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It's Only You Against Yourself
I’m running through the woods as fast as I can, but I don’t quite know what I’m running from. The ring on my necklace chain bounces off of my neck and my hair is flying in my face. Just then my foot gets caught and I fall face down onto the moist forest floor below me. As I’m lying there, something grabs me and shoves me against a tree, its arm across my throat and holding me up. It’s face is hidden by it’s hair.
Right before the figure could turn around, Ella wakes up startled and gasping as if the dream was partly real. Today is Ella Peterson’s 17th birthday. She gets up and walks into her bathroom. Ella puts on her necklace with her ring around her neck and she brushes her teeth. Her brother, Josh, calls for her and she opens the other door from her bathroom and goes into Josh’s room.
“Hey sis, Happy Birthday! How are you holding up?”
“Honestly, with everything going on I’m just trying to concentrate on completing my junior year and getting better.”
“Ella, I know that mom and dad’s death hit you hard and I promise to do anything I can to help.”
“Thank you Josh. I love you.”
After Ella hugs Josh, she goes back to her room and puts on blue jeans, a purple blouse, brown boots, and a green blazer. She goes downstairs just as Josh leaves with his friend Vanessa and her brother Mason. Ella gulps down a glass of orange juice and grabs a piece of toast as she runs out the door and gets into her best friend’s mustard yellow buggy. Beah tells Ella happy birthday and starts going on about how excited she is for junior year. When they get to school, all the kids wish Ella happy birthday and ask if she is okay. She just replies each time saying,
“I’m fine, thank you.”
Ella grabs her history book and walks into class. This year, there is a new teacher. Her name is Miss Heatherwood and she has semi-tan skin and caramel hair. She is young looking and mysterious but has a perfect look to her.
After class, Ella meets up with Beah in the courtyard. While they walk, Ella passes the soccer team practicing. This reminds her of what her life was like last year and what she had lost. Beah, recognizing this, pulls Ella away and reminds her that she quit soccer because it reminded her of her mom.
On the way back inside, Beah and Ella find their other friend Kym handing out prom fliers. Kym is the head of the planning committee and she has already planned the prom. She is also the captain of the soccer team. Kym is pretty and has perfect blonde, wavy hair that shines in the sunlight. She walks over toward Ella and gives her a long hug. She asks,
“Are you ok Ella?”
“Yes Kym I’m fine, thank you.”
Kym then thinking she is all right, hands Ella a flier and walks off to meet a guy on the football team. Ella turns to look at Beah with a “Wow, she is good with sympathy” look and they start laughing as they walked to their next class.
After class, Ella, Beah, and Kym walk to lunch. As the friends walk to the courtyard, Ella bumps into the new guy coming out of the admissions office. He turns around and they both stare at each other. To break the silence, Matt sticks out his hand and greets Ella. With a smile she says,
“Hi, my name is Ella. You must be new.”
“I’m Matt and yes.”
“It’s nice to meet you” says Kym as she intervenes, “We will see you tonight right, at the bonfire? You have to come because it’s the start of a new year.”
“Sure” says Matt, “I will see you there.”
Beah walks over to Kym and Ella and drags them away in the direction of the courtyard. Kym walks in the middle of them and says in her sweet yet sassy tone,
“Girls, it’s nice to have some new man candy roaming the halls.”
Beah and Ella both look at Kym and the three friends start laughing.
After school, Ella takes the long way home. She walks up to her parents’ gravestone and she sits next to it just taking in the fresh air and thinking of all the memories she had with her parents. Her parents died just four months ago and their death was caused by someone running them off the road. Ella sits thinking when a crow startles her. She grabs her bookbag and swings it at the bird. Being unable to scare the crow, Ella rushes off to the bridge where she loves to sit, write and watch the river flow by. She sits curled up while she writes about today’s events in her journal. She starts with how everyone saw right through her but that Matt was different. She wrote about how they meet and the feeling she got when he talked to her. After that, Ella writes,
“My parents are all I can think about. They would have wanted me to be happy but I don’t know if I can. I must have said ‘I’m fine’ a hundred times but never meant it once. I also have this feeling that something is changing inside of me and that something big is going to happen soon.”
