Title: Memento Mori
Author: Girl Who Writes
Characters: Alice; Jasper
Word Count: 1842
Genre: AU, Angst
Summary: AU. The first time I saw my death, I was seven years old. Mary-Alice Brandon has always known where she would die.
Notes: And here we are, at the very end. I don't think this is going to end how many people expected it to, but… yes.
I'm very behind in review replies, hopefully I'll get to catch up today. But thank you to everyone who took the time to follow, favourite, read, and review. Now that this is finished, we can return to our regularly schedule Shadow to Light.
Please read the notes at the very end, because there are two possibilities for a potential continuation of this universe, and I'd would very much like to know which one you would prefer to read about!
You can find me on tumblr as lexiewrites or goldeneyedgirl (my twilight-only blog), and I'm happy to chat about all things Twi-fic related.
Disclaimer: Twilight belongs to Stephenie Meyer; I'm just messing around with the characters.
My last conversation with Calista and Dad isn't meaningful, or even pleasant. It was over breakfast, the meal we most often share – I was trying to stretch my slice of toast further, trying not to stare desperately at the eggs Dad had made for himself and Calista for breakfast.
If I wanted it, I had to buy it and cook it myself. Except Calista hated me cooking anything more elaborate than toast in her precious kitchen, and my allowance barely covered necessities like shampoo, tampons, and medications, let alone my own groceries. And I reflected that state of being – my hip bones jutting out from my skin, my flesh dipping in and out of my rib cage. Some days I think I could never stop eating.
Calista was huffing about her workload, and how she needed a break – as if she hadn't gone to Mexico, or scheduled spa weekends with her friends every other week. As if she didn't book her haircuts and beauty appointments monthly, her skin permanently stained a flawless honey colour that didn't come from Forks' feeble sun.
"What do you do exactly?" I asked politely, sipping at a glass of milk, and wishing for caffeine. My one indulgence that neither had commented on, was the jumbo coffee I made myself with their fancy beans, on their shiny chrome machine, and took with me to school. Dad had even bought me a travel coffee mug home from Mexico, with a hideous rainbow flower pattern on it.
"I'm a family psychologist," Calista said, and I froze before I started to laugh.
It wasn't the sort of laugh I could dismiss as an in-joke or something. It was a genuine, hysterical laughter of someone who has been beaten down, who is a little bitter, and may have given up. I couldn't stop it, my eyes welling up in amusement.
This spoilt, demanding woman was paid by people to help them have a happy family life. Probably even by blended families, trying to work out how to fit together. This woman who sulked when I snagged a muffin she had apparently made for only her and my father's consumption. A woman who liked to remind me every time my mother or sister phoned, that they didn't want to speak with me. A woman who played games with me, twisting me up and making me cower whenever I heard her voice.
"Mary-Alice," Dad snapped at me, his voice hard, his cutlery clanking angrily against his plate.
"I'm sorry," I said, between giggles, and Calista shot me a nasty look, snatching my plate – my toast unfinished – from my place, and storming into the kitchen.
My father followed her instantly, leaving me to finish my milk and giggle to myself.
"… It's only til June," I could hear my father saying soothingly.
"She's a brat," Calista's voice was high-pitched, intending for me to hear her insults. "She has no respect…"
I heard some things clatter in the kitchen, and stood up from the table, resisting the urge to snag the untouched bagel-half from my father's plate, to shovel the eggs into my mouth.
Dad came back into the dining room, shaking his head.
"You're a very unpleasant and cruel girl, Mary-Alice," he snapped at me, grabbing his cell-phone, before storming out.
Those were the last words my father ever said to me.
Sometimes, I hope they haunt him.
It is not a remarkable day.
Nothing to warn me, or prepare me.
Nothing to suggest that I won't ever lie in my bed again, won't finish my book, won't hand in my history essay or finish off the pint milk I left in the fridge.
I think it was better that way.
I am running late that last afternoon – I go to the library to return some books, and pick up a new one for my history paper, and end up being forced to help the librarian take boxes to storage since the rain is leaking through the window in her office again.
Jasper Hale is at his locker when I finally get to leave, and his gaze is on me, even when I make a face at the hideous weather outside.
"Do you… do you need a ride?" his voice is low and smooth, and I want to accept his offer. It's a miserable walk home in the cold, but doubly awful in the rain.
"No, it's okay," I said, pulling my hood over my hair. "It's only rain."
"Please, let me," his voice is almost commanding. "It wouldn't be any trouble at all."
"…Okay." I don't really know why I agree, but it's easy. Better than walking through the spring mud and slush. Alarm bells don't even go off in my head. This is mysterious, delicious Jasper Hale. Someone who could have been something to me, in a different time.
He leads me out of the back door of the school, up past the sports field. I know there's a top car park mostly used by teachers somewhere, but I've never been there. My shoes slip on the mud and rocks, and Jasper Hale is walking too fast for me to keep up.
I find myself in a muddy clearing created by massive tree roots, staring out at a carpet of trees, the school quiet behind me. There is no carpark, no road. I think I knew that, honestly.
There is mud covering my shoes, and the rain has paused for a second. My bag is heavy, I'm thirsty, and rain has seeped between my stupid coat and my sweater. Somehow, Jasper Hale is behind me.
I turn to face him; the ride home seems very faraway and unimportant right now, as he stares at me; his eyes are dark – so dark the pupil and sclera are one, almost black. Not the muddy gold I have always associated with him. His face is blank, and for the first time, I feel small. I feel tiny and insignificant and doomed as he looms over me, lean and strong.
