EXT. Soravian foothills - day
Vardaman loads what supplies he can into his bags, and leaves the rest with the dead horses, taking Coraline on on foot. The going is much slower now, Vardaman holding Coraline's arm, walking her along, holding her up as she stumbles, keeping her from falling when she trips.
Coraline doesn't really pay attention, moving on autopilot, staring off into space, being as slow and unhelpful as she can. She plays the part of not being all there even when she is, so that when she slips out into the Grey Lobby to practice and learn, it simply looks like more of the same.
They don't stop, don't rest, continuing on into the night. When Coraline falls and refuses to continue, not responding, Vardaman simply picks her up and carries her.
She takes the opportunity to sleep, and Dream.
You dream of Oaths, and Duty. You are a Deathdealer, sworn to Kyrule and the sanctity of death.
You're in a street, in a mountain town with high stone walls and stone buildings. The air is chill, but the sun is bright. Mushy snow hangs droopily off the roofs. People pass you by, and by your armour and robes, they know what you are, but there is no fear, only curiosity, and respect.
You walk along, observing, noting what you see. Kids playing in the snow. Men carting supplies about. A young woman, running door to door, giving out good news. You hail her, and ask what it is.
She grins, excited. "Mattias proposed!" she says. "He proposed and he's been calling all season, but now it's real, we're going to be married. Married! I'm so excited I don't even..." she trails off. "I'm sorry. You don't... do you have anyone? Waiting for you?"
You shake your head, smiling. "I don't," you tell her. "But congratulations. I'm glad for you."
"Thanks!" she says, bobbing her head. She hops off, on about her announcements, and you wonder, vaguely, at the commonplace. The relationships people have, the families they build. While you're never alone, exactly, you're always... alone.
The sun tilts. There is something off. The vague sense that precedes danger, tipping you off even before anything happens, but what you sense now is big, bigger than anything you've felt before. The whole world feels like an impending cave-in, and yet the sky is clear, the birds are singing, the people are going about their lives. Your fingers twitch toward your sword, but there is nothing there, nothing to fight. Normalcy, chattering around you.
You wait. You give it time. You talk and chat. But the feeling persists, worsens.
You feel eyes on you, but when you turn, there's noone there. A white cat, sitting on a post, watching the street disinterestedly.
Elves pass through, travelling, touristing. They greet you, and make the old gestures: a note of understanding what you are, what you've sacrificed. You return them: willing sacrifice, willing blade. Only the elves use these anymore, but you learn them still, for the elves.
One of them asks you, "How are things? Is everything good?"
You tell him, "I don't know, I just don't know."
"Should we go?" one of the women asks, softly, leaning close.
"Yes," you say.
The elves continue on, not stopping.
But nothing happens.
The feeling fades.
In the night, an old man comes to you. "It's my daughter," he says. "I don't know what's wrong. She won't answer." He takes you to his home. The night is cold, the moon bright, the growing frost sparkling on the ground. There is little sound, only the roaring of the wind in the trees beyond the walls, and little light from the buildings, as you follow him up the narrow streets and stairways to a house like all the rest, stone, multi-story, small windows shuttered shut. He fumbles at the door and ushers you inside, and directs you up.
The woman is sitting on her bed, hazy, uncertain. You go to her, sitting beside her, and ask what's wrong, but she doesn't answer, doesn't look up. You touch her, tilt her heard toward yours, and finally she looks at you, terrified.
"It's you," she whispers. "It was always you."
"I don't understand," you say. "What's me?"
"The end," she whispers, and leans forward as if to kiss you. As her lips touch yours, you realise she's doing something else, and everything about you screams in revulsion. You grab her head, break her neck, and suddenly it stops.
Her father charges you with a knife, but you're up immediately, and you effortlessly disarm him. He lunges for your throat. You bring your fist down on his head, and he collapses at your feet.
The stillness hangs like anvils. The silence loiters, and skitters away on tiny feet. Someone's watching. You slip back out into the night, uncertain what just happened, uncertain what to do.
Day comes with only more uncertainty. The tone of the town has changed. There's worry amidst the cheer. Uncertainty. People seek you out, and ask if you have magic, if you can help. Their loved ones are falling ill, going silent, disappearing.
