The Sunshine Train
John F. Kennedy said once that the courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment; but it is no less a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy. A man does what he must, in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures, and that is the basis of all morality.
I couldn't agree more.
Courage was the reason I was here. Courage and love. We know Edward and Bellas story during Twilight, but what if it was different? What if Alice was the new girl, and Bella was already a vampire? Would Jaspers self-control hold out when he meets a girl whos blood smells so intoxicating to him? Mostly AxJ, all canon pairings. Thank you so much to MoonSpinner for the amazing banner!!
Read on and enjoy. Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight, and i never ever ever will :(
1. First Sight
Rating 5/5 Word Count 4051 Review this Chapter
"This day's black fate on more days doth depend:
This but begins the woe others must end."
I drove myself to the airport on the Saturday afternoon of March 13th. I wanted a fairwell drive in my car, my beloved yellow Mini, before leaving it at the airport, leaving it for my father to pick up for me in a few days. He said it would be “more convenient” to leave behind. His exact words were, “You can use it when you come home for holidays MaryAlice!” The false promises in voice made me shudder. We both knew I wouldn't be going home.
I was wearing a white sun dress, and black sunglasses, clothes I would have no use for once I left home.
The sky in Phoenix was was a perfect forget-me-not blue, deepening to purple as it neared the horizon. The sun was blazing down on me, as though it knew this was the last time we would be seeing each other for a long time. My window was rolled down as far is it could go, my left arm leaning on the open window frame, trying to soak up as much sunlight as I could. I had never been a winter girl. I had never been a country girl either. And where I was going, those two traits coincided violently.
In the Olympic Peninsula or north west Washington Sate, a small town named Forks exists under a near constant cover of clouds and rain. Population; 3100. That was the size of my old High school. And that was where I was going. Going to spend my last teenage years living with my distant Uncle Isaac.
My father had argued that 17 was too young for a girl to leave home. Too young for her to start making her own way in the world. But his arguments lacked feeling and lustre. He hadn't been the same since my mothers death, and I knew that making him look at me, the spitting image of my mother, everyday was a blinding and painful reminder of what he'd lost.
I'd lied and smiled my way through our last weeks together, pretending all the while that I wanted to leave, that he would be better alone, that it would be good for the both of us, if we started acting normally again.
It wasn't that I didn't want to go and live with Isaac, he was nice enough, and probably the only member of my family I was actually close to. I didn't want to be shut up in a tiny little town, with only green trees and mountains to keep me company. I revelled in crowds and the business of shopping malls.
It's a four hour flight from Phoenix to Seattle, another hour up to Port Angeles, and an hour drive down to Forks. I don't mind the flights, I've always enjoyed the views from aeroplane windows, enjoyed trying to make sense of people's lives as they live them down below, blissfully ignorant of the curious teenager watching them from 30,000 feet above.
“MaryAlice!” Isaac cried happily as he saw me bound off the plane, throwing his arms out for me to launch myself into. He wasn't taken aback by my enthusiasm in the slightest, he seemed to revel in the fact that I was the only one in the family with the same amount of energy as him.
“Hello Uncle” I said, stepping back from him and giving him a wide, grateful smile as he took my suitcase from my arms.
He rolled his eyes, “Call me Isaac, Mary, how many times?”
“At least once more. I always forget” I smiled, pulling on a thick woollen jacket, the cold weather already biting at my bare legs.
“Come on kiddo, the cars this way,” he said, putting his hand inbetween my shoulder blades, and steering me expertly through the crowds. My huge pink suitcase only just fit in the trunk of his silver Volvo, and even then it took him a while to jam the lid closed on it. I watched him in the side view mirror, a chuckle escaping my lips as he dramatically wiped his brow, settling in the seat next to me and starting the ignition.
“I see you haven't lost you penchant for clothes then,” he said as he turned the car out of the airport carpark, and sped down the road that would take us directly to Forks.
“Not in the slightest” I said, gazing out the window, watching what seemed like the last remnants of human civilization fade away, and be replaced by moss and ferns. It was true, if anything my love of shopping had grown since the loss of my mother. It was one of the few things we actually did together, and when she died it was the only way I could feel close to her again. I'd spent nearly every last waking moment shopping, before I'd left Phoenix. Most of my clothes had been sent ahead of my arrival, and Isaac had rang me yesterday to assure me they had arrived safely.
“I've had a revelation” I said, as a comfortable silence settled between us.
“Oh yeah?” he said, sounding genuinely curious.
“I've decided to change my name.” he raised an eyebrow, but let me continue, “Since I'm leaving home, and starting a new school, I want to start over completely. So from now on you have to call me Alice. Ok?”
He grinned, nodding at the road as he overtook a red truck. “And also, tomorrow morning I'm going to the salon, and I'm having my hair cut. All of it. Really short.”
