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Down The Rabbit Hole

Summary:
After departing Forks with the rest of the Cullen family, Alice becomes increasingly preoccupied with the information revealed to Bella by James about her life as a human and the vampire who changed her. Told partially through flashback and through present-day (read: during the New Moon time span) events, Down The Rabbit Hole explores the details of how Alice comes to an understanding of her past. "I read that letter, just last week
You were telling me the darkness had taken you
and it had only lasted a week
I don't know where your saviour is...
Check the back room
He's writing the book that describes the end
as you're passing this life

Now I see it: it's a doorway
It's a doorway to my love..."The Streets Fell Into My Window - The Red Paintings


Notes:
This story serves to fill in the gaps between James' revelations and Alice's discovery of her birth name and family. I've often felt Alice and her history were rather skimmed over in the books, and as a huge fan of her character, I felt robbed. After all, if one remains in the state they were in prior to transformation (as per Meyer's statements), and Alice was entirely abandoned without any memories, how did she know even know her name, despite not knowing anything else? My desire is to explain that, while also having fun exploring the relationships within the Cullen family. July 2009: This story has been nominated in two categories for the IndieTwific Awards (theindietwificawards dot com):Best Canon Complete
Best Characterizations (non Edward/Bella) Complete
Thanks for the support, dear readers of the past! If you`ve just come to read for the first time, enjoy and vote!Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author; they merely vacation in my brain now and again. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. This story is a work of fiction and is not based on any actual events. No implications about publicly recognizable places, settings, people etc. are to be made based upon the events of this work.


1. Prologue: Run, Rabbit, Run

Rating 0/5   Word Count 1279   Review this Chapter

Jackson , MS . 1920

"Alice? Alice, please, get up!"

The man whispered urgently, his eyes wide with fear, deep ebony pools set against an impossibly ashen face. His clothes, a simple white shirt and matching slacks, the garb of an orderly, were streaked with dirt and unkempt. He nudged her firmly, but gently, mindful of his strength against her fragile bird-like frame, his cool hands shocking her slightly from her reverie.

"Mmhmm?"

"Alice, it's time to walk. Up we go, now."

Her head lolled side to side, then slumped down against her gown, her ebony locks, jagged from the shears of the groomers, a sharp contrast against the creamy fabric. The man cursed his poor luck as it dawned on him that his Alice would not rise easily: she'd had a shock treatment this morning. She was always near catatonic for days after these affairs, brutal regimens of electrical current sent through her already precarious mind for her 'delusional disorder' and 'hysteria'.

No matter; he would carry her then. It would possibly prove awkward once they'd fled the asylum's gates, but by then, he'd be within the forested areas surrounding the Mississippi shores, and with their cover, he would utilize his unnatural advantages to speed her from the impending harm. It would be the only hope in hell they'd have of escaping him outside, for he would certainly not hold back on his speed and agility. No, the man mused sadly, his thirst for blood was too great, too consuming, for him to allow any sort of head start.

The man knew but one thing: the wolf could not have this lamb. Not her. And no matter how deeply he encouraged the doctors to bury her within the rabbit holes and oubliette-like cells within the dank walls of the asylum, he would find a way in. His was a mind of granite, of firm resolution that could not be swayed or appeased. His taunting notes of the last week had promised that he would obtain that which he coveted, that rare flower that brightened the man's weary days of self-denial, and he would suck her sweet nectar dry in the most obscene manner possible.

The elaborate descriptions of the planned torture and eventual demise of Mary Alice Brandon had given way tonight to a single word scrawled on parchment: SOON. The man knew his time was drawing to a close; he had no choice but to act. His instincts told him that he could not meet the Hunter in battle and win; his nature told him he could not allow his Alice to perish. His only choice remaining, he figured, was to remove her allure by becoming a Hunter himself.

A high-pitched wail sounded from one of the nearby solitary cells, likely from Delia Gates, who wept nightly for the loss of her children, tearing at her own flesh in fits of rage with her fingernails, long cat-like scratches and half-moons creeping across her arms like vines stretching towards the sun. The orderlies would not pay her any mind; those in solitary were considered 'lost souls', not worth the effort of saving. Many, like the petite young woman before him, had families who'd dismissed them so completely that they'd written them off as deceased in various ways, moving forward and forgetting all about their troubled children, husbands, or wives.

It was as if their love simply dried up upon learning that their famiy member or friend would never be the perfect ideal composed in their narrow minds, sketched from societal expectations and selfish desires. It was these patients that the man cherished the most, for he, too, was lost, long forgotten, a footnote in a family bible, a vague memory passed on from generation to generation.

His lithe, muscular body suddenly sprang upright and alert, his auburn locks tumbling across his cheek as his dark eyes glazed over. He could see the Hunter, his smile widening, his sturdy frame assembling a light travelling pack. He would be on the move soon. In his hands, he held a copy of the architectural drawings of the asylum. He studied it, turning the page counter-clockwise, then nodded slightly. His lips moved, speaking aloud: This will be too easy.

The man shook the vision from his mind and stooped down, pulling Alice to her feet easily, his six-foot frame towering over hers easily by a foot or so. As if tending to a child, the daughter he'd never watched grow, he manuevered her arms into the dressing gown he'd purchased from the shop, a flannel gown draping to her ankles, a simple pattern of daises woven into the fabric. Alice murmured slightly, her eyes shut, wide awake and dreaming. Scooping her up into his arms, he cradled her to his cold chest, her head instinctively leaning against him.

"Alice, we're very late," he whispered.

"Oh dear," she sighed, her right hand drawing towards her mouth, her thumb slipping between her parched, thin lips.

The steel door of her cell, a small 8' by 8' room with a straw mattress upon the floor, gave way to a dimly-lit corridor in the bowels of the asylum, the exposed brick lending to a slight musky odour in the basement halls. Listening and glancing each way thrice, the man made his way towards the eastern hall, where the laundry lay, unlocked in preparation for this precise moment. He had twenty minutes before he was expected to return to the main floor, more than adequate time to depart beyond the reach and reproach of the law and the hospital personnel. He only hoped it would be enough to elude and confuse the Hunter.

The click-slap of his shoes along the floor was scarcely noticeable as he moved quickly, a slight breeze rippling through his pants. Were he able to feel it, a bitter cold would be snapping at his legs, but he was always cold now, even on the brightest sunny days, the days he spent indoors reading or sketching the wildlife outside his simple wooden home.

Alice's body shuddered slightly now, and the man took care to not press her too tightly to him, lest his own body temperature bring hers down further. A coincidental shriek from Delia masked the swinging of the laundry door as he shoved his way through, the door slamming shut behind him as he hurried to the open window above the corner sinks. The smell of lye soap was an affront to his acute sense of smell, and for this he moved even quicker, propping Alice's rag-doll frame in the sink as he slithered out into the gardens, his long, pale arms dangling back inside to pull her free.

A vision: the Hunter was nearing the asylum. Perhaps five minutes away now. He moved decisively, cockily, victory assumed to be his.

A scant sprinkling of stars lit the sky, a new moon overhead, as the man easily tossed Alice over his left shoulder. He heard her murmur softly of tea and cakes, and he giggled in spite of the direness of the situation.

"No, no," he whispered gently, "No time for the Mad Hatter's party, tonight, dear Alice. Tonight, we are the rabbits, and to our hole we must go."

"Blood-red jelly and crisps... Crunch, crunch..."

"Soon. But now, we run. Keep your eyes closed, sweet Alice."

"...'S a surprise tea party... Eyes closed, but seeing... Always seeing..."

Whispering a prayer to a God he was no longer sure listened, the man clung tightly to his muse, and ran.