This is my very first Anne with an E fic so I apologize for any oocness. I changed the timeline so that this scene happened later than it originally did in the tv series so that Gilbert would be here. Yay! I rated it T for mentions of death and very, very slight violence. Also, if anyone knows the real names of Billy Andrews two friends, please let me know so I can fix it. Also parts of it, like the beginning are heavily based off the book but other than that I am happy to say this plot belongs to me but sadly Anne with an E does not.
"Oh, you just must be Elaine, Anne!" Diana exclaimed, "You're so brave and I could never have the courage to float down the pond like that."
"Nor could I." Ruby Gillis agreed with a visable shiver. "I don't mind one bit floating down when we are together, two or three of us while sitting up. Its fun then. But if I were to lie down and pretend I were dead, I might really die of fright!"
"Of course it would be so romantic," conceded Jane Andrews, "But I wouldn't be able to keep still. I'd be popping up every so often to see where I was and If I was drifting too far out, it would spoil the effect!"
"But it's so ridiculous to have a redheaded Elaine," mourned Anne. "I'm not afraid to float down and I'd love to be Elaine. But it's ridiculous just the same. Ruby ought to be Elaine because she is so fair and has such lovely long golden hair- Elaine had all her bright hair streaming down,' you know. And Elaine was the lily maid. Now, a red-haired person cannot be a lily maid."
"Your complexion is just as fair as Ruby's," said Diana earnestly, "and your hair is ever so much darker than it used to be before you cut it."
"Oh, do you really think so?" exclaimed Anne, flushing sensitively with delight. "I've sometimes thought it was myself-but I never dared to ask anyone for fear she would tell me it wasn't. Do you think it could be called auburn now, Diana?"
"Yes, and I think it is real pretty." said Diana, looking admiringly at the short, silky curls that clustered over Anne's head and were held in place by a very small blue velvet ribbon and bow.
They were standing on the bank of the pond, below Orchard Slope- Diana's home, where a little headland fringed with birches ran out from the bank; at its tip was a small wooden platform built out into the water for the convenience of fishermen and duck hunters. Ruby and Jane were spending the midspring afternoon with Diana, and Anne had come over to play with them.
It was Anne's idea that they dramatize Elaine. They had studied Tennyson's poem in school the preceding winter, the Superintendent of Education having prescribed it in the English course for the Prince Edward Island schools. They had analyzed and parsed it and torn it to pieces in general until it was a wonder there was any meaning at all left in it for them, but at least the fair lily maid and Lancelot and Guinevere and King Arthur had become very real people to them, and Anne was devoured by secret regret that she had not been born in Camelot. Those days, she said, were so much more romantic than the present.
Anne's plan was hailed with enthusiasm. The girls had discovered that if the flat were pushed off from the landing place it would drift down with the current under the bridge and finally strand itself on another headland lower down which ran out at a curve in the pond. They had often gone down like this and nothing could be more convenient for playing Elaine.
"Well, I'll be Elaine," said Anne, yielding reluctantly, for, although she would have been delighted to play the principal character, yet her artistic sense demanded fitness for it and this, she felt, her limitations made impossible. "Ruby, you must be King Arthur and Jane will be Guinevere and Diana must be Lancelot. But first you must be the brothers and the father. We can't have the old dumb servitor because there isn't room for two in the flat when one is lying down. We must pall the barge all its length in blackest samite. That old black shawl of your mother's will be just the thing, Diana."
The black shawl having been procured, Anne spread it over the flat and then lay down on the bottom, with closed eyes and hands folded over her breast.
"Oh, she does look really dead," whispered Ruby Gillis nervously, watching the still, white little face under the flickering shadows of the birches. "It makes me feel frightened, girls. Do you suppose it's really right to act like this? Mrs. Lynde says that all play-acting is abominably wicked."
"Ruby, you shouldn't talk about Mrs. Lynde," said Anne severely. "It spoils the effect because this is hundreds of years before Mrs. Lynde was born. Jane, you arrange this. It's silly for Elaine to be talking when she's dead."
Jane rose to the occasion. Cloth of gold for coverlet there was none, but an old piano scarf of yellow Japanese crepe was an excellent substitute. A white lily was not obtainable just then, but the effect of a tall daisy placed in one of Anne's folded hands was all that could be desired.
"Now, she's all ready," said Jane. "We must kiss her quiet brows and, Diana, you say, Sister, farewell forever,' and Ruby, you say, Farewell, sweet sister,' both of you as sorrowfully as you possibly can. Anne, for goodness sake smile a little. You know Elaine lay as though she smiled.' That's better. Now push the flat off."
