The World According to Kate – Beginnings
My PTB betas are wonderful. Thanks so much, nowforruin and bookgeek80, for taking another look at this after my first round of betas. Much love is sent your way. I'd like to send love to blondieakarobin and Cloudie Day, too. They looked at this and helped make it better. A thank you to Duskwatcher for pushing me to go outside my little comfort zone, too. Big puffy 3 to everyone.
This came in second in the Canon Fodder Challenge Rookie category!
I do not own any of these characters, or the original plot to the Twilight Series. Everything publicly recognizable belongs to their owners. I am doing this only for the pleasure I gain from writing and I am not associated with anyone or anything to do with the Twilight Series. There is no financial benefit, whatsoever, though I may wish there were.
I was asked to write something canon from a lesser known character, so here it is. This is the start of Kate's story.
I know that you've heard much about Edward and Bella, but I'd like to take this opportunity to tell my story. Though Mrs. Meyer interviewed us all, she decided to focus on their story. I can't blame her. The idea of one of our kind falling for a human, especially one that appealed to Edward as Bella had, is extremely interesting. And of course, I cannot help but be grateful to both of them for bringing my love into my too long existence. But there are times when I wish people could know more about all of us—the secondary or tertiary characters in this grand scheme. We all have stories as well. As a result, I have enlisted the help of a writer to attempt to tell my story—let's see how she does with this, the first chapter of my new life. I hope to continue, but only if her work is up to par.
Chapter 1 – The Beginning
My life began many years ago. Too many, in fact. I should no longer be around, but it's funny the way fate intervenes. I barely remember my life as a child, but I do know that it had been fairly uneventful, for the time. My parents were loving in the only way they knew how; times were different and emotions were displayed differently.
A thousand years ago, conditions were often rough, what with wars, famines and diseases. I also know that life in general was difficult; as a human, I had none of the amenities of modern life. Though much of my human days are foggy, I can still feel certain emotions toward my family, especially love, safety and comfort.
I was already an adult when I came into my new life. I'm not quite sure exactly how old I was, as time was not measured the same way it is now. Years did not matter as much—we lived day to day. Though, clearly the passing of time mattered more to me then than it has for the past thousand years. When you don't change, what do years and decades mean?
My mother in this life, Sasha, had found me under dire circumstances. I'd been sleeping in my family's small dwelling when I was awoken by a terrible shriek. I recognized the sound—my sister screaming as loud as her voice would allow. Upon opening my eyes, I was unable to see anything but smoke. I couldn't help the hacking cough that took over my body, shaking me to my core. Somehow the fire had broken free from the constraints of the fireplace and had spread throughout our home.
The memories are blurry and vague but as with most of my human memories, the emotions dominate. I remember the fear that spread throughout my body like poison. As I arose from my sleeping place, I gasped, choking on the putrid air. There was a vile scent permeating the atmosphere, one that I would later find was burning hair. I groped my way through our tiny home, inching toward the exit. A few times, I was stopped by overwhelming smoke or flames in my path. With every second that passed, the nearly crippling fear increased tenfold. The flames licked my skirt and my clothing caught fire as I made my final attempt to leave the house.
When I was finally able to leave the house, the pain began to cut into me, searing my skin. Dropping to the ground and rolling, I tried to extinguish the inferno but my attempts were futile. I wasn't strong enough, and I couldn't gain the necessary momentum to extinguish the blaze that had once been my clothing. As the fire climbed higher, I cried out in agony. Even with the number of agonizing wounds I'd seen return from battle in my short life, never once had I experienced such pain myself. I wondered when it would end, praying for it to just finish. As I lay, I became unable to feel the burn in my feet and lower legs. This should have frightened me, but I knew my end was near and I no longer wished to fight. Once I had resigned myself to death, a strange sense of peace overtook me, and though I still writhed in misery, my mind was calm.
Suddenly, I was wet. It seemed like I was soaked from head to toe, though the lack of feeling in my extremities made it impossible to tell.
"Shhh, my child," a sweet voice sang in my ear. It was hard to concentrate, as I was still burning even though I no longer appeared to be engulfed in flames. "Do you wish to be saved?" the pleasant voice asked.
I thought it an odd question. Of course I wished to be rescued, but how was that possible given the extent of my injuries, and if I was saved, as she put it, what kind of life would I have afterwards? I'd never be normal again—I certainly didn't know how true those words would become. Still, my will to live fought through my misery.
"Y-yes," I choked out, my voice barely making a sound. Somehow she understood.
"I will try, my dear one. I will try."
