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.
3. Chapter Two : Alice
Rating 0/5 Word Count 1362 Review this Chapter
My eyes never closed that first night. Instead they stared blankly at the concrete walls, as I lay tucked into a fetal position, desperately searching for warmth. The oppressive heat of the late June, Mississippi night, couldn’t reach me; my shivers an omen of things to come.
I didn’t leave the cot for what felt like days, the constant visions dancing inside my head, always revealing too much. I cried, as my own funeral played out; seeing the torment on my mother’s sweet face, as she clung to my father, barely able to stand on her own. Cynthia looked uncomfortable in the thick, black, wool dress as she pulled on mother’s hand, asking when I would be coming back. The pain of this vision shocked me; I had been expecting it;
The doctor had spoken about me as if I wasn’t even in the room. He told my parents it was for the best. That they would do better to have a funeral, and tell everyone I had died. The stigma of a “lunatic” child would haunt my lower class family, and they were desperate to do for Cynthia, what they couldn’t do for me. So they agreed to the charade, and the doctor signed off on the death certificate. I watched the whole exchange from the chair in the corner of his office; my face betraying no emotion.
Maybe he wasn’t so far off; I certainly wasn’t living. I was locked inside my own mind, too broken from the hideous visions that shattered my innocence to even speak.
I closed my eyes and the tears burned behind my lids. I hoped with everything in me, that they could be happy now; safe. I fought desperately to ignore the shadowy glimpses that threatened to destroy that hope.
John Harrison’s POV
I tried hard to put the girl out of my mind. I didn’t need any complications in my life, and complication was written all over this situation. The days went by without incident, the same routine as always, but I could never seem to shake her memory from my mind completely. It would fade though, I was sure. This hospital was much too big and much too overcrowded for her face to linger much longer. I probably wouldn’t even cross her path again.
I settled into the paperwork in front of me. The new doctor, Ludwik Weiss, wanted to prepare some patients for examinations. He was newly immigrated to the United States, from Poland, and he was excited to try out some new experimental treatments on his new patients. He handed me a stack of patient folders, and asked me to find patients suffering from “hallucinations with delirium of persecution,” and to set up the examinations for him.
I flipped through the folders quickly before passing on the names and room numbers to Richard. I headed into the exam room, where Dr. Weiss was preparing himself.
“I found 12 females and 7 males for you doctor. Richard is bringing them down as we speak.” my melodic voice echoing oddly in the large room.
“Wonderful. I will ask you to stay with me for the exams. Sometimes they can become extremely violent.” He said, his accent coating every word like honey.
Richard returned shortly with the first four patients. We finished setting up the exam room, making sure all the restraints were readily available, before bringing in the first patient.
Richard followed closely behind the tiny girl, her folder in his hand. Her once bronze skin now had a sickly sheen. Her bald head looked odd under the muddy light of the exam room. I fought against intense emotions her image brought rolling into me once more. Trying to keep my composure I looked away, but still couldn’t erase her image, or the tremendous urge to protect her.
“This is Mary Alice Brandon. She has been here five days. She is fourteen and has been having hallucinations since she was a child. In the past few months she has become violent toward strangers, and toward her eight year old sister. She has stopped speaking, and was barely functioning day to day, before her doctor advised she be admitted here.” Richard read off her chart, his voice indifferent.
He lifted her up onto the exam table, and Dr. Weiss took her chart to read over the notes.
“Dear Mary; such a pretty, holy name. I am going to take good care of you.” Dr. Weiss smiled down at her, his voice ringing with amused sincerity.
I shuffled around the room, trying to keep busy; avoiding looking anywhere near the girl, but her gaze found mine; she was determined to make contact. I couldn’t deny her anymore, and I looked back at her, hoping my face showed the reassurance I wanted it to. She merely stared back, her face blank. Her expressive eyes gave away her façade, revealing the depth of her pain… and yet even through that I could see she looked at me with awe. Like an angel in the pit of hell.
“John, could you please strap down our little Mary?”
I hesitated for a minute before following Dr. Weiss’ orders. Gently, I leaned her back against the table, and strapped her in, being careful not to be too tight; the whole while fighting with my urge to grab her and run; to take her away from this evil place. My face crumpled in concern when the icy concrete of my hand grazed her arm. She didn’t recoil from the shock of my arctic touch, but instead gasped slightly almost in confirmation; as if she had been expecting it.
“This procedure is experimental. My good friend Manfred Sakel has written to me his theories on the use of insulin. He has been a wonderful student and colleague of mine and I have been eager for the chance to put his theories into practice. His genius was much envied at the University of Vienna, and I am extremely confident his theories will be successful. I have agreed to study his theories and report back to him, now that I have the means to do so.”
Dr. Weiss continued to ramble on; mostly for his own enjoyment. He had no need to justify his actions to us. We had no education, no expertise. Our only job was to follow orders; his orders.
He approached the tiny girl with a syringe. She lay so still, only the rhythm of her breathing moved her. He injected her with the contents of the syringe, and we all waited. The screen monitoring her vitals didn’t waver. Dr. Weiss filled up another syringe with what he said was glucose. He gave me the syringe and told me to inject her with it if she began to seize, or if her vitals dropped too low. After one hour she was free to return to her room. I nodded and he left the room with Richard to set up the next exam room.
I waited patiently, feeling relieved to be alone with the girl. I studied her face, her eyes, the colour of her skin, the plane of her cheeks; trying to compare everything with the cloudy human memory that fought through my subconscious. The more I watched her, the clearer the memory became. I felt like I was on the brink of remembering, but I was missing something. I went back to her chart, reading it over and over again. Hoping something would stick out.
“Mary Alice Brandon…” I whispered the words repeatedly. Each time I could feel the memory inside me, just under the surface attempting to break through. I could feel it slipping away when I said her last name…
“Mary Alice… Mary Alice…. Mary….. Alice…”
My eyes went wide as the memory crashed against me. It was almost tangible. I could see and feel it so perfect, so clear. Yet I still didn’t know where this memory came from, who it was of, and why this tiny, seemingly unremarkable little mortal set it off.
I rushed back to her side, and gazed down on her precious face.
“Alice…” I breathed.