When Ella finishes with her entry, she puts her journal in her bag and looks around. She notices a storm brewing ahead and knows she should leave but she doesn’t want to. At that moment, Ella feels a gust of wind and when she turns around, she finds Matt standing behind her. Ella smiles up at him with tears in her eyes and said,
“Hey, have you been standing there long?”
“No, I just got here a couple minutes ago. Are you okay?”
“Yes I’m fine. I am just thinking about my parents.”
Matt sits down next to Ella and says,
“Do you want to talk. I can just listen or we can both talk and get to know each other.”
“I would love to but we might want to go somewhere else considering the fact that we will be soaking in no time.”
They both get up and start walking to Matt’s house. On the way, Ella tells him the story of how her parents died and all about the relationship between her and her brother. Matt then tells her about how he was born here in Mapleton and part of the reason he moved.
Back at Willow Bridge, the storm suddenly stops. Out of the storm walks a girl who looks just like Ella. However, this girl has chestnut brown, wavy hair instead of straight hair like Ella’s. This girl’s name is Caroline and her job is to get Ella to turn over to the dark side. Caroline walks over to the bench and picks up Ella’s diary. With a smirk, Caroline says,
“This girl has no idea what she has gotten herself into.”
Matt and Ella finally reach Matt’s house and they go inside. Matt lives in a huge, old fashioned house. He introduces Ella to his parents and brother Derek.
Later that night, Matt and Ella meet with Beah and they head to the bonfire. When they get there, Kym walks up to Matt with a big smile on her face and she says,
“I’m glad you made it!”
“Thank you for inviting us.” says Matt as he looks at Ella.
Kym walks over to the fire and rallies up the crowd. As it reaches eleven, everyone is still up and having an amazing time. Matt and Ella sit up on the top of a hill looking down at the party. They talk and laugh sharing more about each other all night.
The next night Ella has another dream like the one before. This time, however, Ella sees what the girl looks like. It is Caroline.
Before the dream continues, Ella wakes up. She gets up and goes on a jog before school.
After school, Ella goes over to Matt’s house. When she gets there, Ella finds the front door open. She goes inside and finds herself staring at herself. Caroline walks over to Ella and gives Ella her journal. Caroline says,
“It’s nice to finally meet you.” With a puzzled look, Ella says,
“Who are you and why do you look just like me?”
“I am Caroline and I look like you because I am you. I am your dark side.”
“My dark side?”
“Yes and I hope you like me because I will be around all the time now.”
Caroline gives Ella a flirty wave and a smile as she walks out the door. Ella turns around to find herself looking up at Derek. Before Ella can say “Hi”, she feels a pain in her neck. Ella catches a glimpse of Caroline biting her and she feels the blood run down her neck and arm right before she faints.
Ella wakes up in the hospital feeling weak and she has a headache. Ella turns her head and smiles at Matt. Matt walks over to Ella, holds her hand and says that he had found her unconscious on the floor with blood running out of her neck. Ella tries to sit up and she asks Matt what has been the cause of her accident. Ella says,
“All I saw was Caroline biting into my neck.”
Matt just stands there waiting for Ella to realize what happened. Suddenly Ella gasps and yells,
“Caroline is a vampire! How is that possible?”
Matt turns away but Ella asks again and it leaves Matt no choice but to answer her.
“Ella, long ago a witch turned her best friend’s family immortal. The children of the family then drank the blood from the witch until she died. The line of witches from then on ended.”
“Wait Matt, how do you know all this and who is this Caroline?”
