Her parents aren't home, so she just waits. And waits. And waits. Neither of her parents come back.
She doesn't freak out quite yet. Instead, she eats a frozen pizza for dinner and watches some TV before going to bed.
When she gets up the next morning, she discovers that her parents are still gone.
Coraline goes to have tea with Miss Forcible and Miss Spink and she tells them that her parents are missing. Unfortunately, the two women think Coraline is just being silly. Just like everyone else, they ignore her.
She has to fend for herself, so she goes to the store and buys some more food and drinks.
When she gets home, she writes a story about a girl who danced until her feet turned to sausages.
Then she has a bubble bath. She's keeping herself busy, that's for sure.
Coraline wakes up around three in the morning and her parents still aren't there. She starts to cry – we would, too! – and she goes to sleep in her parents' bed.
Suddenly, the black cat wakes her up. Losing hope, Coraline asks if it knows where her parents are. Instead of answering, it walks off, and Coraline follows it to a hallway mirror.
Turns out her parents are inside the mirror. Yep. Inside the mirror.
Her father breathes on the glass and writes "Help Us." Are you freaking out yet? We are.
Coraline goes to call the police, but the police officer thinks she's just a silly kid who had a bad dream. He tells her to drink some hot chocolate and go back to bed.
With no options left, Coraline decides to take matters into her own hands.
She gathers up supplies (important stuff, like candles and apples), gets the black key, and walks back toward the door.
The black cat comes with her, and before she opens the door, she tells the cat a story.
This is her story: one day, when she was younger, she and her dad were exploring (as usual) and they disturbed a wasps' nest.
Coraline's dad told her to run, and he stayed behind and got stung in order to give her a chance to get away.
Later that day, Coraline's dad went back to the wasps' nest to get his glasses, which had fallen off.
He told Coraline that he wasn't scared when she was running away, because he knew he was helping her. That wasn't bravery. But when he went back for his glasses, he was scared because he knew the wasps were there waiting. That was brave.
Having finished her story, Coraline unlocks the door and steps through.
Just then, the cat starts to talk and it wonders aloud why Coraline is going back to the other world.
She says she has to save her parents. Of course! She's definitely scared but she's doing it anyway. She's being brave, just like her dad was.
Coraline gets to the other world and her other parents welcome her back "home."
This time, she refuses their food and tells them that she wants her real parents back.
Her other mother says her parents probably got tired of her and left. Now that's just mean.
Coraline doesn't buy it: she calls the other mother a liar.
The other mother decides to prove herself. She shows Coraline a scene in the mirror: her parents are returning from vacation and are talking about how great it is not to have Coraline around anymore.
Coraline isn't that gullible: she knows it's all fake.
Her other mother starts to get angry and sends a rat to get the black key to the door. She locks it and tells Coraline to go to bed.
The black cat comes up to Coraline in the hallway and tells her to challenge the other mother. He thinks she should play some sort of game to get her parents back.
Coraline goes to her other room, which is now creepier than ever, and goes to bed. Things aren't looking good.