The Little Human
Set in New moon, after Edward leaves. Bella hasn't spoken in four months. She barely eats, she wakes each night screaming and Charlie is at his wit's end. Bella takes a walk in the woods, with the intention of taking her own life. Instead, she meets a woman, young and beautiful, who offers her everything she wants - needs - to get Edward back, without three days of screaming pain and an insatiable bloodlust. But there is a price. Bella must give up her voice, and then, she has three days to get Edward to prove his love for her. She agrees readily - after all, why would she need a voice when she hasn't spoken in four months, and if Edward still doesn't love her, she'll probably just kill herself anyway. So, the spell is performed, and Bella goes to sleep that night without any nightmares, eager for her new life to begin. However, the results aren't quite what she expected...
Yeah, I know, Little Mermaid rip-off Ok, I don't actually own a single copy of Twilight, New Moon or Eclipse. I know, *gasp* Shock horror, etc... But anywho, what I'm saying is that some of this might not be completely accurate, but I tried, ok? Just bear with me...
5. V ~ Hope
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When I opened my eyes, I could no longer feel the pressure on my throat.
A bright light shone into my eyes, and I squinted, making out the figure from my clearing vaguely through the blinding white. So, this was heaven? I didn’t feel any better; surely there should be no hangovers in heaven? Alright, so I’d never gotten drunk myself, but I’d seen Renee after a night out, sick, wobbly, complaining of a pounding headache, all the symptoms of my current condition. I could really do with a drink right about now too…
The angel helped me to sit up, and put a cup to my lips. I drank the cold water greedily, relishing the feel of the pure iciness in my parched throat. My vision cleared, and I realised I was in the meadow. Our meadow.
The tears began to well as I realised I wasn’t dead. My still beating heart laboured under the weight of my grief. The woman who had saved me – or should that be condemned me to live with this agony? – held me, rocking back and forth and shushing. I cried until I had no more tears.
Finally, I looked at the face of the woman. I’d thought she was Rosalie when first I’d seen her, but she was taller, her hair was darker, a deep golden colour that was almost brown. Her moss-green eyes were deep, knowing pools of ancient wisdom that were currently full of sorrow. Her face was as beautiful as any Vampire, her loveliness rivalled Rosalie’s, but she shone with an inner beauty that showed her soul to be a kind one, like Esme’s, sweet and mothering. Her voice, when she spoke, was warm and sweet, trilling like birdsong from between her rosy lips.
“Hello Bella.” I licked my dry, cracked lips, then sipped at some more of the water she offered me.
“Who – who are you?” I croaked, my voice hoarse from months of silence.
“My name is not important, but you may call me The Mother if you so wish.”
“What are you?” I asked. A Vampire? Maybe she was friends with him? But something about her struck me as off; I wasn’t entirely convinced she was a Vampire. She laughed, and it was as though the entire forest laughed with her.
“I am an Earth Spirit. Normally, my people remain hidden from yours, but I felt your pain from deep in my woodland home, and my little birdies told me that the reason for your pain was that you were left by your Vampire mate. He broke the rules, so I guess I can as well!” There was something in her eyes as she spoke, but it was only fleeting, and it was gone before I could ascertain just what it was.
“You stopped me. I was supposed to die! I don’t want to live anymore!” I began to sob again. Tearless, but raw and painful, a sound borne of pure agony.
“Why?” Her question surprised me. Though quietly spoken, in a questioning tone, she might’ve well slapped me. I choked back my sobs.
“Because, he left! He doesn’t love me anymore! And Charlie doesn’t want me – he wants to get rid of me, send me back to live with Renee. I was only trying to keep going for him, like Ed- like he told me to!” She watched as I regained control over my emotions, locking them away like I had for the last four months. When I was numb again, I got to my feet, staggering slightly as I fought a wave of nausea.
“Well, thank you for rescuing me,” although I didn’t want you to, “But I really must be going. Can you point me in the direction of my house?” How had she gotten me here anyway? Maybe she was super strong too, like them.
“Better yet, I’ll take you back, but first, wouldn’t you like to hear why I brought you here? Why, out of all of the miserable people in the world, I saved you?”
“I thought you said it was because Ed- because he is a Vampire?” I winced again. It was so hard not to say his name, not to think it, but I had to. For the sake of my sanity.