“Ella, I am a vampire too and so is Derek and my parents. As for Caroline she is your vampire side. In your line of family, the legend in your family is that on your eighteenth birthday, you turn into a vampire and stay that way forever. The reason you have that ring is because it helps to control your powers and keeps you from burning in the sunlight. There is a way to turn before your eighteenth birthday. You have to kill the one person that you love the most. For you that would be your brother so Caroline is trying to persuade you to turn before you’re eighteen. So please don’t let her get to you.”
“I will try to keep away from her but can you please leave because this is a lot to process especially the fact that you are a vampire.”
That night, Ella is sleeping in the hospital when she is awoken by a startling crash. Ella walks to the door and Derek appears in front of her, blood dripping from his fangs.
“Did I scare you?”
“How did you get here so fast?”
“Darling Ella, one of the perks of being vampire is super speed. Also perfect hearing from up fifty feet away. Just wanted to tell you that you snore at night.”
Derek then licks his lips and his fangs disappear. Ella pushes past Derek and goes into the hallway. She screams and turns around but Derek is already gone. Ella walks over to Kym who is lying on the floor. Ella bends down and shakes Kym to try to wake her up. Then Kym jumps up and grabs Ella by the neck and pins her to the wall. Kym’s eyes turn red and her fangs form. She leans into Ella neck about to bite her. Before she does she says,
“Kym please don’t do this. I’m sorry you are what you are but please do make me a vampire, I don’t want to be one.”
“Why not? You will be able to live forever”
“I may want it later but I would like to grow up first.”
Kym laughs and leans in again ready to bite Ella but just then Matt appears. Kym turns to Matt, smiles and speeds over to him with the intention of hurting him but Matt is too fast so he dodges out of the way. Ella falls to the floor gasping for air. Matt lunges at Kym but she speeds out the door. Matt runs over to Ella, bites his wrist and gives Ella some blood from his arm. She wakes up and asks Matt what happened. His response is to go back to bed and he will talk to her in the morning. He picks her up and places her in the hospital bed. Matt leans down, kisses her goodnight, and dashes out of the hospital.
The next morning, Ella wakes up and Matt is waiting for her. She sits up and while she eats her breakfast, Matt explains what happened.
“Derek came to visit you and scare you. He mesmerized Kym into going with him and he drank from her right before you woke up. I think Kym will be okay but she doesn't have anyone to help her so she is lost and will head in the wrong direction.”
“Well then I need to get out of this hospital.”
“I can't let you do that”, says a nurse as she walks into the room. “Your nurse will be in shortly to see if you are able to leave.” Matt tells Ella that he is going to go help Kym and he leaves.
After the nurse leaves, Caroline walks in and says,
Caroline goes over to Ella and hands Ella her journal.
“I found this on the bridge. You know the one where you go to cry.”
Ella stands up and and tries to grab the journal but before she can get it, Caroline speeds to the other side of the room.
“Come and get it” Caroline teases as she reads through it. “So I hear you have heard about your destiny to become immortal. I can see it in your eyes that you want to turn before then but you are too scared. Don't worry, you won't become a Kym. You have people who can help you stay away from turning bad. People like Matt.”
“Don’t bring up Matt and give me my journal”, Ella says as she grabs the journal from Caroline.
“You know what you want but you are afraid to admit it. All you need to do is kill your brother and you will be happy and immortal.”
The nurse who had been in the room before returned and tells Ella that she is able to leave. After the nurse leaves, Ella gathers her things, changes and looks around for Caroline but she is gone. Ella thinks to herself,
“I would like to become a vampire but I am not killing my brother. That’s insane and he is the only family I have left.”
Ella leaves the hospital and goes over to Matt’s house. When she gets there, she finds Derek sitting in the parlor with Beah.
“Hey you two, what are you talking about? Where is Matt?”
“Hey Ella. Matt is downstairs with Kym and Derek is telling me about what is going on.” Beah says as she quickly stands up.
Ella goes downstairs and sees Kym chained up and Matt is telling her how she can be helped. Ella interrupts and tells Matt what happened in the hospital.
