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Title: Seeking Asylum

Penname: RowanMoon

Pairing: Alice & Jasper

Rating: M for graphic violence

Disclaimer: All characters belong to Stephenie Meyer, no copyright infringement intended.

Summary: Mary Alice Brandon was a child blessed with the Sight but unfortunately not with parents who loved or understood her. She was feared, secluded and eventually abandoned. Some memories are better left in the dark. Written as a one shot chapter entry by RowanMoon for Rebelward Without A Cause, a collection of outtakes from goldenmeadow's Dead Confederates.

Seeking Asylum

by

RowanMoon

Mary Alice Brandon was a ghost between worlds, slipping in and out of the veil of Time. Oblivious to her past and occasionally blinded within her present by the opalescent flickering glances of the future, she skulked along the edges of sanity, belonging nowhere except with him. This she knew her whole life, and even though this knowledge was stolen from her during her cross over to immortality, true love has no boundaries. It only requires patience.

Patience was never granted to Alice in her human life. Nor was compassion. Only fear, suspicion and loneliness.

~/~

Born into a family of moderate social standing in Biloxi, Mississippi, it was disturbingly evident at an early age that she was not a normal child, proving time and time again to be an embarrassment if not a fright to her parents. Her very birth should have held enough portent for her parents to realize that. Mary Alice was never destined be the perfect child that was to be part and parcel of their perfect life.

On a cool October morning, Mr. Brandon was stirred awake by his manservant stating that a murder of crows had infested the local grounds and his assistance was needed to clear this large gathering of birds from the area. Dressing hastily and running downstairs to inspect the situation, the gravelly choir of caws could be heard before he even opened the main door of the house. The black winged beasts were everywhere; amongst the leaf barren trees in ebony clumps, hopping along the ground, crowding upon the roofs of the house and stables. The superstitious servants sibilated amongst themselves on the macabre oddity of this gathering of the ominous birds; some believed it to be a sign of death come knocking upon their masters door.

All morning long the ear-splitting crack and boom of gunfire could be heard throughout the estate, shaking the windows and whipping Mrs. Brandon's nerves into a frenzy. The lady of the house was eight months pregnant and confined to bed rest as it had been a difficult pregnancy, laden with blinding headaches and cramping.

At 11:11, a large monster of a crow beat it's great wings against the picture window of her private chambers, as if it was demanding entrance. Her husband being, an accomplished marksman, shot the foul beast. It exploded, spattering against the window in a gory display of innards, bone and feathers from the rending devastation of buckshot before the delicate young mistress's very eyes. The labor pains began shortly thereafter. So stirred from fright, she let loose with a murderous screech that resounded through the house, pleading for her maid to ring for the doctor immediately.

The pulsing paroxysms of pain during the delivery was beyond anything Mrs. Brandon had ever felt in all of her nineteen years. Her screams permeated every room in the house and even reached outside to mingle with the din of gunfire and the scratchy talons of bird calls. Begging the doctor to just let her die, she was utterly certain that she would come to her end before the bairn was born. The torment of her untold months with child was nothing compared to this bodily torture. The old doctor wiped the sweat from his brow and calmly told the delirious woman that all would be well, that she must quiet herself as fear and hysterics was not conducive to her present condition. With that, she told the doctor to go to straight to hell causing the pedestrian peddler, with his black bag full of noxious vials that did nothing to salve her pain, to chuckle softly to himself, advising the vexed madam that her baby's head was now crowning.

A gasp amongst the attending maids broke amongst the grunts, groans and loose lipped expletives of their mistress when they noticed that the caul was completely covering the child's face. Whispers of this auspicious augury pointing to the child having the power of Sight rippled amongst the women in the room. The doctor frowned at the old wives-tales beating at his ears , clearing the newborn's face of the offending piece of amnion so that it could take it's first gasping breath. With the sound of the child's shrieking squall filling the room, her mother smiled meekly, uttering thanks to the God she had only moments before blasphemed with pain soaked profanities.

A few days later, Mrs. Brandon and her new daughter were called upon by her widowed mother-in-law. Bedecked from head to toe in her stiff, outdated, black Victorian finery, Mrs. Brandon, Sr. was ever the woman in mourning since the passing of her husband twenty years prior. The black taffeta of her long skirt swished against the bassinet, waking wee whey Alice from her slumber. Leaning over to take a closer look at the child, the matriarch turned up her nose in disgust, questioning her daughter-in-law on the conical shape of the child's head and her odd elfish features. The young mother repeated back what the doctor had told her, that the shape of the child's head would go back to normal eventually and was formed as such due to her small birth canal, and that her fine features were a result of being premature. With a "harrumph" and a disdainful sigh, the old witch stated that the child was a Changeling, left by the fairies in place of the pretty baby girl they should have had. As if in direct challenge to the old dame's utterances, Alice bellowed balefully, spewing her mother's breast milk all over her grandmother's blouse. Mrs. Brandon could have sworn her newborn daughter laughed as her mother-in-law left in a disgusted huff. A chill crawled over her body at the thought.

