Home > Dark Reunion (The Vampire Diaries #4)(2)

Dark Reunion (The Vampire Diaries #4)(2)
Author: L.J. Smith

The whole scene was as sparkly and beautiful as a picture by Seurat. Warm Springs, that's where we are. The old picnic place, Bonnie thought. But surely we've got more important things to discuss than tea.

"Who does your hair these days?" she asked. Elena never had been able to do it herself.

"Do you like it?" Elena put a hand up to the silky, pale gold mass piled at the back of her neck.

"It's perfect," said Bonnie, sounding for all the world like her mother at a Daughters of the American Revolution dinner party.

"Well, hair is important, you know," Elena said. Her eyes glowed a deeper blue than the sky, lapis lazuli blue. Bonnie touched her own springy red curls self-consciously.

"Of course, blood is important too," Elena said.

"Blood? Oh-yes, of course," said Bonnie, flustered. She had no idea what Elena was talking about, and she felt as if she were walking on a tightrope over alligators.

"Yes, blood's important, all right," she agreed weakly.

"Another sandwich?"

"Thanks." It was cheese and tomato. Elena selected one for herself and bit into it delicately. Bonnie watched her, feeling uneasiness grow by the minute inside her, and then- And then she saw the mud oozing out of the edges of the sandwich.

"What-what's that?" Terror made her voice shrill. For the first time, the dream seemed like a dream, and she found that she couldn't move, could only gasp and stare. A thick glob of the brown stuff fell off Elena's sandwich onto the checkered tablecloth. It was mud, all right. "Elena... Elena, what-"

The air was no longer warm and scented; it was hot and sickly sweet with the odor of rotting garbage. There were black pits in the green grass, which wasn't manicured after all but wild and overgrown. This wasn't Warm Springs. She was in the old graveyard; how could she not have realized that? Only these graves were fresh.

"Another mouse?" Elena said, and giggled obscenely.

Bonnie looked down at the half-eaten sandwich she was holding and screamed. Dangling from one end was a ropy brown tail. She threw it as hard as she could against a headstone, where it hit with a wet slap. Then she stood, stomach heaving, scrubbing her fingers frantically against her jeans.

"You can't leave yet. The company is just arriving." Elena's face was changing; she had already lost her hair, and her skin was turning gray and leathery. Things were moving in the plate of sandwiches and the freshly dug pits. Bonnie didn't want to see any of them; she thought she would go mad if she did.

"You're not Elena!" she screamed, and ran.

The wind blew her hair into her eyes and she couldn't see. Her pursuer was behind her; she could feel it right behind her. Get to the bridge, she thought, and then she ran into something.

"I've been waiting for you," said the thing in Elena's dress, the gray skeletal thing with long, twisted teeth. "Listen to me, Bonnie." It held her with terrible strength.

"You're not Elena! You're not Elena!"

"Listen to me, Bonnie!"

It was Elena's voice, Elena's real voice, not obscenely amused nor thick and ugly, but urgent. It came from somewhere behind Bonnie and it swept through the dream like a fresh, cold wind. "Bonnie, listen quickly-"

Things were melting. The bony hands on Bonnie's arms, the crawling graveyard, the rancid hot air. For a moment Elena's voice was clear, but it was broken up like a bad long-dis-tance connection.

"... He's twisting things, changing them. I'm not as strong as he is..." Bonnie missed some words. "... but this is important. You have to find... right now." Her voice was fading.

"Elena, I can't hear you! Elena!"

"... an easy spell, only two ingredients, the ones I told you already..."

"Elena!"

Bonnie was still shouting as she sat bolt upright in bed.

Chapter Two

"And that's all I remember," Bonnie concluded as she and Meredith walked down

Sunflower Street between the rows of tall Victorian houses.

"But it was definitely Elena?"

"Yes, and she was trying to tell me something at the end. But that's the part that wasn't clear, except that it was important, terribly important. What do you think?"

"Mouse sandwiches and open graves?" Meredith arched an elegant eyebrow. "I think you're getting Stephen King mixed up with Lewis Carroll."

Bonnie thought she was probably right. But the dream still bothered her; it had bothered her all day, enough to put her earlier worries out of her mind. Now, as she and Meredith approached Caroline's house, the old worries returned with a vengeance.

She really should have told Meredith about this, she thought, casting an uneasy sideways glance at the taller girl. She shouldn't let Meredith just walk in there unprepared...

Meredith looked up at the lighted windows of the Queen Anne House with a sigh. "Do you really need those earrings tonight?"

"Yes, I do; yes, absolutely." Too late now. Might as well make the best of it. "You'll love them when you see them," she added, hearing the note of hopeful desperation in her own voice.

Meredith paused and her keen dark eyes searched Bonnie's face curiously. Then she knocked on the door. "I just hope Caroline's not staying home tonight. We could end up stuck with her."

"Caroline staying home on a Saturday night? Don't be ridiculous." Bonnie had been holding her breath too long; she was starting to feel lightheaded. Her tinkling laughter came out brittle and false. "What a concept," she continued somewhat hysterically as Meredith said, "I don't think anybody's home," and tried the knob. Possessed by some crazy impulse Bonnie added, "Fiddle-dee-dee."

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