“Oh, silly Bella! It’s far more than that! Let me tell you a story…” She gestured for me to sit down on a tree stump that I was sure wasn’t there a moment ago.
“Once upon a time, there was a lovely peasant girl, on the cusp of womanhood. On the happiest day of her life, she met a young, and handsome man, the son of a lord, and fell instantly in love. She worked hard to win his affections, for he was rich and powerful, and sure to be interested in one of the ladies of the realm, not a poor, ragged farmer’s daughter, with no mother, no money and no prospects.
“But this girl had one thing going for her; she had a lovely singing voice. One day, the lord’s son was riding through the forest when he heard the girl singing. He dismounted from his horse and followed the song until he came upon the girl in a clearing, where she was bathing in a stream.
“He fell deeply in love with her voice and her form, and wrapped her in his cloak, before taking her back to his castle, and giving her to his mother’s maids to wash and clothe. When she was decent, he asked her to dine with him. Whilst they ate the most sumptuous meal the girl had ever had, he complimented her on her beauty and her voice, and asked her to sing for him again. He offered her employment in his castle as an entertainer, and she accepted, glad to be close to her love.
“After many months, the man realised that he loved the girl, and told her of his feelings for her. She responded in kind, and he joyfully asked her for her hand, and she joyfully accepted. However, the girl, by now a beautiful young woman, was unaware of her father’s grief. He missed his daughter terribly, believing that she had been slain by some beast of the forest. He could not believe it when he saw her riding in a carriage about the town. He called out to her, and she leapt from the carriage into her father’s arms. She embraced him, and kissed him, and introduced him to her fiancé, who asked him to come with the lovers to the castle, there to meet his father, the lord of the land.
“That evening, when they dined with his father, the man asked formally for the daughter’s hand from her father. His father then proposed a toast to the lovers, and ordered a great feast to celebrate their engagement.
“Soon, the eve of the wedding arrived. All of the lord’s serfs were invited, and many lords and ladies of the realm.
“The woman asked her fiancé to let her go back to her woodland home to get a few things – her mother’s trinkets, heirlooms that no woman should be wed without. He offered to go with her, but she declined, as he was needed at the castle. Instead, he sent her with his best manservant, who was under orders to protect the woman with his life if necessary.
“They travelled safely to the woman’s previous home, and she gathered her things. However, as they made their way back to the castle, a wolf, fierce, rabid and maddened by hunger, attacked. The manservant fell from his horse, hit his head on a rock and was trampled upon by his mount. He died soon after. The dog leapt for the woman’s throat, and bit her, but she took the manservant’s sword and smote the wolf. Then, she leapt upon her mare and galloped back to the castle, and collapsed into her fiancé’s arms.
“She was in a fever for several days, and her distraught love called for the best doctors in the land to help her. Finally, her fever broke, and she awoke, but she soon found that the wolf’s bite had damaged her vocal chords, and she could no longer speak. She wept silently for many days, for her voice was her pride and her joy, that which had attracted her fiancé in the first place.
“Many months passed, and her fiancé became distant. The wedding had been cancelled because of her illness, but when she went to her love and suggested, by means of a quill and parchment, that they arrange another ceremony, he told her that he had no wish to marry her now that she no longer had that about her which he loved – her voice, and she fled to the forest, broken-hearted. She wept to herself and, thinking she could not live with the pain, and the shame should word get out (for she was with child by her ex-fiancé), decided to take her own life. She took her father’s hunting knife (he had passed away the month before) and plunged it deep into her heart. She closed her eyes, and waited to die.
“When she awoke, she was fearful, for a god stood above her. He spoke to her in the language of the gods, yet somehow she understood. He told her his name was Pan, lord of the forests and woodland, and he had felt her pain from afar, and healed her. She opened her mouth, and found she could sing once more, with twice the beauty that she had before. She rejoiced, and made to return to the castle, to her love, but the Lord Pan caught her arm, and begged her to stay in the forest with him, and sing to him. He offered her that which she couldn’t refuse – immortality, and the chance to help others who had been wronged in the same way she had.