~/~

The onset of Alice's visions were brutal and violent in her early human years. The vessel of her tiny mortal body was too weak to handle the vibrations sent from the infinite outcomes funneling down and projected by a singular choice, extracted from a myriad of impulses. Leaving her frail and weak, the delicate child was prone to spastic seizures and cataclysmic convulsions.

The seizures, before she was verbal, would leave tiny Alice in a terrible, inconsolable state. Crying for hours until her exasperated mother would hand her over to the nursemaid in tears of her own, shutting herself up in her room for days on end. Alice's mother never bonded with the child, harboring much resentment towards her frequent bouts of caterwauling. When Mary Alice began to talk, the anouncements of company before they actually came calling spoken from her cherubic bowed mouth would make her mother faint and her father wonder in bewilderment how she knew such things.

The first time they finally realized beyond a doubt her precognitive ability was upon their return from a trip to New York City. Leaving the child with the nurse, Mr. and Mrs. Brandon enjoyed their time away from the stress of having an abnormal, sickly child. Even though she did not have the bond she always yearned for in her first born daughter, Mrs. Brandon spent an afternoon picking out a new spring wardrobe for little Alice. When it came to the choice of her Easter dress and bonnet, she had a terrible time deciding between two dresses. It came down to what Alice would like herself or what would flatter the child who truly, with her sallow skin and deadened stare, required much help in this area. The townspeople were already full of unpropitious sympathy for the Brandon's and their delicate daughter.

And the Brandon's were much too proud for pity.

As soon as she was old enough to walk, otherworldly Alice would turn in circles with her arms outstretched until she fell on the ground in a heaping swoon. It was one of the few times she laughed freely, giggled abundantly, as a young child should. As her motor skills improved, she tended to prefer dresses that would fan out and move with her during her whirling dervish deviations.

In New York, surrounded by choices, and ideas of what she imagined her diametrically opposite daughter herself would jump up and down, in unlikely feverish excitement, about, Mrs. Brandon considered the selection. There was a lime fresh dress with a flouncy full crinoline that caught her mother's eye, screaming "Alice" to her. Ever conscious of outward appearances, Mrs. Brandon concluded the color would not do at all...it would wash her daughter out and make her look ghoulish. Choosing an understated deep rose dress, she was satisfied that her purchase would do what it could for Alice's pallid complexion. It was about time to put a stop to the child's habitof losing herself in her autistic orbiting so it was decided that it was best not to indulge and enable the child any further in this behavior.

Upon presentation of the new dress to a sullen silent Alice, Mrs. Brandon chastised the child for her indifference and rude ungracious behavior. Alice stomped her tiny foot and crossed her arms in front of her, diffidently, dissonantly declaring,

"Mother, you knew I would have liked the green dress more!"

Alice's mother turned a ghastly of sickness that would rival the dress her daughter had wanted, leaving the room in a flash fire of burning denial and finding within it's ashes acceptance of her daughter's dastardly gift.

~/~

Due to the frequent ferment of her seizures, Alice spent the majority of her childhood inside and under constant supervision. She would ignore the nuisance of the constant hovering presences by doing absorbing independent activities like puzzles, reading or drawing. At the age of twelve Alice devoted hours to drawing and coloring vivid pictures. Her burgeoning talent was incontestable. Mostly they were of very beautiful pale people, always with strange golden eyes. It was the drawings of beings with red eyes that made Mrs. Brandon wring her hands in worry. Two maids quit due to Alice's diresome drawings, both running screaming down the cascading grand staircase and out the front door.

The macabre scenes were shocking in their graphic carnage!

Dead confederates, bathed in blood, some burning within great pyres of fire, others torn to pieces and strewn about like broken dolls. Always at the center of the fray, the same tall, tow-headed man with crescent shaped bite marks all over his body. These drawings disturbed her parents enough to bring it to the attention of the family doctor, for which he prescribed opium along with a diagnosis of acute psychosis.

Months would pass in a drugged out immured haze. Finally Alice began to hide her pills, or spit them out after her mother gave them to her so that she could gain back some lucidity. Falling victim to the seizures again, she suffered in silence as she needed to see the future so that she could garner some control and navigate her way to independence from the wary wardens that were her parents. The sovereignty she craved and would finally gain was shown to her in brilliant snatches in which she would never age. Timeless. Powerful. Deadly. Honored, loved by a beautiful man and his immortal family. Countless scenarios afforded her only one ticket to get there.

Destiny loomed as she punched her ticket for the bus to Hell on the day of her Grandmother's 75th birthday celebration.

Slinking in and out of the crowd like a slight shadow, Alice was a mere specter among them. Mr. and Mrs. Brandon ignored their daughter as they were used to. None of her younger cousins wanted to play with her. They shrunk in fear when she came near them or would skitter to the safety of a nearby adult who would regard Alice with displeasure, chariness then finally, fear. Alice would smile eerily at them and they would avert their eyes quickly to the floor or to the child cowering behind their back.

