. . . aaaak Coraline got out of bed and looked down the hall, but saw nothing strange. She walked down the
hall. From her parents’ bedroom came a low snoring—that was her father—and an occasional
sleeping mutter—that was her mother.
Coraline wondered if she’d dreamed it, whatever it was.
It was little more than a shadow, and it scuttled down the darkened hall fast, like a little patch of
She hoped it wasn’t a spider. Spiders made Coraline intensely uncomfortable.
The black shape went into the drawing room, and Coraline followed it a little nervously.
The room was dark. The only light came from the hall, and Coraline, who was standing in the
doorway, cast a huge and distorted shadow onto the drawing room carpet—she looked like a thin
Coraline was just wondering whether or not she ought to turn on the lights when she saw the
black shape edge slowly out from beneath the sofa. It paused, and then dashed silently across the
carpet toward the farthest corner of the room.
There was no furniture in that corner of the room.
Coraline turned on the light.
There was nothing in the corner. Nothing but the old door that opened onto the brick wall.
She was sure that her mother had shut the door, but now it was ever so slightly open. Just a
crack. Coraline went over to it and looked in. There was nothing there—just a wall, built of red
Coraline closed the old wooden door, turned out the light, and went to bed.
She dreamed of black shapes that slid from place to place, avoiding the light, until they were all
gathered together under the moon. Little black shapes with little red eyes and sharp yellow teeth.
They started to sing,
We are small but we are many We are many we are small We were here before you rose We will be here when you fall. Their voices were high and whispering and slightly whiney. They made Coraline feel
Then Coraline dreamed a few commercials, and after that she dreamed of nothing at all.