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Eternal Darkness

Summary:
AliceWhat happened to Alice as a human? Who changed her? Why? Alice's story by the man who knew her best while she was human - Dr. Harold Moreaux.


Notes:
DISCLAIMER: All recognisable characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. I am just a all-too-obsessed fan. Constructive criticism is welcomed and appreciated.


1. Mary Alice Brandon

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2292   Review this Chapter

I sat alone in my office, tapping my fingernails on my nameplate, which read ‘Doctor Harold Moreaux', trying to avoid looking at the mountain of paperwork which seemed to have sprouted up from nowhere on my desk. I stared wistfully out of my window and longed to leave this place, so I was able to hunt. I felt the desire for human blood burn inside me and tried to suppress it and stay disciplined. Even though I knew that none of the people really mattered, that none of them even had caring families to pine after their deaths until I modified their memories, I did not want to kill any of them. For six years, six long and seemingly never-ending years, I had managed to resist the pull of human blood, feeding instead on animals. I did not want to sink back into my old, evil ways.

I heard a knock on my door, and looked up; murmuring that whoever it was could come in.

"Yes," I said sharply as the doorknob rotated and a short, plump man in grey entered, "what do you want?"

"Doctor, there's a new arrival tomorrow, a Mary Alice Brandon," the assistant, Gregory, passed me a wad of notes, "here are her details."

"Thank you," I said disinterestedly, taking the papers with one hand and wafting him away with the other. "Please leave now, I'm busy."

"I'm sorry doctor," Gregory stammered, evidently perceiving my tone of voice to be threatening. "I won't disturb you again." He left the room quickly, so that I was once again alone, with only the notes for company. I glanced at them for a second, before scrunching them up into a ball, and throwing them with impeccable aim into the dustbin. I could find out much more than any other doctor could possibly know after I met her.

*****

I often envied humans for their luxury of sleep, for the night passed unbelievably slowly and uneventfully, without even screams from patients to intrigue me. Finally, I saw the orange sun rise majestically from beyond the horizon, and knew that the day had broken.

I did not know why I was so eager to meet this ‘Mary,' for I was sure that she would just be another mad amnesiac with no interesting memories to delve into. For some reason, however, ever since I heard her name, I had been captivated. I did my rounds, slotting a tray of mediocre food through the slim slot in each door, and making certain that all the patients were still confined to their cells, all the time imagining what the new arrival would be like.

I returned to my office and sat down, pulling forward an analysis sheet and reluctantly picking up my pen. It was poised over the paper when the fragrance hit me. The scent was mouth-watering, more delectable than anything else, sweet and floral. I felt my topaz eyes flame and begin to darken as I savoured the aroma, imagining the delicious taste on the tip of my tongue. The twisting of the doorknob ceased my fantasies and I took a deep breath, trying to compose myself.

"Mary is in Room 13," Gregory informed me, looking frightened and apologetic, "I thought you ought to know."

"Take me to her," I ordered carefully, trying not to let my voice waver as I licked my lips.

He looked taken aback, but he began to lead me down the corridor. As I neared the thirteenth cell, the scent grew stronger and stronger until it was all I could think about. After the door was opened, I could pounce before Mary even had a chance to see me, and drink her tempting blood. As for the assistant, it would be simple to erase the incident from his memory, and yet simpler still to dispose of him too, having two meals instead of one before I had to flee to another place. I knew that giving into the lust would mean that my ‘vegetarian' lifestyle would be shattered, but that did not bother me in the slightest. Nothing mattered except her... her blood.

I readied myself as the assistant reached towards the heavy padlock, turning the rusty key. I could have her in a matter of seconds.

The door swung open and I sprang forwards inhumanly fast before I saw her properly. I had been faintly aware that she was a child; her notes had told me she was seven; but I had not pictured her to be so tiny. She had a skinny frame and glossy black hair, which I knew would have to be shaved if she stayed. Even before she looked up at me, I knew that I would not be able to find it within myself to kill her, no matter how alluring her blood.

She raised her head slightly, fixing me with a confused look. Her startlingly bright blue eyes looked frightened but reassured, and she reached out to me silently. I stood still, transfixed as I watched her rocking backwards and forwards against the cold steel wall with her knees hugged to her chest.

"Doctor, are you okay?" Gregory asked tentatively.

"Yes," I snapped, "lock the door behind you." With that, I turned on my heels and exited the cell, confused thoughts spinning around my head.

*****

For the next few days, I behaved incomprehensibly masochistically, going to her cell more often than was necessary despite the suffering and torture it caused me to resist the intense temptation. I enjoyed finding out about her past, perusing through her memories as she sat so vulnerably in the darkness.

She had been a normal girl, from a good family. She and her sister Cynthia had everything: a loving mother, money, and all the toys they wanted. Their father was often away on business, but when he returned he bought plenty of gifts. Everything seemed normal, perfect even, until her fourth birthday. That was when her premonitions started...

She had been sat in front of your birthday cake, surrounded by friends, when she had fallen into a trance, and seen her mother falling and breaking her leg. She had tried to tell everyone about this, but her mother hushed her, and distracted her with dessert. Later that day, her mom had fallen down the staircase and broken her leg in two places. Mary had thought nothing of it, her naïve young mind had believed it to be nothing more than a strange coincidence, but little did she know that in the years which followed she would see things to make broken bones seem inconsequential.

