-Land had no sun nor moon nor stars – nothing but a heavy, grey sky the colour of lead. And that's when she grew scared – for she realized that the ground outside the house yard was also kind of the same colour... In short, she just turned around and raced back to the point from which she came from.
"And she made it?"
Mel just smiled, for the third time, and this time her smile was definitely a smirk and not a very maternal one either.
"Alas, young Coraline, as Miss Mel rushed through the stairway leading to the mirror, she heard her mirror twin call out her name for the third and last time, and she knew that that was the end. Strength has left her, and she collapsed on the floor just in time to see her mirror twin loom over her, looking like a grotesque reflection of her.
'You have broken the magical laws that govern this place,' the mirror twin told Miss Mel. 'Therefore now you shall stay here for all eternity and I will go and live as a mortal in the real world. Oh, and if my mother comes to visit, you'll have to explain it all.'
"Miss Mel tried to do something, but all she could was ask:
'But who will you be in my world?'
"And the mirror twin just smiled and told her:
And that, Coraline, is the end of the bedtime story," Mel smiled an ordinary smile this time, kissed Coraline warmly on her forehead and left the room, keeping the night lamp on.
And Coraline Jones didn't sleep for a wink that night.End.