Instantly, I felt something cold and hard against my shoulder. Pain ripped into my neck, one of the few places where the flames had not reached. After a few seconds, the earlier burning that I had felt in the lower half of my body was joined by a similar blaze filtering from my neck. Had she put out the flames on my legs just to ignite them again somewhere else? I wondered what kind of sick game this woman was playing. The pain intensified as the fire spread, blazing hotter and hotter with each passing second. Within minutes, the intensity had surpassed the burn of the flames from moments before, and it had extended to the entire upper half of my body.
I screamed and cried, begging for mercy, asking the beautifully voiced woman to end the pain, but no relief came. I'm not sure how long I writhed in agony, begging for death, when incredibly the lower half of my body joined the excruciating torture—would it never end? I'm not sure if my screams were boosted by the sweltering agony, but to my ears, they seemed louder.
After an indeterminate period of time—what were hours and days when only pain existed—I began to hear sounds, voices, other than my own anguished screaming. Briefly I wondered if I was losing my mind.
"Why did you do this, mother?" a chiming female voice asked. "What will we do with a newborn?"
"Tanya, draha," a female voice soothed. I recognized it as belonging to the same woman who had offered help before my torment began. "She was dying. There was something about her. I needed to save her. She…"
"She what, Sasha?" the other female, Tanya, asked impetuously.
There was the sound of breath hitching as the voice I recognized forced words. "Sh-she looked so like my Alika. I did for her what I couldn't do for my dear, sweet Alika." I could hear movement of cloth and sharp breaths being drawn unevenly.
"Sasha… Mother." Tanya's voice had become muted, appeasing in a way. "Don't cry. I didn't realize she meant so much to you. She'll be your daughter, my sister. We'll take care of her… teach her… together."
The voices quieted as the fire burned on. I was amazed that the flame never burned out, never weakened. How was it possible that a fire could burn for an eternity without waning?
As time passed, it appeared that my strength was not lessening as I'd expected, but increasing. I wasn't sure how that was possible, and unbelievably, I was able to ponder that fact as my mind had expanded to allow for multiple lines of thought. I remembered my family, my mother and father, my siblings, while also contemplating the strange circumstances I was in, and the searing misery of the fire. There was so much space in my mind that I didn't have the ability to separate one line of thought for another. It was almost impossible to latch onto a single idea, other than the fire, for more than a few seconds.
Another immeasurable amount of time passed and still I burned.
Finally, something changed, and the flames began to recede from my fingertips and toes, leaving a cool comfort in their wake. Slowly, the burning retreated from my hands and feet, my arms and legs, all wicking away to the center of my chest. My heart struggled under the intensifying fire, fighting as the pain there became unbearable. I wondered how long its beat could hold on.
When the fire had all but left my body, and my chest burned with a force I could never fully explain, my heart began beating so fast it almost sounded continuous. After a few unsteady and weak thumps, it stopped completely—miraculously, I was still conscious.
I'd always thought my life would cease when my heart stopped beating, but I never even lost lucidity. In fact, my mind was clearer than it had ever been before. Upon opening my eyes, it seemed that most of my senses had intensified as well.
I heard a cacophony of sound outside, tiny movements and light rhythmic sounds, similar to fast heartbeats. Small animals?
Everything I could see was so much crisper, more defined, like a film or veil had been removed from my eyes. The detail in the wood grain of the trusses was mesmerizing. I'd never seen anything so beautiful, and I gasped at how breathtaking it was. How could I have not noticed it before?
As the air entered my lungs, I was assaulted by a plethora of scents so much stronger than I had ever experienced. There were a few scents nearby that seemed out of place, both floral and vaguely familiar. The sweetness of these smells was almost unnatural, but strangely inviting. I was comforted by the scents, instinctively recognizing them as one of safety, my own kind—though I wasn't sure what my own kind meant at the time.
"Najdrahší," the one called Sasha said from behind me.
The sound of her voice surprised me, and my body reacted in a way that was unfamiliar. In the blink of an eye, I was backed into a corner, a strange warning hiss leaving my mouth. I felt very threatened, and my lips pulled into a fierce snarl of their own volition.
The betrayal of my own body frightened me more than the woman's presence had. What had happened to me? Why wasn't I in control of myself?
"I know it's frightening, najdrahší." As I looked at her, I realized that her beauty far surpassed anything I'd ever seen before, though her burgundy eyes both repelled and attracted me.
"You're fine now," she soothed in a way my mother never had. "The pain has stopped, no?"
I quickly assessed myself. The fire had gone, but my throat now ached, a weakened burn reminiscent of the flames that had consumed me a short time ago. I cringed, holding my hand to my throat—would I never get away from the fire?
