Dark to Fire-Jane's Story
Dark.It was what we’ve always known.Fire.It was something that was forced to be familiar. Jane and Alec's lives before the Volturi stepped in. My entry for the Jane One-Shot Challenge
Jane's POV Disclaimer-i own nothing-Stephenie Meyer, however, does
1. Chapter 1
Rating 5/5 Word Count 2448 Review this Chapter
It was what we’ve always known.
It was something that was forced to be familiar.
I ran my small hands over the stones on either side of me as I walked. The bricks were rough and bumpy on the walls of the buildings, the ally familiar- small and dark.
The usual laughing and music of an Italian night echoed from town. I walked farther away from it, farther into the dark.
Placing one foot carefully in front of the other I made it to our small home, a rotted out wooden door acting as the opening. I quickly stepped inside and candle light greeted me.
Alec was sitting at the table, staring at the flickering fire. The light made interesting and unfamiliar shadows dance along the walls. Alec’s brown hair, the same shade as mine, was in his eyes. He needed another hair-cut, but I had a feeling that he wasn’t going to be able to get one any time soon. I would have done it myself, had it not been for the fact that we didn’t even have a knife to cut his hair with. We were out of money-completely out. But he was my twin brother-and we together would find a way to get through it. I like to believe that twins have a greater connection than regular siblings. They are the two people that go through everything together-from being one cell to being grown up.
“Where is she?” I whispered to my brother urgently. He looked up at me, the same dark brown eyes that I had,
“Passed out drunk somewhere, I think.” He whispered back, shrugging. Whispering was all the noise that went on in here, until our mother came in. It was quite enough to hear the scurrying of rats somewhere in the dark. I felt relief flood into me once I learned our mother wasn’t here. She hadn’t been here in two weeks-that was longer than most absences.
“I have dinner.” I announced, my voice a tiny bit louder. Alec’s face lit up, brighter than the candle, when he saw the bread I placed on the table in front of him. It was more than we’ve had in the past week. It was the equivalent to gold for us.
“Careful,” I told him as he broke a piece off and was about to put it in his mouth, “Our stomachs aren’t used to food. We don’t want it to come back up.” I reminded him. I had gone to great lengths to secure bread for our meal.
It was a trip that involved running inside of the bakery through the back door, grabbing something right out of the oven, and running out before the police arrived. I was small and quick, though. I was a little girl who was dirty and that nobody wanted anything to do with, including her own mother.
Alec nodded, taking a little bite at a time. We waited after the first piece, resisting all urge to devour the delicious and warm bread at once. We tested to see if the first piece would stay down. Our stomachs shrunk over time, and already I felt rather full.
“Maybe we should wait until the morning to eat some more, Jane. I feel a little sick.” Alec suggested. I nodded,
“I agree.” I started to wrap it up in a cloth, trying to make it stay warm longer.
“I have the perfect place to hide it.” Alec held his hands out for the loaf. I nodded, giving it to him. He took the candle and walked over to where we slept. It was only one mattress on the ground-but Alec and I were happy to have even that.
He went into the closet there, and opened up our secret chest. He put the loaf safely inside and then pulled something else out. He shut it and placed it safely in our hiding place. We lived on pins and needles, always on our toes-never knowing when mother would come back. It could be any minute, so we always had to be careful. These hours when our mother wasn’t home was like bliss.
Because she never fed us, and we never knew when or even if she came back, we had to live on our own in this run down home. It was always better than the orphanage, though. We hid all of our food, if we got any, so mother couldn’t steal it and eat it herself. If she found any food she would then slap us for trying to hide it. Lately we didn’t have any food to hide, and we were starving and out of energy. Our faces sunken and hallow, ribs showing, pale, and sickly. You could see starvation staring us in the face before I ran out.
Alec came over to me, after setting the book he took out down on the table. He hugged me, “Thank you for keeping us alive again, Jane.” He kissed me on the forehead before sitting back down. In truth, Alec and I took turns getting food. But he hadn’t been doing so well lately-the starvation took a bigger toll on him, so I ran out instead.
“Come here.” He gestured for me to sit back down. I was exhausted, and all I wanted to do was close my eyes and let sleep take over-sleeping with a full stomach for once. I noticed his bible on the table-the book that he had taken out. He had gotten it from a local church-one of the nuns had given it to him when he was walking by. I didn’t like owing people things-and that just made one more thing to give back to another person.
But Alec had insisted that it was a gift, and that we could repay her by reading out of it and praying. I wasn’t Catholic-actually; I had no idea what I was. Religion wasn’t my priority when I was only a child and responsible for feeding two mouths.
“This again?” I asked frustratingly. I turned to go collapse on the mattress but his expression stopped me. His eyes, so big and pleading, started to tear up. I knew how he felt-he thought he was the only one in this mess. That he was the only one now because I refused to do something with him. That’s how it started out with our mother-she refusing to do something we asked her to do.
“Fine.” I sighed, walking back to the uneven and wobbly table. Everything seemed to be falling apart here-but that was home. Sometimes Alec could take that away though-he could make me forget about how horrible our lives were, almost numbing me for a while. He made me happy-and I knew I would do anything that he wanted me to.
“Thank you, Jane.” He whispered before we both peered over the book and read. We had taught ourselves to read by reading the old newspapers in the trash. It was only a few minutes that had passed before something horrendous happened. I was expecting our Mother-but it ended up being even worse.
