All the Twilight characters and main plot belong to Stephenie Meyer.

Rising

2. Waking (Alice, 1920)

Thick darkness was all around me. I was the darkness, it was inside of me.

And then, your face. It burst into my mind like a crystallized sunbeam, perfectly sharp and clear. Your hair, bright blond. Your eyes, dangerous red. And your scars. Oh, your scars. They should've scared me but instead I felt the need to protect you. I saw the pain on your face and I wanted to hold your hand and make it go away.

As quickly as your face arrived in my head, it was gone. I pulled my eyes open and stared up above me. The sky was navy blue and speckled with drops of stars. The moon shone directly down on me and my body was subtly shimmering in its light. I looked at my arm. Icy pale and glowing in the moonlight. My arm was not familiar, yet not unfamiliar either. It just was. I stared at it some more, marveling that it belonged to me.

Then I looked around me, at my surroundings, and wonder turned to fear. I was lying in a dark area with something hard beneath me, but that was not what scared me. What scared me was that I had no idea why I was here or how I came to be here. And then I realized I did not know who I was. I had no memories before the darkness, if you could call the darkness a memory. My only true memory was the face. Jasper, my mind told me, yet I had no idea how I knew that.

I thought about standing up and before I even realized that I was moving my feet were planted on the ground. Moving was easy, quick. Was it supposed to be?

I strained to remember something. Anything that would explain who I was or why I was here. All I knew was that somewhere, there was a man named Jasper. Jasper. The name floated around in my empty head, bouncing throughout my brain, until eventually it collided with another name. Alice. '"Alice," I said aloud, testing the sound. I am Alice. It was comforting, having a name, even if I did not know if it was my own.

Then I spoke aloud the other name, tasting it on my tongue. "Jasper." Inexplicably, my mouth turned up into a smile. I am Alice. I am Alice and he is Jasper.

As I stood there, smiling, I heard something. Footsteps. Drawing nearer. And nearer.

And I realized my throat was burning. Burning like a fire. And the owner of the footsteps drew nearer still.

I slipped into a low feral crouch and suddenly my senses sharpened. My throat burned. Fire. Pain. Blood. My brain no longer guided my body. Nothing guided my body except my body itself. Its needs. Its desires. They were what prompted me to rip off the head. To sink my teeth into the warm throat. Blood gushed into my mouth. Sweet blood. I sucked and sucked until the body was dry and empty. Lifeless.

And then I became me again. I stared down at the human in my hands and silently let it drop to ground. Shakily I drew my hand across my mouth and took a few careful steps back.

What had I done?

I knew I had to get out of there. But I couldn't bring myself to leave. I couldn't draw my eyes away from the human I had just killed. Part of me registered how I thought of the body as a human, as though I was not human. And I wasn't a human. I was… what was I? A murderer? A demon?

That was when I turned and ran, sprinting out of the alley and far, far away. Away from anything that might spark that feral, animal instinct in me again. I ran deep into the forest bordering the edge of the town, until I could no longer smell the sweet human blood.

Then I searched deep within my mind for an explanation. My mind knew everything. It knew that 6 minutes and 23 seconds ago I had awoken from the dark. It knew what pain was, because I had felt pain before I had killed the human. It knew that around me were trees, and the trees together made up a forest.

But it could not explain what had just happened. It could not explain how one moment there had been a beating heart and the next moment I had ripped it out of the fragile body it was encased in. It could not explain why.

If my own mind couldn't tell me what was happening, who could? I remembered the man's face. Jasper can tell me.

And then I was filled with sadness. I didn't who Jasper was.

Maybe I knew him. Maybe he was a memory from before the darkness had erased everything. My mind remembered all 6 minutes and 30 seconds of my new life in excruciating detail. But Jasper's face felt different. Not like a memory. It was more… expectant somehow than a memory. As though I was waiting.

I looked warily around me. Everything was cold and dark, but I had a feeling I was not alone. I inhaled and I could smell something unusual. Not the sweet human scent. And not the repulsing, musky scent that seemed to emanate from the animals around me.

This was a different smell. Intensely sweet and floral, but it did not ignite the fire in my throat like the human's smell had. Curiously, I sniffed my own arm. It smelled quite similar to this sweet floral scent. Did this mean that there was someone else like me? And it was strong, so the person was still near. My mouth widened into a hopeful smile. Maybe this person could explain what was wrong with me. Maybe they could tell me who- or what- I was! I started running towards the smell, the trees whizzing past me. It was getting closer, and closer… I slowed to a walk, not wanted to frighten the person.

