"When she laughed, it was different; changed somehow, more beautiful than before. “I’m sure you know, Royce. You distinguished me twice in the circus, I know it.” “Rosalie,” he whispered, fear wild in his eyes. She smiled rather evilly. “Yes, hello my dear Royce.” “How have you lived?” he asked. “Well, I may as well tell you,” she sighed, collapsing upon the ground next to him. “After all, I am going to kill you." Fanfiction #4 in the series, "Like Vines". One-shot. Months after Rosalie is destroyed by her ex-fiancé, Royce, he goes to the circus, going mad at the sight of Rosalie, who seems to appear everywhere. He runs away from the circus, collapses in a field, and at last, the two meet. This story is rated teen for some violent themes at the very end.
1. Lions Roar
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Fanfiction #4 of the Like Vines Series
Royce had never been a man for amusement outside of gambling or drinking. It was this notion that led him to the Barnum Brothers Circus.
He couldn’t stand the circus. He hated the music, the atmosphere, the people, the animals, the food, and the audience. It was all an intense blur meant to stun the senses into remission; an explosion of sound, which numbed all else. There was so much going on that it crazed him, made him go insane, without a doubt.
He walked slowly to the grounds of the circus, watching everyone who laughed and talked and loved. He had been one of those people eons ago, but since Rosalie’s death, he had felt naught.
It wasn’t just Rosalie who had died. Two months had passed since her death, and since then, three of his friends who had helped to kill her that night were found dead, with broken necks, and strange marks on their wrists. It was only a matter of time, Royce realized, before God caught up with him and sentenced him to eternal damnation for his earthly pleasures.
Thus, he lost himself in the chaotic rhythms of the circus. Facing that death was inevitable all too soon, it would be worth it to absorb whatever life had to offer.
“Excuse me, sir, but the circus is starting. May I have your ticket, please?” a little girl asked, her small hand outstretched to take his small golden, paper ticket.
“Sure,” he replied, mindlessly, walking into the yellow and red tent, searching for a seat. The only one left was at the end of the first row, next to a group of attractive, but giggly young women. “Is anyone sitting here?” he asked, utilizing whatever charm remained in him.
Caught off guard, the girl closest to him batted her eyelashes. “Of course, sir,” she whispered, turning back to her friends, whispering and sighing flirtatiously.
Royce sighed. Human interaction of that nature had been strangely dormant with him since Rosalie’s blood had been spilt upon the floor. But before he could reflect on this anymore, the lights dimmed, and the ringleader appeared.
“Welcome, welcome, one and all to the greatest show on Earth! You had come here to witness the fantastic, the strange, the extraordinary! We will explore all these things; people who stretch the means of human exploitation…” He continued on and on. “I will begin by introducing my good friend, Leo.”
Out from the curtain walked a magnificent lion, his muscles rippling as he walked, giant mane shaking with power. For a moment, he paused, assessing all the pairs of eyes with followed him. He sat then, and let out a roar, which was so intense that it made the hair on Royce’s arms stand up straight.
“Now, this lion will follow my lead, once I ask him. He will jump through hoops, and understand language.” The ringleader clapped his hands, and a ring of fire appeared after a cloud of smoke. At the crack of a whip, the animal roared again, and jumped through the hoop several times. It was raised, then lowered, another hoop was added, and so forth.
Royce watched the lion, once beautiful and strong, now conformed to easy domestication. His strength was dying with each moment he moved; a victim of all that was cruel in the world it seemed. And the audience, unassuming, and too mesmerized to protest, watched in silence.
Royce looked around, his attentions diverted around with the details of the vast tent. At a corner farthest away from him, he saw her.
He could pick out every detail in her face. She was changed somehow, beautiful and powerful, like the lion before his domestication. She wore a wedding gown that matched her figure and personality with exquisite acuity. She was so stunning it blinded him.
Royce blinked. Rosalie disappeared.
Was he hallucinating in madness at last? It made no sense to see her there; more beautiful than ever before, when he knew her corpse was rotting in the cemetery at the edge of the city.
His eyes wildly scanned the crowd around him, searching for a streak of shining blond hair or ivory skin. But he found none. Everyone was ruddy in comparison to her now.
The circus was refocusing. Extremely slender men and women were walking on air at the top of a ladder, arms and legs swinging and twisting around in a lethal dance five hundred feet above the audience’s heads. Royce stopped the search for Rosalie. He had to forget her, no matter how crazy it would drive him.
An hour passed. He had almost forgotten about her, until she appeared alongside the acrobats, her eyes boring into him. He felt his heart accelerate, and beads of sweat appeared on his neck. The acrobat closest to her began to speak to her. She was there, no mistake or figment of his imagination for sure.
It was then that Royce began to run. But the tent was closed at all exits, tied together with rope fastened too strongly around the canvas flaps for him to loosen.
He watched three members of the circus rush to the ring, and yell, “Everybody stop!”
These words made him press on, and he barreled through the closure, flipping and falling on the wet grass outside. He stood up and sprinted to the direction of the setting sun; the only streak of hope in a bright red sky.
He ran and ran and ran, until he could no longer feel his legs, and his eyes only saw black spots and streaks of orange. There was a field miles away, so far from where he had been, that he collapsed within, exhaustion settling into his bones. He panted, he struggled for breath in the surrounding darkness.
It was all a dream…it must have been a dream…any moment he would wake up and find himself at home in bed, without a care…
“Though I was expecting to scare you, I didn’t know you would run away from me,” murmured a soft musical voice, which held a whisper of recognition.
He opened his eyes and sat up to see her standing two feet away from him. Royce gasped. “Who-who are y-y-y-you?”
When she laughed, it was different; changed somehow, more beautiful than before. “I’m sure you know, Royce. You distinguished me twice in the circus, I know it.”
“Rosalie,” he whispered, fear wild in his eyes.
She smiled rather evilly. “Yes, hello my dear Royce.”
“How have you lived?” he asked.
“Well, I may as well tell you,” she sighed, collapsing upon the ground next to him. “After all, I am going to kill you."
“And how are you more beautiful than ever before?”
“I am a supernatural being now. Immortal, the most beautiful of every woman on the planet, cold as ice, and as intoxicating as a diamond. I lived because another supernatural being created me.”
She hypnotized him in a way she never had before, her strangely tawny eyes keeping him as her own personal prisoner.
“And this supernatural being-?”
“He is like, my father now. He found me near death in the streets after you, William, and Kenneth left me in shambles.”
Royce couldn’t speak.
Rosalie leaned in closer to him, her face inches from his. “I don’t think you’ll ever comprehend how much you destroyed me, my love,” she whispered.
“Shh,” continued Rosalie. She placed her hands on his warm, fragile neck, wrapping around him as though she was to kiss him in the way they always had.
“R-R-Rose,” he stuttered. In response to her cold skin, she felt goosebumps on his neck and watched a shiver grip him violently.
“Just relax, Royce. Everything is going to be fine. I won’t forgive you. But you’ll be all right, I know…”
She kissed his lips, his forehead, his right cheek. He was stunned to the point that he couldn’t move. At last, she leaned to his ear and whispered, “I hope you enjoy hell.”
And she broke his neck in one swift twist of her porcelain hands.