Do I wish I had known? I don't know. My heart is pounding so hard my chest hurts, and I can hear my own breathing, short and scared, even as my mind simply says, 'oh'.
I step backwards, and my heel snags on a rock. I gasped, stumbling, and dropping my school bag.
That breaks the trance, and in a second, he has me in his painful grip.
It feels like heaven and hell; it is the first time I've been touched by anyone in so long, even through my sweater and coat, and I feel like I've been released from my bubble, for a split second. But he is gripping me so tightly, I am waiting for the snap of my bones – it hurts.
His hand fisted in my hair, tangling and catching it, as he twisted my head to the side. I suddenly comprehend what is happening, and I realise I'm trembling.
His teeth sink into my throat and I didn't resist, I didn't cry out or protest.
This is how I die.
I just close my eyes and let go.
Jasper Hale did not deserve my hate, my rage. This had been my fate since I was a little girl at a funeral, my destined path.
And what was I? Nothing. I wasn't loved or cared about. My family saw me as a burden, something to be ashamed of. I had no friends, no one who would notice I was missing. I would never be found; it would take a day or two for my father to even notice something was wrong, let alone call the police.
What could they do? I was eighteen, and 'mentally disturbed'. It wouldn't take long for them to write me off; a terrible tragedy. A cautionary story. If I was very lucky, perhaps there would be a memorial page to me in the Forks High yearbook. My legacy would be my mother and sister using my disappearance as fodder for special treatment in their social circles, maybe as the hook for an inane blog.
My only regret was that death was so … slow.
Everyone likes to pretend that dying is peaceful, something you slip into, like the perfect sleep or a bathtub. Warm and reassuring, cosy and safe.
In truth, it is agony. It burns your every cell like acid and in the end, you are willing and grateful for it to just be over. You would beg for the numb, for the peace, for the nothingness.
I felt myself hit the soft earth, the mud slick against my cheek, and I could hear Jasper Hale's panicked breaths. I fell awkwardly across my bag, my science book digging into my side. I could hear footsteps, and there was a spike of hope, that I would be rescued; and then one of horror, that Jasper Hale would kill this witness too.
"Jasper!" The red-headed boy. Not my knight in shining armour; more likely, a co-conspirer. "Jasper, what have you done?"
It's okay, it's okay. It's almost over.
The warm wetness on my throat is drying, flowing slowly. I am cold and hot, all at once. There is conversation, but it is muffled to my ears, and I am frustrated and exhausted; I want this to be over.
Arms gather me up, and there is a strange rushing sound. The air is colder, and it's raining again. There is a dull thump, and then I am dumped inelegantly into my shallow grave, my school bag underneath me, and a mess of mud and leaves spread over me.
I wonder how far from Forks we are.
I wonder how the redheaded boy knew where to find us.
And I wonder what sort of creatures the Hales are.
How many classmates have they hidden away and buried? How many dead girls are forgotten in the forest, covered in mud and never found?
But it doesn't matter.
Today is here, monsters are real, and I am dead.
"… Alone… what were you thinking?!"
"I didn't…it was… just too much."
The knot of pain in my head throbs and bursts; a supernova of light, hot agony, and then, the visions. Oh god, the visions.
It is too much, everything the little white pills hold back washing over me, and I cannot make it stop.
I cannot even scream.
"… poor girl. That poor, innocent girl."
"Carlisle, it was an accident. Nothing you could have done."
"I should have…"
It is endless, and it doesn't even make sense.
Jasper Hale's blood-splattered front; three empty desks in homeroom; the Chief of Police speaking to his daughter gently, who turns out to be Former-Broken-Leg Girl.
My father and Calista going about their lives, never checking my untouched bedroom.
It is fragmented chaos, and it won't stop.
I just want to die.
"We have to leave…"
"Bella… talk to Jacob and... graduation..."
"We'll make it work."
It's okay, it's okay. It's almost over.
Rest in peace, Mary-Alice Brandon.
End Notes: I'm sorry ^_^ That was how I always intended to finish it. I liked the idea that Alice could be dead, or maybe in Jasper and Edward's panic, he didn't quite finish her off.
But I did start messing around with a continuation, so it is up to everyone what they would like to read next: a continuation of this verse, after Jasper kills Alice (which will be uploaded as a part of this story); OR an AU entitled Memento Vivere, which would show what would happen if Alice and Jasper actually got to know each other. And deltagirl74 suggested a Jasper POV, which is a great idea J Let me know which you would prefer to read!
Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it.
Some Story Notes:
- No, Alice was not Jasper's singer. Jasper very much reacted to Alice's intense emotions, most of which were negative (loneliness, depression, fear, hopelessness etc), and the fact that she watched people too closely for the Cullens' comfort. And Jasper would have felt Alice's emotions more intensely because of whom they could have been to each other.
- Carlisle desperately wanted to help Alice, and definitely saw her as a high-risk patient; for both suicide, and in case her father locked her back up in a psych hospital. He did not consider changing her because of the Bella Factor, and because after Rosalie (and Emmett), he swore not to change anyone again. Plus, Alice wasn't actively dying.
- If I continue writing in this universe, there will be fallout with the Wolf Pack regarding Jasper's attack on Alice. The treaty was irrevocably broken, even if Edward and Jasper dumped her body outside of the Quileute's borders.