Disclaimer: All characters belong to Marvel, to the exception of Abigail.
Note: This story is based off the events and characters presented in Wolverine: Origin. However, I've expanded the background stories for three of the book's main characters, namely John Howlett, Elizabeth Howlett and Thomas Logan.
If you have not read the mini-series detailing the true origins of Wolverine, I suggest you do so before reading this story. The wonderful site has got the summaries. Just check the menu for 'Issue Information', then 'Issue Summaries'. Scroll down the alphabetical list until you find 'Origin #1 - 6' and enjoy the reading.
When Two Worlds Collide
3. Elizabeth Howlett
Everything has fallen apart into emptiness, all around me. All I have held dear… The darkness sips into the room with the silent heaviness of death. The smell of blood… it's detestable sight!
Oh, how I've longed to once more feel your arms around me! Your rough face next to mine. Your unrelenting fire consuming us whole. In such times as I fancied your rough passion, your manly strength, I had only to glance around and reach for you. For you always stood near, patiently awaiting me. Never once have you failed me, and yet how well I know…
"Oh, Thomas… What have I done?"
My eyes burn and yet I know there are no tears that will ever quench their fire. I have failed you, my dearest. As I have failed my darling John… Oh, Lord! As I have failed myself! Oh, Thomas! The Lord has punished me terribly for each sinful step I've attempted, and I have brought it all upon those I held closest to my heart.
What have we done, my dearest Thomas? Do you remember how you used to lay your head on my lap, all those years ago? How I used to brush your hair aside, like this? How you'd then take hold of my hand and pull me down to you? Your hand will not come forth and bruise my arm ever again, and yet I swear to you, on our immortal souls… lost forever as they may be. I swear to you, Thomas, that I can feel it closing around my arm, imprinting the shape of your every finger into my flesh… into my very soul!
Do you not feel it, Thomas? The sun is high in the azure sky and it burns my back. My parasol is lying on the grass, somewhere within the maze, and soon we'll be searching for it… how could I return to the house without it? And those scorching bruises your hands have dug into my skin keep my mind aloft as you curse softly. Oh, how my heart would jump and swell at the sound of your voice. Do you know, as you lie there, the pain I've inflicted myself? Never to hear your voice again… Madness! And what for? What for, my Lord! If You strip me from everything, both painful and comforting, I have ever surrounded me of?
Mother calls me. She has been in the Lord's peace for many years since, and yet I hear her voice, singing by my side. Singing those songs her own mother had sung to her. The ship swings calmly to and forth, as we leave our dear Scotland, and you, Mother, you promise me the enchanted world of my childhood's fairy kingdoms. But I am no longer the child who believed them, swinging in your arms, both of us swinging in the arms of the sea.
Your voice has haunted me all my life, darling Mother. Singing softly. "My bonnie lad… my bonnie lad from far away…" I would dare say it ought to have been sung fearfully, but it was not. Travelling in those dreadful boats. How awful it was! The smoke burning our eyes and lungs, confusing our very hearts; the flames sweeping to and fro in tantalizing waves of pain and death. I have sometimes tried to remember the screams of sheer panic and desperation that surely the boat fire provoked. But every time, Mother, it is your voice I hear. Your voice, Mother, and your hands, Thomas.
Oh, what dashing knight you were, in your armour of soot and burns. We were children, then. Silly children. But you were so brave and courageous, and I was a frightened little bird. I shall never forget the strength of your puny arm as it encircled my waist and pulled me over board. Poor Mother… Do you remember how she entreated you to not come back for her, but rather take me to complete safety? How she burdened you with the task of keeping my side at all times, lest an ill intentioned fellow took advantage of me? You swam valiantly, pulling me behind you; kicking those desperate souls who tried to reach us for help. How foolish of me… Forget! If you have never left my side, as Mother besought you.
Even when John would come to see me, I know you were always there. Hating him. Oh, Thomas, yes, I knew. I've always known. But what could I have done? You were so below our station, Thomas! And Father was no different from John's father. Men of their time, they were. But you knew full well, too; you knew we belonged to different worlds. It was I, my dearest, it was I who decided to overlook it. The maze… the one below my maiden bedroom window, not this one you have grown for me. I would attract you there, much with the irrepressible force of the flame that attracts the moth. But you repelled me with indignation. You repelled me first with a sound, knowledgeable pride; then with a hurt pride, still knowledgeable of your station. You repelled me with honesty. But I refused to accept it. And even John! When he came to visit, do you remember how kind he was to all those unfortunate souls in a station below ours? Children of our time, we were. But not you. Never you.
Oh, Thomas, what have I done to us all? Why did I and John fail to see the truth behind our fathers' words? We might have escaped to the little maze behind Father's estate again and again; we might have shut everything out… But we could never, ever escape the truth, independently of how many well-intentioned lies and sinful deceits. I could not live in your world, as you could never live in mine. Our stations estranged us from one another even as our souls and hearts bound us tighter. Oh, what I wouldn't have done if only it weren't so! I! What you would not have done…
Oh, my dearest Thomas! You always had such an honest, passionate heart. John's was kind and soft, true; but you shouldn't blame him for that. No, you mustn't. He's a good, kind husband. It was why I chose him, Thomas. The only man in my station I desired. For he is kind and compassionate. He's a child who lives in a world of humanity and friendliness. He did not have our pain to hide, and thus he never learnt what his old father repeated time after time. And even I…
I have only learnt it through the death of my poor son, my dear little John. Why the Lord punished me with such cruelty is beyond my understanding; but He did. And I knew, Thomas, I knew in my heart, the Lord would once more brand me with his avenging sword should we remain in this house full of sins. My sins, Thomas. As it was I who crossed over…
And alas! The Lord has punished me again. He's taken my only son left and killed him just in the same fashion as he did my dear John. Oh, James! Your death, too, rests upon my shoulders. But all is over, now.
"Poppa? Is that you?"
Wha…? Oh, look, Thomas. Your little boy is still here. I long for my little boys, too. But it is too late… It's too late for us all.
"Who's there? Is someone there? I can't see nuthin'…"
He has not your brass fierceness, Thomas. The poor child trembles and stutters in fear… You were never like that, were you? Fire and death all around you… blood… and you would never once waiver on your path for me. No, you were never like your little boy. But I fear my poor sons were. They were so young, so protected, so happy. Afraid to take on the world and its painful fierceness. My poor sons… If only they had been more like you, Thomas, instead of like me and their father. Kindness and softness has brought nothing but pain and death to this family.
"Don't be scared, boy. Everything's going to be all right."
"Rose…" He's so lost, poor thing. "Izzat you?"
But so are we, Thomas. And weren't we always! The Lord has inspired such wisdom in my bosom on the day He took my son… My sins have been terrible and no punishment has ever erased them from my soul. My pain could not ease the Lord's avenging hand. I knew.
"I knew this would happen, Thomas." I knew. I knew. I knew!
"Oh, Lord… You won't hurt me, will you, Missus? I didn't mean t'do nuthin'… I swear!"
Oh, listen to that child of yours stuttering in excuses! My poor Thomas, why has the Lord punished our children for our sins? But enough! It is time I learn from you. It is time I take action and end this calvary once and for all.
"You gonna hurt me?"
"It's not going to hurt."
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