*I am currently (as of 2/02/2013) looking for someone who would be willing to Beta different (mostly) one-shots dealing with the Chronicles of Narnia. Updates are definitely going to be sporadic, maybe even non-existent sometimes, but I am just looking for someone who can be available whenever. PM me if you're interested! Thanks!*
Hello, all! I know this has been done before, but whatever. You might want to read it, you might not; I just got the idea, and I needed it written down =). Pretty much, it is the telling of the movie from the perspectives of different people. Obviously, it'll be mostly from Anya's, but I might try for Dimitri or Vlad... I might even do something from Rasputin's point of view... though that's a very tentative "maybe," as I've always been creeped out by the concept of Rasputin... but it might be interesting. We'll see!
This is the prologue; it wasn't really in the movie, but I've always wondered how the little girl would have been found.
Prologue: Waking Up
After the siege of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, an attack known today as the Bolshevik Revolution, the family of the Czar Nicholas Romanov II was brutally murdered. There were no survivors. Or so the government had said... but when the bodies were counted, there were two from the family missing- the Czar's youngest children, Anastasia and Alexei. There have been rumors spread that Nicholas' youngest daughter had actually survived...
The first thing I noticed when I woke up was that my head hurt. No, that was an understatement. It didn't hurt; it was excruciating. It felt as if there were a thousand angry horses thundering through my skull, threatening to drown me in a sea of frightened eyes and pounding hooves. I squeezed my eyelids tighter and covered my ears, hoping to rid myself of the pain. Nothing worked. Laced under the malevolent storm in my own mind, there were noises that I vaguely recognized: footsteps, voices. People.
I opened my eyes, but I had to shut them almost instantly. It was so bright! Why was it so bright? The light was blinding me!
As I lay on the alternating boards and hard ground, I began to feel something else: cold. I was shivering so violently that my whole body ached. I knew that I needed to get up, go find somewhere to get warm. I took a deep breath and opened my eyes once more, slowly this time. The light still hurt, but I was prepared, so it wasn't quite so bad. I realized why it has seemed so bright: there was snow everywhere. The sun was made ten times more potent because its light was reflecting off of the snow.
I pushed my arms under me and forced myself to sit up, despite the protests that my sore, stiff limbs sent me. Where was I? I tried to remember. I had the faintest impression that I had been scared before, but of what? Had there been someone after me?
"You there!" I cringed at the loudness and the closeness of the voice. I turned slowly to stare up at the silhouette of a man towering above me. "Where are your parents, kid?"
"I..." I scrunched my face up, trying to understand what was being asked of me. Parents? Where were my parents? I attempted to figure out how I came to be lying on the ground in the snow, but I couldn't remember what had happened before my waking up. I tried harder, but was only met with a wall of fear. I shrank away from the barrier, unwilling to dig any deeper. Returning to my surroundings, I blinked and said, "I don't know..." The man sighed impatiently.
"Well, where do you live?" he asked.
"I don't know..." Once again, my mental searching was blocked. What was happening? Why couldn't I remember anything? I heard the man say something under his breath, then he turned his attention back to me.
"What is your name, girl?" he asked harshly. I squinted harder, trying to remember. Surely I knew my own name! What was it?
"I... I don't know!" I sobbed. "I c-can't re-rem-remember!" Tears began to flow; it became hard to breathe. The man crossed his arms over his chest, unbelieving.
"Don't lie to me, girl," he ordered. His voice felt like a knife in my ears. I understood how hard it would be to believe me, but tne knowledge only made me cry harder.
"I-I'm n-n-not!" I tried to speak more, but I couldn't. While I had started crying because I didn't know anything about where I came from- not even my own name!- I was now completely overcome with a feeling that had been creeping upon me since I awoke.
It was grief.
I felt as if I had lost something, something so close and dear to me that it seemed an abomination that I couldn't remember what it was. What had happened? Why was I here, on the street, surrounded by people whose names I would never know? What could I have lost that hurt so badly?
I don't know how long I sat there, bawling at the feet of the unknown man. It could have been hours, or it could have been mere moments; I think that it was the latter, because, looking back now, I see that the man was neither long-suffering nor caring. Eventually, he stomped his foot and ordered me to follow him. I didn't really have any other options, so I simply did as I was told.
