Nowhere to Run
Jane wasn't wanted; Alec was. One night can change everything, as the innocence of a child is lost forever. Jane One-shot Challenge
1. Nowhere to Run
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"The undiscover'd country from whose bourn no traveller returns..."
Hamlet, Act III Scene I
"I'm no longer, no longer
a Rose of May"
-Rose of May, lyrics by katethegreat19
They couldn't do this to me. I was their daughter wasn't I? Their own flesh and blood; their so-called "family".
They pain of betrayal and loss of hope welled up in my chest, burning a deep hole in my chest. The edges of the hole were rigid and rough, like the life I was beginning to live.
I curled over myself to hide the shame of my lack of strength. I was only twelve-years-old, barely a decade old. I was still a child for God's sake.
I shudder for a moment at the thought that had just passively moved through my mind. I bitterly bit my lip thinking over the questions in my mind. Was there a God? And if so, did he care about me? Apparently not. If he had, he wouldn't have let this happen. He wouldn't have let them do this to me. To destroy the child - scratch that - children. At times I'd nearly forget that my dear brother Alec was in this mess with me as well.
Thinking of Alec reminded me of his sacrifice that night. He'd given up being with the rest of them to be with me. To protect me. He was always protecting me. From the monsters that hid beneath our beds to the resounding cracks of father's hand across my cheek, Alec was always there to comfort me and dull the pain. They never wanted a girl, just a boy. And so, God gave them what they wanted and what they didn't want all in one fell swoop.
I inhaled the heavy air surrounding my head, filling me with a dizzying haze of confusion. It all had occurred so fast. The day had started decently and ended up horrible, the pain in my guts twisted and folded over itself, causing a wave of nausea to flood through me.
My hand shot out from beside my body and gripped the wall next to me for support. The steadiness in my legs was wavering on none. All the while my vision was blurring and creating tiny dots along the corners of my sight.
I was falling apart.
I hadn't eaten in almost three days, and Alec had promised me a meal, so that's where he went. He said to go barter for some bread or something of that sort. But he and I both knew his words were actually code for robbery. Considering, we had not a thing to our names to barter or trade.
I sighed, my legs giving out beneath the weight of my body. We were literally dying for someone to save us from this hell that had been created before our eyes.
Well, before my eyes. Alec hadn't watched his world fall; he'd watched mine and just came along for the dive. I owned him so much.
He could have stayed with them, and lived out his life. He could have forgotten about his twin sister - forgotten everything about her - and stayed. He could have been warm, loved, and happy. But - for some unknown reason - he chose to be with me. To soothe the ever-festering wounds of my soul. To piece back together the life that had crashed down to Earth in a flaming mass. To protect me from whatever lay just beyond our front door. Alec was there for me. And I knew I was hardly worth it. I didn't deserve such a giving and generous brother.
I clenched my eyelids closed, pushing back the tears that threatened to fall. I took a large gulp of air, holding it my lungs for an unnatural amount of time. A burning sensation was spreading across my chest; it didn't feel any different from the rest of my body. I as far as I could tell the buried inside my soul was burning my alive anyway.
I didn't release the breath, I held onto it tightly within my lungs. The inferno bursting over my torso felt almost nice when it was opposed to the sting of reject of loved ones. I could handle this ache; I couldn't the other. I was finally in control of something. I could control how much I wanted to torture myself with oxygen deprivation. I couldn't make my family love me. Or even like me for that matter.
The carbon dioxide -- nearly begging to be set free - suddenly rushed from lungs. The swiftness of the discharge made my head spin. My first reflex was put into affect and soon I found myself with my head between my legs, curled up in a ball in a dark, dingy alley.
I decided it was best to just stay put in this position. My stomach didn't throb as bad, and my mind could soar off into a land of far off fairy tales that would rescue me from this horrid place. But those magical lands I used to dream of as child could only keep my mind suspended in its make-believe confines for only a short amount of time, before reality came as a pounding reminder of why I was here. In this alley. Alone...again.
I rested in the awkward position, continually rocking back and forth, holding my knees to my chest. Where was Alec? Had he finally come to his senses and abandoned me as well? What this going to the true end of me?
