The next morning...
Naturally when people are unable to sleep too much at night they wake up feeling groggy, exhausted, and unable to focus. Strangely enough, no one in Kethrin Manor woke up this way, despite their nightmares the night before. After the rest of the night being pleasant dreams, Keera woke up and looked around. She somehow found herself in her room despite the fact that she had fallen asleep on the couch with her mother.
It took Keera less than a moment to realize that Annabelle had carried her all the way up the stairs and put her in her bed so she could sleep comfortably. Even though she didn't see this happen, Keera remembered times when she was younger and had fallen asleep on the couch, loveseat, massage chair, and other unorthodox places, and her mother had always carried her to her bed. After a few moments to wake up, Keera got dressed and walked out of her room.
"Hey Keera." Scarlett said, smiling. "John found this DVD of my parents! We watched it last night because John and I had nightmares! It showed them hugging me as a toddler, telling me they loved me. It was... the most amazing thing I've ever seen in my life!"
"That's awesome, Scarlett!" Keera said. "So where's the DVD now?"
"A special safe in our room." John replied. "Nothing will happen to that. Maybe later we can show you, Keera! If you're not busy. As long as that's okay with Scarlett of course!"
"Of course it's okay with me!" Scarlett replied. "Later on, alright, Keera?"
"Hey there." Keera said. "What's the grub today?'
"It's waffles. I can't cook anything else." Kelly said. "Remember that time I tried to make mac and cheese?"
"She was upstairs in her room last time I heard from her." Kelly said, "She was doing research on something. I don't know what, really. Ever since the whole argument with Tom Annie's become more cynical, distant. It might be a while before she goes back to being herself."
"You too?" Keera asked. "You both had nightmares?! That is very strange. Mom and I had nightmares, and so did John and Scarlett! They just told me in the foyer! From the looks of it, we ALL had nightmares last night! Every single one of us!"
"Except Tom." Keera, Mirabelle, and Kelly turned around to look at Annabelle, who was standing in the doorway. "I bet you anything he didn't have one. And I think I know why. Where is our resident hat-wearer?"
"I saw him upstairs with his new friend." Keera said. "Why do you think Tom didn't have a nightmare last night?"
"Why do you think it's magic?" Keera asked. "It could all just be a massive, massive, never before seen coincidence."
"What do you want to do, Annabelle? Confront her?!" Kelly said.
"No. I need to gather more evidence." Annie responded, "And that is why I'm asking for your help, Kel. Will you help me find the truth about this woman?"
Kelly was stopped short. She loved Annabelle, in more ways than one, but could not help her do what she had asked. She knew Annie had changed, she'd become more cynical and angry since the argument with Tom, and if Andy was vindicated, Annabelle would probably not listen, and still peg her for being the cause.
"Annabelle turned to Keera and Mirabelle and said "Well I'll have to do this on my own then. I should though, Tom's and I have been close for years and this one thing caused a rift between us, I have to be the one to find out."
With those words, Annabelle left the kitchen. Keera turned back to Mirabelle and asked "So is it true? Did you feel the same effect last night with the nightmares as you did when Mary Knight first attacked four years ago? I just want to know."
"Now that it was brought up, yes. It was the exact same feeling." Mirabelle said, then went back to making breakfast for everyone.
"Did you find the piece of the key?" Tobias Corvan was on the other end. "The good doctor found out where one of the pieces is. All we need is yours."
"Uh... you okay?"
"Tell Dr. Vu that I found where the metal is. And tell him something else. Tell him I met someone here in town..."
"I don't know." Andy said. "I just thought of it, I don't know why."
Andy smiled, then put her book away. "Hey you want to take a walk? Get some fresh air?"
Tom and Andy stood up off the couch and walked out of the room. Annabelle, who was standing outside her room, saw them leave. What Tom didn't know, however, was that Annabelle was walking past his room upstairs when he mentioned to Andy about Dark Hallow, the novel she'd been reading.
Annabelle quickly researched the novel found that the main character's name was "Andy Marie Deeten", the name this woman went by. She was going to say something to them when they walked downstairs but Annabelle needed more information, so she walked back into her bedroom.
"Andrea Marie Deeten." Annabelle said to herself in front of her computer. "No information on her aside from her character biography on InfoNet. No date of birth, vaccination records, nothing." Annabelle looked at her computer screen for a few moments, then turned it off. "Who is she?"
"Damn." Annabelle said flatly, under her breath."
John then put his computer on a table and said. "I did find something though, a picture of a woman who was seen on a security camera who destroyed a store in Sunset Valley four years ago, on the same night you encountered and fought that alien unicorn witch Nightmare."
"Don't get too hasty, Annie, it could be someone who looks like her!"
"No!" Annabelle said, angrily. "THAT woman tried to kill me! Do you expect me to just let her go on staying in this house?! I will NOT! Ask Mirabelle, she knows it! Show her the damn picture! I have everything I need now, when Tom and Andy get back I will confront them both. This charade ends tonight!"
John shuddered as Annabelle walked out of her room and slammed the door shut.
"So how long are you going to stay in Hidden Springs?"
"I don't see that happening." Andy said. "She seems to have something against me, I can tell."
"Annie has trusting issues. She's had them her entire life, as long as I can remember. I usually have them too."
"I really trusted someone and looked up to him like a father figure. Then one night he kidnapped Annabelle, sent his own foster son to die, and tried to kill me before setting off a bomb that could have killed a lot of people. People like that man, Jack Toomes, are pure evil."
"I don't know. I've been immune ever since I was younger. I am trying to pinpoint exactly when I gained the immunity but it's hard to remember things from my past. Like I said, a lot of things have happened to me in my lifetime."