Almost a year later, she'd been in the play park with her mother and sister, running happily ahead. She had stopped suddenly, and seen a tall, cloaked silhouette stabbing a young boy five times before turning away and leaving, his coat billowing behind him. She had started to scream and shout, but her mother had scolded her and made her believe it was simply a nightmarish daydream. Everybody could remember the frantic headlines of two years ago, announcing the brutal, vicious, murder of six year old Thomas Maitland. I realised in shock that the vile event had taken place in the very park which Mary's family had visited.

She'd had more premonitions as time had passed, some important and some which did not matter. In the end, her mother had consulted the town doctor. Mary had been playing under the table as her mother talked to him, signing away her daughter's life and condemning her to the asylum. I felt a stab of pity as I realised that she had not understood any of the conversation taking place above her. She had no idea why she was here...

*****

Over the years, I developed a strong bond with Mary. I was like a father to her, a light in her darkness and the only person who cared about her. To me, she was a distraction from my monotonous work. I had planned to leave after ten years of running the asylum, but her compelling nature made me stay, despite my colleagues' suspicious comments about how I did not look like I had aged.

One night, maybe twelve years after her arrival, I heard screaming coming from her cell. I ran towards the door at lightning speed, fumbling with the rusty key while the shouts from her continued, becoming shriller and higher-pitched.

"Mary!" I shouted, bursting into the room. If I had a heart, it would have been beating a million times a minute, "What's wrong?"

"I- he- you- we-" she stammered, shuddering.

I could not comprehend her nonsensical ramblings. "Have you foreseen something?" I asked sharply.

She nodded once, which was all the invitation I needed. I placed my fingertips on her warm forehead and saw her most recent memory. She saw a man coming to her, finding her, killing her.

With a flash of horror, I realised the potential murderer's weapon of choice - his teeth. I froze, he was like me - a vampire - and yet so unlike me because her was evidently not a vegetarian. He drank human blood, and he was intensely thirsty - for Mary's.

I hugged her to my chest, hoping that she could find comfort in my sturdy arms. "Everything's going to be okay," I lied, kissing her lightly on the forehead and brushing back her short, silky hair, "we'll be fine, don't worry."

She seemed to relax, for she stopped sobbing, and I wished her emotional state could pass on to me. My head was spinning with thoughts. I had to save her - but how?

My first thought was to take her in my arms and run far away, until we were on the other side of the world to her attacker. I knew that the adrenaline would enable me to move at speeds even other vampires would think incredible, but I also knew he was a tracker. He would not rest until he found her and killed her. He would pursue her for as long as it took. Her blood sang for him.

My next idea was to fight him. I would give up my existence to save her, but I knew deep down that my self-sacrifice would be in vain. He would be able to destroy me with practised ease, and then he would just move on to poor, defenceless Mary. Without any protection, her life would be snuffed out like a flame starved of oxygen.

There was only one possibility, only one thing could save her from her fate. I had a choice over what to subject her to: death or eternal damnation. The tracker would only relinquish his desire for her if her blood became undrinkable - if she became like me.

I knew that I would never have chosen this life for myself, and so I felt guilty for even considering placing her on this path. I would not have even allowed myself to think it, had it not been the only way.

"Mary," I said slowly, pushing her away from me so that we were face to face, with my hands grasping her shoulders, "somebody is coming for you, but I can save you, and allow you to start out new, if you want me to."

Part of me wanted to tell her the whole story, but I was sure she would not believe me. Another part of me begged her to refuse my help, but alas she did not. She nodded fiercely.

I set about recreating the wounds I had been the victim of, allowing the precise amount of venom to enter her, enough to change her, but not enough to murder her. Her blue eyes closed, but her face writhed in agony, and I could only imagine the excruciation she was feeling. I watched her begin to change, and saw her sparkling blue eyes become red as her supernatural body became conscious of all of the human blood inside her.

I placed my fingertips on her forehead, making her forget all of the pain, and all of the torture she had felt in the asylum. I erased her childhood, for she would not want to be burdened with that in her new state. I knew that human powers often intensified when someone became a vampire, so I presumed she would still have premonitions. She would know the future but never the past.

I waited a while, cradling her in my arms as she drifted in and out of consciousness. After thirteen agonizing minutes, I decided that we had waited long enough. He would be near, and she had to get out of to asylum now. The next time her blood-red eyes drifted open, I gave her a quick hug while trying to suppress my tears for she had been as close to a daughter to me as anyone ever could be. She pushed me away from her with unimaginable strength for such a small person.

"Run!" I shouted, knowing that the tracker would arrive soon. I remembered her middle name, how beautiful it had been, "Run, Alice! Just get away from here. You can rest when you're safe!"

She ran at a speed only a newborn could muster, leaving me alone in the cell. I was still sat there in disbelief over the situation when he arrived, standing in the doorway with anger burning in his burgundy eyes as he realised what I had done. He walked towards me slowly, but my body was immobile, frozen in place.

She was safe... that was what mattered.

That was my last thought as he tore me apart. She was safe...