There was a sudden loud noise, followed by footsteps belonging to a large group of people. My eyes widened in horror as some large force banged our rotted little door completely down. Alec and I both jumped up from the table as he took my hand and held on to it in a death grip. We stared, shocked at the people who came into our home.
“It’s the witch children!” one yelled. I didn’t have time to even understand what that meant or what was happening before a man separated Alec from me. He tied both of our hands behind our backs with rope. It was so tight that it stung worse than any slap across the cheek my mother had ever given to me. The man had a strong grip on me, and I felt bruises already appearing on my arms. A new feeling entered in my palms, dripping from my fingers. It was wet, hot and sticky-blood.
“Alec!” I screamed trying to get to him. They had pulled him across to the other side of the room, doing the same thing to him as me. He wriggled, trying to get out of their grip. He escaped once running to me. I felt a little bit of hope before a man punched him. He was down in an instant.
“ALEC!” I screamed louder, trying to reach out to him. This couldn’t be good for his fragile condition.
“Keep them separated!” a deep voice demanded. I still had no idea what was going on. Who were these men? Where were they taking us? Why were they here? I screamed and thrashed for them to stop, but they continued to pull both of us out of the house and down the ally-towards town.
I gasped-I was wrong. Those loud voices I had heard weren’t a group of people-it was a mob.
There were torches and weapons carried by each person as we passed. They would yell or even spit at Alec and me as we were led towards the center of town. Was Volterra even capable of creating such a macabre scene?
“What are you doing?” I screamed at the man who was moving me, more like dragging me, across the hard cobble stone street.
“What does it look like, witch?” he sneered, “burning you alive.” I shook my head frantically-witch?
I looked at Alec, beyond panic. His eye was swollen and his lip was split. He was already frail, and now he needed medical attention. It wasn’t like it mattered now-we were outnumbered. There was no way for the small dirty children to slip away unnoticed and under radar, as usual.
“Mother.” He said once. I couldn’t hear his voice, but I could read his bleeding lips. Mother-she had done this. She was the ‘witch’ (though there was obviously no such thing) that they were searching for-but she fled. She hadn’t been home in two weeks. She left us to die-we were guilty by association.
“What about the bible on the table?” one man asked my carrier.
“A trick, obviously.” He growled back, giving me a dirty look like he didn’t want to even touch me and just wanted to be rid of me. I had gotten that my whole life.
I looked away from him and Alec, trying to keep my eyes on my staggering feet. So this was it? We were being led to our death at this very moment, because of our mother?
“NO!” I screamed as I saw the two wooden piles-two stakes large enough for both Alec and I to fit on in the center of town. It was obvious they were made for us. The enormous clock tower was above us, and there was a blatant thrumming noise that echoed off the walls, informing us it was midnight.
“Come on, you stupid witch.” Another said to me. I continued to scream, as Alec did as well. There was a larger mob, one that was bigger than the one leading from the alley to here, surrounding us. How sadistic of them. They were loud, and the clock was as well. I couldn’t hear much.
“We aren’t witches!” I screamed.
“She’s trying to fool you! Don’t let their black magic enter your mind!” another urged.
“No!” Alec yelled. We looked around frantically as we were moved closer to the stakes, looking for anybody that could save our lives-looking for anybody that would believe us. My hope was flickering, just like the candle Alec had lit earlier. Had it only been an hour ago when our lives weren’t in such horrible jeopardy?
There wasn’t a single kind face in the disgusting audience. My flickering candle of hope had now been blown out completely.
I screamed louder and louder as they tied me to the stake, tears blocking my vision. I could make out Alec being tied on my right just as I had already been. I wriggled against the tight rope, trying to break free. But that only resulted in it cutting deeper into my skin.
“Alec!” I screamed, trying to ignore the yelling and cheering of the mob. He looked towards me, tears running down his face as well.
“I love you!” he screamed.
“I love you too.” I screamed back, before I felt heat rising around me. This couldn’t be it. We couldn’t just die in two minutes, after being in our home, for something we didn’t do.
“NOOO!” the sound slipped past my lips without me thinking. I felt the fire rising onto my feet and legs, licking at me viciously. It moved quickly, happy to gobble up any material it could turn to ash immediately. I wasn’t aware at first that I was screaming so loudly, or that Alec was doing the same.
We were burning at the stake for a crime that we never committed.
My mind was full of pain and fire, and it was doubled once I thought of Alec. All of the cheers of satisfaction from the mob were drowning out slowly…until they became so faint I could hardly hear. The vision of them swirled and turned hazy. The black acrid smoke of my own burning flesh was obscuring my vision. I could hardly breathe…
Then it all stopped, and it was back to familiar darkness.
In the middle of the night, during a time of complete darkness, was when you would least expect something like that to ever happen. But it did- it happened. We almost died. Almost.
But we were alive, in a way. We lived and moved every day; we breathed and drank every day. But we never ate-we never had to live through starvation again. Though our hearts weren’t beating, we were alive and together. We had been turned to vampires-immortal and defeat-less.
We were powerful, and according to our master, we were special. The Volturi, the family we were both yearning for since we were smaller, had saved us before we died and killed anybody who had witnessed it.
Now fire was something that, not I, but others would have to live with. I could inflict it in other’s minds-the minds of the people who had hurt me, and who had passed by the dirty little girl that nobody cared to noticed. I would never have to feel it ever again. Either would Alec.
I wasn’t that little girl anymore. And I don’t think I ever will be. I am Jane Volturi now. I had been through fire, and I had been through darkness. Now it was other’s turn to go through the same.