That surprised him, “But Ma-Alice, you love your hair!” He said, taking his eyes off the road, to star at my long, waist length black locks, which I was now twisting in my hands.
“I know.” I said simply, and left it at that.
“Well I hope you've given it some thought. Once it's gone you can't get it back.”
“I have” I said, turning my gaze back to the trees flashing past us as we sped towards Forks. He knew I was lying. He knew as well as I did that I most likely came up with the idea of cutting my hair when I got in the car, that I was nothing if not spontaneous.
We reached Isaacs house in Forks sooner than expected, and I remembered another reason I liked my uncle so much; he drove very very fast. It was from him I got my love of fast driving, speeding down roads until people, trees and houses became a mindless blur of shapes and colours, until the wind was whistling in your ears, and the sound of speed was all you were hearing for days.
We pulled up outside his red-brick house, and he took my suitcase from the trunk of the car, and carried it towards the house for me. I skipped behind him, trying to ignore the ominous presence of the dark clouds in the sky above us, and the threatening onset of rain.
He grunted with relief as he set my suitcase down on the wooden floor of my attic bedroom. I snorted; they were only clothes.
“Thank you Un-Isaac” I said, gazing around my room, letting the old familiar smell wash over me, bringing with it, memories of Christmases, and holidays spent here when I was a child. I heard his heavy footfalls behind me, and the quiet click of the door, as he closed it, and started down the stairs, leaving me in peace.
I hadn't cried since the day my mother died, just under a year ago, but as I looked around the room, an overwhelming sense on nostalgia washed over me. I caught sight of a flash of blue on the sofa in the corner. I ran to it, and pulled at the scrap of blue cotton, revealing a pale blue sweater tucked between the sofa cushions. I picked it up, cradling it in my arms like a precious jewel, recognising it immediately. I held it to my nose, inhaling the familiar scent of my mothers perfume, faded, but still there, lingering on the fibres. It must have been here since Easter, almost four years ago, when we last came here.
I yanked off my coat, and pulled the sweater over my head, for once not caring that it didn't go with my dress. I went to my bag, and dug in it, rummaging until I found a CD, and flung myself on the bed, putting it into the old radio and CD player next to the bed, pressing the stiff play button, listening as the familiar tune drifted from the crackling speakers.
I'm five years old, it's getting cold, I've got my big coat on
I hear your laugh, and look up smilin' at you, I run and run
Past the pumpkin patch and the tractor rides up now, the sky is gold
I hug your legs and fall asleep on the way home
I closed my eyes and hugged the pillow, letting the old smell of my mothers sweater fill my nose, and let the tears come. Rain pattered gently on the windowpane, but for once, it didn't stop me sleeping.
I woke after a fitful sleep on Monday morning, and crawled out of bed, pressing the button my alarm to shut it up. The constant pounding of the rain had kept me up until well past midnight, and even when I finally slept, I'd been plagued with dreams of a beautiful man with golden eyes.
Isaac had woken me up briefly hours before, as he left for work. I was never quite sure what he did, but whatever it was, he left ridiculously early, and got back very late.
I splashed my face with cold water in the bathroom, hoping to shock myself into waking up, or at least bring some colour to my pale cheeks. I stared at my face in the mirror, examining myself and sighing. I would never be called beautiful, I wouldn't even say I was pretty. My skin was so pale it was almost white, making my blue eyes stand out violently. My now short hair stuck up in all directions, framing my face at odd angles. Sleepless nights had left deep shadows under my eyes, making me look like I'd just woken from the dead.
I rubbed my eyes in exasperation, hoping that the next time I looked, maybe my face had suddenly transformed into that of breathtaking beauty. It was all in vain, and if anything I looked worse. Leaving the bathroom, I caught sight of the clock on the wall.
“Shit!” I cursed loudly, dashing quickly to my room, and throwing on the first dress I saw, and simple black lace ensemble, before leaping down the stairs, taking them 3 at a time. If I didn't leave at this second, I would be very, very late for school. On my first day as well.
I seized my black woollen coat, threw my feet into some black patent pumps, grabbed my car keys and bag, and slammed the door loudly on my way out. Isaac had leant me his Volvo, until the weekend, when he said he would take me car shopping. The engine roared to life, and settled at a deep comforting purr, and I backed violently out of the drive, and sped down the road, the air conditioning blowing a stream of hot air in my face.
Forks High School wasn't hard to find; Forks being a tiny town, and me being an expert at navigating and fast driving, I made it there with 6 minutes to spare. The car skidded into the parking lot, the breaks squealing as I turned the corner sharply, and drew to an abrupt stop next to a muddy Jeep. People stared at me in shock, wondering who on earth was driving a car that fast in Forks, wondering why they hadn't seen the car before, wondering who on earth I was.
