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Before the End

Before the End is the story of Alice before she was changed. It's more informative than it is entertaining, but I enjoyed writing it, so you'll probably enjoy reading it.


1. Precognition

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I hold my head in my hands warily. It had happened again. That feeling, almost like de ja vu, but different somehow. Like it hasn’t happened yet. I see myself, in a room with no doors or windows, with men in white coats surrounding me. The men come and go frequently. It’s horrific, I feel as if I can’t move. There is only one part that doesn’t keep me wincing in horror.

An elderly man comes in often, and talks with me. He tries to explain to me what is happening, but something stops him. Something ghastly. He quickly befriends me, but somehow, our relationship ends in much suffering on my part.

I’m not sure if these feelings I get are prophetic, or just some hallucination brought up from all of the novels I read.

A shock of terror runs up my spine as I remember the details of these reveries, as it always did. Normally, something like this wouldn’t disturb me as much as it does, but the fact that it’s been happening for years is troubling.

The first time it happened, I was twelve years old, walking through the marketplace with Anneli, the girl who lived down the road. She was my best friend. She told me I had stopped dead in the street, my conscious mind far away. I hadn’t woken from my reverie until several minutes later, during which Anneli was miserably frightened and concerned for me.

The feeling was faint that first time. I could only feel as if I was trapped in an unknown place. But over the years it advanced, becoming clearer-and happening more often. I became a hermit, staying in the house for fear of the public eye witnessing these terrifying trances again. I never told anyone about them except my mother until three years ago, when I finally confided in Anneli, on my sixteenth birthday.

I was smugly hopeful; I thought that after all of those years of loyal friendship, nothing would break us apart. But when I told her I thought I was seeing the future, she backed away from me slowly, her eyes wide with fright.

“Witchcraft,” she accused at me in a low mumble, tears springing to her eyes as well as mine. “Witchcraft!” she exclaimed, louder and louder. I felt an impending relief when I realized we were in her bed chambers, away from her family.

More than anything I wanted to convince her that this incredible and mystifying power was far from witchcraft, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I didn’t even know what was happening to me.

In a moment of true generosity, she agreed not to tell a soul as long as I kept a good distance away from her. Fearing this would be the best offer I could possibly receive, I agreed. I could feel the stinging pain of heartbreak deep in my breast.

I never told another person after that day.

My mother tried to understand, but she was so repelled at the idea of her daughter having ‘visions’, that she gave up within two months.

Nobody understood that I needed support during this time more than ever. Obviously something bad was happening, and something even worse was looming before me, taunting me.

Between the aggravation of people not understanding and my loneliness, I felt a deep frustration at this precognition.

What was happening? Was I being possessed by the devil, or was this some gift from the Lord? And what was I predicting?

Now, at age nineteen, I’m seeing the visions more clearly than ever, and more often. Each time the feeling strikes, it’s like there’s a scene from a play flashing beneath my eyelids.

I stare at my reflection in the mirror. It’s sad, how much of my life I’ve wasted. With my extravagant raven curls tumbling past my shoulders, my petite features, and my startling blue eyes, I could have easily found a rich husband and helped my mother pay the bills. It was unbelievable how degrading it was to see my younger sister wed before myself, but a life in hiding doesn’t help with that situation.

But I did come close one time.

Derek Whitlock and I have been betrothed since I was a toddler and he was two and thirty. We grew to be good friends, but when I was ten, he went missing during the night. I haven’t had contact with him since. He was the closest thing I’d had, and most likely ever will have, to a husband.