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The story of Jasper's life.
Starts in his human days and goes through the darkest times of his life to the very brightest points (Alice heehee)
My second story. It's like The Final Sunrise but about Jasper this time not Alice. Anyway, it's not a great summary but please read and review!
Disclaimer: I’m only going to say this once because I always forget to put it at the top of every chapter but, sadly, I don’t own any of this. That’s right I own El Zilcho. Especially not Jasper (sob). Only the wording and possibly a few little scenes are mine. Everything else belongs to the one and only Stephenie Meyer.
2. The Death of Major Whitlock
Word Count 1752
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My shoulder screamed in protest as I mounted up. It was going to be a long ride. The horse was excitable and eager for a long run. I pulled him up back into control, my shoulder burning again. Perfect. I kicked the horse into a fast canter and we left the city of Houston.
I needed a rest. I couldn’t remember the last easy-going day I had had. It had been a while since I’d even had a decent sleep. My body felt like it had been going a week non-stop without reprieve. Today had been trying. I had drawn the short straw and been assigned to escorting the evacuees. For the most part they had been cooperative but the slow pace had chafed at me all day long. I’d lost count of the amount of yawns I had had to stifle. When people talk about the honour of being a soldier they never mention the mundane acts and the boredom before the heroic battles. Not that battles themselves are really that heroic. They are required, I can see that, but they aren’t as glamorous as people seem to think.
That was also the problem with being an officer, being put in charge of things like evacuations. Normal soldiers weren’t concerned in things like that. If I were still an ordinary foot soldier or cavalryman I would be back at Galveston now, readying myself for the defence of the harbour. I wouldn’t be riding from Houston exhausted and with a pulled muscle in my shoulder. The novelty of being a major had worn off a bit now. But deep down I knew that I only felt this because I was in an irritable mood. I would be appreciative of my position once I was back in charge of the men. That was the good bit, the bit I enjoyed.
I sighed. The cool night wind was refreshing on my face. It did a little to ease my fractured nerves. It didn’t help to ease my injury though. It had been incurred due to the evacuees. One of the women had been on a horse that was too strong for her and when it startled she had of course lost control. I had gotten it calmed down for her but I had overreached and pulled a muscle when I caught it. It was because I was tense and because I was worn out. Still I could do without it just before a battle.
I wasn’t nervous yet. The pre-battle anxiety would come a little later I knew. But right now, here in the middle of nowhere I didn’t feel the threat. My main preoccupation at the moment was the pain in my shoulder that stabbed with every movement from the gallop. I let my mind wander in order to stop myself dwelling on the injury.
My thoughts strayed involuntarily back to my home, my family. It had been so long since I had seen them. I allowed my memories of our ranch to rise to the surface of my mind. I thought of it so rarely lately. It was only a small place. Just my parents, my sister and myself there. No body else except for a couple of dogs and horses. There had been a time not all that long ago when its isolation had chafed at me. And was I now pining for its seclusion? I suppose I was. I missed it; after all it was the place where I’d grown up.
My thoughts strayed a little further and I tried to picture what my family would be doing right now. Sleeping, no doubt. Or perhaps not. In her last letter my sister Lily had told me that out mother was plagued with fears about me being killed. It really wasn’t that hard to imagine her sat at the kitchen table right now. That’s what she always did when something was worrying her. It had always been my habit to go and comfort her in times like this; I’d always been able to calm her down even when everyone else failed. But tonight she would be alone with her fears…
I dragged myself out of that train of thought. What was the good of depressing myself? She would be fine and even if she wasn’t there was nothing I could do about it now. I would make it up to her when I came home.
So, I thought about my father instead. I felt an involuntary grin spread across my face. He would have no troubles sleeping. At this moment he would be dead to the world. He had absolute faith in me that my military career would be success after success until I returned home to them. Regardless of what I did he would be proud of me. It was a comforting thought.
And then there was my sister, Lily. I felt a tiny twinge of guilt when I thought of her. My going away to war had inadvertently forced me to break a promise I had made to her. She’s wanted to leave Texas for a long time now. She wanted to go West to California and the coast there. The man she loved was more than willing to make her dream a reality and start a life there. Our parents were yet to know of this. I had promised to help persuade our parents to let her go. And now I had abandoned her to broach the subject with them alone. Personally, I didn’t really want her to move so far away but I wouldn’t hold her back either. If that’s what would make her happy then –
I was jolted back to the present as I caught sight of Lily with the corner of my eye. “What the hell…” I thought. But as I focused properly I realised it wasn’t my sister at all, just a girl of similar height and stature. She wasn’t alone either; two other girls stood with her.
I slowed my horse. They must be stragglers from the evacuation party. That meant that it was my duty to help them. I redirected my mount to head over to the trio but as we neared them he pranced to a stop, clearly unwilling to go any further, almost as if it had been unnerved by some sight or caught then scent of some predator…
I quickly dismounted and moved to approach the girls before I was stopped dead in my tracks. My breath caught in my chest and my heart sped up. My logical mind told me that my reaction was far to extreme to be justified but it was difficult to accept what I was seeing. The detached part of my mind put it down to exhaustion and sleep deprivation.
Now that I stood close to them they didn’t look real. They seemed like distorted versions of women. But perfect though, oh so perfect. But perfection doesn’t exist in real life. They looked as if they had been created out of the light of the moon, pale and bright and shining. Unnatural.
Every thought that had been in my head a moment ago was gone. I couldn’t remember what I had been intending to do when I dismounted. I wasn’t even aware that I had forgotten my purpose. I was just enraptured by the beauty in front of me. I was struck dumb by it. I could do nothing more than simply try to follow the conversation they were having with their captivating voices. I didn’t understand it, I was aware that I was missing something vital. But it wasn’t until the smallest one, the dark-haired one with that delicate musical voice sent the other two away that I felt any fear.
I shouldn’t be afraid; the rational part of my mind registered that. I was a soldier, what had I to fear from a woman? But rationality seemed to have deserted this place and this night and what I had just witnessed had unnerved me more than anything I had ever seen as a soldier.
“I truly hope you survive, Jasper,” she murmured softly as she leant in towards me. I wanted to recoil but I felt like I had been turned to stone or locked in place, mesmerised perhaps. That didn’t seem so far from the truth.
And then her icy lips brushed my throat. I shivered at the touch, out of either the cold or the fear I’m not sure which. And then she bit me. I felt her teeth slide through the skin of my neck. It hurt a little but I was more affected by the shock of what she was doing. It was enough anyway for me to break out of my paralysis. I wanted to force her off me. I reacted instinctively. I jolted back from her, staring at her with eyes widened with horror. She merely stood there, astonishingly still watching me with a small smile on her lips. My hand went to the holster on my hip and my fingers closed around the handle of my gun, pulling it out. All this happened over a split second. It was reflex for me to defend myself this way. But then that second was past and the devastating pain hit me.
I know that I cried out in shock and agony. My hands clenched and the gun fired into earth. My knees gave way. I didn’t feel it when I hit the ground. I must have pressed my hand to my torn throat because I saw with panic the crimson of my fresh, fundamental blood that was leaking away from me on my palm and I was helpless to cease the flow. The debilitating pain was exponentially greater than it had any rationale to be. It wasn’t even centred at my throat anymore but crawling through me as if it intended to burn me away in my entirety. The pain and the confusion overcame me. My vision had faded; the pain had taken over all of my consciousness leaving no room for anything else. I was dying. There was no hope of any alternative. I had always known enough to see when I wasn’t going to win a fight. I surrendered. I stopped fighting and I accepted it. I let it end. I blacked out.