I opened the door, and leapt gracefully from the car, watching slight shock register on peoples faces as they realised that the car was being driven so wildly by a girl who barely cleared 5 feet. I smiled angelically at the crowds of staring faces, and strolled casually towards the main building, acting like I knew exactly where I was going, and wasn't following the bold black “Front Office” sign.
I stood in front of the woman at reception, and cleared my throat loudly. She looked up from her desk in shock, and looked at me for a few moments, as though trying to place me.
“Can I help you?” she said in a bored tone,
“Alice Brandon” I announced, smiling at her, and holding out my hand. Looking confused, she shook it tentatively, questions forming in her eyes.
I rolled my eyes, “I'm new” I said, “My name's probably down as MaryAlice, I'd appreciate it if you could change it to Alice please, that's what I go by. Also I need and timetable, otherwise I'll probably get into trouble for not going to lessons. My Uncle should have rung ahead to say I was starting today.”
I paused, letting her process this information, letting the realisation sink in. She smiled tentatively, and silently passed me a timetable and map of the school, before wishing me good luck on my first day. I smiled in thanks, and skipped off the down the corridor,
My first lesson, according to the timetable, was Trigonometry, a subject I could pass with my eyes closed, so I wasn't worried. My mother had always been good at maths, and had tutored me from a young age. I told the male teacher at the front of the class my name and smiled widely at him, before skipping to the seat he pointed out to me, ignoring the incredulous stares I was receiving from most of the class.
I turned to the girl I was sitting next to, and held my hand out to her smiling, “Alice Brandon” I said. She looked as shocked as the receptionist did, but smiled back and shook my hand.
“Jessica” she said simply.
I leant back in my chair as the lesson started, staring out the window, trying not to see the immense amount of greenery and plant life that seemed to resided everywhere in this town. I let my thoughts drift, not really thinking of anything, when an image hit me so hard the breath was knocked out of me.
The boy from my dream was sitting in a long wide room, at a table with four other people. The room was bustling and busy, but his was the only clear figure, the only face I could make out. He was leaning back in his chair, his feet up on the empty chair next to him, his golden eyes closed, looking as though he wished he was anywhere else but here.
I was drawn back into the noise of the classroom with a jolt, and gradually realised that Jessica was asking me something. I turned to her and smiled, pushing the boy with golden eyes to the back of my head.
The day passed quickly, in a flurry of new faces and names. Apparently Jessica was popular, so I was quickly surrounded by people offering to show me to my next class, to carry my books for me, to show me around. I smiled and laughed my way through, phasing out any direct conversation, wishing for lunch, so I could sooth the ache in my stomach that came from missing breakfast.
I walked with a boy named Mike, and a shy girl called Angela to lunch, both of them having been in my Spanish class, and sat at a table with them after picking up an apple and a soda. We were quickly joined by Jessica, and a group of people whose names I hadn't learnt yet.
Their conversation turned meaningless, and held no interest for me, so I gazed around the room, trying to place the faces of people who waved at me.
And that's when I saw them.
Sitting across the room from me, with very few people inbetween us, so I could examine them discreetly enough, without having to crane my neck.
There were five of them. The girls were beautiful, the sort of people who see in Vogue photo shoot, not sitting in a crowded and dirty High School Canteen. One was blonde and statuesque, with the sort of figure that makes men and woman alike, weep. The other was slightly shorter, with flowing brunette waves of hair down to the middle of her back. They were both holding hands with two of the boys, clearly marking them as 'their own'. One of the boys was tall, big and muscled, with dark curly hair, and was holding hands with the blonde girl. Another was shorter and less muscular, with untidy bronze hair, he had his arms around the brunette girl, and was looking at her lovingly.
But it was the last boy that caught my eye. He was taller than the bronze-haired boy, leaner and more muscular, with curly honey blonde hair. I recognised his face from somewhere, but I couldn't place him.
They were all so different, and yet so similar. None of them had the same coloured hair, so were clearly unrelated, but their eyes were all identical; a deep dark golden brown, with dark shadows under them. They all had skin paler than even mine, so pale they could be mistaken for a sheet of paper. And they were all terribly, and inhumanly beautiful. The kind of beauty that made my heart ache as I looked at them, the kind of beauty that belongs in epic love stories.
I watched them sitting there, with plates and trays of food, but none of them touching it. None of them speaking, as they stared off in different directions. I couldn't take my eyes off the beautiful blonde one, and as I watched, he put his feet up on the chair next to him and leant his head back, closing his eyes.
And then I knew. I knew where I'd seen him before, where I could recognise his face from. He was the guy from my vision in Trig. He had been sitting in that exact pose, in this exact place.
I couldn't breathe.