"Yes, well, that burn will never go away completely," she said sadly, answering my unspoken question. "But we'll hunt and that'll help to quiet it."
Hunt? Hunting was my father and brothers' strengths. I, as a female, had never been taken along. As a result, that prospect frightened me; I wouldn't know what to do. I'd never held a weapon in my hands, at least not with the intention of killing anything.
"I'm not sure," I said, but the voice that answered was not my own. It sounded similar to mine, but there was a ringing quality, a tone that made it sound almost like I was singing. This alarmed me even more. What had happened to me?
I curled my body into a ball, once again unnerved by how quickly I'd performed the motion. With my hands covering my eyes, I began rocking back and forth, my back still facing the corner. Each movement was faster than humanly possible, and this pushed me farther into despair. What had I become?
With every passing moment, the questions regarding my new life crashed down on me, crushing me more and more. My breathing hitched as I waited for tears to start, but they never came.
"What's wrong with me?" I asked when I had calmed enough to speak clearly. The sound of my voice continued to surprise me, though I realized it wasn't that different from before.
"That's difficult to explain," another equally stunning woman told me. Her hair was light, almost pink, her eyes the same disconcerting ruby. Her voice was calm, but with an edge I couldn't place. "We're the cause for many human nightmares and horror stories but there is no need for you to fear us, now that you're like us."
So, they weren't human—at least she distinguished herself from humans—and apparently, I wasn't anymore, either. Still, this wasn't an answer.
"What are you… we?" I asked as I stood again, my ringing voice high and stressed. "What have you done to me?"
My body had locked down again, into a crouching position, coiled and ready for attack. I could feel rage building in me as I regarded these attractive, yet apparently inhuman women before me. I wanted answers and they weren't coming quick enough.
"Sestra," the strawberry-blonde began in an attempt to placate me.
"I'm not your sister," I snarled. "I've never even seen you before. I have a family of my own. Siblings of my own."
Her face fell and she looked at the ground.
"Actually, you don't," she whispered. "Not anymore. Your human family perished in the fire. My mother, Sasha, saved you and brought you into this life."
"Mother?" I'd heard her use this term before. Looking around, I assumed she was talking about the other woman in the room, but the woman standing next to her couldn't have been more than a few years older.
"Yes, well she's a mother to both of us now. She created us both."
"My mother is dead," I said coldly. "You just told me that."
"Your human mother is dead," the light-haired woman said, reprimanding me. "And, so would you be had it not been for Sasha. How dare you be so insolent to—"
"Tanya," Sasha interrupted, "the girl is young and confused. We must explain her new life to her gently. Aggression will help nothing."
I felt a kinship to this Sasha, pleased that she had stood up for me. I was confused; I'd been dropped into an existence where my senses were overwhelmed, my family was dead, and I was no longer what I had always been. My world had changed completely, rocked on its axis.
"I apologize, child," Tanya said resentfully. "What's your name?"
"Well, Kate, please come and sit next to me." She pointed to the floor near her. "We'll explain everything." Her words were forced, but I appreciated the effort behind them.
It was then that I noticed the fire burning to her left. Though my body had begun to relax minutely, it instantly returned to lockdown mode. That odd hissing sound left my lips again, as I was filled with fear by the threatening flames burning in the fireplace.
"Put it out," Sasha commanded. "It's not as if it's necessary anymore. And she's obviously terrified, especially given all she's been through."
Once the flames were extinguished, my sanity returned.
"I'm so sorry." I was ashamed of my irrational behavior as I looked to the ground. "I don't know why I keep doing these bizarre things."
"You're a newborn. And your last human moments were terrifying. We'll try to ease your transition as much as possible." Tanya still sounded resentful, but she gracefully sank to the floor and then patted the spot next to her. "Come, Kate. Let us explain."
"First can you tell me what you mean by 'Sasha created us both'? I was alive before I met her." I sat next to Tanya, anxiously awaiting the explanation.
The revelation of what I had become wasn't as horrifying as it should have been. After many questions about my new existence, they again initiated the conversation about hunting. The idea of killing a human was repulsive, until I was actually near one.
Tanya had found a man and lured him away from town. I waited restlessly with Sasha while Tanya was gone, but when the human's scent hit my nose, and instinct took over. All that remained was the burn in my throat and the blood that would mute it. I broke from Sasha's grasp, snarling, and raced toward Tanya and the poor individual who was to become the first in a long line of human kills.
As I neared, I growled uncontrollably—that should have frightened me, but all I could think about was the prey before me and the competition near him. I lunged at Tanya, trying to distance her from my meal. She attempted to rush away, but in my youth, I was quicker than her. I grabbed her arm, and she fell lifelessly to the ground, leaving me to attack the hapless man. My mouth went directly to his neck, my teeth ripping through the soft skin, finally reaching the warm, pulsing blood.