You make house calls, all about the town, checking each, and each, and each, and the cat follows from time to time, a white shadow. One boy has a fever. You recognise it as a common thing, a winter ailment, and drop a small heal on him to hurry it along. "You'll be fine," you tell him. His muffled "nks," lingers in your ears like a ghost as you head onto the next - two girls, twins, who refuse to go outside. They've retreated into the corner of the cellar, shying away. You go down the dry wooden stairs quietly, feeling their bounce as they creak underfoot.
"Hello?" you call out, trying not to alarm. "Aisha? Medina?"
"It's all right, girls," their mother calls from the doorway above you. "She's a friend."
There's no response. You stop at the base of the stairs and listen, noting the shape of the room, the shelves and heaps and bins of supplies, the barrels and bottles. You can see most of it without seeing, but you wait for your eyes to adjust regardless, listening as the dust trickles down, as the shadows shift, as a mouse skitters in the dark. Their breathing is soft, fluttery, confused. Something brushes by your feet, but then it's gone.
You go to the girls. They're huddled together, all fluffy skirts and tiny braids, tucked into a corner behind a barrel of grain. They shrink back as you approach, pulling in their feet, tucking in their heads. "It's all right," you tell them. "I won't hurt you."
One of them looks up, staring at you, staring... through you. You can't tell, but in the low light, her eyes seem only gleaming, dark. "It's all right," she replies, quietly, calmly. Her sister is breathing sharply next to her, her face buried in her sister's chest. "I'll hurt you," she says.
"Aisha?" you ask, but the girl staring at you don't reply. "Medina," you correct yourself. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing," she says. "We like it."
"Does Aisha?" you ask.
Medina leans down and bites her sister's ear, tearing it off.
You jump forward, trying to separate them, but they just fall away from each other, Aisha tumbling behind you, rising slowly, not looking up, not even seeming to notice her missing, bleeding ear. Medina gets up too, slowly, deliberately, smiling, blood streaming down her chin. She spits out the ear.
"Keepers," you whisper.
Medina jumps at you, and you grab her, backing up, pulling a knife out of your belt. Aisha jumps at you too, and you knock her away with a quick slash at her chest, but Medina is squirming in your other arm, kicking, trying to bite you. You slit her throat quickly, dropping her as you turn, but Aisha doesn't try to jump you again. Instead she backs away, blood streaming down the side of her head, staring, her eyes blank, black, gleaming.
"No," Aisha whispers. "It hurts. It hurts."
"I know," you tell her. "I can help you. I can end your pain."
"There's no end," the girl says, still backing away.
You move forward, and in an instant you're right in front of her. You stop her, dropping to your knees, holding her in place, and she tenses, but does nothing. Her breathing is a flutter. Her heartbeat is a flutter. Something else, too, is fluttering. You sink your blade into her chest, and it stops, but she just stares at you with her strange eyes, staring, staring, staring.
You hold her as she fades, and lower her to the floor. In the darkness, there is only silence. The mouse is still. The dust is quiet.
You return to their mother with the blood still on your hands. "I'm sorry," you tell her. "It was too late."
"Too late?" she whispers. "Too late for what? What was wrong?"
"It was..." You stop uncertainly. She's not even looking at you. She's looking behind you, staring, frozen. And then you sense it.
You turn quickly, drawing your sword.
There's nothing there.
"You see it," she says, her voice a sharp deadpan. "You hear them too."
You glance back, but the woman is still staring at the point, the space. Where nothing is.
"What are they saying?" you ask.
She starts laughing, first a long, rolling chuckle, rising into a shrill cackle, and then stopping all at once. "I don't know!" she exclaims, all boisterous confusion.
You place a hand on her chest, sensing for harm. You sense... something. Different. Alien. Missing. She is the same, but different. The handprint you leave behind is indistinct, a red smudge.
She turns away, heading into a different room, and you follow. She doesn't seem to notice you, or remember. She doesn't seem to notice anything, just stopping again, staring at another space with nothing there. Nothing that you can see. Gently, you take her head from behind and slit her throat, stepping back quickly as she falls. A shadow spreads vaguely outward, before disappearing.
You wipe your hands and hurry to the next house. You know, now, what is happening. The only question is how bad it is.
It's later. It's bad. You leave more blood, more bodies, more lost souls in your wake. Sometimes, you think you see other things, too, but it never is, just more of the same, same, same. Those few who were there who don't seem infected, you warn to stay where they are, not go out.
