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Elegant but sinister, dark shadows danced menacingly along the road. No sound reached Elena’s ears, except the tired raw o Matt’s ancient truck. Out of the corner of her eye, Elena was sure she saw someone – but that was stupid, wasn’t it? Who would be mad enough to go wandering around the woods at this time of night? The answer was too chilling to consider; just the thought of it had sent a spasm of fear down her spine.
I’m safe. I’m going home. I’m safe. Elena’s futile attempts of convincing herself were destroyed by a snake like hiss in her ear.
“Matt?” she said, almost whispering. For some reason, the trees standing alongside the road like guards and the suffocating blackness of the night made Elena afraid to make a sound. “Matt?” she hissed again, turning around to look at one of her best friends.
Matt remained still, his soft blue eyes fixed, unblinking, on the road ahead.
Fear began to twist Elena’s brain, scratching with its vicious claws and drawing blood. What was happening? Was Jeremy okay? Where was Damon? Feeling like she had been pulled into a tornado; Elena held onto the car door tightly in an attempt to stop the now familiar paralyzing dizziness.
“I’m sorry, Elena,” Matt’s voice was strange, flat, and Elena looked up at him in alarm.
Terror shot through her veins, freezing her heart and body like the coldest winter frost. Up ahead, Elena could just make out a figure. Rebekah. Rebekah, who wanted Elena dead; Rebekah, the original; Rebekah, who was stood in the middle of Wickery Bridge with a victorious sneer on her usually beautiful face.
Matt wasn’t wearing his vervain bracelet…
Swirling and spinning; the river raged violently around the truck. A flash of panic bolted through Elena’s head like a bullet. Her hand found the car door handle and she shook it almost angrily; reacting on pure adrenaline. But the door stayed shut; leaving her trapped. Trapped in the truck…that was full of water…at the bottom of the river under Wickery Bridge…
Despite Elena’s unheard shouts – that ragged her closer to death every second – the vicious river attacked continuously. Elegant as a ballet but angry as a charging bull, there was no way of escaping the water.
Panic engulfed Elena again; it felt like she had been pulled into the centre of a terrifying tornado. For a final second she continued fighting; engaging the river in a final struggle for life.
Then the panic stopped – as if someone had cut the wires sending rational thoughts to her brain. Peace and acceptance embraced her in their comforting arms; a wave of tranquility washing over her.
Matt! What about Matt? He didn't need to die with her. But Matt would be fine…wouldn’t he?
Elena was no longer capable of thinking – she could see death (dressed in his flowing black cloak) inching forward. And she was ready for him. She should have died when Alaric attacked her, she knew that. But now it was time.
She was ready to die…
Almost unbearable pain cut through Elena’s head like a knife. Her vision was blurred; the lights seemed too bright. As if she was still half asleep, Elena’s head felt strange, like her brain wasn’t functioning properly.
She was alive?
But she had died, hadn’t she?
Ignoring the furious protests from her body, Elena dragged herself to her feet and stood unsteadily in the centre of the room.
“Elena,” a voice from the doorway made her spin round with much faster reactions than she was used to.
“W-what happened?” She asked, the memories of the previous hours flooding back: Rebekah standing on Wickery Bridge; the car crash; Matt.
“Matt’s okay” Damon said, as if he was reading her mind. “But you…”
“Elena, you’re one of us – a vampire…”
The words made Elena’s head spin. She couldn’t – she wouldn’t. She wouldn’t kill to survive.
Noticing Stefan stood almost hidden behind Damon, his eyes ringed with sadness, Elena felt her opinions changing. Losing Stefan and Damon, Jeremy, Bonnie Meredith, Caroline, Matt. The thought was too much for her already clouded mind.
Sensing she wanted to be left alone, the Salvatore brothers disappeared from the doorway silently.
A storm, a terrible conflict, began raging in Elena’s mind: should she not complete the transition, and let herself die? Or should she drink human blood and be given an eternity with the ones she loved?
But that would mean destroying innocent lives just to survive. Could she cope with that? As a human, Elena wouldn’t have hurt anyone – but being a vampire was different. It took away your humanity. Was it worth it?
Hearing footsteps, Elena looked up to see April Young entering the house. One of Jeremy’s best friends. One of her little brother’s best friends. She couldn’t hurt April.
Or could she?
The next few seconds were a blur. Elena came out of her trance to see April’s lifeless form, looking as if she was carved from stone, with two small puncture wounds on her neck. A feeling of power created a smoke screen between Elena and her emotions, her humanity. She stood in the doorway, a beacon of light against the night, with hair spun from pure gold thread and eyes shining with crazy happiness.
Alive. Dead. A vampire.