The flat was accordingly pushed off, scraping roughly over an old embedded stake in the process. Diana and Jane and Ruby only waited long enough to see it caught in the current and headed for the bridge before scampering up through the woods, across the road, and down to the lower headland where, as Lancelot and Guinevere and the King, they were to be in readiness to receive the lily maid.
Little did they know the lily maid would never make it.
A little ways down the path in the forest beside Orchard Slope - unbeknownst to a certain redheaded lily maid, a group of three boys came storming down the lane like a bunch of wild horses.
It was the beginning of Spring break for Billy Andrews and the rest of the school, and what better way to spend two weeks than with his two buddies; Elijah and Fletcher. Also, if they were out, there would be no one to drag them into some boring farm work.
Billy, Eli and Fletch all shared two common(favorite) hobbies- they all loved to hunt( more like run amoungst the forest looking for something that they think would be fun to destroy) and tease the girls in class, and since it was break, there was only one left to chose from. Or so they thought.
They were laughing aloud, and shoving each other around when they came to the bank of Barry's pond. On any other day they would most usually walk right past it and carry on what they were doing, but this was not any other day.
Something floating down the pond caught Billy's attention. Why it looked like Mr Barry's flat! Except there was no one in it.
Billy clapped his hand on Fletch's shoulder and pointed out in the pond.
"Hey, do you see that? Mr Barry's flat is floating off empty!" his lips curled up in an amused grin as he watched it slowly float down the pond.
Fletch blocked the sun from his eyes and looked hard. A flashed of red caught his eye and an even bigger grin spread across his face like a wolf that just found its prey. "It's not empty at all! Don't you see it's that dirty orphan! She's so strange, why she lay as if she's sleeping?!"
"Finally sleeping outside like the dog she is." Billy said, an amused smirk on his face.
"But why would she be sleeping on the flat in the middle of the pond?" Eli asked, slow to catch on to what they were saying.
Both of the boys turn to look at Eli with an incredulous look. "She's a stray mutt who doesn't know any better." said Fletch with a look of disgust.
Billy dropped down and plucked a small stone from the ground and turned it over in his hands. His eyes flicked up to where the flat seemed to stop and just float in place and an idea popped into his head.
"Why don't we take Fido for a swim, hmm boys?" Billy stated more than asked. Then without warning he swung his arm and tossed the stone where it landed with a plunk into the flat.
The plunk of a stone on the flat was what caught Anne's attention first. Her eyes snapped open and her head darted up to look at her surroundings. There was nothing out of the ordinary except for the stone that should have had no way on to the flat unless someone were to have thrown it.
"Hello?" Anne called.
There was no response.
"Is someone there?" she tried again.
This time, another stone flew into the flat.
"Gil, if that's you... I swear-"
But before Anne could finish, three figures popped out from behind the bushes and trees of the forest. It was Billy, Fletch and Eli.
"Well, well, well, if it isn't Fido." Billy drawls. "Sleeping outside like the bad dog you are I see."
Anne shoots up from her sitting position and stands on the flat. She didn't know where she got it, but she felt a sudden surge of courage. She wasnt going to let Billy walk all over her anymore.
Just then, another, bigger stone landed on the flat.
"I wasn't sleeping, and my name is Anne thank you very much." Anne said in her most dignified voice, with her chin held high. "Now I thank you to leave me be." then Anne crouched over the side of the flat, using her hand as an oar to get the flat moving again since she noticed it was no longer being pulled by the current.
She was not giving them the satisfaction of knowing they got to her, she wouldn't look at them. No, because if she did, they would see the big fat tears in the corners of her eyes.
Anne was just starting to believe they left when Billy yelled: "Fire!" and stones flew at her as if it started to rain.
They were small, not enough to do any long lasting harm or damage, but it was terrifying nonetheless.
"Billy Andrew, you ought be be horse whipped!" Anne screamed and stomped one of her feet. Just then another stone hit her hand as she slipped on the stones and water leaking in below her feet causing her to loose her balance.
Anne fell backwards into the murky pond water below.
Gilbert was just walking on the road past Barry's pond holding a sack over his shoulder when he saw a girl standing on a flat in the middle of the pond. Her red hair looked like fire with the sun shinning down on it and he immediately knew who it was.
What in the world was Anne Shirley-Cuthbert doing standing on a flat in the middle of a pond?
Gilbert could not stop the amused smile that played on his lips nor the chuckle that escaped his throat.
