This is just a short one-shot of what happened during the fire that led to Mr Rochester's blindness and the destruction of Thornfield Manor. Inspired and written in the style of Wide Sargasso Sea- the prequel to Jane Eyre.
Disclaimer: I own neither Jane Eyre nor Wide Sargasso Sea.
The blazing of the fire that was enclosing me was all my smoke-filled eyes were allowed to see; sending me waves of sleepiness and a strange sense of calm. The panic didn't appear any longer; nothing else mattered; not the fumes which flooded my sight or the colossal heat that drowned me. All sound has faded now. The shouting and screaming heard before have gone too, bringing an eerie silence.
The emerald drop flashed across my eyes.
The green was razor-sharp; so immensely bright that I felt it could almost blind you with its shine. I recalled the last time I had seen such colour; the memories; all malignant and spiteful as each one penetrated through every limb of my lifeless body.
A voice broke the silence. Distant. So faint that it didn't even register as a whisper but yet still as clear as a bell. Time had dimmed the memory but I recognised that voice. I remembered that voice. It was the same voice which had haunted my dreams countless times before.
It got closer with each second that passed yet the words of the voice remained inconceivable. I tried to lift my legs, commanding them to come alive and run away from what was to come, except I failed. My disobedient limbs stayed still; numb to any sensation. The panic returned with greater weight.
Her face, my face, their faces all surrounded my sight, blocking me to see if she was stepping closer.
Cold touched my neck, gluing me to my place, as a low gravelly voice breathed: "she loves you so much, so much. She thirsty for you. Love her a little like she say. It's all you can do- a little." Fear was merciful compared to what I was feeling. This was all the lurid and terrorizing dreams combined in one; so vivid and tangible that I dreaded it might be real. This was no longer a nightmare, it was reality.
Muted voices and a soft chanting lingered in the background; suffocating me, taunting me but still I was frozen and couldn't even find my voice to scream; it built up in my chest instead and pushed to be released.
"All you want is to break her up and you did. You did."
Memories still burnt bright, far from the memories of home; Bertha. Her face streaming with tears as her clothes bathed in them. But I felt neither shame nor remorse. She opened her eyes now; her mad eyes that had water welled around them and starred through me but a second later she was gone. Where? I do not know.
The voice returned. No longer the same; it was more familiar. Not the voice that I hadn't heard in almost 20 years but one I had heard recently, the one I had heard today:
"And do you think that I wanted all this? I would give my life to undo it. I would give my eyes never to have to see this abominable place."
The voice was angry; loud and wild. Recovering the memory from the cold dark depths, I identified the voice. It was mine. Mine.
I screamed at comprehension and because of the sudden burning sensation in my head. Fire was blazing my insides ruthlessly. The numbness was gone; my hands came alive and scratched my face to remove it. It only angered the fire further.
"You asked for this." The haunting voice breathed into my ear but instead of the coolness of before, it was an intangible heat that was torturously eroding every fibre of my body.
I screamed once more for mercy. The voice shrilled around me and a cool hand touched my head and momentarily it soothed the pain. I felt movement beside me. My eyes opened to see my rescuer but all it saw was darkness. I tried blinking. Darkness. I tried wiping them. Darkness.
"Sir, you need to stay still. The doctor will be here soon". A familiar voice spoke near my head but I failed to recognize it.
"Where am I?" I choked on the words and had to cough as smoke still filled my mouth.
"John managed to drag you out sir. Mary has run for the doctor, they should arrive any minute now."
"I..I- " I had to pause for a minute-long cough again "I can't.. can't see". I shakily finished in a somewhat pitiful voice and the tone carrying agony. I felt tears pooling in my eyes for the first time in so long. A true man never shows emotion they said, but I was no longer a man. I could cry. I was allowed to cry.
The bitter, autumn breeze left a trace of shivers across my body as it passed and as it did, in my ears it exhaled:
"I would give my eyes never to have to see this abominable place."