“Who...who are they?” I asked Jessica, pointing to their table. She looked where I was pointing and smiled knowingly, “The Cullens.” she said, as though this provided sufficient explanation. I raised my eyebrows, and she continued, “They're Dr and Mrs Cullens foster kids. They moved down here from Alaska a few years ago. They're all together though. Like together. The big guy, that's Emmett, and he's with Rosalie Hale, the blonde girl. Then the brunette, her name's Bella, and she's with Edward, the other brunette. The blonde guy, that's Jasper Hale, him and Rosalie are twins”
I could tell from the tone of her voice that she didn't approve of their relationships, she spoke as though it was some sort of scandal, but in a town this small, it probably was. I could tell from the looks people gave her as she mentioned them, that most of the table agreed with her. I frowned slightly, it wasn't as though they were actually related to the people they were dating, why shouldn't they be allowed to?
“Jasper” I whispered silently, wondering why his face was in my dream, why it was in a vision I had during Trigonometry, why I couldn't get his face out of my head.
As though he heard me, Edward turned his head very slightly to the left, his dark eyes meeting mine for a fraction of a second. I flushed slightly, looking down. It had only been a tiny glance, but I felt that with that one look, he had figured out a lot more about me that anyone ever should. I looked at them out of the corner of my eye again, watching them. Edwards lips were moving incredibly fast, like he was talking, although no one on the table was looking at him, but I suspected they were listening. As one they all rose, gathering their trays, and sweeping from the canteen, with the grace of a million ballet dancers, and disappeared out the door.
I walked alone to English, resigned to the fact that even though I'd spent a good part of the morning making acquaintances, I wouldn't know anyone in this class. I walked slower than normal, hoping that if I spent long enough walking to the class, it would be over before I got there. No such luck. I opened the door, entering it with a soft breeze behind me, blowing my short hair forward. The teacher moved towards me, I wordlessly handed him a slip for him to sign, phasing out as he told me his name, and what they were doing in class right now. My eyes were fixed on him. Jasper Hale. Sitting in the middle of the class, with the only spare seat next to him, looking as though he had just been hit in the face with a sledgehammer. I cocked my head very slightly, a breeze from outside still blowing on my back. His hands were gripping the table so tightly you could seen his blue veins standing out on his white skin, his lips were pressed closed, his eyes wide with what looked like pain. He didn't appear to be breathing.
The teacher pointed me towards Jaspers desk, telling me to ask him if I had any questions. I nodded silently, and sat in the cold hard chair. I chanced a quick glance to the left, at him. He had shifted very slightly, so he was currently as far away from me as he could get without going through the wall, his beautiful face staring stiffly forwards, not moving a muscle. His eyes had darkened to a colour that was darker than black, darker than the night, darker than anything I'd ever seen before. He looked like he could kill.
Another vision hit me with enough force to knock me backwards a few inches, my world engulfing in blackness, before an image swam before my eyes.
Jasper, leaping over the desks, wrenching the heads off everyone in the classroom within a few seconds, with his teeth. Turning slowly to face me, sitting frozen in the chair, his eyes glowing a dark red, stalking towards me, blood smeared round his mouth, his lips open in a terrible smile.
I let out a gasp of breath, my eyes flying open, trying desperately to stop the images, but another one hit me before I could make a sound.
Jasper holding my dead, drained body in his arms, racking with tearless sobs, the white cotton of his school shirt stained with crimson blood. My blood.
Jasper running through a forest so fast he was mostly a blur, with the rest of the Cullens following him.
Jasper bending slowly towards me, brushing the hair back from my neck almost lovingly, his lips brushing against my throat.
Jasper standing on the top of a snowy white mountain in the middle of the night, his arms raised to the heavens, a terrible scream coming from his mouth. A scream of pain, and loss, and anger and sorrow.
Each image hit me with the force of one thousand trains, knocking the breath out of me until I was silently gasping for air, a single tear rolling down my cheek. I turned to look at him next to me, his eyes were fixed on my face, filled with a blinding anger, an anger so fierce it had me cowering in my seat, as far away from him as I could get.
The school bell rung, jerking me out of my revere, echoing down the corridors, signalling the end of the day. Jasper wrenched himself up from his seat with such speed it left me breathless, and was out the door and gone before I could even blink. I watched the rest of the class file out loudly, no one noticing as I slumped back down in my seat, laid my head on my arms, and cried.
- First Sight
- Open Book
- Blood Typing
- Scary Stories
- Port Angeles
- Mind Over Matter
- The Cullens
- The Game
- The Hunt
- Phone Call
- Hide and Seek
- The Angel
- An Impasse
- Epilogue: An Occasion
- Authors Note.
- Alyss In Wonderland
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- 07 Jan 09
- 08 Apr 09