You call for the town's leadership, and they gather in the temple at evening's close, in the shadow of the statue of Alyre, whose vibrant promise only casts a shadow on your words. In the corner of your eyes, you see it vibrate, almost, but when you look, the goddess is still, frozen in an instant of dance.
The townsfolk watch you fearfully, expectantly. They think you can solve this, protect them. You don't know that it's possible.
The cat is also there, sitting serenely, watching curiously.
"Close the gates," you tell them. "Seal the town. No one must leave, or enter."
They ask why, and you briefly consider what you can even tell them. The truth is huge and could cause a panic. Anything less might be disregarded.
"It's the Death of Souls," you tell them. "Several cases, around. There is no telling who else may be infected. Have people stay inside, not go out, not interact. Stay with their families. Once you spread the word, you do the same. Nobody should act as a go-between."
They stare at you with mingled expressions of disbelief and fear. You do your best to allay it, to explain, to direct.
"But then how will they manage? Who will comfort them?" This is the priestess, the keeper of the temple, dressed in mismatched colours and vibrant styles. Her jewellery marks her for what she is, but her stance marks her as... what? Her stance is normal. She's normal. Of everyone here, she's perhaps the most normal of all.
You try to smile reassuringly. "They will not be alone," you say. "The gods will hear them no matter where they are. Ensure they have a place to return to when this is over."
She nods uncertainly.
"I will make the rounds," you tell them. You do not need to explain what this means.
You walk the streets. You listen to the soft, thready heartbeat of the town. You feel eyes on you from all sides, hear shutters clack when you look up. People aren't sleeping. Soft snow drifts down lazily, sticking as the night goes on, muffling your footsteps, adding a squeak. You trace the other tracks and count. People are out. One in particular, small feet, long stride. Zig and zag. Steps retraced, fading in the new snow. Gleaming dark, sharp and fresh. Doubling back, and forth.
Padding behind you is the cat, white as the snow, dark nose and eyes following you with interest.
You pause, wiping the snow off your bushy hair, pulling it back before it gets any wetter. A flake lands on your fingers, bright contrast against your dark skin, and you watch it in the briefest instant before it melts away, trickling down. Everything is silence around you. The world is changed, white, perfect.
Snowflakes drift down like butterflies, lazily, dancingly.
Whispers flutter through the snow.
You hold your hand to doors, fingers splayed, sensing. Normal. Normal. Something... else. You knock, and knock again. Someone stirs inside, and asks, "Who's there?"
"The Deathdealer," you tell them.
The door opens slightly, a crack, and a boy, a teenager, peers out at you suspiciously.
"What do you want?" he asks.
"There's something here," you say.
He starts to close the door, but you push it open, forcing him aside, and enter with horrible certainty, like an iceberg.
"There's nothing," he says defensively, backing away.
You reach out to test him, but he backs up even further. "Don't resist me," you tell him. "You will fail."
"I'm not afraid of you," he says.
You give him a curious look. He should be afraid, and he is, but he doesn't want you to see it. You try again, approaching deliberately, and this time he stands his ground as you place your hand to his chest, sensing, feeling, listening. You nod, withdrawing your hand, and he sighs in relief.
You cast into the air, searching for others, and find two, apart, in the other rooms. The first you check - a girl, about the same age as the boy, with long black hair - and she, too, is fine. The other, an older woman, jumps you with a giant spoon as you open the door, clonking you on the head.
You give her a surprised look and say, "Ma'am?"
She drops the spoon, scooting away, throwing up her hands. "I'm sorry!" she cries. "I'm so sorry. I thought you were... someone else."
"Who?" you ask.
"I... I don't know," she says, uncertainly. "One of... them?"
You glance back. The boy is watching you from the hall.
You approach her, hold out your hand. "May I?" you ask.
She nods. You place your hand on her chest. She explodes in front of you, showering blood, falling to the ground in a grisly, broken confusion, as a grinning face and hands like claws, red with blood, burst forth from behind her. The creature lunges at you, still grinning, gleaming.
You smack at it. It grabs your arm, its claws digging into your armour, and you try to free yourself, but it reaches for your head with its spare hand.
"Mom!" the boy shrieks, running in.
You lift the creature, spinning about, using your momentum to keep it from the rest of you, and slam it down into the floor, your fist punching through its bones and soft organs. It hisses, scrabbling furiously, scratching at your arm, kicking, biting, but it's no longer gripping. You swap fist for foot, pinning it down under your boot as you rise and draw your sword.