Unable to come up with an answer that would suffice my ever-worrying head, I closed my eyes, imagining something beautiful to distract myself. Something wasn't here. It wasn't long before I felt the exhaustion that had been begging for attention flood through me and cast me into the darkness of sleep.
The jolt that had awakened me from the rest that had overcome me was violent - rushing me up into an uncomfortable pose -- and made my head spin. I was forced to blink wildly, for my eyes refused to focus once more. The visions of shapes before me twisted and swirled into a mess of color, the unidentifiable blobs danced as I blinked. A shiver claiming my body every few seconds, I allowed the shake to occur.
My half-sight finally let me see the dirtied, red bricks of the building that was just across from where I was curled up. I reached my hand out to feel the rivets and creases that lay on the surface of the brick wall. The chilled air, heavy still with dust, filled my lungs, I embraced it. Alec had not returned...it was time to accept that...I was going to die. Here. Alone.
The suffering I'd become inflicted with would never die, the pain would never let up. Rejection was a pain that would eat away at a person until there was nothing left to eat. My heart had been eaten. My soul had dissipated with it. And now my life would be the final bit to disappear.
As Hamlet rejected Ophelia and destroyed the last bit of life in her, I was fading into the dark place no one ever returned. For as once said by the same man who had left Ophelia as nothing, "To die. To sleep. To sleep, perchance to dream." I would now forever dream.
My eyelids slowly moved downward, I didn't fight. It wasn't something worth fighting. The inevitable happens whether we fight or not. What use is there to take up arms against fate and destiny; they had a strange way of always winning out. The long awaited sleep was drawing near. The hurt would float away on the wind as my soul descended from this plain.
"Jane..." The voice was dreamlike while I remained in the state of shade. I couldn't let my hopes rise of Alec's return, for who was to say he would ever come back to me. I had only myself to rely on from this moment on.
"Jane, please...forgive me, but..." The words of my dream grew fainter, losing their luster. I wanted to plead with the voice to continue their speaking; I wanted them to keep me off the edge.
But there wasn't much delay between his last fleeting words before a sharp knife cut my skin. It dug into my neck, my flesh burned under its blade. The shock of the pangs of the fiery pain blurred my thoughts, knocking me in and out of reality. My body tightened, squeezing against the blaze consuming my neck and flowing into my chest. The usual pain that resided there mixed and blended with this new cascade and amplified the experience.
The sweet voice had betrayed me as well. Regret for my foolish trust in it began to push its way through the sensations race through my bloodstream. I could barely breathe, and I found myself wasting what little oxygen I had with cries and screams for help.
This was the death I had asked for? I had always imagined a silent parting for myself. Alone and quiet. Never once had I thought my leaving would be so loud and distracting. I never thought I'd be calling attention to myself. I never deserved attention. Not even in death did I deserve any sort of worth. That was what I was taught from the time I was just a child. Alec was a male - strong and fearless. He was to nurtured; I was to belong to nature. And now I would belong only to the Earth.
I felt myself be ripped to the side, as the knife was swiftly removed from my neck. It was then the pain eased. I couldn't feel anything in fact. I could only hear the glorious voice that had whispered my name just a minute or two earlier.
"Alec, no more." Another spoke up. It wasn't the same one was before; it didn't hold the same amount of beauty as the first. "That's enough."
There was a rush as the sting tore through my being once more. My aspirin had let go of its hold over me.
That's enough...Alec. The words rang in my ears, but not loud enough to distract my mind from the immerse pain that was invoked from the knife in my neck. I could still the overwhelming flood of red-hot flames burning holes in the side of my neck, down my chest, in my stomach, down both my legs...everywhere. My lips were trying to form words and letters. I may have wanted death, but this wasn't it. This was torture. Pure and utter torture. Where was the peace I had wished for?
"Jane," it was Alec. I knew it was him. "I'm sorry, but...just trust me..." His voice was distant. My eyes flickered opened to see three figures in the alley, all clad in pitch-black robes and standing at the far end of the alley. The smaller of the two figures was being held by a larger black figure. I wanted call back to Alec, to tell him I was still alive. I wanted to beg him - if could - to stop the flames from burning me alive.