“After you left, Caroline came in because she mesmerized the nurse. Caroline is trying to get me to kill Josh so I can become a vampire.”
“You are not going to kill your brother or become a vampire until you are supposed to. However, we are going to kill Caroline. Meet Derek and me tonight at the bridge and bring Beah and Josh with you.”
Later that night, Beah drives Josh and Ella to the bridge. During the ride, Ella and Beah fill Josh in on what he has to do and everything that is going on. When they reach the bridge, they find Matt and Derek waiting for them. Ella gets out of the car and runs over to Matt. Beah and Josh get out and Beah goes over to Derek.
“So does everyone know the plan?” Matt says to the group as he gives each of them a stake. Josh takes his stake and cuts his hand. Just then Caroline shows up because she can smell the blood. Derek stabs Caroline in the side and Matt grabs Caroline by the arms. Ella holds up her stake, ready to kill Caroline.
“Ella, you really don’t want to do this. It will change everything.”
Ella drives the stake into Caroline’s heart and she shrivels up and turns grey. Ella hugs Matt and Derek and thanks them for helping her. Then she goes over to Josh and helps him with wrapping his hand. When she smells the blood, Ella gets an urge to drink it but just as soon as it happens it is over.
“Josh, Beah let’s go.”
The next day, Ella feels really weak and tired. She calls Matt and he rushes over. Matt carries Ella downstairs and lays her on the couch. Josh walks over but when he reaches his hand out, Ella bites into it.
“Ella that really hurts. Please stop.”
“Ella stop hurting your brother.”
When Ella is finally able to stop she starts to freak out.
“What is happening to me. I’m not eighteen and I didn’t kill Josh.”
“I don’t know what is happening but now that you have your strength we should go to my house and ask Kym because I have a feeling that she knows since Caroline mesmerized Derek into turning Kym.”
Ella and Matt enter Matt’s house. They go downstairs to the dungeon in Matt’s basement but find that Kym isn’t there. Matt and Ella open the door and go inside. Behind them, Kym holds up a stake. She slams the door closed and Matt and Ella turn around. She walks around them and tells Ella that Josh isn’t the person she loves the most. It’s herself. The most important thing to Ella is her own life and she will protect others before herself but she won’t let herself get hurt even after she protects everyone else. Kym then stops in front of Matt while holding her stake up high.
“Kym don’t do this. We are best friends.”
“You always leave me out and we aren’t friends anymore.” says Kym as she snaps at Ella.
Kym walks over to Matt and drives the stake into his stomach. Matt drops to his knees and Ella starts crying and telling Kym not to kill him. Ella leans down and kisses Matt. Then she turns around but Kym pushes her out of the way. Kym crouches down and says,
“This won’t hurt.”
She directs the stake at Matt’s heart but before she stabs him, Matt picks up a stake from the ground and stabs Kym in the heart. Kym falls over and turns grey. Ella is then finally able to stand up and she runs over to Matt and pulls the stake out of his stomach. She then gives Matt some of her blood and he begins to heal up.Ella and Matt then hug for a long time before they go upstairs. When Ella gets upstairs she finds Josh in the kitchen and she runs up and hugs him.
“I am so sorry Josh. I never meant to hurt you.”
“It’s okay sis. I still love you and I know you couldn’t help it.”
Just then Beah walks in and asks if everything is okay. Ella walks over to Beah and says,
“Kym was turned into a vampire by Derek and just now she tried to kill Matt and me down in the dungeon where she was held so we had to kill her.”
With a look of shock, Beah said, “What made her so vicious?”
“She said that we ignored her too much and she felt betrayed.”
After Ella finishes talking to Beah, Derek comes in and says,
“All our lives have changed and they will always be different. Now Ella is a vampire, Josh will be a vampire soon enough and then if Beah wants, we can turn her. We are going to be a family and we are going to be a family forever. The life of a vampire includes killing and drinking blood and we will look out for each other to make sure we don’t turn into our worst possible selves.”