You bring the blade down in a quick motion, impaling it through the skull, stabbing into the floor, and the creature stills immediately. A shadow bursts forth around it, dissipating quickly, as the blackness fades from its eyes. The claws turn back to hands.
Behind you, the boy is sobbing, "No, mom, mom, mom..." He stops as you turn back to him, and then falls to his knees, staring off into space.
He was too close.
You pull your sword out of the floor, out of the... man, and move for the boy. He startles, hopping back, and you see a reflection of your expression in his reaction. Cold. Dead. Merciless.
He flees. You throw your sword. The blade sinks into his back, and he falls at the doorway.
You move on. You check other homes. You kill the infected, no mercy, no hesitation, even as their family members beg you not to. If they're not infected, you tell them to stay back. If they are, or they ignore you and are caught by their dear ones' death novas, then you kill them too.
You follow the tracks in the snow, but they never quite lead anywhere, always going somewhere else, somewhere else, somewhere else.
The snow stops. Night gives way to day, but the streets remain deserted. Mostly the townsfolk do as they are told, staying inside, not moving about. A few try to flee. The guards man the walls, block the gate, armed with bows and arrows. They are told to shoot any who come, and not let them get close. At first they hesitate, uncertain, so you step in, cutting down the fleeing folk with brutal efficiency. Death novas burst around you.
"They are gone already. Do not take the risk, or you, too, will die," you tell them.
After, they do not hesitate.
You continue your rounds. More die, and more, and more. You feel the weight of their souls as a horrible toll, but by the time they meet your sword, they're all already gone. Soulless. Shells. Hungering.
The one thing you don't understand is how. How did it get so bad?
You're following the tracks again, the small feet with the long stride. The running child you never see. The white cat follows you, wings folded primly, never getting too close, never exactly approaching. You glance back, and it sits, meeting your gaze, then glancing away.
You're at the temple. You go in. There are people here, sitting, praying. They look at you fearfully, guiltily, but you stride past, paying them little heed. At the altar is a basin of water, and you lean over it heavily, trying not to show your own fear. You glance at the statue, then touch the water, and whisper, "For all who have fallen, may the gods find their souls. May there yet be solace."
You bow, making the signs for the dead, and leave.
Outside, you find the girl, waiting, small and lithe, standing in the settling snow. You know who she is even before you see her tracks, all around, obvious, directionless. The running child. She looks at you askance. A lopsided grin plays on her face.
"You shouldn't be out," you tell her, going to her. She watches defiantly, grinning up at you, as you place a hand on her head.
You try to determine if she's one of them, if she's infected. You can't tell.
"What are you doing out?" you ask her. She doesn't answer. It doesn't matter. You make up your mind. "Gods take you sweetly if I am wrong," you whisper, and hold her still. She struggles, vainly, against your grip. You stab her quickly, deeply. She screams, thrashing, and loses her breath.
It only gets worse. The town gets worse. The streets are silent. You leave the bodies in the streets. They begin to disappear.
People panic. The remaining households flood out into the streets, yelling for everyone else to come too, pounding on doors. Chaos explodes as nearly everyone else comes too. You try to stop it, and the guards try to help, but it's a losing battle as you're surrounded by infected and uninfected alike, yelling, jostling, as they press for the gates.
"What are you going to do, kill us all?" someone yells, and the cry is taken up, all around, in a wave that carries you with. You fight your way free, pushing through the crowd, retreating to the gates, making it there just ahead of everyone else. You hold your sword on the townsfolk, the mask and skull sigil a dark mark just below the hilt promising endings.
"Stop!" you command. "Turn back now." Several of the guards stand with you, bows in hand. They knock back at the crowd with their shafts.
The townsfolk stop, crowding around, pressing at you and seven guards.
"You can't kill us all," someone says.
"I can," you reply. "I will."
They yell. They charge. You slash at them, fighting back, cutting the townsfolk crowd down with deadly efficiency, even as more trample toward you, and more, and more. The guards stand with you, fighting as well, knocking back, shooting, stabbing, and more than anything, you admire their bravery. For you, this is your duty, simply something you have to do. But for them, these are their friends, their peers, people they knew well, and loved, and they have no protection against them, no god-given immunity. It is almost inconceivable, what they are doing.
Death novas burst, spreading shadow, spreading the curse, forming a wall of infection in front of everything. Your guards have all been infected, and yet still they fight, still they stand by you. The mob presses, and presses, and presses, the bodies piling high, until suddenly it doesn't. The remainder hang back, uncertain, backing off.
