Memoirs of a Protestants Son
What was his childhood like; how does he remember his immediate afterlife? What made Carlisle who he is today? Enemies, friends, and the love of his life create a compelling story.
I came up with the idea of this story while I was reading Twilight back in 2005, but I never wrote it down. When I finished Eclipse, I just thought to myself: "Why not?" So I wrote the entire story in one sitting.
1. Chapter 1
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London, somewhere in the 1640s
I am going to tell you a story. A story that starts with a young child. It may not be an interesting story, for this boy did not have an interesting life. But, I can promise that it is a true and accountable story. This boy was born in the time period mentioned, but I am writing it much, much later. I am beginning my writings with the child because I believe it would be almost impossible to understand this person if I didn't. So, let me begin...
The walls had once been gold, back when there was time to paint. Now, there was little time to clean. The hardwood floor was exceptionally clean, given the circumstances. A maid must've been in and out earlier that day. A small boy, maybe six years old, sat at the front of an old mahogany desk. His hands lay perfectly in his lap, but his head rested against the leg of the desk. There was only the light of a single candle illuminating the space. It lit the dusty red curtains by the window ahead of him. A book lay open on the floor in front of the child wishing to be read, yet this child was much to tired to read anymore. All he could do was listen. Listen for any sound of his father's arrival home.
A door across the room opened and she came in; the woman who was supposed to see this child to bed hours ago. She looked down, her workers dress creasing, into the child's bright blue eyes. His blonde hair was in a toppled mess, as if he had been lying in bed and decided to take a midnight walk. The woman couldn't help but smile.
"Carlisle?" She said, placing her hand on her hip. The boy looked up, his eyes tired. "Up to bed you go." She walked forward, lifted him by the arms and nudged him out of the room. She closed the door behind her. She saw Carlisle up the stairs and into his room. He stood there and waited while the woman went ahead of him and readied his sheets. "Shouldn't be walking the house at this time of night, I say." She shook her head. "What would your father say?" She tutted.
"You're not going to tell him, are you?" Carlisle asked, climbing up into his bed, his night shirt rising to his waist as he lay down.
"'Course not. What kind of person do you think I am?" She said, pulling down his shirt and pulling the blankets up to his chin. She patted his stomach and started to turn around.
"Linny?" A quiet voice said from behind her. She smiled and turned around, as she did every night.
"Are you forgetting something?" He smiled. Her answering smile was almost hidden in the darkness.
"Ah. I can't believe I forgot." She walked over to him, leaned down and kissed his cheek, then his forehead. He placed his hand on her cheek. "Good night, my Carlisle."
"'night." He yawned, turning over into his pillows. Linny smiled and left the room, leaving the door slightly ajar behind her.
Carlisle lay there for a very long time, and he did fall asleep at one point. Until he heard the sound of horses coming up the road. He shot up quickly and regretted it instantly, holding his head to stop the spinning. He got out of bed and pressed his face up against the window to see who had arrived. His father's carriage had come home, and was untying the horses from the carriage. After a few minutes passed and Carlisle knew that his father had entered the house, he slowly tiptoed across the cold wooden floor and pulled the door open. With his hand still on the door knob, he leaned out the door. The walls here were so thin that Carlisle could hear his father talking, but it was low. He dared to leave the safety of his bedroom, sneak down to the first landing and lean his head against the railing.
"Did you find anything tonight?" Linny's voice was light; Carlisle knew that she really didn't want to know the answer.
"None tonight, no. But God must be looking, because He did help me find the group of Roman Catholics a fortnight ago." Carlisle's father's voice was full of pride. Carlisle's breathing grew heavy. He curled his toes on the floor. "They'll be in Hell soon enough." There was a long period of silence and Carlisle almost turned around and went back up to bed. Until he heard the sound of his father's study opening, and he remembered the candle and book he left behind. He closed his eyes and waited. "Linny? Did you let Carlisle into my study?"
"No sir. He has been in bed all night."
"Well then he must have gotten up without you knowing, because this is not how I left it." Carlisle's father was no doubt blowing out the candle and picking up the book from the floor.
"I'll go and check on him, sir."
"No, let me."
Carlisle's breathing stopped all together. He could hear the sound of his father starting up the stairs. He turned around quickly and ran into his bedroom, not even bothering to close his door, and climbed into his bed. He only had enough time to pull the covers over him, before his father came in.
"Carlisle!" His father's voice was angry. Carlisle tried to look asleep, but he couldn't stop breathing so hard. "Carlisle, what did I tell you about going into my study?" Carlisle didn't answer. "Talk to me. I know you are not asleep!" The blanket was thrown off of him and he looked up at his father, his breathing was hard and forced. Carlisle couldn't catch his breath. He tried to take in a breath but the look on his father's face made it worse. His father didn't seem to care, he grabbed Carlisle by the arm and pulled him out of the bed and out the door. "You will ask the Lord for forgiveness for breaking a commandment. You will ask the Lord to save you from Hell, and hopefully he will oblige."
Carlisle's father dragged him down the stairs, not even noticing that Carlisle's face was turning purple. Out the door they went and into the October cold. They went down the road, not even bothering to get a horse. Carlisle couldn't breathe and he tried his best to carry himself behind his father. They came before the church within minutes and his father opened the old wooden door with a bang. They went down the aisle and Carlisle was thrown onto the altar.
"Now pray. I forgave you for killing your mother, now you will ask God for forgiveness for disobeying your father!"
The boy in the story had a childhood that he would remember for the rest of his life and after. It was from that moment in the church when for some reason Carlisle could breath again, that he vowed to always obey his father, and he did become a very obedient son. It was when Carlisle took over his father's church that the real story begins...