“He took her back to the castle where her love lived, and she found that he was now lord, and wed to a woman even lovelier than she. She wept to see her love so happy with another, and agreed to join her new lord in his domain. He then turned her into a spirit of the forest and the land, and gave her the woodland where she had once lived to call her home. Then, he bestowed upon her another gift – he replaced the growing child in her belly with one of his own blood, and told her that her children would one day live in every forest in the world.
“She longed to see this world that she was now a part of, and so he told her that she would be able to travel where so ever she wished, providing there was forest there to take her and protect her soul. Finally, he gave her the title: ‘Mother of the Earth’, and gave her power over life and death itself – she could save those dying, as she had been saved, and resurrect the dead, so long as she always used her abilities to aid those in need, and never for her own greed.
“The woman, now free to do as she wished without having to worry about death, travelled west, to a new land, and lived in peace in a wood there until the birth of her child. When the child, a daughter, reached her 21st year, she discovered she had the abilities of her mother, and wed a local man, a Native American, and continued the line. Over many centuries, the woman’s family grew, and the female children of her blood received the same gifts as The Mother of The Earth, on their 21st birthdays, except for the gift of immortality, which they only received if they chose to live in the woods, unwed, as the first Earth Spirit did, and does to this day. Then, they would not age, but they would be able to create new Earth Spirits from those who chose to take their own lives, but only if they were female, and had been wronged by a man.”
“Which brings us back where we started!” She smiled, but I saw the sadness in her eyes, and realised I was talking to the ‘Mother of the Earth’ herself, the original Earth Spirit.
“So… did you do that to me? Turn me into one of your Earth Spirits?” I hoped she hadn’t, eternity was nothing without him to share it with. She shook her head.
“No, I have merely healed you, saved you from your death. There is one other condition to the changing process – Women of the line can only be changed into an Earth Spirit if they die after their 21st birthday, and before their 40th. Otherwise, they can only be healed, though if they are in the correct age range, the other guidelines don’t have to be fulfilled, as long as they accept the burden of becoming an Earth Spirit.” It was a lot to take in, but I was pretty sure I understood.
“So… I'm of your bloodline?” I asked cautiously “I'm descended from The Mother of The Earth and the god Pan?” She nodded, a sad smile gracing her beautiful face. I suddenly saw the resemblance between her and my mother; the same heart-shaped face, the same nose, even the same hands. But my mother had gotten married at 19, and had me not long after, so whereas this woman looked to be in her early twenties, eternally youthful, my mother’s face bore the signs of aging, twenty years worth of life, laughter, pain, suffering and joy.
“Nevertheless, I only want the best for my daughters. Do you still want to die, Bella?” I looked away. Of course I wanted to die. Knowing that I was descended from a suicidal jilted bride didn’t make me feel any better.
My ancestor watched me carefully, seemingly hesitant about something.
“What if… I could reunite you with your Vampire?” My heart leapt at the thought of seeing him again.
“My Vampire? I wouldn’t presume that much…”
“Oh, but I would…” She smiled again “What if I could give you everything you need to get him back? To make him return to you?”
“To make me strong, and beautiful, so I could chase after him?” She had power over life and death… Could she make me a Vampire?
“Not exactly.” She held up a hand to silence me as I opened my mouth to speak. “Listen to my proposal first. One night, no pain. A deep sleep, with no dreams. The next morning, the transformation will be complete. Then you will have three days for Edward to prove his love for you. At the end of the three days, the transformation will be reversed.”
“Sounds good so far!” I said eagerly.
“Wait, I'm not done. There is a price; your voice. And at the end of the three days, if Edward doesn’t love you – you will… You will die.” I shrugged. If I couldn’t have Edward, I didn’t want life. “But if at the end of the three days, Edward has proven his love for you, your voice will be restored and the transformation will be permanent.”
“My voice? That’s nothing. I haven’t spoken for four months before today. I accept you offer, gladly!” She seemed almost upset at my decision.
“Very well, Isabella. Go, with my blessing, and I pray that your Edward can reach you in time. Go home, smile for your father, and make the most of the last few hours you have to speak…” Her voice seemed to fade out as she spoke, and my head, once again began to pound. I fought to stay conscious as my ears strained to hear her parting sentence.
“Sleep Bella, my child.” I obeyed, and the world faded to black.
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