Mary Alice Brandon has been through so much in her life... What happened to Mary that her human life had to end in such a horrible way? What happened to her in that asylum? Some things are better off being forgotten.
I worked VERY hard to keep this story as close to canon as I could. This was NOT easy because Stephanie Meyer had some incorrect dates to work with. So while I want it to match up with the actual series, I also wanted it to be true to real life. I did a lot of research on Asylums, and shock treatments, and the dates of when they were brought into use. The asylum I have Alice in, is in fact a real Insane Hospital in Mississippi. Since shock treatments didn't become used to treat "lunatics" until the late 20's at the very earliest, I had to find a way to make the connection with Alice. Thankfully Stephanie never gave Alice an official birthdate, so I was free to do what I want with dates, keeping them as close to the suggested dates as possible. Alice is known as Mary when she is human in my story. Alice is merely her middle name. If you have ANY questions regarding the time line, factual parts, etc. Don't hesitate to ask. The research I did was fascinating and I'd love to go into more detail.
2. Chapter One : Asylum
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John Harrison’s P.O.V
I have been working at the asylum for a long time; long enough to remember it being called, the Mississippi State Lunatic Asylum. That was changed 21 years ago in 1900 to the Mississippi State Insane Hospital. The new name didn’t change anything about the facility. I think it just made it sound nicer.
But there is nothing nice about hell.
It was still just as filthy, unkempt, and horrific as ever. However awful this place is, it is the very thing that keeps me here; allows me to move undetected and enjoy my solitary existence. The conditions of the facility and its patients wear on the human staff. It’s hard on their conscience; their souls. No one ever looks anybody in the eyes and if they do, they don’t really see. The staff never last longer than a year or two. These are the reasons that no one has noticed that I haven’t aged a day in 34 years… or the fact that my eyes are a constant, striking shade of crimson.
I have been a vampire for 58 years. I don’t remember much of anything of my human life. I think it was pretty average. I spent the first 24 years all over the South. There were too many covens all out for vengeance. I got caught in the middle of it too many times. I made my way to Mississippi, and found the asylum.
I intended to stay a few days to rest and feed, but found the conditions ideal. I think I may have been an especially lazy man, because I am definitely a lazy vampire. I stole a uniform and went to work. I stayed out of the way, obeyed the orders and no one noticed that I didn’t really work here. I am free to feed once every night, sometimes two or three times; the overcrowding is incredible and no one here cares why someone died or who they were. I get all the food I want, and I don’t have to share with anyone. I am provided with a decent shelter and anonymity from the humans.
It’s an easy life.
It was well after midnight late in June when the bus arrived; four new bodies, to fill up the already overcrowded rooms. It was just me and Ruth that night so we went to work getting them in order. We shaved their heads to prevent lice, and then took them into the back room to bathe. Once they were locked in their cells, Ruth went home, while I would take care of the paper work. I was about to head upstairs to feed, when there was a knock at the office door. The bus driver had come back and he was carrying the tiniest girl I had ever seen.
“This one was sitting at the back. She’s so small I never even noticed her.” his gruff voice full of annoyance as he dropped her into my arms and hurried on his way.
The smell from this girl was lovely, indistinctly familiar, but not especially mouth watering. My victim tonight was much more appealing, and I was anxious to feed; I wasn’t used to having to wait for my meals. I quickly went about getting her situated so I could get on with my evening. I don’t know how conscious she was, but she didn’t seem to comprehend exactly how quickly I shaved her head, bathed, and dressed her; I was done in mere minutes.
The other seven girls in her room remained quiet, I doubt they slept but they made no effort to move from their cots. I laid the tiny girl on her cot, eager to get on with my night. As I turned out of the room, my gaze fell upon her face for the first time.
My entire existence changed in that second.
A glowing sliver of moonlight fell through the latticed windows and caressed her face in gentle, silver light, revealing her delicate features; her charming beauty. Instantly I felt overwhelmingly protective of this tiny girl in front of me.
Her elegant features brought back a faded memory; a human memory.
I couldn’t place the memory, couldn’t understand it; gentle eyes, warm smile, a soft sweet scent, and a complete and perfect love; an unbreakable bond that shook me to my very core. I had never once felt anything remotely close to this in the last fifty-eight years. I am not sure how I identified the feeling, I just felt it, and understood. Yet I had never been more confused.
I breathed in her scent once more, understanding a little better why it was familiar, but still having no clue why. I caressed her cheek gently, and her gaze shifted, meeting my eyes. I looked away quickly, but glanced back. Her face was sad, pained, yet her mouth was twisted into the faintest line of a smile. It was so beautiful; meant only for me. I realized now, this was the first time anyone had looked into my eyes; into my face, and actually comprehended my appearance. It should have made me nervous, but under her delicate gaze I could only feel beautiful… an angel.
I hurried out of the room, absolutely terrified of the humanity I had just felt. Something I thought was long buried.
Something creatures like me, aren’t supposed to feel.