Disclaimer: Twilight and all related elements © Stephenie Meyer and Little, Brown and Company 2005. All characters and situations—save those created by the author for use solely in this fan fiction—are copyright Stephenie Meyer and are used without permission. No profit is made off this story and is for entertainment purposes only.
A/N: I've reuploaded this story, now that I've worked out a few things I need to resolve. Bits and pieces have changed, but not too badly, I think. Chapter two needs to be edited and then it is done.
Another note: I'm looking for a beta reader for this and another piece I'm doing. I'd really like someone who's a little older (at least 18) and has some experience writing. If you're interested, I'd really like to hear from you. You can write me at ladyrhianon at livejournal dot com.
Biloxi, Mississippi, 1920.
She was in a white place.
It was the brightest place she'd ever been. The ceiling seemed to push down onto her; she'd never felt so crushed beneath the weight of hot, white light as she did now. It ate at her skin, burned her mouth as she inhaled.
She was dizzy and there was a taste on her tongue of copper and sickness that made her feel as if she'd dried up from the inside. She tried to register where she was and moved to sit up but she couldn't stir her hands, her legs, and the whiteness felt as if it was forcing her to lay flush against the bed.
"Please…" she whispered, praying God, let someone hear and turn off the white.
As if God had heard her, a door seemed to materialize from nowhere, opening just a crack.
"Please," she tried again, but it came out cracked and brittle. She twisted fretfully, struggling against the constrictive sheets.
The door swung open, and she heard- felt- someone enter.
"What is it, sweetheart?" The voice was smooth and kind and she tried desperately to open her eyes against the brightness.
It was a man, an older man and somewhere in the back of her mind she knew she'd seen him before, heard him before, because he was as pale as the room around her and the white garments he wore, he blended into the room as if he'd been born there.
"Here," he said, and freed her wrists from the tangled ties that bound them to her bed.
Her hands free and she willed herself to get up- but the rest of her was limp; the exhaustion had become too much to bear.
"Mary Alice," he plied gently, and her eyes fluttered open. Alice.
"How are you today?" He took a seat in a chair near her narrow bed after laying her hands gently by her sides. She looked at him, silently pleading him for- what? She didn't even know.
"Are you feeling better?" he asked, smiling in encouragement, and she looked up into his golden eyes. She tried to form words with her lips but they were dry and hard. Her tongue darted out to lick them, moisten the skin and she tried to rake the dryness out of her throat.
Something flickered across his face, and she watched him hungrily, needily, drinking in the distraction.
"No," he stammered. "You're in- you're not…"
He didn't have to say it. She knew where she was.
"It was a very dull day today," he said reproachfully, as if she had something to do with that. The change of subject seemed vaguely familiar. The cadence of his voice, the way he seemed to melt in and out with the walls. Even his manner had an aura of routine in it. Had he been here before? she could not remember.
Moving towards her with easy, unrestrained freedom, the man lifted her gently from the bed, sat her up. "I think it's going to rain today."
"Why…" Words pushed up, broke free, flew out of her mouth.
He smiled. "Why is it going to rain?" It transformed his face into something beautiful, that smile, something stunning, and she wanted to cling to him, beg him to help her, but the pain in her limbs and fire in her head screamed at her in admonishment.
"It isn't going to rain today," she said dully, her throat cracking the last word. Her voice sounded old, dead even to herself.
The twitch of his mouth could not have been called a smile, but his eyes crinkled. "Maybe tomorrow, then." He turned away, his hands busy as she watched without interest.
"Here," he said, suddenly beside her, forcing a cup to her mouth. Almost automatically she drank, the water splashing against the corners of her mouth as she forced herself to swallow the liquid along with the bitterness that coated her throat.
One of his hands supporting the small of her back, he stood up, hovering over her. "Lie back," he encouraged soothingly, and pushed her down as if she weighed nothing at all. The movement made the room spin, and for a second she felt as if everything was going to crash and collide into itself. She must have made some sound of pain, of fear or protest, because he murmured back some comforting thing that was lost to her ears, so she buried her face into his chest and breathed in the comforting scent of him, the smell of his skin lulling her into almost a drugged state of wonderful, beautiful safety. He gently freed himself from her grip, freeing the tight sheet she'd twisted into a long knot and setting her down. She breathed easier. The brightness still bit at her eyes.
"Better?" he asked, and she knew he felt pleased for helping. He sat back in his little chair, observing her.
"Can…" she asked. Maybe he, somehow, would know how to ease the whiteness before she drowned.
"Can I what?" he prompted.
But she couldn't answer him; the air abruptly felt thick, heavier than it had before and her surroundings seemed to melt against her all at once, a buzzing sounded in her ears and her nose and mouth closed up. She could no longer see the doorway or hear
two came and one left
No, she thought with rising panic and struggled against him and it, not again oh god please no-
and he left with the blood on his hands on his wrists scrambles to get away while he laughs she shrieked , no, no, what are you doing oh god no please god please don't god help me and the door was shut, the door was shut
She forced her eyes open, trying to drown out the images, to focus on anything else, but the fire in her head could not be swayed.
he grabbed her by the waist he grabbed her by the throat and she had tried to pull his hands away and he looked back at the door, the dead room and smiled
"No," she moaned high in her throat so it was more like a whine, gasping as she tried to cover her ears with her hands, but she couldn't push away the vision of the man's smiling face dancing underneath her eyelids.
"Mary Alice? Mary?" he said urgently, moving to restrain her hands.
the movement his hands her body
She screamed and clutched her temples with her hands so tightly the nails bit into skin.
A smell of copper filled her senses and somewhere, the man gasped and swore out loud, shoving himself away from her, she heard the chair squeal in protest but it was all muted in her ears, he would have been a blur if she had noticed and not been screaming- and suddenly, she was free and then they had her by the hands they had her by the legs and again someone clutched her tightly until she was thrust hard into a chair-
"No!" she cried, twisting her head from side to side, trying to shake them off. "Someone help her! She needs someone to open up the doors!" She shut her eyes tightly, willing the vision of the broken body, of blond hair spilled over red blood to leave her.
"Why was she not restrained?" A cold voice in room, cold and low and rough.
"Is it time for another treatment?" Another voice and she heard the man respond, the man who had been beside her, his voice resonating indignantly and then go silent. A door shut and she jerked her hands again with renewed vigor, her eyes themselves forced open against the blinding starkness.
"Please," she begged, and wetness stung her cheekbones and the wounds at her temples. "Someone needs to help her."
Frozen stares, thinner than the brightness looked back at her, they seemed to swallow her whole and find her taste lacking. "Another treatment. Make a notation."
She shut her eyes (her mouth her throat) and wept.