As we walked through the dirty streets of St. Petersburg, I longed for someone to hold me. On several occasions, I nearly reached up for the man's hand, but each time he turned to glare down at me, and I would drop my arm, as well as my tearful gaze. In this fashion, he led me to a large building not too far from where I was found.
"Ah, Balakirevic!" I looked up, surprised, when the man leading me greeted one of the men in the building. He sounded so different from when he was speaking to me!
"Bakovsky, man, how are you?" The other man, who was apparently called Balakirevic, shook Bakovsky's hand heartily. "What have you got this time?" Bakovsky turned and grabbed my arm, pulling me to stand in front of him. I tried not to let the large man hear my sob; his vice-like grip hurt almost as much as his nearly yanking my arm out of socket.
"She wouldn't tell me anything. Couldn't even get a name. Says she doesn't know who she is." Balakirevic turned his eyes on me, taking in my oversized coat, my frazzled hair, my bloodshot eyes... he smirked.
"Probably just another orphan whose parents were killed in last night. We'll send her to the People's Orphanage. Comrade Plegmenkoff will know what to do with her." I blinked, trying to understand what these men were saying. An orphanage? I was an orphan? No, that couldn't be! Orphans were people whose parents had... no!
"What about a name?" Bakovsky asked. Balakirevic shrugged.
"She'll get one at the Orphanage. There's a truck out back headed to the Fisherman's Village, We'll put her on it, the driver can just drop her off on the way." Bakovsky nodded and, dragging me behind him roughly, turned to take me to the back.
"Let go! You're hurting me, please let go!" I pleaded, vainly attempting to pry his fingers off of my forearm. I instinctively dug my heels into the marble floor, though it did little to stop Bakovsky. He glared at me, intending to scare me into obedience. But I didn't want to go with him. I didn't like the way he was hurting me, and I wasn't about to let him send me away to some orphanage. I wasn't an orphan. It wasn't possible!
When his angry jerking didn't stop my struggling, Bakovsky knelt so that he was at my eye level, and forced me to face him. His voice became low and dangerous as he said, "Now look here, Missy. You'll do as you're told to, and go where you are told to go, and you'll do it without making a fuss. If I get another word out of you that isn't 'yes, sir,' I swear you will wish you'd never crossed me. Do you understand?"
This was the last straw. I glared at him, determined not to be intimidated by this man. My instinct was to spit into the man's face, but I didn't want to push my boundaries too far. Instead, I remained silent, neither giving in nor pushing further. Bakovsky growled and shook me, but to no avail. I would not budge.
"Answer me, you little brat!" he shouted, shaking me all the harder. My pride would not allow me to spill the tears threatening to spill out of my eyes, nor would it allow me to submit to Bakovsky's bullying. So I remained silent. The tears did not come; they would not have helped.
Though I should have, I did not anticipate the stinging on my face, nor the force that knocked me to the floor. I couldn't restrain the surprised cry that tore from my lips when I saw his hand retreating; not even my monumental pride could cage the tears that followed. While my cheek did hurt, I think it was my pride that was most seriously injured. To this day, my pride gets me into trouble that I cannot always get out of. I don't know from whence this hubris came, but even my eight-year-old heart would not condone any weakness. So my tears were the product of shame, hated shame to which I could not believe I was being subjected.
"Come on," Bakovsky ordered. He pulled me to my feet and shoved me forward. I walked the rest of the way in silence, flinching whenever I saw Bakovsky's hand in my periphery. In this manner, we approached an old truck that looked as if it would fall apart at the slightest touch.
"Oi, driver!" Bakovsky called. An old man looked up from where he stood in front of the radiator. "You headed to the Fisherman's Village?"
"Aye," the driver replied. His voice was rough and low, a product of having been surrounded by the smoky fish factories all his life. "What do you want?"
"Got a girl here who needs to go to the People's Orphanage. Balakirevic said you'd give her a ride." Balakirevic's name must have ring some kind of bell for the old driver, for he immediately straightened up and nodded.
"Aye, if Balakirevic sent you, I'll take her. It's on the way." I didn't speak through the exchange, but I did recoil when Bakovsky reached toward me.
"Thank you, sir," I said to the old man. I kept my eyes on Bakovsky, making sure to maintain a safe distance between him and myself. I wasn't keen on getting hit again, and I didn't know just how annoyed with me the man was. I backed away until I hit the side of the truck.
"Climb on up into the back, girl," the driver said. "We'll leave as soon as I get this damned radiator cranked up."