He remained far away from where I lay thrashing my body upward and quickly downward. Each time my back cracked against the pavement I could feel the fire let up as the feeling of the physical bruising of back took over my thoughts. As odd as it sounded, with every hit to the hard, unforgiving ground I was free from the holocaust devouring my very flesh and soul.
Another cry broke from lips. My fast closing eyes could faintly see, what I knew to be, Alec moved in reflex at my call, but he was restrained. I wished they would free him for me. I needed him closer. He could dull this pain I just knew it.
"Please..." Was all I could utter as my pathetic plea to let him go and come and comfort me. All I received in returned was a shake of the head, as the scorching consumed me, leaving me in the dark that followed. And for a moment, I couldn't feel anything. My aspirin was again upon me just before I slipped off the edge.
Waking up this time was strange, it seemed as if all my senses had been silenced. I was blind - though I knew I was awake. I couldn't hear - though I knew there was sound surrounding me. The fire was still burning within me, but there was no ache or hurt, only an icy chill that poured through my skin. Though I wanted to be panicked due to the lack of knowledge of what was happening, I couldn't seem to break away from the feeling of subdued emotion.
"Jane..."Again the soothing voice from before came floating to, bringing with it a new calming sensation - the feeling that everything was going to be all right.
I reached out my hand into the black out in front of me, grasping at dead air. A hand took a hold of mine and gave it a firm, reassuring squeeze.
With the hand holding mine, I began to feel the curse, which blinded me and disabled my hearing and such, lift. The freedom was coming back to me.
"It's alright. Everything's fine. I'm here. I didn't leave."
Alec. It was Alec for sure. He hadn't left me for dead after all. He came back. My heart was elated. My vision gradually returned, allowing me to look upon the child-like cheeks of wondrous twin brother. He had given up everything...for me.
A smile played on my lips. It took a second to register that Alec was smiling back at me, as he leaned over top of me, hand in mine. He reached out his open hand and brushed gently across my forehead, pushing back my cropped short hair.
I had cut it that way, so that maybe my parents might accept me. Maybe if I looked like a boy, they could pretend I was. But now, I didn't have to worry about them. Alec and I, we were together again. We were liberated.
"I'm glad you're awake." He pressed his forehead against mine. He looked different, more elegant, but I couldn't care at this point. He hadn't abandoned me, which was enough.
"You're probably thirsty. I know I am." This comment puzzled me. I didn't feel parched. I didn't really want anything to drink, and yet, there was a tingling sensation in the back of my throat as if I needed something in liquid form. There was an urge, but it wasn't for water.
A scent lofted on the soft breeze to me, diluting all the other senses. It was sweet and salty all at the same time. I enjoyed the precious smell, wishing that I could find the source quickly. I imagined the delicious food waiting for me at the end of the aroma's trail. Perhaps a feast of some sort, maybe Alec had robbed a rich man's abode and we would eat like kings for the first time in days.
A growl resounded in the empty room where I lay upon a wooden table. I sat up searching for not only the meal, but also the cause of the growl.
It wasn't long before I found myself lunging at a woman with blonde hair cascading down her back, standing with her back to me, hands bound. She cried out as I pounced on her, knocking her to the ground. I listened to the cracking of the ribs I snapped when I pushed her to the floor. It was outlandishly satisfying to me.
I smirked and permitted my instincts to take over. Soon enough the woman was convulsing on the cold, tiled floor. She screeched out, pulling at the bonds around her wrists. Her eyes plead with me. Her spasms reminded me of my own pain of rejection and burning flames. I hadn't realized until that second that it was all gone. I couldn't feel anything at all, but I could see my own suffering reflecting in her eyes. It pleased me to watch her beg for mercy. For so long I'd been on the receiving end of such treatment and now I was in control of the terror.
Grabbing her tied wrists, I hoisted her up. I looked into the dread I had caused and laughed. Finally I found someone who could relate to my agony and all I could do was chuckle in their face. I was taking much delight in this. More than delight actually, I felt better than I'd ever felt in my entire life.