"Anne!" he called, waving. Anne did not look back. He was quite a ways away, it was not a big surprise that she couldnt hear him. His feet automatically started towards Barry's pond. Now that Anne was speaking to him and they were friends, he found himself wanting to be around her every moment he could. The thought caused another voice to ring through his head and disrupt his train of thought. "Just tell the girl you like her, Blythe. Its painful to watch you pine over her." Oh Bash. When he said it there was a tone of seriousness but mostly teasing with that annoying smirk of his.
Gilbert shook his head and pushed all thoughts of Bash and his nagging out of his head. He was not pining over Anne. It was very perfectly normal to want to be around a close friend. Perfectly normal.
He was just close enough to head a small scream as she crouched down and covered her head.
He stopped for a moment and the dreamy smile immediately fell from his face.
"Hey, Anne!" Gilbert called again.
Anne stood again and Gilbert thought she had heard him but instead of turning around, she screamed "Billy Andrews you ought to be horse whipped!"
Anne stomped her foot, and Gilbert was close enough to see some water splash from the flat, then, without any warning Anne fell backwards and landed with a splash in the water.
Gilbert made a mad dash down the field.
Billy watched as the flat sprang a leak and Anne tumble backwards, his, Eli and Fletch's laughter rang loudly throughout the forest. Why she was not nearly as smart as everyone believed she was if she caused the flat to spring a leak without noticing.
Anne came up out of the water coughing and sputtering water while trying to reach the flat. "Help!"
"What? Can't swim Fido?" Billy cackles.
Her hand movement only managed to push it further and the only momentum she had was lost and she went under again.
As the seconds tick by and Anne fails to surface again the boys laughter die down as they stare at the pond. There is no way that orphan doesn't know how to swim. She shouldn't be going out on the pond alone if she can't. She's just trying to trick him. Yes. That was it.
Billy stared at the pond longer. She has to come up sometime, or she will run out of breath.
"Billy?" Eli asks.
"Quiet!" Billy silences him. "She's just trying to trick us."
The pond has gone completely still with not a ripple or bubble to be seen. Everything is eerily quiet. until,
"Anne!" They hear a voice. Billy whips his head up to the opposite side of the pond bank to see Gilbert Blythe sprinting down the field.
The one voice breaks them out of the spell and without a word, they turn and high tail it out of there, and not once did they look back.
"Anne! Oh, Anne, where are you?"
Gilbert stood at the edge of the pond, his eyes quickly scan over the water and nothing gives him any sign of her. She went under, and she never came back up. His heart is pounding in his chest, his breath catching in his throat and there is a panic rising in his head.
"Anne!" He screams
Gilbert long since dropped his sack so his hands are empty and without any thought he threw him self into the water.
The water is dark. Dark and cold. Anne could not see anything except for the light shinning in from above her. Her hand reaches, reaches for the top but everything is futile. She is stuck, with no way up. Her foot is caught in the weeds at the bottom. Tangled with no hope of loosening. Not that it would matter. Not that it would matter if she didn't even have anything heavy like her boots or dress weighing her down. She can't swim either way.
Though she doesn't give up. Swimming can't be that hard, once she gets her boot free she could try. It couldn't be much different from rowing the oar of a boat.
At least that's what she tries to tell herself. Her whole body has frozen up from the fear. Last time something like this happened, Matthew had been there to pull her from the depths and he came so quickly she had had no time for fear to overcome her excitement. It was different now. She was not excited and Matthew was not here. She was alone. No one to help her. She had called for help, but Billy and his friends had only laughed. Were they so wicked that they would let her drown on their watch? Did they really hate her so bad they would leave her to die? Was she really that worthless? Her lungs really were starting to burn.
The last of her breath slipped from her lips as she choked on a sob. Anne immediately regretted letting her mind slip in such a place she would forget to keep her breath and it was none other than her own fault.
Anne felt herself slipping, her consciousness fading in and out like waves crashing against the shore.
That's what she felt. The water was rocking against her like ripples. It felt so real, but she knew she was only imaging it. Billy, Eli and Fletch would not come to her rescue and no one else was around. She was drowning alone and no one would even know. She felt sure the boys wouldn't dare to speak a word of it to anyone.
The rocking waves lulled Anne into a deep sleep, only it wasn't sleep and she wasn't quite sure of it. But it was peaceful like, the burning in her lungs didn't seem to hurt so much anymore. She felt warm around her waist and wrist and she felt more safe than she had before, and she knew not why.
Anne Shirley-Cuthbert died drowning in a pond. Not a very romantic way to die, but with her mind fuzzy, she found she didn't quite care.