"Hey Kell." Mirabelle said, "The four of us are going to see a movie, get out of the house for a couple hours. You want to come see it with us? It's a sequel to 'Night of the Killer Unicorn', and no, I will not be scared by it this time."
"I thought you didn't want to see it alone?" John said.
"SHUT. IT." Mirabelle said, partly joking around. "But yeah Kelly if you want to come along you're more than welcome. I'll pay."
"Okay." Kelly said, "Let's go. I need something to clear my head."
The five walked further down the street until they reached the theater. John walked up to the ticket booth and paid for five tickets for the group, then handed them out before he, Scarlett, and Keera walked into the building. Kelly and Mirabelle stood outside for a few moments, looking at the dusk.
"Yes." Mirabelle said. "I wanted to tell you something, Kelly. Last night when I said that Annabelle's last memory before the incident that created me was the night you and her shared, I was kinda flirting with you. I don't know why, something just seems right between us."
"She is Nightmare.", she said. "There is no doubt in my mind. She is that witch!"
"Annabelle, what the hell are you talking about?!" Tom angrily said. "This sounds crazy!"
"Crazy?!" Annabelle said, losing her temper. "CRAZY?! I've had it up to HERE with you calling me crazy! You called me the exact same thing four years ago and what happened? I ALMOST GOT KILLED! BY HER! Because YOU wouldn't believe me!"
"Andy is not Nightmare, Annabelle! You're just jealous! Tell her Andy! Tell her the truth!"
"You're... you're Nightmare?!" Tom said with a confused look on his face, "You didn't tell me. Why didn't you-"
"That's not good enough, Tom! She tried to kill me! 'Andy' was a monster! She admitted she was Nightmare!!"
"Please Miss Kethri-"
With no more words, Andy started crying and ran out of the house. Tom turned back to Annabelle, enraged. "You couldn't let one good thing happen to me, huh? How very ALIEN of you, Kethrin." Tom then turned and ran out of the house following Andy, leaving Annabelle alone in anger.
"Andy, don't listen to her. She's just... wait... what is that noise?"
"I'm not going."
"Lovers quarrel?" Aurora smiled, "Whose heart did you break this time Tommy boy?"
"Get out of here witch!" Andy said, "Leave! Now!"
"I'm not leaving until everyone in this town is dead." Aurora laughed at this thought then moved closer to them. "Monsters, monsters everywhere. Monsters everyone. We all are monsters, aren't we? I intend to meet a monster or two in Starlight Shores."
"Starlight Shores? That's it! You're looking for the-"
Suddenly Andy came to and saw Tom with his back to the wall, and Nightmare ready to deliver a final attack. With nothing else to do, she ran towards the two. Defeated, Tom turned around, closed his eyes, and accepted the end as Nightmare began to gallop towards him, her horn pointed directly at his spine.
Tom turned around dazed and watched in bewilderment as Nightmare ran back towards him, suddenly she stopped, and hissed violently."No."
It grew very cold. A hooded figure came out of the ground and walked over to Nightmare, climbing on her back. Tom couldn't believe his eyes as the Grim Reaper himself summoned his scythe and opened a portal to the underworld, but not before looking at Tom himself.
"This is not your world to die in, Thomas Caleb Jameson. You will meet me with her at your side when you choose."
The Reaper vanished, and Tom could feel it in his bones... Nightmare was dead.
The fire surrounding Tom vanished and it seemed as though there was no fire at all. Tom fell to the ground, exhausted from the ordeal. He opened his eyes and saw Andy lying nearby with her tank top covered in blood.
"Tom... I'm so sorry I lied to you. I love you." Andy said. "You have to get to Starlight Shores. You have to stop them... promise me."
Tom was tearing up. "I promise, Andy. Please, don't die. Please! I'm begging you! Don't die!"
This was it. Tom walked to the end of the graveyard and sat on a bench. This was it. He had pushed Annabelle away because he didn't want to suffer the pain of her dying, and now he had to suffer someone else being lost. This was it. It was his self-fulfilling prophecy. Tom sat on the bench for hours, looking at nothing. "This was it."
Sitting there, letting his mind wander, made Tom realize the gravity of his mistake. For well over a week he had been pushing Annabelle away because he didn't want to lose her again, but he had lost someone else in the process.
Lucky Palms, Nevada
"You have what you were looking for, Vu. Can we leave now? This desert heat is really putting a damper on me."
"Yes. We can leave." Vu said. "What was the last you heard of Aurora's progress in Hidden Springs?"
"She told me to tell you that the person who had the last stone piece was in Starlight Shores, but didn't know the name. I haven't heard back from her since."
"Then Starlight Shores is where we will go. We will tear the entire town apart if it means we find the third piece to the Key Stone." Vu replied with a slightly annoyed tone in his voice.
"There is one more thing. Aurora told me to tell you that she met someone in Hidden Springs, she said you would know who it is. So perhaps you can tell me, who is Thomas Jameson?"
The funeral was quiet. No one came aside from the family Andy had stayed with in the last few days of her life, and even then some members of that group stayed further away than others. It had been two full days since Andy's death, and in that time Tom and Annabelle hadn't spoken a word to each other. When Andy's coffin was encased in a crypt paid for by Tom, everyone walked out of the graveyard, aside from Tom and Annabelle themselves. It was a few moments that passed when Annabelle finally walked up to Tom.
"I'm sorry Tom, I don't know why I acted like I did. I guess it was jealousy, or that I wanted to protect my family. This is all my fault."
"Andy said something about Starlight Shores. Something important's going on there and I'm going to find out what. If you want to come with me then come, at this point I don't give a damn." Tom started to turn back to the entrance of the graveyard not even giving a passing look to her.