With a rapid flick of my wrist, her cries for help were quiet. The crunching of her neck filled me with the power I'd always lacked. I was so far into my own antics that it didn't even seem to phase me when my next thought was to dig my teeth into her neck and drink the mouth-watering nectar in her veins. Its fragrance was nothing compared to the taste. I drank it greedily, letting the woman's body fall limp off to the side.
Alec tapped my shoulder. "Jane, if you're still hungry I could go fetch more."
The offer was tempting, but I found a bit of restraint and shook my head. "No, that was quite satisfying." I glanced over to him and grinned.
"I'm glad you survived, Jane. I've missed you." He pulled me into an embrace, swaying me back and forth. I nestled my face into his neck, as he rubbed my back in tender circles.
His next statement confused me. "Aro wishes to meet you, if you're ready." We broke our embrace.
I wanted to ask who was this "Aro" he spoke of, but I decided against it. Never once had Alec lead me into any danger. He always had my best interest in mind. And so, I nodded, soundlessly giving him permission to take my hand and lead me on.
We walked through a labyrinth of hallways, that all led to the most ornate set of doors I had ever seen. They opened seemly automatically - a man from the inside was the true cause of the opening doors. He stepped aside as we paraded in. Many of the bystanders nodded or gestured to Alec, giving me the impression he knew them, but I couldn't recognize a face in the bunch.
We proceeded down into the room, until we came upon a three men standing at the end, all wearing the same black cloaks as the men were wearing last night. Their hoods were up and I couldn't see their faces. The mystery was not around for too long, for they pulled them down just a split-second later.
Two younger looking males stood on either side of an elderly looking man. His white hair swung with his movements as he walked over to us. And though he looked as though he could be older than dirt, he was the most graceful person I'd ever seen in my life.
"Aro," Alec began. "This is my sister, Jane." He tugged on my hand, trying to get me to move forward. I complied, half-unwilling.
The elderly man held out his hand to me and Alec placed my hand into the man's. I shuddered. I craved Alec, not this old man.
Aro laughed. "We've been waiting for you for a few days now." He must have seen me looking longing at my brother, ignoring his earlier comment. "He said you two were attached, but I didn't see how much so." My attention hurriedly snapped back to the man holding my hand. "Don't worry, darling. I'm not going to hurt you. I just want to get to know you."
"Oh." My lips remained in the O position for longer than I anticipated. "What do you want to know?" I decided it best to just get everything out there. If these were friends of Alec's, then why couldn't they be mine as well?
He smiled. "Oh no, dear. I've found out everything I need to know." His eyes glittered as he stared at me, unblinking. "You've had quite a life for a girl so young. So much pain and turmoil. More than any child should have to face. But even though it is such a horror, it is also a strength." His smile was transforming into a wicked smirk.
My breath was caught in my windpipe, but it didn't make me dizzy as it usually did. I wasn't breathing, but I was fine. I stopped blinking for a prolonged bit of time, and my eyes didn't hurt. They were still moist.
"You finally realize," his words buried themselves deep in my stomach, making me nervous. "You're not normal. You have powers some can only dream off. You're more than just a mere human now. You take human life now, instead of creating it."
It hadn't even sunk in that I had drunk a woman's blood...I had murdered a woman just now. I was so consumed by the pleasure it brought me that I hardly had time to think about my actions. I had killed mercilessly and liked it.
Who was I? What was I?
Aro luckily had the answers. "You are Jane, the newest addition of my guard. You little power there compliments your brother's quite well. You can cause pain and he can numb it. Absolutely perfect." He now flashed his white teeth.
I gazed up at his face, seeing the flames that had consumed me for the past few days staring back at me. His bright red eyes frightened me, but they also brought me an odd comfort that I wasn't the only monster.
"No, you're not the only monster. We all are." He motioned to the rest of the group surrounding the three of us standing in the center of the room. "Jane, darling, welcome to your new life. You're a vampire. A part of our family."
I was part of a family.
I had a family...after so long.