You go to them, climbing over the dead, and your guards go with. "We need to round them up," you tell them, as the people scatter, and with the now six guards' help, you corral most of the remainder. Eyes peer around corners. Skulking figures hide in your periphery.
The white cat watches.
You go through the crowd remainder, testing each by each. You separate out the infected, and the ones you cannot tell, and the guards stay with them, keeping each group together. You see the fear in their eyes.
You turn to the uninfected, a small group of a dozen or so. Further off, skulkers hang about. Too many eyes watch you from the buildings, from the shuttered windows, from the dark shadows. The other two groups watch as well. You haven't told them which is which.
You're stuck. These few people before you, who still have their souls, are the most precious thing of all, but you can't get them out without the infected getting out as well. You can't kill the infected first without it spreading. You draw your sword.
The uninfected draw away fearfully, pleading. "No," someone says. Others beg you not to, insist they are fine. Among them is the boy with the cold, staring at you, not saying anything. You remember his 'nks, and look at him sadly.
Your guards take the other two groups back, giving space. They have an idea what you're doing. They understand. These souls, at least, might be saved.
It's quick, efficient, as you kill them all, dancing around them with your sword. They try to run. They cower. One man tries to hit you from behind. But they all fall before you, even the boy.
The other groups watch uncertainly. They shy back, avert their eyes. A few watch sadly, curiously, delightedly. The guards keep them put, and shoot a man who tries to get away. Somehow, they hold themselves steady.
You go to the maybes next. They stare at you fearfully. "It was just them, right?" a woman asks. "We're okay."
"I don't know," you tell her. "I can't take the risk."
You take these out too, killing them all, swiftly, exactingly, your blade a scalpel in a wound. The guards back away, allowing you space, not even bothering to help when a few flee in opposite directions. It doesn't matter. They don't get away. Some of them death nova. Some of them don't.
The last group watches triumphantly, and look relieved as you approach them after, the other three guards now going to them as well.
"Can we go now?" someone asks. "You did the infected, and the ones who might have been. But now we're all okay. Right?" The others agree, hopeful, happy.
The guards stand their ground, keep them put.
"No," you say.
They stare at you, uncomprehending. They try to run.
You kill them, too.
It's just you and the guards, now, six still standing, all infected. They know what they are. They know what they've lost. They stand before you, in terror and pride, knowing that there is nothing left for them. And you are proud, too. Proud of them, proud to have stood by them, and to have had them stand by you.
"Thank you," you tell them. "You are the bravest men I have ever known." They bow their heads, and you hug them, and they hug you. They give their names, and each washes over you like an avalanche, hitting home. They tell you the seventh, who already fell.
You look to them all in heartbreak, and tell them, "The gods will remember you."
As you take their lives, each by each, you whisper their names.
You're alone, now. The town is still, empty, and yet at all the edges full of too much motion. It skitters away at your approach, hiding behind walls. Goes still at your glance.
You make your way up the hill. The motion follows in the margins, scooting between buildings, around corners, stalking, watching. Fog follows too in foggy tendrils, licking at the ground, at the edges of the motion.
They come out as you reach the square, trickling in from all sides, surrounding you as the fog thickens into a damp cocoon. The remaining infected, lost to all sanity. And others, too. Ones you've already killed. Ones who had disappeared. Corpses, wreathed in black. You hold up your sword and let out a pulse of light, raw radiant power that fills the square, pushing back against the fog, lighting it up.
It doesn't work. The corpses keep coming. The infected keep coming. They come at you as a mob, but unlike the mob before, these fight you, unfeelingly, unrelentingly, more and more piling on from all sides, all at once.
You fight them off, but you are only so fast, can do only so much. It is too much, too many, and you back away, clearing the path in a whirlwind of metal that never seems quite enough. They pull at you, claw at you, bite and stab, and as they break through your defence by sheer persistence, you feel every prick weaken you a little more.
Your back hits something hard, solid. A wall. Your clothes and armour are slippery with blood. Your sword is oddly heavy. But there are fewer, now, all in front of you, visible, almost manageable. You knock them back, cutting down a few who get too close, keeping the rest at bay, and then jump back into middle of the lot, spinning and slashing, death incarnate.
Trickles of red and black paint the fog. The ground is a mirror, deep and dark. The bodies fall softly, like ashes, like smoke, and you dance away, in control, in the heart...