The flat drifted under the bridge and then promptly sank in midstream. Ruby, Jane, and Diana, already awaiting it on the lower headland, saw it disappear before their very eyes and had not a doubt but that Anne had gone down with it. For a moment they stood still, white as sheets, frozen with horror at the tragedy; then, shrieking at the tops of their voices, they started on a frantic run up through the woods, never pausing as they crossed the main road to Green Gables.
Gilbert practically dragged Anne up the side of the pond bank by her wrists to flat ground. Her fiery red hair looked a dull orangish brown and not its usual bright red, her usual pink lips were purple and her fair skin looked ghostly white. Bile rose up in his throat and his heart hammered harder in his chest, even tears started to flood his eyes. The sight was sickening, sickening because he had seen one similar not long before. It reminded him of something he didnt want to remember. She reminded him of how his father had looked when he was dead.
"Anne! Help! Somebody help!" Gilbert called, panic clear in his voice. His hands hovered over her body not knowing what to do. He wanted to become a doctor, he was studying for it, he even had a mentor, yet he had no idea what to do and that terrified him. "Anne, wake up! Anne!"
He shook her shoulders,
"Oh, God! What do I do?"
His mind was running a mile a minute as he racked his brain for ideas to help when he remembered a few things Bash had told him to react to sudden 'death'.
Abdomen presses. Lower the victims head lower than their legs. Stimulate the body: tickle the throat. Mouth to mouth for air.
Gilbert placed his hands on her lower stomach and pushed. Then again, and again.
"Come on Anne! Please!" His voice cracked, "Please, Anne!"
He knew he shouldn't panic, panicking never solved anything, but he couldn't help it. She wasn't responding to anything. "Stop panicking!" he berated himself
The tears he tried to hold in spilt down his cheeks in fat drops. "Anne!" and if anyone ever heard that sound, even someone who barely knew him would say it was the most heartbreaking sound he ever made. Some may even call it pathetic, but that mattered nothing to Gilbert.
Gilbert barely cried when his father died. it was the worst possible day of his life, but there was a difference then and now; he had a warning before hand with his father, he knew he had been sick and wasn't getting any better even if he hoped upon hoped his father would recover, he still had time for it to sink in that his father may never recover.
Everything was different with Anne. This was sudden. They had only just become friends and he had only just admitted to himself he was in love with her. He had no time to think about what it would be like if she was gone forever, what it would feel like? Nothing of the sort even crossed his mind.
But in this moment as she is slipping right through his fingers, he cannot imagine living in this world without Anne Shirley. He knew he loved her, and not a puppy love sort of way. He loved her in a way he never loved anybody else. And now she would leave the world without ever knowing how he felt about her. At least with his father, he knew how Gilbert loved him.
"Anne! Come on! Come on! Come on! Please stay with me! I need you!" Gilbert cried, "Don't go!" Tears were now streaming down his cheeks like a waterfall, he hadn't cried like this in a very very long time. His nose began to plug up leaving only his mouth as an airway.
He stopped his compressions and brought his face to hers for a breath when she coughed, she coughed hard and water spewed from her mouth straight into Gilbert's face. Then Anne gasped for air and Gilbert thought it was the most wonderful sound he had ever heard. "Anne! Anne are you okay?" though she breathed, her eyes remained closed.
Gilbert scooped her up and hugged her to his chest. One arm wrapped tightly around her waist and one over her head and in her hair. His lips were quivering and his breaths were heavy and all that weight pushing him down was gone.
Anne was alive. She was alive and safe in his arms, and he vowed to do everything he could to keep it that way. Gilbert's whole body shook and he couldn't't do anything to stop it.
Then suddemly, one word, like a sigh left her lips. "Gil..."
"You're safe now, Anne." Gilbert choked out, barely above a whisper. "I promise."
Okay, about the CPR. Since Anne with an E and Anne of Green Gables is set a 100 years ago there was no CPR developed yet, but I did research other ways they responded to sudden 'death' a 100 years ago. I found things such as Abdomen presses and mouth to mouth or making the victims body on a slant that I mentioned earlier, Gilbert had to know some of these things to help Anne of course but how he knew, I decided the one to inform Gilbert of these to be Bash. The reason I chose Bash to be the one to tell him is because Gilbert has not really done much apprentice work with the doctor (sorry I cant remember his name) yet so he wouldnt have had time to tell him..? Anyway, Bash seemed knowledgeable enough for that so, yeah. Thanks for reading.
Please review! I would love to hear what you guys think! Also any questions or concerns feel free to PM me or review. Whatever way works.
Favorite and follow for chapter two everyone! It will be out not long after this first chapter. I'm hoping a week but things could change. But count on it to be out sometime, I never abandon my work.