I'd never tasted anything so delicious in my entire life. The taste was all I could ever want as it eased the ache in my throat. Even with nothing to compare the flavor to, I was sure it was the most delicious thing I'd ever tasted. I drowned in the euphoria of the ambrosia as it coated my throat. Too soon, the elixir ran out.
"More," I said, pulling away from the corpse. "I need more."
I sat for a moment, trying to pull the taste of food from a prior memory. There was nothing. I could remember names of items, and that I had eaten them, but no particular flavors were present. Through searching, though, I did find one memory that stood out amongst the vague, shadowy strands of thought.
I didn't have a context to place the point in time, but I must have been young. I looked down to the palms of my hands, still pudgy in their youth, and saw red dripping down my index finger. Blood. Immediately, my younger self pulled her finger to her mouth. I remembered thinking that it tasted almost metallic and disgusting, nothing like the perfection I drank moments earlier.
The fluid that had rushed down my throat as I had sucked the life from that man had been like ambrosia from the heavens. No one but a god could have created that perfect liquid. Everything about it was wonderful: its flavor, its temperature, its viscosity. I'd never known pleasure like the experience of it coating and soothing the raw aching burn that had settled in my throat—though I'd learn the other enjoyment human men could provide later on.
Again I begged for more as I looked up to see both Tanya and Sasha staring at me, fear and surprised etched on their faces. I wondered if I'd done something wrong. Was I not supposed to drink from the man? That was what I'd been told, and what my instinct compelled me to do.
"What did I do wrong?" I asked, my need for more blood temporarily erased by the fright displayed in their eyes. Was I failure at this new life?
Sasha shook her head. "Nothing, draha, you've done nothing wrong. It just appears that you have a gift and poor Tanya was on the receiving end."
"Gift?" I asked numbly. "What did I do to her?"
Tanya was still staring at me, but the look was now only angered. I reached out to her but she flinched away. My stomach fell. What had I done?
"Don't touch me," she screamed, sounding resolute. "That's how you did it before."
"What… what did I do?"
"I don't know, exactly," she answered bitterly. "You hurt me. I've never felt pain like that. Not in this life. I didn't think it was possible."
"I hurt you?" Confusion swirled in my thoughts. How could I have hurt her? I barely touched her.
"Yes," she replied her voice rising in irritation. "When you grabbed me, your hands shocked me. Don't touch me again"
I looked at my hands but was unable to see anything there. "I'm sorry." I pulled my hands up to my face and touched myself. Nothing. I touched a nearby plant. Nothing. I tried many times to make this shock that Tanya had described happen again. Still nothing.
I was beginning to doubt her, and becoming increasingly angry with her. Perhaps she had been lying, annoyed that she had to deal with someone she proclaimed to be a newborn. That idea annoyed me even further; I was an adult.
As the anger flooded through my system, a tingling began to pulse through my hands. The more I fumed, the more intense the tingling became, until it was one steady stream, rather than an on/off throbbing. It was magical as it surged throughout my hand… powerful.
At first, this sensation frightened me. I wondered how I was creating such an enchantment; it seemed almost a defensive response. I held my hand out to the leaf of the plant again. This time there was a reaction. The leaf jolted away when I touched it, as did Tanya and Sasha, their eyes widening in fear. I was amazed by the sizzling greenery, unable to look anywhere else.
As wonder for my new talent overtook me, the feeling in my hands decreased and gradually faded away. Again I touched a few things with no reaction. It was amazing, this ability, though I wasn't sure how to control it at first. I spent many years practicing, coming to dominate my talent, rather than having it rule me.
In many ways I was lucky to have this gift. It gave me a way to spend my endless nights and days. Unfortunately, it also separated me from my new family for a while. They were fearful of receiving a shock when I wasn't in control.
For some time I went without any creature's touch other than my victims. I'd never realized how comforting contact with another sentient creature could be. It bothered me for quite a while. After years, I gained the restraint needed, and I was able to hug my mother and sister. The pure joy of their touch was overpowering emotionally, and I sobbed tearlessly as I held them.
While I fought to gain control, though, another sister came to join us. Despite the fact that I was frightened to use it, my talent came in handy, as it was needed to suppress her irrational temper when she awoke.
Thanks for reading.
Draha is Dear
Najdrahší is dearest
Sestra is sister
This will be a multiple chapter story, but first I've got to wrap up one of the other ones I've got going on. I look forward to starting this one. I think it could be so much fun.