There was a clearing far ahead of me and I guessed that that was where the person was. I was just heading towards it. I could just make out a man standing in the clearing. My excitement was so strong. I could feel it bubbling inside me, like I was exploding. The man's head whipped to face mine.

I caught of glimpse of ragged blond hair and an arm covered in scars before he turned on his heel and sprinted away. "Wait! I'm Alice! I know you! Wait for me!" I called, my voice like a bell. But he was gone.

I broke into tearless sobs, my whole body shaking. I was alone and I had no idea where I was, or what I was, or who I was. All I had was a face, a vision of a face that I'd only really seen in my head.

The sun rose but I could not enjoy the beauty of the forest in the early morning. Still, I couldn't stay here moping forever.

An instinct told me not to leave the forest while the sun was shining, so I wandered around the trees, breathing in the intoxicating air. Air should smell like nothing, but instead it smelled like everything. The sharp smell of leaves mingled with the scent of dirt. Even the sky had a smell. I tilted my face up to the clouds and inhaled deeply. Sunlight sifted through the trees and landed on my face. My skin glittered, sending tiny rainbows bouncing around the forest.

Despite my loneliness, despite my despair, I laughed. My laughter was bubbly and unstoppable. I stood there and laughed with joy for hours, until the sun sank below the trees and my skin became flat and colorless again.

I drifted towards the edge of the trees, staring out at the town from where I had come. I wondered if anyone there knew me. After all, that was where I had awoken. Maybe people were looking for me right now, waiting to explain everything!

Bouncing with sudden, uncontrollable excitement, I smoothed my hair, wanting to look good if someone really was there for me. It was such a human action that I laughed again. The motion was familiar even if I could not remember doing it before. For the first time I glanced down at what I was wearing. I had on a straight, knee-length white dress. It was torn in several places- I must have snagged it while running. It was also extremely dirty and covered in the blood of the man I had killed. I immediately stiffened at the memory. If I went into town, how could I be sure that wouldn't happen again?

It was a chance I would have to take. I was filled with certainty that there was someone in that town who could tell me what was going on. Just as I thought that, a picture flashed into my mind, as the image of Jasper had. But that had been a happy picture. And this. Was. Not. Happy. I started shaking at the picture I was seeing. In my head, I was leaning over the frail body of a young girl, my teeth clamped around her neck. My face was covered in blood. When I had finished with her I tossed her body to the side and grabbed another victim.

"STOP, STOP," I screamed out loud, trying to escape the picture in my head. But it wouldn't go away. Only when I was watching me consume my seventh human did I cry, "Alright, I won't go to town, okay, just stop. Please, please stop."

Suddenly my mind was empty again, but the memory of what I had just seen stayed etched in it. I wasn't sure what had made the pictures go away. Had it been my change of decision, or my begging? Either way, I knew I couldn't go to town, or horrible things would happen.

I remembered the faces of all the humans I had killed in my mind. As I thought of them, blurry images fell into my mind. The young girl who I had first seen myself killing was walking awkwardly hand in hand with a boy her age. He said something and she laughed and blushed. One by one I saw the rest of my victims, doing perfectly ordinary things like cooking, singing, sleeping, never knowing how close they had been to death.

Were the pictures in my head real?

Or was I insane? Truthfully, I was probably insane, but that didn't mean they weren't real. These things I saw felt definite, like they were happening as I thought them or were going to happen.

My mouth widened into a grin. I hadn't killed those humans. I hadn't killed them and now they were happy and alive. I didn't have to murder them. It was a choice. And I had made my decision. I laughed again. I had laughed a lot for only being alive for less than a day. The thought made me laugh more.

The tinkling, joyous laughter was just fading from my lips when venom pooled in my mouth. I smelled the human before I saw him. And he was dead before I had time to stop myself.

Suddenly the forest around me disappeared, to be replaced with a group of seven people standing in a white house. I couldn't tell if they were human or like me until and shaft of sunlight broke through a window and their skin sparkled like mine had in the moonlight. Their mouths were moving but I couldn't hear what they were saying. This scene wasn't sharp like his face had been. It was blurry around the edges and the colors were dull. But the people seemed important and I longed to hear what they were saying. I longed to be standing in that room with them, safe and with others who were like me. But then the scene broke and the forest reappeared around me.

And I was still alone. But I felt lonelier than before because I'd glimpsed a family that I desperately wanted to be part of, though I had no idea where they were or how to find them.

The sun shot over the horizon and the sky turned pinky-orange. A new day was beginning. That was when I swore to myself that I would find them. First I would find Jasper, since his face had been clearest. Then I would find the family. I smiled and knew that someday they would be my family. Someday, I would not be alone.

The third day of my life had begun.

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