It's over. Done. You're alone again, last one standing, covered in blood. Only some of it is your own, but it all stings the same, the smell sweet and thick and everywhere. Again the bodies are piled up, covering the ground, vague lumps, unmoving. The edges of your vision are tinged with black. It's too late, now. It was too late when you came. You sway, and plant your feet, bracing yourself on your sword.
You hear it behind you, low and deep, full of promise, menace. Thump.
The town is still, hidden. Not even crows disturb the silence.
You turn, not knowing what to expect, not knowing if you have the strength for anything more. This has taken everything you have already, and yet...
The temple is a large stone building, tall and straight, set apart from the rest, above the rest. It looms overhead, unyielding, uncertain. You can feel it, the shape of the thing, pressing in your mind.
You're inside. You don't remember entering. The smell is iron and musk. You're in the aisle, between the pews. The pews. The pews are full of people, bodies, corpses staring with empty eyes, white eyes, missing eyes. Their forms are shrouded in black, layered, hinted at. A layer beneath the skin, over the eyes. The eyes turn to watch you. You step forward, but they do not move, following.
Your head hurts. You're tired, exhausted. Your mind strains against the inconsistencies, trying to see, trying to understand. The white cat, standing at your feet, hisses, arching its back, but it's not hissing at you. It's hissing at the statue, at the priestess, at the statue.
You try to look at it, but you can't. Your head is an agony, the pressure intolerable. The heartbeat is everywhere, all around you, part of you, no longer audible.
The statue is vibrating, dancing. Fighting. No. The priestess is fighting. Dancing, vibrating. Mirrors. It isn't moving. No. It isn't... the priestess is standing still, waiting, watching. Something is there. Something bigger, pressing in, behind, trying to enter.
You feel the eyes, all around. You feel nothing. You're alone, entirely alone, and yet you shouldn't be.
The voice reverberates through your skull, all around, inside. Welcome, it says. We have been waiting for you. It is horrible. It is beyond horrible. It is sweet and vast and bright. It is darkness in its purest form. It makes you want to claw your skin off and dance, dance, dance, screaming, into the void.
You fight it. You resist.
You can feel it pressing at you, prying at you, peeling back your defences one by one by one.
"Join us," the priestess says. An echo. A thunder. A normal voice. "You're tired. Rest."
You drop to your knees in front of her. Your sword has long since fallen from your hand. Around you, behind you, you hear movement. People rising. Corpses. Moving. Hearts beating. You're losing yourself, like a trickle, driftingly.
She reaches out a hand to you, beckoning, smiling. Her form flickers, vibrating, in unison with the breaking of the statue.
"Never," you whisper. You can barely move, but you draw a knife from your boot, fighting for every inch, your arms trembling, and brace your head with your hand as you bury the blade in the side of your skull.
There's a sound like wings, and tearing. Then nothing.
Coraline awakens in utter terror, breathing hard, almost sobbing. Only after a moment does she remember where she is, and who she is.
She's sitting on the ground, tied, against a tree, but for once not to it. She isn't gagged, either. Vardaman is squatting in front of her, a hand held to her heart. Like she had done in the dream.
Coraline whimpers, scrunching up against the tree, looking away.
Coraline looks at him and then starts laughing, a maniacal half-sobbing.
Vardaman frowns. When she doesn't stop, he replaces the gag, re-stuffing the cloth in her mouth, muffling, but not cutting off, the laughter.
INT. Grey Lobby
It's Agata who finally drags Coraline into the Grey Lobby, climbs onto her knees, and stares at her intently until Coraline starts responding somewhat more normally.
Agata hops down and pads away into the various bits of furniture.
Coraline gets up slowly, peering about unhappily.
Agata hops onto a sofa behind her.
Agata and Coraline stare at each other for a bit.
There's a long silence.
Coraline just stops, staring off into space.
He throws a blast of lighting at Coraline. Coraline throws up a ward in the same moment, blocking it.
The boy in green smiles, and then shoves a hand in Coraline's direction. Her ward flickers out as she's knocked backwards.
The boy in green puts up his own ward, blocking the effect.
This punches through the ward, hitting the boy in green square on, and he falls over, paralysed.
Coraline gets up and comes over, and swipes with her hand over the boy in green. He immediately jumps up again, grinning.
Coraline smiles as well.
He flings the spell at Coraline, and she turns purple.