When an Aunt and Uncle were about to leave she made a huge scene of grabbing their clothing and begging, screaming at them not to leave. A red faced Mr. Brandon had a difficult time pulling his hysterical daughter off of them. Mrs. Brandon fought back tears and held a shaking hand over her mouth in horror. She had sworn she had given the child twice the amount of medication she normally did and wondered if she had built up a tolerance. Alice calmed herself immediately and her father let her go, feeling ashamed he had to manhandle his aberrant daughter in front of his entire family.

Alice seized her chance to address the aghast mute mob and said in a loud voice,"You will remember this and fear me." Turning to her parents she crossed her arms in front of her chest,"So lock me away and get it over with."

Mrs. Brandon sobbed loudly while her sister-in-law soothed her. Alice stalkedto her mother and looked up at her with stormy grey eyes, her perfect ringlets shaking from barely contained rage.

"You don't want me. I was nothing but a disruptive distraction in your perfect life...you never loved me! Admit it! ADMIT IT!!"

Mr. Brandon screamed loudly his face pinched and umber;

"That's ENOUGH Mary Alice Brandon." and pointed stoically to the stairs to her room. Alice laughed maniacally, skipping up the stairs, the echo of her sinister glee reverberating amongst the hush of her astonished family members.

That evening on the way home the aunt and uncle that Alice had singled out were hit by a farm truck hauling a load of chickens. The husband died instantly while the wife remained in a coma for sixty-six days before she died.

Early the next morning Alice was loaded into the car and taken to Jackson State Hospital where her parents washed their hands of her by signing her over as a ward of the State. Frightened but resigned, Alice was comforted with the precognitive knowledge that she would remember nothing of this purgatorywhich was her human life. The electro shock treatments and drug therapy they would give her would rape her soul, stealing her humanity long before she lost it permanently to awaken and be like him.

She knew it was necessary that this mantle of mortality be wasted away from her, shed like skin from a snake in order for her to get to her next level of her existence.

The electroshock therapy began right away to rid the child of her psychotic episodes. Clothed in the stained white johnny shirt issued to her, Alice was lead barefoot down a cold deserted hallway.

Distant screams could be heard that sent chills down the little girls' spine. She wondered if she would scream like that, with no one to hear her that cared enough to comfort her. The first stop was a poorly lit room with a barber's chair and a pudgy tight lipped woman holding a pair of scissors in her hands. Shiny black locks fell to the ground in clumps as she stared absently into the mirror as her femininity fell at her feet. Once the hair was cut as close as it could be to her head, she was shaved with a straight razor and led out into the frigid hall again.

The blue-green gloaming of the mercury vapor lamps added to the foreboding atmosphere as Alice walked towards the end of the memories of what she knew to be her life. She would become a blank slate. Tabula Rasa. Smiling to herself, a flickering form of a spirit in her peripheral vision put its spectral fingers to its lips emitting a low sssssshhhhh that only Alice could see and hear.

Directed silently to a room betwixt two nurses, Alice was faced by a man standing by a large black box with dials and switches. Connected to that was a headset with large pieces of cotton on the ends of it. Lifted on to the metal gurney with a thin scrap of a sheet over it, her muscles contracted against the cold surface and she suppressed a shiver. One of the nurses applied a slimy substance to her forehead and temples. "Conductor for the electrical currents," she was told softly when her furtive glance caught the eyes of one of her attendants. A wide piece of worn, bitten leather was placed unceremoniously in her mouth and she was instructed to bite down on it while her chin was held and pulled back firmly to keep her from hurting herself. Dying beneath a desperate moment of fear, Alice involuntarily emptied her bladder. No one made a move to clean her mess, ignoring the prone, trembling waif they were looming over as they set about their tasks.

She was embarrassed.

Horrified!

Quivering with dread of the pain to come.

The man at the black box flipped three switches. At the first one she felt a slight tingle at her temporal lobes. The second one buzzed stinging dry fire of electricity along her whole body. The third one forced her back into a spastic high arch right up off the steel slab that was her soul's death bed. Bright blinding visions of her Mephistophelian angelic blonde man filled every crack in the snapping, strobing remnants of her conscience. The leather strap fell from her mouth as she screamed,

"JASPER!"

Alice's world exploded into a brilliant burst of white light then plunged into darknesswhen the switches were cut and the red needle had buried itself into inertness. Shot full of enough opium to bring down a three hundred pound man she was placidly wheeled to her room, and tucked into her cot. A nurse checked her vitals every two hours.

When Alice finally awoke three days later, she remembered nothing. The oncoming days bled into each other with ceaseless monotony; fraught with fear and confusion within the colorless dank existence that was her room, the drugged-out tedious haze that was her day and the cold pusillanimous nights that were her lonely, personal hell.

All the while, she felt eyes watching her. Her prayers were full of pleas for her predator to remove her from this place. Surely anything could be better than this?

Thank you to goldenmeadow for allowing me the opportunity to write this outtake for her and play around with Alice's dismal past. Make sure to check out goldenmeadow's amazing, sultry, southern fic Dead Confederates and the collection of outtakes written by her and other guest authors entitled Rebelward Without a Cause.